In his book “The Business of Expertise” David Baker makes an interesting – and in my opinion true – observation. He explains that the profession of marketing (and possibly management consulting) offers the “lowest barrier of entry and the least amount of oversight”.
Think about this for a second. Within the industry, credibility is generated from your resume of past jobs and client work. So we (as in agency folks) can smell the stench of phony-ness from a mile away but clients cannot.
It is almost scary that there is no widespread set of standards that qualifies someone to give crucial business advice that can quite literally make or break a company. Our advice for searching for a firm is this:
- Testimonials are garbage. You will only get their best.
- Get a sense of their staff to client ratio. If they have too many clients you simply won’t get the attention you deserve. Also, too many clients is usually a sign of necessity to pay bills rather than the agency actually providing a quality service.
- Know what you can get for your money. Shop around and consider freelancers if your budget is under $5k per month.
- Educate yourself on the jargon. Don’t let people, like me, talk around you with industry jargon that makes us sound smart and you dumb. Agencies are experts at keeping unhappy clients just happy enough to not fire them…jargon and empty promises.
That’s it. That’s the blog. Now good day and good luck to you.