I have recently been asked to help develop online marketing strategies for a couple of technophobes. In every case, what my clients wanted was some kind of guide to the questions they can ask developers, and the things they need to include in a developers’ brief.
Trust seems to be a big issue – understandably so, since many online marketing experts are only a page ahead in the manual from where their clients are! I recently attended a great seminar on using Google AdWords with Brittany Lynch. Brittany’s material was pretty eyeopening -as were the comments of some of the other delegates about their experiences of using ‘experts’ to place google ads for them, and doing it really badly. By the end of the seminar, the delegates knew more about AdWords than their online experts!
So it is with online marketing generally. If someone claims they are an SEO expert, how long do you give them before you decide they are (or aren’t) the expert for you? A friend recently contacted me because the website she had had designed wasn’t generating any income, after 3 months. Her question was, had she been taken for a ride by her developer? The answer in that case was, probably not. The developer had created a great site, and incorporated some good strategies for generating traffic and – potentially – revenue.
What the developer hadn’t done was to clarify just how long it might take before her client could expect to see real revenue coming in. She had also let her client think that once the site was up, it could be left alone for months or even years, and like a beautiful little machine it would produce money all by itself. Optimistic!
If you are a technophobe, or new to internet marketing, firstly insist on getting a proposal from your developer/internet marketing expert. Get them to state clearly what they expect the revenue profile to look like, and what guarantees they offer. Get them to teach you how to use the various tools (such as Google Analytics) for monitoring your site – and then use the tools. If you can log in to a google account, you can use Analytics.
It’s like monitoring your bank account. If you want to have an online business, you have to be prepared to act like a business person.