This article explores the ways that web design and build agencies can include digital marketing within their service offering without the expense and risk of taking on new staff.

As a design and build agency perhaps you have experienced one of the following scenarios:

  • you’ve created a beautiful, fast and responsive website but your client has lost traffic or sales
  • your prospect has turned down your proposal because you do not offer SEO
  • your client has taken their new site requirement to a competitor because they are a full service agency
  • you are not receiving the level of enquiries you feel you should
  • you need digital marketing skills in-house but you can’t justify the investment

Taking on staff before you have the business to support this additional overhead is a risky business strategy.

There is an alternative option to consider… work with a freelance digital marketing strategy consultant!

How can this relationship work?

Train your existing staff

Designers and developers are generally not marketers. Its a different discipline that requires a level of knowledge and skill that takes time and effort to learn but also lots of time to keep up with.

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Let someone else stay up to date with Google’s updates

Good designers are aware of the factors affecting user design and they know what to do to create an excellent user experience.

Good developers know how to make websites search-engine friendly, fast, responsive and efficient.

What almost invariably happens is that the designers and developers deliver exactly what has been included in the brief. Why would they do anything else?But this is where it tends to go wrong.

If the client doesn’t ask for a migration plan, for example, and the person preparing the brief doesn’t tell the client that they need a migration plan then it won’t be costed in and it won’t be delivered.

It can be extremely costly to have to go back and fix the consequences of missing elements that affect the performance of the website.

A good digital marketing consultant can help at the very beginning by asking the right questions so that all the client’s needs are included. Its much more cost effective to include them from the beginning.

Represent your company in proposals and initial meetings

You could include a section in your proposals about how technical SEO and site migrations are handled through a site build.

If there is an initial meeting needed to gain confidence with your prospect then a consultant would be able to attend with you to cover off the digital marketing aspect.

Manage a junior team or outsourced team

If you want to grow an in-house digital marketing team then an approach could be to employ more junior staff who can learn from a consultant and use them as a mentor.

If you are going to offer digital marketing services you need to have access to someone with experience but you don’t need to have them employed full time.

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Give your prospects confidence, your team support and your clients results

Supply additional resources when staff are stretched

Perhaps you have in-house experience digital marketers but you have more business than you can cope with. What a great problem to have!

Employing people takes time so it can help to be able to plug the gap withsomeone who can hit the ground running.

Deliver specific services 

You might find that an important client wants or needs a specific service that you don’t offer such as a digital marketing audit or a strategic plan. They may have a training need or know that they need a site migration plan.

These specific services can be easily packaged and priced to deliver on to your client with a suitable markup for your agency.

Include the consultant on your website as part of your team

My details have been included as part of the team on many agency sites over the years. I’ve had business cards and an email address for the agency and my photo and bio appear on the ‘About Us’ section of their website.

This reinforces to prospects that you have the expertise available for their project, which you do! Even if you don’t use your consultant often it can give prospects confidence to start a dialog with you. They will see that you are covering services they might need.

Audit a problematic situation

Maybe you don’t know why something has gone wrong, you just know that something isn’t right.

A good digital marketing consultant can deconstruct any situation where a website is not performing the way it is expected to.

Ideally done as part of your own team so you can all uncover the problems quickly and collaboratively so you all learn and can fix the problem.

Conclusion

A Digital Marketing Consultant can help you gain new clients and stop you losing existing clients.

If you need one, give me a call!

Originally posted on LinkedIn Pulse

I'm a digital marketing strategy consultant working with agencies and businesses to help them grow. Having built a successful digital agency from 2 to 50 people over 12 years I can share my experiences and help avoid some of the inevitable mistakes that come with the pace of change in the digital marketing industry.

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