Episode 17: Ready to Hire a Digital Marketing Agency? Listen First!
One of my students asked me the other day, “I’m about to hire a digital marketing agency. What do I look for?” It sparked a ton of thoughts and so I thought I would share them all with you today.
Hey everyone, this is Julie and today I wanna talk to you about running or hiring an agency. A lot of people ask how I get ideas for my podcast and I will tell you I get them directly from my Digital insiders. That is my high-end mastermind where I support 60 small business entrepreneurs, startups and when they ask me questions I like to give them an answer. I like to give them as complete an answer as possible.
So one of my clients, students asked me, I am thinking about hiring an agency to do my digital marketing. What do I look for? And I thought, you know, that’s a great question because whether you’re going to hire an agency, whether you are an agency looking for clients or whether you’re thinking about creating your own internal agency for your business. And after all ClickFunnels. Where I work right now does that. They built an agency inside of ClickFunnels. So a lot of businesses will build an internal digital marketing agency and team. Others will hire out and others will be the agency. So I’m going to give you the lowdown on what I think you should look for and things to also watch out for.
So for those of you who don’t know, I ran a funnel building agency before I became a coach. So I’ve had a lot of experience in not only funnel building from the side of being an agency owner, but also now working in ClickFunnels really as one of the key, you know, project managers, overseers of that agency in there. As well as hiring my own agencies. So let’s talk a little bit about what you might hire a digital marketing agency for.
I break it out into a bunch of categories. Some people hire digital marketing agencies to build funnels, right? You have a product, you have a service, you want to generate leads and make sales. So you hire people to build a funnel for you.
Now in the funnel building process, there’s oftentimes info products and other kinds of products that have to be created. Unless, of course you’re in E-commerce.
Some digital marketing agencies will also help you with the products inside the funnel, right? The fulfillment. So whether it’s book design, e-book design, course design, membership design, or however you’re delivering those products.
But remember, digital marketing agencies traditionally focus on the marketing and sales side, not necessarily the fulfillment side. If you get a good agency, you’ll get someone who can do both, or sometimes you just have to find a specialist in each direction.
Other people hire digital marketing agencies for more traditional marketing things that we think of, like website design, right? You want a new website, maybe you want to show up on Google search for your business. Maybe you want SEO. A lot of people hire digital marketing agencies to do that kind of work as well.
Oftentimes when you’re building a website, you need graphics, right? You need a new logo, new brand board, all those kinds of things.
And yet still some people hire digital marketing agencies for social media. They do it because they want someone to run their Facebook page or their Instagram account or their YouTube channel. So there are digital marketing agencies that focus a lot on traffic and social media.
There are also agencies that are just specifically paid traffic. So they are ads. So a Facebook ad agency or a Google ads agency.
Okay. And then again, there are digital marketing agencies that do it all. The one last piece that maybe I haven’t talked about yet, some agencies will do it, some won’t, is the copy. Copy is so incredibly important and that is sprinkled everywhere, whether it’s in your content, in your social media, on your ads, in your funnels. A lot of digital marketing agencies will have a copywriter on staff, some will ask that you deliver your own copy.
So that’s kind of another sort of specialized subset in the agency world. And lastly, can’t forget video. Some digital marketing agencies will have a video team and they will do all your video editing. Others will fly out to you and produce the content. Sometimes though you may need to find an agency that does exclusively that.
So what do I do in my business? My business right now has an internal agency for most of the pieces. I have an internal agency that handles the copy, the funnel building as well as the fulfillment. So that’s kind of all the stuff and the social media, I should say that too social media. So all of those aspects are done internally on my team with people that I’ve hired, either as employees or contractors.
I have a third party outside agencies helping me in two key areas, one with video and one with ads.
Those are easy things that happen in a business that can kind of be separated out. Sometimes it’s hard to separate out when you’re building funnels and fulfillment. All that kind of stuff just starts to mush together. And it’s really hard to work with an outside agency because day to day things change, you pivot. Whereas ads and video content can often easily be outsourced because the boundaries are really clear.
All right, so you are a startup. Maybe you are looking to hire an agency. The first thing I would ask you is what you love to do and what do you hate to do? Because some people actually like being on social media. They enjoy figuring out what kind of content would be cool and they feel nervous about putting that job in somebody else’s hands because they want to make sure their voice is consistent. and on brand.
If that’s you, obviously as the business owner, you can’t be doing all your own social media. But what you can do is create an internal social media team. Some people call it like a social listening team and engagement team where you have people that are really bought into your culture, bought into your voice. bought into your business. And so they’re out there as your social media voice. Okay?
So in that case, I would not outsource your social media to an agency. I would build an in-house team. If you are the kind of person who loves building funnels, you may want a funnel builder because chances are if you are building lots of funnels and creating lots of offers and always trying new things, it’s going to get very, very expensive to have a third party agency constantly doing that for you.
On the other side, if you’re the kind of person that’s like, you know what, I just want to focus on one or two really amazing funnels and then I want to go out and teach and speak and write my book and do all that kind of stuff and you’re not really into the Internet marketing game. I would say it’s totally worth paying an agency to build those funnels for you to maintain those funnels for you to optimize those funnels for you so that you can focus on the things that you love to do.
Other people are like, okay, I can build the funnels, but I just don’t want to do the ads. Ads are super easy to outsource because it’s very clear. A good ads agency will connect with whoever your funnel builder is to make sure that the funnel is optimized before you run the ads.
If they’re not asking about optimizing the funnel, then they’re not a good ads agency and run for the hills.
I think that everybody should have an in-house copywriter. Even though I know a lot of agencies come with copywriters. I think it’s really, really helpful when you have someone who gets to know your voice and who can write as you, because writing is one of the things that you do most. So those are kind of my ideas.
If you are going to build a completely internal team, you will need a copywriter. You will need a funnel builder. This is someone who can do ClickFunnels work or whatever program you use. You will need a designer. This will be someone who can do things like logos, course logos, maybe pdfs if you’re delivering worksheets in a course. So any sort of graphics assets, you’ll probably need a videographer, video editor of some kinds who can edit out your video content or even produce it.
And then you’ll need a social media team. A team that’s producing the content, distributing the content and also listening to the customers out there in groups and in private messages and on comments to make sure that you understand the pulse of your customer. So that’s what I would do if I was going to build an internal team.
And I know the next question is how much is this all going to cost? And it really, I mean it’s just all over the map. I could start with some easy numbers. So if you are going to outsource your ads, for example, Facebook ads, you can find providers who will do it for a thousand dollars a month. You can find providers who will do it for $5,000 a month.
A lot of times when you start running a lot of money for ads, you’re going to notice that people are wanting a commission as well. Bonuses, royalties, things like that. So that’s pretty common with ads agencies.
Video production. You can spend very little and just have someone be an editor, you know, a couple hundred to a couple thousand dollars a month. Or you can have someone that you have on retainer for about $5,000 a month where they produce your videos, edit them, create your ads, and really just work to support your business from a video standpoint.
Social media managers, if you’re hiring, can be, you know, there again all over the map, $500 to $2,000 a month. It really depends. If you hire a specialist on Instagram, you could pay $2,000 a month just for the Instagram growth.
If you’re hiring more of a social media virtual assistant, you may be able to pay $2,000 a month and have her kind of just manage all the channels. So it really, really depends on whether you’re going for aggressive growth hacking techniques or you’re looking for someone who can distribute content and engage with your audience, but you’re not looking for that massive growth really, really fast.
Copywriters on retainer…. they can be expensive. They can be pricey. I mean, it’s not uncommon to pay a $2,000 a month, $3,000 a month for someone to do your emails and your Instagram captions and your ads. Oftentimes, copywriters won’t do a retainer package for sales funnels just because there is a lot of work. They’ll charge per piece. So they’ll charge you anywhere from $500 to $10,000 for a sales letter. It just depends on how good they are and what they do.
When I was doing just copy work, I was charging about $2,000 to write a sales letter. That was kinda my price point. So I was pretty reasonable at the time.
So let’s talk about funnel builders. Funnel builders, you know, again, you’ll get funnel builders who will just build you a funnel for three grand or build you a funnel for five grand. Or you can find a funnel builder who wants to be on retainer and expect to pay them four to $5,000 a month if you’re doing a lot of funnel building.
If you’re only doing a little funnel building, you might be able to get away with an online business manager or a tech virtual assistant, and they will charge you between two and $3,000 a month to kind of manage all your tech, right? Not just your funnels, maybe it’s your email marketing, your WordPress site, et Cetera, et cetera.
So, what do I look for when hiring? So I have chosen to do the specialist route where I’m looking for specialists in certain areas and that’s partly because in my background I’m very, very good at a lot of things and I have a team that’s very good at a lot of things so I don’t need someone who can just do everything.
I want super specialized help. So I needed to get to 10,000 followers on Instagram. So I hired an Instagram expert. I need really, really good on-brand video. I hired the video guy. so I do the specialist route.
If you are a small business and you don’t have, you know, 20 to $30,000 a month to spend on specialists in digital marketing and yes, it’s very expensive. Then I would definitely look for a comprehensive digital marketing agency that does it all. You’re still gonna pay probably five to $7,000 a month for them. If they’re really going to do it all, copywriting, funnel building ads, the whole nine yards, like don’t expect that to be less. But you won’t have to worry, they will be kind of doing the whole thing project managing the whole thing, and then you can really keep most of your digital marketing outsourced and only hire internally for things like customer support.
Obviously, there are multiple ways to skin a cat. If you are a digital marketing agency, you will stand out in the sea of digital marketers if you do more than the average. I know for me, I was building course materials in addition to the funnels and I was doing ads and copy and so it was really a one-stop-shop. People loved it. They just talked to one person and my team and my agency handled everything. That’s very, very compelling and it also makes it likely that they’re going to hire you.
If you’re an agency, but you want to be specialized, get really, really, really good at one particular thing. It’s a little easier to scale when you’re an agency that’s a specialist. Let’s say it’s Instagram because your process gets really tight. Whereas when you’re a comprehensive digital marketing agency, every client’s different. So, you know, there’s a lot of factors involved, so I hope this is helpful. I hope this is helpful for anyone who is thinking about hiring a digital marketing agency, bringing a team onboard.
This is stuff I love. I plan to talk more about it because I know everybody needs to either hire a digital marketer or be when themselves if you’re going to make it in the online space. As always, I appreciate you guys. Talk to you soon.
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