Before you buy an online platform for website services or social media services, ask around. Talk to your friends who you know work in these fields. Even if you only have one friend who builds software – I would bet money on it that he knows a guy who knows a gal who knows a professional who can legitimately help you.
I can’t tell you how frustrated I get for my small business owners who are paying out the wazoo for crap services. I don’t mean qualified professionals helping small business owners with their marketing needs. I’m talking about small business owners being taken advantage of by companies who prey on their naïveté. What happens: small business owner gets an offer from a social media / website management company to help with their marketing. It’s $500/mo. Or less. And this seems like a great deal. But, what happens is, the marketing company owns all your online real estate. The small business owner doesn’t. And this is a problem.
For example: if your Facebook page isn’t owned by and controlled by you – you don’t own or control the content, the data, the images, etc. You are responsible for all of it, you just don’t have any actual control over any of it. All the responsibility and none of the authority. That’s not ok. That’s now how you run your brick and mortar business. You wouldn’t just hand the keys to your office to anyone off the street without making sure that at the end of the day you had a way to lock them out of your office. Same thing for your website. Your Twitter account. Facebook account. The list goes on and on.
This is not a small problem. This is your brand. Your business. And online/email marketing IS the heart of all marketing in 2015. Protecting your brand online shouldn’t be a secondary consideration. There’s a huge knowledge gap between online marketers vs. brick and mortar small business owners. And, from what I’ve seen first hand, most small business owners are not being taken care of – they are being exploited.
Brand Protection is the most important thing you will do for your business. Know your marketing company. If you need a list of companies to reach out to, who will help you take your business to the next level with professional grade marketing and branding, here’s my list of go-to talent:
- ThinkRenegade with my friend CamMi Pham
- Berry Interesting Productions with my friend D’nelle Dowis
- Angie Meeker Designs with my friend Angie Meeker
- Idea Pioneer Media with my friend Leslie Mock
- CodeBrainMedia with myself and partner Cindy Kendrick
I’m sure I have more contacts I could list, but this is a quick post before I dive off into a podcast! The people above are personally known to me and provide really amazing work at valuable price points. Just remember – you get what you pay for and most of the time you don’t even know what risks you’re accepting when you sign a contract for website, social media, and email marketing agreements. Time to write some more posts! 🙂
Ok – off my soapbox and onto my podcast!