Now you need to develop a list of candidates. But with so many names for marketing companies, how do you know where to look and who to ask?
The following is a list of sources for finding marketing contractors that have been effective for many owners:
Personal Referrals: having a successful result with any contractor depends on much more than price. Are they easy to work with? Do they listen well? Do they deliver as promised and in schedule? Are they flexible, responding well to changes? These are important questions and best asked of former clients who are similar to your business. Ask for recommendations from respected peers within your local entrepreneurial groups, professional associations, or Chambers of Commerce. If possible, look at the output (website, writing samples, etc.) and most importantly ask about results? Did they get the traffic, leads, etc. they had hoped for?
Social Media Referrals: If you are active in social media, ask for referrals via your LinkedIn Groups or even Twitter or Google Plus using the questions above.
Work Portfolios: another good option is to look at sites where you particularly like the design or writing. You can then find the author or even designer (often in the footer). I have also emailed the company directly asking for the firm name and their experience with the firm.
Freelancer Directories: If you have a well-defined project and do not mind working and managing remotely, many owners have found great resources at reasonable prices from the following hubs. The key here is to be able to narrow your search and vet the options – pay special attention to customer reviews.