Hiring a consultant? Use an audit to start.

You’ve decided you need consulting help, but don’t want to lock in a contract until you know more about the consultant’s work. It’s a Catch-22. Solution: Get an initial audit. It’s a great way to get a glimpse of the quality of intuition and delivery from your prospective consultant.

An initial audit should contain observations and recommendations in each significant service area that may be provided by your consultant. For example, we cover Web Analytics, SEO, Paid Search/PPC, Email Marketing, Conversion and Online Publicity in most audits. But the weighting varies according to the need of the client. It’s a sampling of intuition, experience and actionability that you can expect in an ongoing relationship.

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Why is an audit a win win?

You probably know your online marketing could be better but don’t know where to start. A good audit should indicate the efforts necessary in each service area.

The audit helps the consultant to get to know you and your infrastructure better and suggest service areas that you may not have considered. This can improve the likelihood of a long relationship as well as the accuracy of quotes for ongoing services.

The audit keeps your risk low. If the consultant delivers actionable recommendations, you can now choose to implement them yourself, hire the consultant, or hire someone else.

We deliver our audits in a simple, editable Word document, from 10-18 pages, that follows a template of Data->Observations->Actionable Recommendations. Recommendations must be actionable even if we are out of the picture. We then follow up with a one hour conference call where we explain each section and answer any questions. It has worked well for us and our clients.

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