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How to Hire a Professional Firm

If you’ve never hired a professional marketing, design or web firm, don’t start with price alone – you’ll be missing a lot of important criteria.

A firm in need of marketing help called me the other day. We had a brief discussion of what they’re looking for: a brochure sooner than later and eventually a new website. She said she knows nothing about marketing and had never bought this kind of service, but knew what they’ve been trying on their own was not working. I asked a number of questions and it seemed like we had a good discussion about overall marketing.

I suggested we book a face-to-face meeting but she suddenly went cold and insisted I just send a quote for writing and designing a brochure. Because she didn’t really know anything about what Rapport can do, it came across like price was to be the first criteria in shortlisting her options.

Cost Shouldn’t Be the First Leveler

When you don’t know much about our kind of services and eliminate people based on price, you may be missing the big picture. There are so many options with marketing and design firms: from solo specialists to full-service marketing firms like ours. Pricing would range accordingly. What are your long-term needs? Can the cheaper option provide everything you need?

This woman found Rapport by Googling ‘full service marketing’, which is contrary to making a decision on the price of the brochure, so perhaps I’m wrong. But, the cheapest option would likely be a solo artist that can only do so much. Maybe that’s all they need. The point is, if you don’t know that for sure, you’re not making a fully educated decision.

So many choices it's hard to compare apples to apples.Make a Fully Informed Decision

Reduce the number you meet with to two or three by their work and initial impressions on the whole, but then see them in person. Look for insights that make you feel they understand your business; see if you feel comfortable with them and like their approach. What’s their experience? Can they cover off what you really need big or small? Talk to them about their resources internally and externally. Do they have good relationships with writers and printers?

Starting with price alone, you’re probably not comparing apples to apples and wouldn’t even know it.


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