If you’re looking to get more and/or better leads from your website, the chances are you’ll have already approached one or more digital marketing agencies for a proposal.

The trouble is, if those agencies haven’t worked for you before, the proposal you receive is probably going to be pretty generic. So why not ask for a detailed six-month plan instead?

The proposal says, “produce eight pieces of content per month”. What it probably won’t tell you, however, is what those pieces of content should be about — until your digital marketing agency has got to know your customers, and identified the problems they have that prompt them to search online, their guess is going to be as good as… well… the next agency’s.

The same goes for social media posting, sharing third-party content, marketing emails and so on. Without that insight into your customers, any agency is going to struggle to put together a meaningful proposal for you. And the best way to get that insight is to start working for you.

If that sounds like a catch-22 situation, that’s because it is. But there is a solution:

The detailed six-month plan

It takes us so much time to prepare a proposal, that we realised recently it would take no more effort to start the work and deliver a detailed digital marketing plan instead. For you, the client, it’s a great idea as you receive something you can understand, that works for your business, and you can comment meaningfully on it.

It’s great for us as well, because we can crack straight on with the stuff we love doing, and it’s so much easier for us to demonstrate the benefits of working with us instead of the next agency.

So what’s the catch?

Well, there is a downside but just a small one — there is a bit more work for you in the early stages. We have to carry out the first ‘Discovery’ stage of our process, which means taking up to two hours of your time for a detailed interview to learn enough about your business to prepare a plan. At the end of it though, you will have a report that will help you:

  • figure out if we’re the right fit for your business
  • solve your digital marketing challenges, whether you decide to work with us or not
  • build a wider business plan — to seek investment, for example

It seems counter-intuitive to carry out work without any guarantee of payment, but we’ve trialled this approach with a few customers and it’s actually working really well — we’re looking forward to bringing you some exciting case studies very soon.

So if you’re feeling swamped with generic proposals, remember to demand more — ask for a detailed six-month plan. The response might just tell you everything you need to know.

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