October 7, 2020

Find the Best Small Business Digital Marketing Consultant in NYC

If you're stressing out about marketing your New York City small business, you're not alone. A local marketing consultant can make your life easier

Myself and the rest of my consultant team at ProStrategix have worked with small businesses on a number of marketing jobs and pitches throughout our time together. But more often than not, potential clients ask a very fair question:  

“Why do I need a small business digital marketing consultant?”

First, it starts with your business goals. Then, it boils down to 3 main things. First, a digital marketing consultant for small business can help you identify the best target, which is key to the success of your digital marketing strategy. Because they focus on small business, they know they challenges a local business faces. You can waste a lot of time and money trying to sell to the wrong people. Second, a small business digital marketing consultant can help you craft the right message that is motivating to that target. Finally, a digital marketing consultant for small business can help you choose the right media so that message reaches its intended target so you get the most from your sales and marketing efforts.

In our guest post on Business2Community, we discussed the psychology behind marketing in detail. We summarize the key points here, because these key elements are important in understanding how and why marketing works.

Marketing is first and foremost about clear, concise communication

While communication is something we all do, we all do not do it equally well. Communication is messy because it is dynamic. The extracted meaning is heavily impacted by the environment, context, delivery, and the recipient. The simplified model above is the ideal. However, in reality, communications is a muddled non-linear process which is influenced by the past, present, and expectations for the future.

Effective Communication Is Not Easy

Because it is so complex, marketers invest a significant amount of time understanding these factors so the intended message is received. Even then, it can miss the mark. We all have filters that are align to our conscious or subconscious needs. We all see the world through those lenses. It is not a fault of character. It is just a fact of human nature. The best crafted communication anticipates these needs so the message can pass through and be heard.

Maslov's Hierarchy of Needs

Maslov’s model is a useful construct to think about needs. It is old and simplistic, but it still provides a decent framework. In this model, a higher set of needs on the pyramid cannot be addressed until those underneath it are fulfilled.

Maslov's Hierarchy of Needs

For example, if your physical needs are not met, say you are starving, then you probably are not that worried about how many likes you have on you last Instagram post (Esteem need). Your marketing consultant can help you identify the level on which your target is operating. This serves more as a starting point for developing effective communication than an endpoint.

Now that we have covered the basics of the psychology behind communication, I hope that it is clearer why finding the right audience and understand their need state(s) are so critical in developing communication. This is the real value any good online marketing consultant brings to your business. With this as our background, we can discuss the more tactical assistance a marketing consultant can provide.

Marketing Consultants Can Find the Right Audience and Campaigns for Your Small Business

One of the hardest parts of small business marketing is finding the proper audience to target. This is critical to ensure that that you are developing a compelling message about your product or service and using the appropriate marketing channels to reach them. According to the Digital Marketing Institute, a digital marketing consultant’s skills include strong communication skills, proof of marketing success, marketing automation experience, knowledge of branding, and more.  

Beyond that, there are a few different responsibilities for a sales and marketing consultant to have both in online marketing and offline. There are a number of sub-specialties in marketing consulting services.

  • An online marketing consultant and a digital media consultant are generally very similar. They focus solely online, but more holistically, taking into account your total online presence.
  • A content marketing consultant is more narrow in scope, focusing only on creating content and promoting it.
  • A digital business consultant tends to be broader, focusing on the whole business, not just marketing.

There can be overlap. Therefore, it can get confusing quickly, so make sure you ask and understand exactly what your consultant can an cannot do.

A small business digital marketing consultant can be independent or part of a digital marketing agency. The amount the consultant charges can vary based on experience and location.

Finding the right audience

Identifying an audience for your small business is one of the first skills expected for a full-service marketing consultant. As we discussed above, it is not just about knowing your target audiences' demographics, ages, genders, and wealth brackets; but it is also about the psychological needs and how your product or solution solves them.

Build the right message

This is where knowing the target audience both on a demographic and psychological level helps. Humans are emotional decision-makers. We like to think we aren’t, but emotions have been proved time and again to be more compelling than facts. As Maslov's model suggest, once you pass the most basic level(s) of need(s), you are mainly operating in emotionally driven territory.

Marketing is fundamentally about behavioral change. By knowing and solving the emotional need that customer has, a marketing consultant to small businesses can create a more compelling message, which make your content creation and social media marketing stronger.

Determining the campaigns to run

There are so many different types of marketing strategies that exist; it can be hard to pick what is right for you. A digital marketing consultant for small business will work with you in order to determine the media that your target uses the most. Once you know, it’s much easier to choose whether a digital campaign or a print campaign or emailing or one-on-one interaction or anything is right for your small business needs.

Cost-effective marketing

This is the kicker. Anyone can run hundreds of campaigns or target the widest audience possible. But a small business marketing consultant can identify the most cost-effective and useful strategies based on your target’s media habits. A marketing consultant has the experience needed to simplify this process. If you are doing everything yourself instead of giving tasks to a marketing department or agency, you can quickly be overwhelmed. This can have a negative impact on both your online presence and your return on investment.

Forms of Digital Marketing Consulting to Consider

There are different breeds of marketing consulting firms that your small business might want to hire. Here are some of the most common forms of marketing consultancies, with some info pulled as well from Brent Purves in his article about defining marketing consultant roles.  

  1. Client Acquisition Consulting  –  Client acquisition is simply about connecting specific kinds of clients with more specialized types of professions. For lawyers or real estate agents or other kinds of industries with smaller client numbers, this might be the right choice.
  2. SEO Consulting  –  If you’re looking to make content native to your site while also expanding your reach, consider SEO consulting. This is how you can rank higher on Google and other search engines, while also making the kinds of digital ads that most benefit your type of business.  
  3. Social Media Consulting  –  This is critical for Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and more. If you’re reaching out to people through social media or content marketing, you’ll need the right skill set to interact with your potential customers. That's where a social media or content marketing consultant can help with creating content, a content marketing strategy, or content calendar.

ProStrategix handles these and other types of small business consulting when it comes to marketing so that we can help you with all of this and more.

Small Business Marketing Consultants in New York City

In New York City and similar cities with large small business communities, competition is harder and your need for specialized marketing is more specific. This is where small business consultants are most useful for your marketing needs.  A digital marketing consultant for small business can work for you full-time or part-time. Marketing consulting services typically cost around $150 per hour and can go to $200+ per hour. Bottom line, the hourly rates for a digital marketing consultant vary based on years of experience, niche, and location. Make sure you agree to the consulting rate upfront and require a scope of work, which sets a cap on the number of hours expected.

It pays to be careful. You can find a small business digital marketing consultant on Upwork for $50 per hour. However, it pays to do your homework. Many claim to have the skills, but if they are offering ultra-low or high prices, ask for proof.

When we work with businesses in New York City, we know that the stakes are higher. That’s why we provide specific kinds of help for small businesses in New York City and other large areas. We take our responsibilities seriously when it comes to your marketing needs. If you want to reach out to the whole of New York City, we’re happy to help.

Final Thoughts

These are 3 reasons to hire a marketing consultant, which all boil down to saving you time and growing your sales:

1. Find the Right Targets:  If you aren’t targeting the right emotional needs, you are are wasting your resources. Consulting agencies can help you find the right level.

2. Send the Right Message:  The content you’re delivering to your audience will always be important. Remember, we all have emotional filters. These have to be managed first. Until you do, it will be very hard for your message to be heard.

3. Use the Right Media:  Making a small business successful in New York City can be very hard, but it isn’t impossible! Find the kinds of media that your audience uses regularly and take advantage of that knowledge.

Finally, summarize all 3 with timing and a budget in the Right Marketing Plan. If you still find yourself confused or need more guidance, please send us your question via the chatbot, and we will happily explain things further.

About the Author

Brian Cairns, CEO of Prostrategix Consulting. Over 25 years of business experience as a corporate executive, entrepreneur, and small business owner. For more information, please visit my LinkenIn profile

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