Paige Arnof-Fenn profile image

Paige Arnof-Fenn
Top 10% Sales and Marketing

Founder & CEO at Mavens & Moguls

Member Since April 2018

Cambridge, MA,

SHARE

4 FOLLOWERS

I am the founder & CEO of global marketing and branding firm Mavens & Moguls based in Cambridge, MA. Our clients include Microsoft, Virgin, venture-backed startups as well as non profit organizations. I graduated from Stanford University and Harvard Business School. I am a popular speaker and columnist who has written for Entrepreneur and Forbes.

Qualified skills

Sales and Marketing

Paige Arnof-Fenn answered this question

Official FAQ
Official FAQ, Inquisitor at SavvySME

Lead Generation

What are the best ideas for B2B lead generation?

I started a global branding an marketing firm 18 years ago.  Social media and technology are 24/7 so it is easy to get sucked into it but I think in lead generation less is more. I think it is a mistake to hide behind technology and CRM systems when prospecting.  I prefer a more back to the basics approach by disconnecting from technology periodically and focusing on cultivating human, face to face relationships. Meeting for coffee or lunch can accomplish so much more than e-mail exchanges, social media posts, etc. and it is a great way to get to know people better, their interests, hobbies, and dreams.  I have found that building relationships is what drives my business and technology supports them once they are solidified.  Technology helps advance the conversation but it will never replace the human interaction that builds trust over time.   I plan lunch meetings ~3 days a week and invite clients to events I think they might enjoy attending to spend time together.  Another way to find new customers is to go on a Listening Tour!  Politicians do it all the time and it is great for business too.  Make a list the movers & shakers, people you admire and prospects, ask a few smart open ended questions then sit back and take notice.  They will be more than happy to tell you what is on their mind.  If you listen to what they share with you there will be plenty of opportunities to help them.  I did it when business slowed and picked up several new clients but you can do it any time.  It is a great way to connect and a lot of fun too.  Start listening with no strings attached, you'll be amazed what you find.  It does not cost much, for the price of a few coffees and meals you will get an earful.  I had no idea what to expect and got a lot of new work as a result.  I did my listening tour the old fashioned way by sending out e-mails & picking up the phone then brought a pad & pen, asked a few open ended questions then shut up and started taking notes.  Content Marketing and Thought Leadership are also great ways to build your brand, increase your visibility more broadly, raise your profile and attract more clients.  Activities like  speaking at a conference, writing articles, building your following on social media all contribute increasing your awareness with potential customers and building your credibility with a larger community.  Instead of trying to start your own blog or newsletter, try contributing regularly to existing well trafficked blogs in your industry or newsletters of likeminded organizations reaching the same target audience as you.  Make sure you put your URL or contact info on it so they can find you and follow up.  When your articles or talks become available online, make sure to send them out via social media to all your friends, followers and contacts.  Start small and build as you go.  For me I started speaking at local events and then submitted proposals to speak at industry conferences and trade shows nationally and eventually global events too.  Same advice goes for writing start with small publications then move up the food chain to reach bigger audiences.   People need to be on LinkedIn so that they can be found too.  It adds credibility and transparency when you know the people you are meeting or working with know people in common.  LinkedIn has become more than an online resume or rolodex, it is the foundation for building trusted relationships in the digital economy.  You do not need to blog or be on all social media platforms but make sure you are active on the ones where you are.  If your customers do not use Facebook, Twitter or  Instagram to find you then you do not need to make them a priority.  For many professional service businesses like mine, LinkedIn matters the most.  These ideas do not require big budgets but they do take time.  It is a smart investment to get this right.   It has worked for me.  

Paige Arnof-Fenn answered this question

Narine Poghosyan
Narine Poghosyan, Community Manager at SavvySME

Sales and Marketing

How do you sell to consumers in an environment that hates sales?

 I started a global branding and marketing firm 18 years ago and I am going to share a few quotes with you that address this question.  The first one is "People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care” by Theodore Roosevelt It reminds me of the Maya Angelou quote that "people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel” and use that too as a guide.  I always love it when my clients tell me things like they know they cannot be a big client for me but I always make them feel important or I am always so responsive that they feel like they are my only client even though they know I am busy I never come off hurried or rushed with them.  I always try to be present and give whomever I am talking †o my undivided attention and I think my clients sense that and really appreciate it.   There are lots of people in my category, it is very competitive out there but I’d like to think our clients feel loved and important to us and that is part of our value proposition.  Lots of marketing consultants can technically do the work but if we make them feel best they will come back to us.  So much of our work is by referral and word of mouth and this adage really does pay off, at least for us.  I actually sent the Roosevelt quote to someone once and I think she still keeps it in her office today years later. Another good one is “whatever you are, be a good one”  by Abraham Lincoln.  It resonates with me because it is a great reminder to be the very best version of yourself and not to worry what others are doing and also if you are selling something you really believe in and know it is a great product or service then share your knowledge and passion in an authentic way so others can see why they should buy it.  When you stop selling and start sharing it becomes much easier to have a conversation and solve problems.   

Paige Arnof-Fenn answered this question

Official FAQ
Official FAQ, Inquisitor at SavvySME

Startup Branding and PR

What are smart and low-cost PR strategies for a startup?

I think PR is the most cost effective tool in the marketing toolkit so choose high impact activities that work for you and play to your strengths.  I am a big fan of Content Marketing and Thought Leadership which are great ways to build your brand, increase your visibility more broadly, raise your profile and attract more clients.  Activities like  speaking at a conference, writing articles, building your following on social media all contribute increasing your awareness with potential customers and building your credibility with a larger community.  Instead of trying to start your own blog or newsletter, try contributing regularly to existing well trafficked blogs in your industry or newsletters of likeminded organizations reaching the same target audience as you.  Make sure you put your URL or contact info on it so they can find you and follow up.  When your articles or talks become available online, make sure to send them out via social media to all your friends, followers and contacts.  Don’t let social media drive you crazy, you do not need to be everywhere, it does not matter which platform you choose just pick one or 2 that are authentic to you.  It should look and sound like you and the brand you have built.  Whether yours is polished or more informal, chatty or academic, humorous or snarky, it is a way for your personality to come through. Everyone is not going to like you or hire you but for the ones who would be a great fit for you make sure they feel and keep a connection and give them a reason to remember you so that when they need your help they think of you first.  Start small and build as you go.  For me I started speaking at local events and then submitted proposals to speak at industry conferences and trade shows nationally and eventually global events too.  Same advice goes for writing start with small publications then move up the food chain to reach bigger audiences.   People need to be on LinkedIn so that they can be found too.  It adds credibility and transparency when you know the people you are meeting or working with know people in common.  LinkedIn has become more than an online resume or rolodex, it is the foundation for building trusted relationships in the digital economy.  You do not need to blog or be on all social media platforms but make sure you are active on the ones where you are.  If your customers do not use Facebook, Twitter or  Instagram to find you then you do not need to make them a priority.  For many professional service businesses like mine, LinkedIn matters the most. 

Paige Arnof-Fenn answered this question

Official FAQ
Official FAQ, Inquisitor at SavvySME

Sales and Marketing

How do marketing agencies charge for their services?

It depends.  We charge by the project or on a monthly retainer depending on the scope of work but some firms  will bill clients on an hourly basis.  Others may work for a success fee or for stock so you just have to ask, there is no set fee structure for agencies.  Sometimes there is an initial set fee to get started then an ongoing lower fee to maintain support so first figure out what help you need then work with your agency partner to strucure the fees in a way that works for both partiies.  In many cases agencies can be flexible when clients are clear on their objectives and goals.  Good luck.

Paige Arnof-Fenn answered this question

Official FAQ
Official FAQ, Inquisitor at SavvySME

Sales and Marketing

How to know a marketing agency or expert is right for you?

You have to kick the tires and look under the hood by talking with them, checking their references and seeing if there is a chemistry fit.   At some point you have to decide whether you trust your gut and  the due diligence and move forward.  If it is not a good fit then you shake hands and part ways and go another direction.  Test and learn.  Course correct as you go.  One firm may not be able to help in all the areas so you may have to divide and conquer based on their strengths.  Good luck.  

Paige Arnof-Fenn answered this question

Official FAQ
Official FAQ, Inquisitor at SavvySME

Offline and Direct Marketing

When is traditional marketing better than online marketing?

It comes down to where the best place is to find your customers.  Traditional marketing including, print, direct mail, etc. can be very effective when trying to reach an audience that tends to skew older, less tech savvy, or where lots of information needs to be processed and considered to make a buying decision.  There is no one silver bullet in the marketing tool kit so the best bet is to look at the budget and put together a realistic strategy and plan to reach your customers in the most effective ways possible.  Each vehicle has strengths and weaknesses so using a mix of tools is ideal with the right message getting to the right audience.    

Paige Arnof-Fenn answered this question

Official FAQ
Official FAQ, Inquisitor at SavvySME

Sales and Marketing

How much does it cost to hire a digital marketing agency?

That is like asking how much it costs to buy a car -- it depends.  Do you want a Kia, Honda, Lexus, Jaguar or Rolls Royce?   They are all cars and can all get you from A to B but the experience will be different.  When hiring an agency what role do you want them to  play? Strategic only or execution too?    Have you conducted market research or are we starting from scratch?  Quantitative and qualitative?  Has your web site been optimized?  There is no one size fits all here it really just depends on your goals and what level of confidence  you need to make decisions and move forward.  Some may work on a project basis others will require a monthly retainer so find an agency that fits your needs.   

Paige Arnof-Fenn answered this question

Official FAQ
Official FAQ, Inquisitor at SavvySME

Sales and Marketing

Is it better to outsource your marketing or keep it in-house?

You have one chance to make a great first impression so if you are launching a busioess, website, new product or service and you do not have the right expertise in house then it is time to bring in professionals who can help.  Don't risk diluting your brand or putting your business in a position where it will cost more money and time to get the right words and pictures out there to tell your story.  If you need help ask for it, it is rarely too early and often too late in my experience.  Good luck!

Paige Arnof-Fenn answered this question

Official FAQ
Official FAQ, Inquisitor at SavvySME

Branding

What's the cost to develop a small business brand?

It is like asking how much does it cost to buy a car, well that depends are you buying a Kia, Honda, Lexus,  Cadillac or Rolls Royce?  They are all cars that can get you from point A to point B but the ride will be different.  You can crowdsource a logo online or send out a Zoomerang survey link to conduct market research on the cheap for example.  That does not mean it is a good logo or relevant research though.  We have built successful brands in the low 5 figures up to well into the 6 figures so  it is not a question of how much you spend in my experience.  Find the right team to bring your brand's story to life and if all you can afford is a Kia then the team needs to be scrappy and resourceful to leverage social media and find the right words and pictures to tell your story.  That is also great advice if you have a bigger budget too.  Great brands connect with their target on an emotional level and they become champions and ambassadors for the brand.  Finding those compelling messages and insights takes experience and smarts more than money.  Good luck!

Paige Arnof-Fenn answered this question

Official FAQ
Official FAQ, Inquisitor at SavvySME

Market Research

How to do market research for a new product or service?

Market research is a critical tool for business yet often overlooked or underutilized.   Are real customers willing to pay real money for your product or service?  If so you have a real business.  Do not just ask your friends & family for feedback, they do not want to hurt your feelings and will not be objective.  Do market research with real customers.  Whether you conduct qualtitative (focus groups or a listening tour) or quantitative reseach using Zoomerang or Survey Monkey for example does not matter.  Just make sure you ask questions in an objective way so you get real feedback that is useful.   Unless you have expertise in house it makes sense to engage an indepeendent outsider who can help draft the questionaire otherwise it can be garbage in and garbage out wasting time with useless informtion.    Research does not require big budgets but it does need to be objctive to gain real customer insights.

Paige Arnof-Fenn answered this question

Official FAQ
Official FAQ, Inquisitor at SavvySME

Sales and Marketing

How much do you spend on marketing from your annual budget?

There is no rule on % to spend, it is not about the size of your budget anymore.  Today you can have tremendous impact through social media, influencer marketing, SEO, SEM,, etc.  It is about being relevant and timely with the right message to your audience.  Find your key messages and be consistent in communicating them across all channels for the best results.  Track andmeasure everything so you can test and learn as you go.  As you get traction then you can start to invest further to grow.   Be scrappy and resourceful whether your budget is small or large.  Find the tools that work best for you.  Good luck!  

Paige Arnof-Fenn answered this question

Official FAQ
Official FAQ, Inquisitor at SavvySME

Sales and Marketing

What are some of the best marketing ideas you've seen by small businesses?

 Social media and technology are 24/7 so it is easy to get sucked into it but you do not have to let it run your life!  My advice is to pick a few things you enjoy doing and do them really well.  You cannot be everywhere all the time so choose high impact activities that work for you and play to your strengths.  For example, Thought Leadership is a great way to build your brand, increase your visibility more broadly, raise your profile and attract more clients/customers.  Activities like  speaking at a conference, writing articles, building your following on social media all contribute increasing your awareness with potential customers and building your credibility with a larger community.  Instead of trying to start your own blog or newsletter, try contributing regularly to existing well trafficked blogs in your industry or newsletters of likeminded organizations reaching the same target audience as you.  Make sure you put your URL or contact info on it so they can find you and follow up.  When your articles or talks become available online, make sure to send them out via social media to all your friends, followers and contacts.  Don’t let social media drive you crazy, you do not need to be everywhere, it does not matter which platform you choose just pick one or 2 that are authentic to you.  It should look and sound like you and the brand you have built.  Whether yours is polished or more informal, chatty or academic, humorous or snarky, it is a way for your personality to come through.  Everyone is not going to like you or hire you but for the ones who would be a great fit for you make sure they feel and keep a connection and give them a reason to remember you so that when they need your help they think of you first.  Start small and build as you go.  For me I started speaking at local events and then submitted proposals to speak at industry conferences and trade shows nationally and eventually global events too.  Same advice goes for writing start with small publications then move up the food chain to reach bigger audiences.   Key people need to be on LinkedIn so that they can be found too.  It adds credibly and transparency when you know the people you are meeting or working with know people in common.  LinkedIn has become more than an online resume or rolodex, it is the foundation for building relationships in the digital economy.  You do not need to blog or be on all social media platforms but make sure you are active on the ones where you are.  If your customers do not use Facebook, Twitter or  Instagram to find you then you do not need to make them a priority.  For many professional service businesses like mine, LinkedIn matters the most.  This does not require big budgets but it does take time.  It is a smart investment to get this right.  Authenticity is the key, it has to be and feel real for it to work I think.  This has helped me grow my business.

Paige Arnof-Fenn answered this question

Official FAQ
Official FAQ, Inquisitor at SavvySME

Sales and Marketing

Are newsletters dead in email marketing?

Not at all I'd argue that newsletters are a very effective tool to stay  in front of your audence when done strategically.  It needs to go out on a regular schedule (monthly/biweekly) consistentlty demonstrating your expertise, personality, etc. so that when they need your product or serviice they think of you first.  Relevant newsletters help build a relationship over time so  that by the tiime  they are ready to purchase you have already built a strong foundation for the transaction since they have gotten to know you through your newsletters.  In my experience they work well but err on the side of shorter and more frequent vs long ones which can be hard to read on a mobile device.  

Paige Arnof-Fenn answered this question

Why should your small business outsource SEO?

Unless you are up to speed on the latest algorithms, key words and search terms I recommend that you hire a pro who can do it well.  You do not exist today if you cannot be found online.  As a business you must have a website and I’d argue businesses always need SEO because the whole point of having a web site is to make it easy for customers to find you.  Being invisible online is a terrible strategy so making sure your site is keyword rich, mobile friendly, loads quickly and produces meaningful content today is the price of entry.  That also happens to be a great foundation for effective SEO.   

Paige Arnof-Fenn answered this question

Official FAQ
Official FAQ, Inquisitor at SavvySME

Social Media

What's the best social media marketing strategy for a professional service business?

 Social media and technology are 24/7 so it is easy to get sucked into it but you do not have to let it run your life!  My advice is to pick a few things you enjoy doing and do them really well.  You cannot be everywhere all the time so choose high impact activities that work for you and play to your strengths.  For example, Thought Leadership is a great way to build your brand, increase your visibility more broadly, raise your profile and attract more clients.  Activities like  speaking at a conference, writing articles, building your following on social media all contribute increasing your awareness with potential customers and building your credibility with a larger community.  Instead of trying to start your own blog or newsletter, try contributing regularly to existing well trafficked blogs in your industry or newsletters of likeminded organizations reaching the same target audience as you.  Make sure you put your URL or contact info on it so they can find you and follow up.  When your articles or talks become available online, make sure to send them out via social media to all your friends, followers and contacts.  Don’t let social media drive you crazy, you do not need to be everywhere, it does not matter which platform you choose just pick one or 2 that are authentic to you.  It should look and sound like you and the brand you have built.  Whether yours is polished or more informal, chatty or academic, humorous or snarky, it is a way for your personality to come through.  Everyone is not going to like you or hire you but for the ones who would be a great fit for you make sure they feel and keep a connection and give them a reason to remember you so that when they need your help they think of you first.  Start small and build as you go.  For me I started speaking at local events and then submitted proposals to speak at industry conferences and trade shows nationally and eventually global events too.  Same advice goes for writing start with small publications then move up the food chain to reach bigger audiences.   Key people need to be on LinkedIn so that they can be found too.  It adds credibly and transparency when you know the people you are meeting or working with know people in common.  LinkedIn has become more than an online resume or rolodex, it is the foundation for building relationships in the digital economy.  You do not need to blog or be on all social media platforms but make sure you are active on the ones where you are.  If your customers do not use Facebook, Twitter or  Instagram to find you then you do not need to make them a priority.  For many professional service businesses like mine, LinkedIn matters the most.   

Paige Arnof-Fenn answered this question

Official FAQ
Official FAQ, Inquisitor at SavvySME

Sales and Marketing

Why and when should you call a marketing or advertising agency for help?

You have one chance to make a great first impression so if you are launching a busioess, website, new product or service and you do not have the right expertise in house then it is time to bring in professionals who can help.  Don't risk diluting your brand or putting your business in a position where it will cost more money and time to get the right words and pictures out there to tell your story.  If you need help ask for it, it is rarely too early and often too late in my experience.  Good luck!

No results found.

Paige Arnof-Fenn answered this question

Official FAQ
Official FAQ, Inquisitor at SavvySME

Lead Generation

What are the best ideas for B2B lead generation?

I started a global branding an marketing firm 18 years ago.  Social media and technology are 24/7 so it is easy to get sucked into it but I think in lead generation less is more. I think it is a mistake to hide behind technology and CRM systems when prospecting.  I prefer a more back to the basics approach by disconnecting from technology periodically and focusing on cultivating human, face to face relationships. Meeting for coffee or lunch can accomplish so much more than e-mail exchanges, social media posts, etc. and it is a great way to get to know people better, their interests, hobbies, and dreams.  I have found that building relationships is what drives my business and technology supports them once they are solidified.  Technology helps advance the conversation but it will never replace the human interaction that builds trust over time.   I plan lunch meetings ~3 days a week and invite clients to events I think they might enjoy attending to spend time together.  Another way to find new customers is to go on a Listening Tour!  Politicians do it all the time and it is great for business too.  Make a list the movers & shakers, people you admire and prospects, ask a few smart open ended questions then sit back and take notice.  They will be more than happy to tell you what is on their mind.  If you listen to what they share with you there will be plenty of opportunities to help them.  I did it when business slowed and picked up several new clients but you can do it any time.  It is a great way to connect and a lot of fun too.  Start listening with no strings attached, you'll be amazed what you find.  It does not cost much, for the price of a few coffees and meals you will get an earful.  I had no idea what to expect and got a lot of new work as a result.  I did my listening tour the old fashioned way by sending out e-mails & picking up the phone then brought a pad & pen, asked a few open ended questions then shut up and started taking notes.  Content Marketing and Thought Leadership are also great ways to build your brand, increase your visibility more broadly, raise your profile and attract more clients.  Activities like  speaking at a conference, writing articles, building your following on social media all contribute increasing your awareness with potential customers and building your credibility with a larger community.  Instead of trying to start your own blog or newsletter, try contributing regularly to existing well trafficked blogs in your industry or newsletters of likeminded organizations reaching the same target audience as you.  Make sure you put your URL or contact info on it so they can find you and follow up.  When your articles or talks become available online, make sure to send them out via social media to all your friends, followers and contacts.  Start small and build as you go.  For me I started speaking at local events and then submitted proposals to speak at industry conferences and trade shows nationally and eventually global events too.  Same advice goes for writing start with small publications then move up the food chain to reach bigger audiences.   People need to be on LinkedIn so that they can be found too.  It adds credibility and transparency when you know the people you are meeting or working with know people in common.  LinkedIn has become more than an online resume or rolodex, it is the foundation for building trusted relationships in the digital economy.  You do not need to blog or be on all social media platforms but make sure you are active on the ones where you are.  If your customers do not use Facebook, Twitter or  Instagram to find you then you do not need to make them a priority.  For many professional service businesses like mine, LinkedIn matters the most.  These ideas do not require big budgets but they do take time.  It is a smart investment to get this right.   It has worked for me.  

Paige Arnof-Fenn answered this question

Narine Poghosyan
Narine Poghosyan, Community Manager at SavvySME

Sales and Marketing

How do you sell to consumers in an environment that hates sales?

 I started a global branding and marketing firm 18 years ago and I am going to share a few quotes with you that address this question.  The first one is "People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care” by Theodore Roosevelt It reminds me of the Maya Angelou quote that "people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel” and use that too as a guide.  I always love it when my clients tell me things like they know they cannot be a big client for me but I always make them feel important or I am always so responsive that they feel like they are my only client even though they know I am busy I never come off hurried or rushed with them.  I always try to be present and give whomever I am talking †o my undivided attention and I think my clients sense that and really appreciate it.   There are lots of people in my category, it is very competitive out there but I’d like to think our clients feel loved and important to us and that is part of our value proposition.  Lots of marketing consultants can technically do the work but if we make them feel best they will come back to us.  So much of our work is by referral and word of mouth and this adage really does pay off, at least for us.  I actually sent the Roosevelt quote to someone once and I think she still keeps it in her office today years later. Another good one is “whatever you are, be a good one”  by Abraham Lincoln.  It resonates with me because it is a great reminder to be the very best version of yourself and not to worry what others are doing and also if you are selling something you really believe in and know it is a great product or service then share your knowledge and passion in an authentic way so others can see why they should buy it.  When you stop selling and start sharing it becomes much easier to have a conversation and solve problems.   

Paige Arnof-Fenn answered this question

Official FAQ
Official FAQ, Inquisitor at SavvySME

Startup Branding and PR

What are smart and low-cost PR strategies for a startup?

I think PR is the most cost effective tool in the marketing toolkit so choose high impact activities that work for you and play to your strengths.  I am a big fan of Content Marketing and Thought Leadership which are great ways to build your brand, increase your visibility more broadly, raise your profile and attract more clients.  Activities like  speaking at a conference, writing articles, building your following on social media all contribute increasing your awareness with potential customers and building your credibility with a larger community.  Instead of trying to start your own blog or newsletter, try contributing regularly to existing well trafficked blogs in your industry or newsletters of likeminded organizations reaching the same target audience as you.  Make sure you put your URL or contact info on it so they can find you and follow up.  When your articles or talks become available online, make sure to send them out via social media to all your friends, followers and contacts.  Don’t let social media drive you crazy, you do not need to be everywhere, it does not matter which platform you choose just pick one or 2 that are authentic to you.  It should look and sound like you and the brand you have built.  Whether yours is polished or more informal, chatty or academic, humorous or snarky, it is a way for your personality to come through. Everyone is not going to like you or hire you but for the ones who would be a great fit for you make sure they feel and keep a connection and give them a reason to remember you so that when they need your help they think of you first.  Start small and build as you go.  For me I started speaking at local events and then submitted proposals to speak at industry conferences and trade shows nationally and eventually global events too.  Same advice goes for writing start with small publications then move up the food chain to reach bigger audiences.   People need to be on LinkedIn so that they can be found too.  It adds credibility and transparency when you know the people you are meeting or working with know people in common.  LinkedIn has become more than an online resume or rolodex, it is the foundation for building trusted relationships in the digital economy.  You do not need to blog or be on all social media platforms but make sure you are active on the ones where you are.  If your customers do not use Facebook, Twitter or  Instagram to find you then you do not need to make them a priority.  For many professional service businesses like mine, LinkedIn matters the most. 

Paige Arnof-Fenn answered this question

Official FAQ
Official FAQ, Inquisitor at SavvySME

Sales and Marketing

How do marketing agencies charge for their services?

It depends.  We charge by the project or on a monthly retainer depending on the scope of work but some firms  will bill clients on an hourly basis.  Others may work for a success fee or for stock so you just have to ask, there is no set fee structure for agencies.  Sometimes there is an initial set fee to get started then an ongoing lower fee to maintain support so first figure out what help you need then work with your agency partner to strucure the fees in a way that works for both partiies.  In many cases agencies can be flexible when clients are clear on their objectives and goals.  Good luck.

Paige Arnof-Fenn answered this question

Official FAQ
Official FAQ, Inquisitor at SavvySME

Sales and Marketing

How to know a marketing agency or expert is right for you?

You have to kick the tires and look under the hood by talking with them, checking their references and seeing if there is a chemistry fit.   At some point you have to decide whether you trust your gut and  the due diligence and move forward.  If it is not a good fit then you shake hands and part ways and go another direction.  Test and learn.  Course correct as you go.  One firm may not be able to help in all the areas so you may have to divide and conquer based on their strengths.  Good luck.  

Paige Arnof-Fenn answered this question

Official FAQ
Official FAQ, Inquisitor at SavvySME

Offline and Direct Marketing

When is traditional marketing better than online marketing?

It comes down to where the best place is to find your customers.  Traditional marketing including, print, direct mail, etc. can be very effective when trying to reach an audience that tends to skew older, less tech savvy, or where lots of information needs to be processed and considered to make a buying decision.  There is no one silver bullet in the marketing tool kit so the best bet is to look at the budget and put together a realistic strategy and plan to reach your customers in the most effective ways possible.  Each vehicle has strengths and weaknesses so using a mix of tools is ideal with the right message getting to the right audience.    

Paige Arnof-Fenn answered this question

Official FAQ
Official FAQ, Inquisitor at SavvySME

Sales and Marketing

How much does it cost to hire a digital marketing agency?

That is like asking how much it costs to buy a car -- it depends.  Do you want a Kia, Honda, Lexus, Jaguar or Rolls Royce?   They are all cars and can all get you from A to B but the experience will be different.  When hiring an agency what role do you want them to  play? Strategic only or execution too?    Have you conducted market research or are we starting from scratch?  Quantitative and qualitative?  Has your web site been optimized?  There is no one size fits all here it really just depends on your goals and what level of confidence  you need to make decisions and move forward.  Some may work on a project basis others will require a monthly retainer so find an agency that fits your needs.   

Paige Arnof-Fenn answered this question

Official FAQ
Official FAQ, Inquisitor at SavvySME

Sales and Marketing

Is it better to outsource your marketing or keep it in-house?

You have one chance to make a great first impression so if you are launching a busioess, website, new product or service and you do not have the right expertise in house then it is time to bring in professionals who can help.  Don't risk diluting your brand or putting your business in a position where it will cost more money and time to get the right words and pictures out there to tell your story.  If you need help ask for it, it is rarely too early and often too late in my experience.  Good luck!

Paige Arnof-Fenn answered this question

Official FAQ
Official FAQ, Inquisitor at SavvySME

Branding

What's the cost to develop a small business brand?

It is like asking how much does it cost to buy a car, well that depends are you buying a Kia, Honda, Lexus,  Cadillac or Rolls Royce?  They are all cars that can get you from point A to point B but the ride will be different.  You can crowdsource a logo online or send out a Zoomerang survey link to conduct market research on the cheap for example.  That does not mean it is a good logo or relevant research though.  We have built successful brands in the low 5 figures up to well into the 6 figures so  it is not a question of how much you spend in my experience.  Find the right team to bring your brand's story to life and if all you can afford is a Kia then the team needs to be scrappy and resourceful to leverage social media and find the right words and pictures to tell your story.  That is also great advice if you have a bigger budget too.  Great brands connect with their target on an emotional level and they become champions and ambassadors for the brand.  Finding those compelling messages and insights takes experience and smarts more than money.  Good luck!

Paige Arnof-Fenn answered this question

Official FAQ
Official FAQ, Inquisitor at SavvySME

Market Research

How to do market research for a new product or service?

Market research is a critical tool for business yet often overlooked or underutilized.   Are real customers willing to pay real money for your product or service?  If so you have a real business.  Do not just ask your friends & family for feedback, they do not want to hurt your feelings and will not be objective.  Do market research with real customers.  Whether you conduct qualtitative (focus groups or a listening tour) or quantitative reseach using Zoomerang or Survey Monkey for example does not matter.  Just make sure you ask questions in an objective way so you get real feedback that is useful.   Unless you have expertise in house it makes sense to engage an indepeendent outsider who can help draft the questionaire otherwise it can be garbage in and garbage out wasting time with useless informtion.    Research does not require big budgets but it does need to be objctive to gain real customer insights.

Paige Arnof-Fenn answered this question

Official FAQ
Official FAQ, Inquisitor at SavvySME

Sales and Marketing

How much do you spend on marketing from your annual budget?

There is no rule on % to spend, it is not about the size of your budget anymore.  Today you can have tremendous impact through social media, influencer marketing, SEO, SEM,, etc.  It is about being relevant and timely with the right message to your audience.  Find your key messages and be consistent in communicating them across all channels for the best results.  Track andmeasure everything so you can test and learn as you go.  As you get traction then you can start to invest further to grow.   Be scrappy and resourceful whether your budget is small or large.  Find the tools that work best for you.  Good luck!  

Paige Arnof-Fenn answered this question

Official FAQ
Official FAQ, Inquisitor at SavvySME

Sales and Marketing

What are some of the best marketing ideas you've seen by small businesses?

 Social media and technology are 24/7 so it is easy to get sucked into it but you do not have to let it run your life!  My advice is to pick a few things you enjoy doing and do them really well.  You cannot be everywhere all the time so choose high impact activities that work for you and play to your strengths.  For example, Thought Leadership is a great way to build your brand, increase your visibility more broadly, raise your profile and attract more clients/customers.  Activities like  speaking at a conference, writing articles, building your following on social media all contribute increasing your awareness with potential customers and building your credibility with a larger community.  Instead of trying to start your own blog or newsletter, try contributing regularly to existing well trafficked blogs in your industry or newsletters of likeminded organizations reaching the same target audience as you.  Make sure you put your URL or contact info on it so they can find you and follow up.  When your articles or talks become available online, make sure to send them out via social media to all your friends, followers and contacts.  Don’t let social media drive you crazy, you do not need to be everywhere, it does not matter which platform you choose just pick one or 2 that are authentic to you.  It should look and sound like you and the brand you have built.  Whether yours is polished or more informal, chatty or academic, humorous or snarky, it is a way for your personality to come through.  Everyone is not going to like you or hire you but for the ones who would be a great fit for you make sure they feel and keep a connection and give them a reason to remember you so that when they need your help they think of you first.  Start small and build as you go.  For me I started speaking at local events and then submitted proposals to speak at industry conferences and trade shows nationally and eventually global events too.  Same advice goes for writing start with small publications then move up the food chain to reach bigger audiences.   Key people need to be on LinkedIn so that they can be found too.  It adds credibly and transparency when you know the people you are meeting or working with know people in common.  LinkedIn has become more than an online resume or rolodex, it is the foundation for building relationships in the digital economy.  You do not need to blog or be on all social media platforms but make sure you are active on the ones where you are.  If your customers do not use Facebook, Twitter or  Instagram to find you then you do not need to make them a priority.  For many professional service businesses like mine, LinkedIn matters the most.  This does not require big budgets but it does take time.  It is a smart investment to get this right.  Authenticity is the key, it has to be and feel real for it to work I think.  This has helped me grow my business.

Paige Arnof-Fenn answered this question

Official FAQ
Official FAQ, Inquisitor at SavvySME

Sales and Marketing

Are newsletters dead in email marketing?

Not at all I'd argue that newsletters are a very effective tool to stay  in front of your audence when done strategically.  It needs to go out on a regular schedule (monthly/biweekly) consistentlty demonstrating your expertise, personality, etc. so that when they need your product or serviice they think of you first.  Relevant newsletters help build a relationship over time so  that by the tiime  they are ready to purchase you have already built a strong foundation for the transaction since they have gotten to know you through your newsletters.  In my experience they work well but err on the side of shorter and more frequent vs long ones which can be hard to read on a mobile device.  

Paige Arnof-Fenn answered this question

Why should your small business outsource SEO?

Unless you are up to speed on the latest algorithms, key words and search terms I recommend that you hire a pro who can do it well.  You do not exist today if you cannot be found online.  As a business you must have a website and I’d argue businesses always need SEO because the whole point of having a web site is to make it easy for customers to find you.  Being invisible online is a terrible strategy so making sure your site is keyword rich, mobile friendly, loads quickly and produces meaningful content today is the price of entry.  That also happens to be a great foundation for effective SEO.   

Paige Arnof-Fenn answered this question

Official FAQ
Official FAQ, Inquisitor at SavvySME

Social Media

What's the best social media marketing strategy for a professional service business?

 Social media and technology are 24/7 so it is easy to get sucked into it but you do not have to let it run your life!  My advice is to pick a few things you enjoy doing and do them really well.  You cannot be everywhere all the time so choose high impact activities that work for you and play to your strengths.  For example, Thought Leadership is a great way to build your brand, increase your visibility more broadly, raise your profile and attract more clients.  Activities like  speaking at a conference, writing articles, building your following on social media all contribute increasing your awareness with potential customers and building your credibility with a larger community.  Instead of trying to start your own blog or newsletter, try contributing regularly to existing well trafficked blogs in your industry or newsletters of likeminded organizations reaching the same target audience as you.  Make sure you put your URL or contact info on it so they can find you and follow up.  When your articles or talks become available online, make sure to send them out via social media to all your friends, followers and contacts.  Don’t let social media drive you crazy, you do not need to be everywhere, it does not matter which platform you choose just pick one or 2 that are authentic to you.  It should look and sound like you and the brand you have built.  Whether yours is polished or more informal, chatty or academic, humorous or snarky, it is a way for your personality to come through.  Everyone is not going to like you or hire you but for the ones who would be a great fit for you make sure they feel and keep a connection and give them a reason to remember you so that when they need your help they think of you first.  Start small and build as you go.  For me I started speaking at local events and then submitted proposals to speak at industry conferences and trade shows nationally and eventually global events too.  Same advice goes for writing start with small publications then move up the food chain to reach bigger audiences.   Key people need to be on LinkedIn so that they can be found too.  It adds credibly and transparency when you know the people you are meeting or working with know people in common.  LinkedIn has become more than an online resume or rolodex, it is the foundation for building relationships in the digital economy.  You do not need to blog or be on all social media platforms but make sure you are active on the ones where you are.  If your customers do not use Facebook, Twitter or  Instagram to find you then you do not need to make them a priority.  For many professional service businesses like mine, LinkedIn matters the most.   

Paige Arnof-Fenn answered this question

Official FAQ
Official FAQ, Inquisitor at SavvySME

Sales and Marketing

Why and when should you call a marketing or advertising agency for help?

You have one chance to make a great first impression so if you are launching a busioess, website, new product or service and you do not have the right expertise in house then it is time to bring in professionals who can help.  Don't risk diluting your brand or putting your business in a position where it will cost more money and time to get the right words and pictures out there to tell your story.  If you need help ask for it, it is rarely too early and often too late in my experience.  Good luck!

TOPICS FOLLOWED

Online Business

Online Business 9342 FOLLOWERS

Sales and Marketing

Sales and Marketing 8732 FOLLOWERS

Startup

Startup 6867 FOLLOWERS

Business Management

Business Management 11136 FOLLOWERS

Virtual Assistance

Virtual Assistance 42 FOLLOWERS

Starting a Business

Starting a Business 89 FOLLOWERS

Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship 2287 FOLLOWERS

View more

people with similar expertise

Steve Osborne 4.91K FOLLOWERS

Dmytro Moroz 9 FOLLOWERS

William Siebler 18 FOLLOWERS

Sonja Ceri 25 FOLLOWERS

Travis Longmore 27 FOLLOWERS