How to Spot Fake Marketing Agency?

Fake Marketing Agency

Do you want to know how to spot a fake marketing agency that will just get your money out of the pocket promising something that sounds really great and you simply can’t say no?
In this article, we will break up piece by piece how to pick the right marketing agency applying a few simple steps. I prepared my top 10 things to evaluate marketing agencies before doing business with them. I’ve been there and I know that there are clients who are just pouring money into their pockets while they are not getting anything or enough that they deserve! Let’s go through my top 10 things and make sure to share your view on this.

But before we start let me just tell you why is this so important. Average monthly marketing services are estimated around 4000$ per month which makes it 48.000$ per year. Starting a business with fake marketing agency will not only get your money out of the pocket but will also set your business behind for years which hurts even more. In this article, I want to help you make a decision to pick the right agency for your business and don’t make a serious mistake from the start. Most start-ups are just collecting and saving money to hire one.
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Here are my top 10 tips to hire a GOOD agency

1. Check if the agency is a real company and registered
2. Check if the company is on LinkedIn / check employees
3. How did the agency found your business
4. Check their social accounts
5. Check for the contract
6. Locate their office on Google Maps
7. Ask for case studies
8. Will they solve your problem
9.  How long are they in the business
10. What is their goal

1. There are a lot of agencies out there who are just telling their employees they are a real company. What most employees are not aware of is that it’s not true. It is very important to locate company address and country and then simply search them inside of that country.  Every country has its own online system that will show you whether the company is real or not. Why is this important to know? Well, this means a few things, first of all, the company is hiding something and is not doing in business very well to have it registered. To say it the different way a company is not in a good place and you should ask yourself why would they be a good fit for you then if they can’t help themselves in the first place?

2. What is a marketing agency without LinkedIn? If they are doing marketing in the first place this should be their top channel for lead generation. If they are not active here it means that they simply don’t have enough resources to manage it. This gives you a better picture that they might even not have enough resources for your own social media channels to manage in the right way. Check their employees, a very important thing! Where are they from, what part of the world? Not trying to be rude but we all know how some marketing agencies from the third world are working and what are their results & customer service. Very important thing! Check how long are their employees working for the company? Is it a short period or long? If you see that employees are working for a few months there is a very high chance that attrition rate in that company is huge and something is just wrong when people are being replaced so often. Do you like people keep getting replaced while they are working on your business? How will new employees handle it and get on it when they don’t know you? Do people even care about you?

3. How did they found your business? How did their approach towards you look like? Did you find it professional? Remember that this step will be repeated from them if you want them to do outreach for your business. If their first impression for you looked unprofessional there is a high chance they will do the same for your outreach. What is their accent and how well are they speaking your business native language? There is a big number of agencies trying to get US clients but they are neither from the US and are having a hard time communicating with you. If you spot mistakes in grammar there might be even when they do your marketing activities.

4. Check for their social accounts? I see this so often, there are a ton of marketing agencies and just by checking this you will know how good they are. This is one of my favorite things to pick and easiest to apply. Open their Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn and see how often do they post, how many followers do they have, what is their engagement? If you find their number of followers really low and engagement even lower it means that they failed to do one of the most important things as a marketing agency and that is to do branding and grow accounts and interact with the community.

5. Check for the contract. Some agencies will get scared when you mention this, this should be a very logical and expected thing to do when doing business. Read the terms several times don’t just sign like a blind person. If they want to get money out of you they will make sure they are safe no matter what. This takes time. If you asked them to sign a contract and it has been some time, in most cases more than a few days it means that they didn’t have any. So the way they work with clients is strange and it should give you a hint that you may need to step aside.
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6. Locate them on Google Maps. If they are not using an address they may be hiding which is never a good thing. Every good marketing agency should have listed on Google maps, check for the reviews? How do they look like, do they seem fake? Check for a time interval between them. If you see several reviews posted at a similar time but no activity before or after they are most likely fake ones. Use that thingy and put it on a street view and try to find their office with a real business name.

7. Ask for case studies, but not all. Only ask for a case study related to your business, where they took a business from the start and where is it now. After that go and check it yourself on semrush.com and see if their story is real. It is very easy to create a case study and beginner agencies do this all of the time. Another important thing is to check who are they working within your industry. If they are working with your competitor why should you partner with them? They are lowering your results just because they have to provide results to the competitor.  Not all of the agencies are experts in your industry and they will just search for the clients. If they send you case study for completely different business industry be sure that even if that is good it will not work for your business industry. Marketing strategies and approach are always different per industry. What works for the car industry will not work for selling candy bars.

8. There will be a lot of agencies that will sell you numbers. Don’t buy numbers, buy problem-solving agencies. If you see for example agency that will tell you oh we will do 30 posts a month, follow 1000 people, send 100 messages, these type of aka real agencies are fake ones and they only care to fulfill their own thing you both agreed to. Doing this will not solve your problem. You may be closer solving it but still, this is a completely wrong approach. Agency needs to know your problem and you need to tell them what are your problems. Good marketing agencies will solve all of them and will not tell you number games.

9. How long are they in the business? Ask them first they should know this, after asking them to go and check how long do they have that domain name. Simply by searching on Google, you can see this. If this does not match they are lying and hiding something from the start. Your goal should be to work with an agency that has been for some time in your industry and knows what is doing. Check for their blog posts are they supporting your business. Do you see any value on their website that can help your business? If not it means that they are still too early in the game to help you and most likely don’t have the right experience that is needed for it.

10. One of the most important things to look for, ask them what is their goal? Not yours, ask them and see how will they handle this question? Are they going to be oriented to showing / identifying your problems or will they tell you, we will grow your traffic, get more leads, increase followers, etc? You need to know how can they help your business and what do they plan to do. There are many ways marketing can be done, you just need to know if they are using the right path towards your success.

I hope that this article was useful for you and if you know a person who is interested in doing business with marketing agency make sure to share with them. I would like to see also your opinion about this and what do you think. Feel free to comment I’m reading every comment and I will reply back.
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Stay safe,
Nebojsa