What Is The Process Like To Work With Inkyma? It is a question we are often asked and honestly don’t mind explaining. Today, Audrey is going to walk you through our introduction and onboarding process here at Inkyma, because it’s pretty different than what most businesses do in the marketing industry. After all, marketing is a long-term commitment, and we want to make sure that the relationship is a good fit for everyone.
Links Mentioned In This Episode
Episode 1 – Marketing Strategy vs. Tactics
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What was discussed:
- Always start with why
- Breaking down our 3-6 hour process
- The agreement is signed. Now what?
What Is The Process Like To Work With Inkyma
*Not ready to give this episode a listen just yet? Below is a rough transcript of today’s episode.*
Working with an agency to do your marketing is a long-term commitment. We here at Inca Mo have had clients with us for years and years. So you and we, the agency. want to make sure that the relationship is a good fit for both of us, both for you and for us. And during this process, or when I meet people, I often get asked, how do you work with clients?
And so I don’t mind explaining our introduction and our onboarding process because it’s pretty different than what most other businesses do. in the marketing. So, let me walk you through our introduction and initial onboarding process for new income clients. a little bit of housekeeping before we get into this, is ,Go and look at the show notes when you’re done listening to the episode or look at them together.
we put in links to other episodes in there. If we’re recommending products, we throw those in there too, and all of the episodes have a rough translation. So if there’s something that you want to understand better, you can go and just read it in the show notes. So definitely take a look at that. All right.
So let’s start talking about our introduction process here at Inc ma. our process is different from a lot of other, marketing or marketing related people you’ve worked with it’s a little longer. it can take anywhere from three to six hours in meetings, to get through it, and to determine if,we’re a good fit for your company.
And if you’re a good fit for us here at Inc mama. so why don’t we do this? We really want to know who you are, and we want you to know who we are. It’s important to try to see if this relationship is going to work before an agreement is signed, if we’re offering what you need, because otherwise it’s a really big waste of time.
so we don’t mind investing three to six hours in discovering if, we’re a good fit for you. and we don’t charge for this. Now I’ve heard coaches and other people talk about, oh, you should charge for your discovery process because you’re giving them a lot of information before you sign an agreement.
But my brain just doesn’t work that way. what I want to do is build trust as soon as possible, whether we work together or not. and. It’s really hard to start building trust fast. When you say, write me a check, and then I’ll ask you a bunch of questions about your business and then tell you how I can help you.
so this is why we don’t mind investing all of that time upfront. And so three to six hours is the potential amount of time that we would spend with a potential customer that doesn’t include all the research and discussions and thought process that we actually have behind the scenes. As we go through this process.
So let’s talk about what that process looks like now. So first someone’s going to reach out and they’re going to say, I need a website, I need a logo. I need something. I need some type of marketing and they’ll tell me why. And what we do is we schedule a discovery. I do these via video conference and they usually take about an hour.
Sometimes they take an hour and a half, or two hours, depending on how many people and what we talk about. So what we do in this meeting is I walk you through, a bunch of questions that I ask and I actually have, it’s like a four page document that I have that reminds me of what the questions are.
and it’s about your business, your goals, your target audience. Who your competitors are. and what kind of marketing you’re doing today, if any, at all. and then as part of the discussion, and this is where all of my years of marketing come into play, is that the way you answer a question might lead to another question and we deep dive into that.
So if. I’m asking you like who your target audience is and you say, oh, I target all these different groups. There’s five to six different groups. I go through the process of widdling that down to the top three. Cause when you try to start marketing to more than three different audiences, it gets expensive and it really, really gets watered down and diluted.
but it can absolutely be done with enough time and money. The other thing that this does for the client for the customer is it brings a lot of clarity, right? By having to answer these questions, have a discussion about them. It clarifies the goal, it clarifies who the audiences. and so there’s already something being given back right from that very first session.
So it’s never a waste of time to go through a discovery session. Even if you decide this isn’t the company for me, at least you have more. sometimes what will happen is we’ll go through the first session and then we need to go through a second one because there’s some additional,research that needs to be done to see if there’s additional questions need to be asked.
And that could be industry research, audience research. and so we actually go through that process. And so that’s where the one to two hours for discovery comes through. So at the end of the discovery session, we schedule the next meeting. My. goal at the end of each meeting is to always have the next meeting scheduled and on the calendar.
And so what we schedule next is the solution presentation. And this is where, I come back and give you a high level of what we think that you need. that’s always at least a week, if not sometimes two weeks out from the discovery session, which gives us plenty of time to do our research, our strategy, our write ups, all that good stuff so that we come from.
Completely prepared to tell you what our thoughts are and what you need to do to achieve your goals. And so that next meeting is usually an hour. sometimes we need two meetings. And so what we do here is we create a, presentation, right? It’s actually written out. We use,PowerPoint like structure for it.
And it’s the high level strategy of what we’re going to recommend after we do all that research after you, you’ve given us all that information. So we look at your marketing, we look at your competitors, we looked at your industry, And we put together a complete plan of how to help you achieve your goals.
So a lot of times we recommend additional or even sometimes different things than what you initially came to us for. So here’s an example. I had an architect come to me and, we started the discussion. The initial one with, they needed a website. Theirs was really old. It was like 20, some odd years old.
And so I said, okay, let’s go through the discovery process. And as part of it, they had mentioned, oh, we’re going to change the name. It used to be a father son business, but I don’t have any kids. I need to change the name. And so when we came back to them as part of the, Solution presentation.
We recommended that we rebrand them. If you’re going to change the name, let’s do that before we do the website, because you don’t want to build the whole entire website and then have to go back and change everything after you’ve rebranded. So let’s do it in a, a methodical type of manner.
And then the other thing that we also recommended as part of that was to do an e-newsletter because again, in discovery they said, oh, we want to be able to talk to existing clients more often. and then as we’re prospecting people, we want them to get materials from us. so we understood what all of their goals were, not just that they needed a new website, but we came back with, do the branding, do the website.
Let us do e-newsletters for you write articles to bolster your search engine optimization so people can find you and you continue to do, your social media. Cause you’re pretty good at that. And because you’re B2B, right? Cause we figured that out as part of the discovery you don’t need is a big of a social media presence is for you.
We’re going directly to consumers and we’re not recommending any digital advertising. Because it just doesn’t make sense. We’re going to rely heavily on search engine optimization and all of the networking that you’re doing, because we found out that they were big networkers. They were part of three or four different networking organizations.
So we wanted to capitalize on that as well.
And so this is where they came to us for one thing, but we gave them a full. Solution as part of that, we give high level pricing. this helps the customer decide, oh, I love all this. Here’s the pricing for it? Is this something I’m going to do right now? Is it within my marketing budget? what can I do now?
What can I do later? we want the customer to make an informed decision, right? And we want to be as transparent and as upfront, as early as we can in the process, I don’t want them to get all excited. And then I create an agreement and then they look at the pricing and they’re like, wait a minute.
This is way out of my ballpark. I want them to know as soon as possible, this meeting always is done via video conferencing. even before COVID we were leaning towards doing all of these,as video conference. the great thing about this is I can share the presentation.
They can see me. We’re all looking at the screen together. No one is hunched over a piece of paper. And what we do is we record these and then send it to the client after the meeting so they can review it and digest the information in their own time. we share a lot of information during those meetings.
A lot of times I get this glazed look at the end and they don’t have questions, but then they get to go back and re-listen to it. And then if there’s someone who should have been at the meeting that wasn’t, for whatever reason, they can actually watch it as live on demand. Now there are times where we need a second session, either to collect additional requirements based off of the first discussion.
A lot of times what will happen is they’ll get inspired during the meeting and the book, oh, I want to do this and I want to do this too. what about that? We have to go back collect information, make sure it’s a good fit for what we’re talking about for them. Or we need to have a followup discussion.
a greater team because they watch the video have additional questions. I don’t want to have to have my potential client have to answer my questions on behalf of me. they’re not the experts. They’re not going to answer them the same way we are. They’re going to, base it off of what they thought they heard.
So as a potential client, you get to this phase, the numbers look good. You like what we’re presenting you like, okay, I want to do this. How do we do this? So the next step is, we create an agreement and we review that agreement. and that can take one to two hours. So basically the agreement is pretty simple.
it outlines the work being done. The final prices, the payment terms. I like to think of it as like a checklist, Again, these are long-term engagement stuff. That’s year over year. And sometimes we get six months into a project. We finished the website and we’re like, oh, what did we say? We were doing for the marketing piece of it.
Go back, look at the agreement everything’s listed there. And we know what the pricing is. Boom. Everybody is on the same page. and it’s very, very. So once we’ve created this document, we send it to the client and then we already have on the books at the end of the solution presentation time to review this. And then this gets to another level of clarity. You can ask questions. what does this mean? What does that mean? And then there are times where we get to this stage.
The client is excited, they’re talking to other people, and then they think of other things that they want to add to their program. not so much questions, but oh yeah. Now I want to do this and this too. so we were setting up a, email system for a client, right? They wanted to do outbound email marketing.
And originally what we said. based off of discovery, we’re going to do five sales funnels and a newsletter for you, to existing and to potential clients. Great love it. Let’s do the agreement. Let’s get this started, sent the agreement and then they said, let’s have another meeting because I was talking with the rest of the team and we came up with five more sales funnel that we think we want to include.
So we go back, we talk about them and it actually did wind up being five. and then we actually, we clarified the first five, like what their goals of those first five were. now obviously doubling the workload, change the pricing. So before an agreement was signed, we already went through change the scope of work, adjusted the pricing, make sure everybody was good for it.
Before we kicked off and signed everything. So at the end of that agreement, meaning is when we schedule our kickoff meeting. By that point, the client’s like, yes, ready send this to me. Let’s go. I like to start everything off regardless of what we’re doing. With a kickoff meeting, it sets the tone for the relationship.
and so in that kickoff meeting, usually about an hour, we do asset collection for the entire scope of the project. So even if we’re just starting with branding and we’re going to do a,a branding. Discovery type of document to understand what it is, what we’re trying to create. we’ll also start collecting things, for if we’re doing social media marketing, starting to get access to those accounts.
If we’re going to do email marketing, getting access to the DNS so that we can, verify and validate those things. So we do a lot of asset collection ahead of time, so we can have things in place beforehand in case there’s. We do information verification as well. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve just walked through at kickoff and said, is this your right address?
Is this your right telephone number? Is this your right email address? And I get, oh no,no, that’s not right. And where did you get that? We found it on the Google, my business listing or their old website. And it’s oh, that’s wrong. We want to make sure it’s right from the beginning. Because that way we don’t get six months down and we’re doing all this marketing and someone finally sees that it’s the wrong telephone.
We create a project action list. And what this is is we, have a document where we track who’s doing what and who it’s assigned to. And it’s not just for us, it’s the client too. So if I ask the client, can you send me, the logos of the companies that you’re certified with? Because those are usually behind the scene things.
I put it on the action list and so they get to look at that and go, oh, here’s what’s needed for me. Here’s what Audrey’s team is doing. Great. I know what’s going on at that kickoff. We schedule a weekly half-hour video conference call for any projects that’s going to take two weeks or more. If we’re doing a website, we have those weekly meetings until the site goes live.
And what this does it lets the client know that they always know when they’re going to talk to us. It’s the same day, the same time. It is a half hour out of their schedule via video, so they can be anywhere. They can get an internet connection. we walked through the project action list and we talk about next steps.
And sometimes if they haven’t had a chance to review something, we sent them, they give us their verbal feedback right during that meeting. So it’s a working session and it’s a review session. and it really helps keep. On track, I think is probably the number one thing that we do that helps keep things on track.
Then once everything is established or past those initial phases, we move into a monthly marketing meeting for anybody who’s doing ongoing monthly campaigns with us. And at those meetings, We review data reports that we create on their behalf. All of our programs that include marketing included data report.
it’s just part of what we do. And when we talk through the reports, this is what we like seeing this is good. This is not, what do you got going on your end? Oh, we just hired someone new. They’re doing XYZ. Can we add them to the site? Can we do this again? It’s a way for the client to remember, to talk to us about stuff without having to reach out in between meetings.
Because frankly, they’re all really busy. and we always want to make sure, you know, when you’re going to talk to us next, I talked to them the third Thursday of every month. I can send emails because marketing is never done. You put up a website, things, change new products, new services, new people, like I said, so we want to make sure to make it easy as possible for the client to tell us about those changes, to tell us about what’s coming up, To remember those things and to keep their marketing fluid and working for them. We have refined this process for over the last five years. just based off of feedback from clients, how engagements have gone, the successful ones, where we’ve had bumps in the roads. so we feel pretty confident that this process, it just works super well.
And any client that is willing to go on this journey with us, and see it through will see amazing results in their market. this is usually the take action portion of the podcast, but there’s really not a whole lot of action,for you to take here. So here’s just some final thoughts in some pointers.
Obviously, if you want to work with us, we’d be happy to talk to you. we’d love to talk to you. I always love to talk to anybody about their marketing, maybe you’re not ready for an agency. I would suggest using this information as a guideline, when you’re Looking to hire anyone, whether it be an individual, maybe you just need a graphic designer. Maybe you just want a writer. maybe you need just a social media manager kinda go through this process informally with them. or if you are looking at multiple agencies, are they following a process like this?
Or do they just want your basic information after a five minute phone call? And then they’re going to give you a price. I don’t know how they can price. Talking to somebody for five or 10 or 15 minutes. but that’s just me and how my brain works. I consider that kind of a red flag. it’s better to do your due diligence on both sides of the fence.
So that’s really, my point here is make sure they understand your business. They understand your goals, not just the tactic that you’re looking for, especially if you’re looking for someone to partner with. Year over year.
I also suggest hire someone who is in line with the way that you want to work. Sometimes a good relationship is that it’s symbiotic. And how you like to work. Are you a morning person hiring a company where they’re morning people to is probably better for you because then you’re more in sync on those, non meeting communications.
And even during those meeting communications, I had a client, we started working with him and everything was really, really great. Before we left New Jersey. He liked getting online, super, super early. He wanted like a 6 37 o’clock timeframe that rocks with me. I loved it. But then I moved here to Colorado Springs.
guess what? That’s 6 37. O’clock is now four o’clock in the morning for me. it was in that Uber too early. And so we talked about it and said, listen, later is not going to be better for you. Let’s see if we can get you to work with someone who is local to you.
so they can meet those time commitments for you because I can’t any longer because my situation changed. And so we parted amicably, thought he was a great guy and everything, but I didn’t want to make him feel like he had to conform to my timeframes. and I certainly couldn’t continue on with his existing timeframes.
do you like to work weekends? If so, that’s a question you ask is, do you work weekends? If the answer is emphatically? No, we don’t. We work Monday through Friday. We don’t answer calls on the weekend. They might not be the right company for you. You might like what they do and they might do it really well, but if you can’t get ahold of them, when you need to talk, that is,Definitely not a good thing, because what it’s going to do is you’re both gonna wind up being frustrated.
You’re going to be frustrated because they’re not answering you when you want them to. And then they’re going to feel like you’re,going outside their boundaries when they’ve tried to set them early, or maybe they didn’t even set them, You gotta be a little proactive and ask these questions.
You need to have a sustainable process that works for everybody involved. That is really the bottom line in making a long-term relationship like this with. And for you to get your best marketing results, because when you have a great relationship with your marketing agency, your results are just going to come out and be wonderful and fantastic.
Most of those. So here at , we love giving back to the business community. We do it in several different ways. we offer a 45 minute free consultation via video conferencing to talk about any part of your marketing that you want to, Maybe you just want to have a quick question about search engine optimization, video creation.
tell us a little bit about your business or the business that you’re trying to start. We’d love to have that conversation. If you have just a quick question, feel free to throw it in the context. box and that email will come over and we answer all of those. the other thing that we have is we have a blog dedicated to,helping you market your own business.
It’s called marketing masterminds, and we share educational information there. We share product recommendations there. We’ve got some training videos already up with more to come and all sorts of good stuff, because we want to make sure. That the entire business community grows and thrives. So if you really liked this content, if you found it helpful, share it with another business owner, so that, we can continue to pay it forward.
Thanks so much for listening and have an amazing day.