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As a business owner, listening, understanding, and meeting expectations is a notoriously tricky task. It can be hard to find the balance between going the extra mile and being taken advantage of – but fortunately, there are a few things you can do to set – and manage – crystal clear client expectations from the start.

Whether you’re a big marketing agency or even a small team, in today’s episode, we talk about some of the golden rules that go into setting clear client expectations in relation to digital marketing.

The Show Highlights:

  • How to evaluate your competition – and how to find out what they’re doing! (2:50)
  • What it takes to survive your first year as a small business owner (4:30)
  • Essential tips for managing client & business expectations you can’t afford to miss (6:00)
  • The dirty truth about growing your business organically (7:45)
  • Paid Ads Vs. Organic Marketing: Which is best for your business? (11:20)

If you enjoyed today’s show, make sure you head on over to www.tapsandtees.info and download your free report of ‘No BS,’ game-changing marketing tips and strategies that show you how to blow up your brand online.

Read Full Transcript

Intro: 00:04 You are listening to the taps and tea show, weekly conversations for people, passionate about marketing, golf and craft beer. Marty is the cofounder of Bad Rhino in award winning digital marketing agency, helping golf in craft beer brands. Get real results in social media marketing. Here is your host, Marty McDonald. Everybody. This is Marty McDonald in welcome to taps and tees. We had a little bit of a break

Marty: 00:27 and uh, we were thinking about some things about how to relaunch everything and let me just explain what the break was about. We did a bunch of different interviews with a variety of people. I'm actually going back and reviewing some of them and redoing some of them, which will be cool. Um, and get those out there. But you know, one of the things is business gets busy and you always have to be marketing and you always have to be creating content in this digital world that we live in. But every once in a while things get a little nuts and things got nuts for us in a good way. Running bad rhino, we had a lot of different conferences that were invited to speak at. We had a lot of different projects that we were engaged in. Some new things, some larger things that we weren't really used to.

Marty: 01:09 And you know, certain things have to be put out there that we're going to have to take a pause, you know, we're going to have to do some things a little bit differently. So my main thing is just my first piece of advice to open up this new season of podcasting is a, you know, always adapt but understand where you're at in your business. And some things have to slow down in order to speed everything else up. So now we're back at it. I'm gonna to do a whole season. They're kind of mini rants slash fun little things that have happened over the past year. Talking bout marketing beer and golf just like we do here on taps and tees. We have, um, a whole slate of interviews in the marketing world coming up as well as in the beer world, which I'm very excited and I just lined up a couple of people to talk about some golf.

Marty: 01:55 So we're going to have some fun. We probably won't have another hiatus because we addressed everything within our business to make sure that this is a top priority around some of our other content and we're going to have a heck of a lot of fun doing it. So with that, let's jump in. Today we're going to talk about how to set crystal clear client expectations. And you know, that means a lot of different things depending on what side you're on. You know, if you're a client of anything, you want to know what you're going to get for your money. The second one, part of that is you're a business owner or if you own a brewery or if you operate something in the golf world, you want to be able to provide those clients with, you know, a unique experience and new, unique products. It gives them what they want and what they're looking for.

Marty: 02:39 So let's talk about a few different things as it relates to digital marketing. And you know, just like we like to do here, taps and tees, we want to keep it short. We're not going to go into this. It should be about 10 to 12 minutes total here. So when you sit down with a client and they're looking for marketing help, and this relates to a lot of things that both large and small clients, this is not limited to anything different than it's like, oh well that's like $100,000 a month client that's you know, $100,000 in ad spend versus somebody that's spending just a thousand bucks. That's not the case. Like these things are universal. So you get a client, they come to us and they say, hey, we want to do all this. We have a new location opening, right? And we want to make sure that we get the masses here and they pick a location that maybe is like slightly off the beaten path, but it's an up and coming area or it's a growing area and you know there might be pretty popular, let's use a simple example.

Marty: 03:40 Let's just say they're a restaurant and they're in a town that has a host of other restaurant options. So you start to go through everything, like how they want to open, what they're going to do for initial things. Maybe they have some street signs, maybe they have, you know, the Chamber of Commerce come out. Maybe they also have, you know, a handful of other things and they have other locations. You know, there's not new to this game, but they've failed to look at what some of the other competitors are doing. So when you start to work all those things out, you know, most time that business owner or the person that's opening that location is a super excited about it. You know, hey, we're going to pull out all the stops. We're going to have a big opening event. We're going to have a lot of neat little things going on, but we also want to do geo-fencing.

Marty: 04:25 We also want to make sure our Google ads are on point. We want to get Facebook and everything up and running and know people are there. So when you look at that and you start to craft a plan, you know you want to put out, you know, the right plan for them. Now, as a growing business, any business when you start off your first year is usually a little rough. You know, even if you're having great success, there's things that are wrong with certain systems, doesn't matter what types of systems they are, they're just, you know, off points that you have to smooth out. That's just the nature of the beast. As you start to go and you start to gain some momentum, you have, you know, you start to iron those things out and you start to get a decent following. You start to have some regulars, you start to have all those sorts of things.

Marty: 05:10 But the first part of that is a little tough. And when you have all these things and you know a client comes to you and says, yes, let's do all of this. The geo-fencing, the paid ads, I was going to Google, you know, ads running, want to look at every option because we want to get this thing going so that when we move out a year, one in the year two we're, we're going, we're committed to this location. And so you start to flush all those things out and say month one you've got things that are rolling. You know, you have the GMS are there, you have people that are ready to go. You have new menu items, you have everything that's out there from the bar, whether it's a brewery specific place or anything else. You got everything lined up and you're doing all the right things.

Marty: 05:50 You have the place all remodeled and cleaned up to your liking. You start to, you know, push out things. Then for whatever reason, you start off with all these ideas. Then you start looking at costs and you're like, wow, I didn't think, you know, geo-fencing or paid ads should be this high, but you want to get a result. You know, and this is where I'm talking about sending expectations. Like where do you start? You know, what do you want to get out of this and how are you committed to it? And if you're going to stop like halfway through and then think that the agencies to blame or they don't know the area or anything like that, that becomes, you know, an issue. You know, I love when I sit there and I hear well you guys aren't doing the right things and have been doing this for 17 years and bad rhino is going into its 10th year.

Marty: 06:37 And when you hear those things, it's fair. You know, hey, let's have a conversation. Let's air these things out. But when you don't hear the commitment on the other side, it's like, Hey, what are we doing here spending this? What are we doing here? It's like, well that's what you wanted to do. You know, that's how you want in this to grow. That's what we need to do to get the word out. Well, maybe you don't want to spend that much. Well, that's not what we agreed upon when we first started out here. You wanted to do all these things, so that's where expectations get fuzzy. So at the beginning when you set out there and you say, Hey, let's do all these things. Yes he has. Yes, you have to make sure both parties are 100% in. If they're not 100% in, it's something that I want to walk away from because I know how it goes. I've done enough of these. We've worked as a team on enough of these that we know where this is going to go. If you back out, you know it's very fascinating to watch.

Speaker 4: 07:29 Hey, if you're enjoying what you're hearing on the show and want more, head on over to taps and tees.info and get our free report with game changing tips and strategies straight to your inbox. Just enter your Info and stop being stuck with no marketing plan. So

Marty: 07:44 particular case, you know, they're ignoring the landscape. There's plenty of other restaurant and beer options in town and everybody in town is advertising paid strategies on Instagram, Facebook, Google, and guess what? They have people in there and you turn off all your stuff and guess what? It's dark when you walk by and you're cutting back hours. Does that make any sense? Especially in your new to the area? You know, I often wonder when people go in to something and they ignore what's right there, you know it's like, hey look, x, y, z. On the other side of town is advertising. You're doing paid ads, they're growing their brand. You're getting people in there with offers and then you know on the other side of it, when you start to see little things work, you don't expand upon it. You know the current clients like, ah, yeah, it's great that we got a 40 person party, but we're not going to expand upon that.

Marty: 08:39 We're not going to advertise anymore. We're just going to try and do this organically. Let me tell you folks, organic is basically dead on the Internet, especially when you're starting up. You could be a good brewery and do a ton of things organically, but if you're not dabbling in the PD, you don't have to do a ton. It's just a little bit, you know, 10 15 bucks a day. So you're looking at 300 450 a month. You know, if you can't work that into your budget or you feel like you're off by doing it like, aw man, this is kind of a rip off and you don't let it settle in. Yeah, I don't know what you're going to do. You can't do it a digitally. I mean, can't do it on the radio for free. Can't do it on TV for free. You can do it for billboards for free.

Marty: 09:24 You can't advertise in the newspaper or magazines for free. What makes you think the social media part is free? It's just going to magically work. So it's fascinating to watch, but more importantly is, and this is a tip for everybody, whether you're working with an agency or not, you know those expectations for our ROI. Coming back for yourself. You have to look at the competitive landscape. You have to look at what others are doing because they're trying to get the same eyeballs to come into their restaurant or brewery. So if you're not doing some of those things, and again, you don't have to match a big boys so to speak, or a big restaurant, you know, toe for toe. If they're spending $10,000 a month across all of their their locations and you don't have that budget, but you should strategically put out there certain ads in a, your best content should be turned into ads or boosted on Facebook or turn into Instagram.

Marty: 10:17 As you know, it's very important to take a look at those things. If you're not looking at them, you're going to lose. You're going to be out of business. It's just as simple as I like. People aren't just going to magically show up to your place. So what's really interesting, you know, in, in this one is, and this is why I'm calling this season a little bit of a rant. I love our clients. I really do. I love working with them, different personalities and things like that and it's what got me into this business and keeps me there because number one, I'm confident in my team and myself that we can get results, but we also at the same time want to make sure that they understand like what they're getting into and what the landscape is and when we try to educate and then they push back and they say no, it's like, well then this isn't a good relationship.

Marty: 11:02 I don't understand what you're doing or why you're doing it. This is what we talked about back in in, you know, last fall and now you fast forward and you want to change everything and that's not the case. And then you're trying to figure out why your place is failing or why it's not working or nobody showing up and you have to cut back hours. And then here to top it off, this is the neat one for all you agency owners. I know a couple of you listen to my podcast and I appreciate that we had them actually take out their ad budget. You know he spent like a hundred bucks and they took it off our retainer. Can you believe that? Like I thought it was one of the funniest things I ever say. I didn't even fight back. I was like $73 one month and like $32 one month and then 13 and we have a small retainer with them to begin with, but at the same time I was just laughing.

Marty: 11:47 I'm like, you're not going to pay the other 70 like you're taking that out. That's like two separate things you already agreed upon. Isn't that confusing? Anyway, it's very interesting to see in here. So let's wrap this up. Like kind of keep them short and client expectations. If you are looking to work with an agency, understand what they're going to provide to you or for you, you know, both organically and paid, you're gonna need both sides of an organic strategy and a page strategy. You're also going to understand the costs that go into that as well. Make sure that you have, you know, a range. If you're working with somebody and they say, hey, it's just going to be $30 a day. Understand where that $30 a day goes to and you know you're spending roughly a thousand dollars a month. Where's that going to be? Instagram? Where's that going?

Marty: 12:33 Facebook or any other platforms that you're on, Google adwords, ad role, et Cetera, et cetera. How is that gonna work? If you're doing geotargeting via GF geo-fencing, which is pretty popular, understand how that's gonna work and how those people are tagged when they see your ad, when they go into that geotargeted zone, so understand the costs that go into it. Then understand what you should expect for ROI. In some cases, you know the ROI is a little bit different in breweries and restaurants, even in the golf world for a certain extent. Yes, we want sales. That's ultimately, I've, I've said that a million times in the interview I'm in. That's why I'm all about is getting butts in the seats, having people spend money at your establishment or buy your product, but the ROI, especially when you're first starting out, might be brand awareness. You know, it might be something else that's a component of that.

Marty: 13:23 So understand each piece, what the agency's gonna provide, how they're gonna provide the content, how they're gonna work with you to provide the content where the advertising costs are going to go, what other things are going to do so that you understand where you can start having genuine conversations. That's the last part I will leave you with is you have to have conversations. You can't bark out orders via email. You can't have other people jump in. You can't have one person try and close the deal with you and promise you the world and then the other person come in and play bad cop when something's not going right cause they're not communicating internally where they don't really have a plan. So you wanna make sure that from that side that you're working with your agency to at the beginning that you're working with the right people, number one.

Marty: 14:08 Number two, you understand what they're going to provide. Number three, you understand the costs that go into it for you. Understand where the return should start coming in. And Five, you understand what types of returns you're looking for. Is it brand awareness? Are you gonna offer people coupons? You know, just to kind of come in for certain things. I'm not big on discounting as you know, but you also need to get some sort of interest into that establishment. And sometimes when you're first trying to get your footing, it can be difficult, especially in the area where people don't know your brand. So that's it. That's a quick wrap. I hope that make a lot of sense. Like I said, these are going to be a little bit rants for about five or six episodes coming up here. Nothing bad. Just things that you know like to get off your chest that I think can be helpful for both people looking, hire an agency as well as some agency owners that you know, do listen and follow our podcast. So up next is no one to quit. We're going to talk about that kind of, same thing around client expectations, but know when to fire a client as well as talk to them about exactly what they want. So again, it's kind of expectation setting and it's fun to get in here. I hope you enjoy this episode and I look forward to speaking with you on the next episode of taps and tees.

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