Author, Azleen Abdul Rahim
Brands, they have this weird belief that digital marketers can actually solve their 10-year old problems in 2 months or less. That’s right, the magical solution to their marketing woe, plummeting sales and declining revenues is by hiring a digital marketer. On average, this is the main reason or could be the only reason the brands hire the marketing people in the first place – these creative bunch of youngsters like you can solve their problem easily.
Once the contract is up, say 6 months later, and there’s no significant result coming from the strategy designed and activities, fingers will definitely be pointed at you. Non-performer, this is the labelled you will receive from that client of yours.
If things like this keep on happening to you and your team members, your own personal belief towards your strengths will definitely be shaken. If longer, it will definitely be heading towards the drain given time. So, a piece of advice – don’t ever allow this to happen.
Here are the top indicators you should avoid at all costs in a prospect whom you may need to think twice before accepting as a paid client.
Desperation. Once you smell this, walk away. If their reason to hire you is out of their desperation for urgent revenues, don’t even think of signing them. You’ll be screwed big time.
Control freak. If you notice that the client loves to take charge of everything, that’s not good news. They will definitely micromanage your activities, and your agency will become the executor. Did you know that being just a pair of hands and legs has no significant value whatsoever?
Letting it go 100 per cent. No support, no communication yet they just pay. This type of collaboration won’t work either. Clients like this are just as a disaster as the previous two.
They have policies, you don’t. Proposal format, follow theirs. Invoice format, follow theirs. Monthly reporting format, follow theirs. Payment terms, strictly follow theirs. Meeting date and time, follow theirs. Meeting place, their place only. If you wish to sleep at night, avoid this client too.
Gatekeeper. Their management team and board members whose personal social media accounts you’re managing are unreachable by your digital marketing team. It has to go through a manager for all the information you need. This bottleneck is not welcome when you need things to be done urgently. Further, the real message from one end to the other may get distorted when it goes to the other end.
These are the top five, and I am sure there are a few more. Open your eyes and your mind wider.
Azleen Abdul Rahim is the co-founder of NSE