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  • Writer's pictureJames Green

The 7 Ultimate Questions to ask when hiring a marketing agency

Updated: Jul 21, 2019

“Great things in business are never done by one person. They're done by a team of people.”

Steve Jobs

“Don’t be too shy to ask for help. No-one is good at everything! I quickly learned to hand over responsibilities to those who did them better than me.”

Richard Branson

Let’s just be honest.

We all need help... at least sometimes 🙌

This especially applies to small businesses.

There is so much going on, always a bunch of problems that need solving.

Each requiring their own specific skill sets, making it hard to be a “one-man army".

96% of businesses fail within 10 years 😨

Do you want to know what sets the 4% apart?

What about the even smaller fraction of that 4% that repeatedly hit 6 or 7-figure profits year after year? 🤑

It's the commitment and purposefulness from the leaders and decision-makers in the business 💪

Are they willing to aggressively and repeatedly experiment with what skills and tactics produce more revenue and sales 📈

They dedicate time, effort, money, sweat (and tears) to creating systems and a machine ⚙🛠

A machine that produces sales should be your main aim if you want to grow. The more you commit, the quicker you will work out how to produce REPEATABLE & PREDICTABLE profit!

Without that, your business will die 💀

Doesn't it make sense to get the best people you can to be responsible for this?

Whether that's you as the owner, an in-house marketing team or outsourcing to a specialist agency or freelancer.

Most entrepreneurs I know value their time as the most precious commodity the have ⌚️

Time you possibly don't have to dedicate to learning how to become an expert in a new skill.

Or time to recruit, train and hire new in-house marketing teams (and justify their overheads to your accountant!) 😂

This is why a whole eco-system of agencies, contractors, freelancers and consultants exist.

They have honed their specific skills over many years with multiple clients and dedicate their time (and their livings) to making sure those skills deliver.

For most fast-growing businesses, finding a specialised, proven marketing agency is often the solution that works best.

If you pick the right one it can help supercharge your growth and allow for flexibility as you scale up.

Unfortunately, the market is full of fakers, scammers and under-qualified agencies, experts and so called “gurus” all chatting a lot of bullshit 💩

These pretenders cannot deliver!

Hence, in a world full of ‘wrong’ agencies, choosing the right one for your business has become tricky.

This decision could be the difference between adding an extra '0' to your monthly revenue or shutting down! We've heard horror stories from several business owners who were ill-prepared when searching for a professional marketing agency... we don't want you to face the same problems.

All early discussions should revolve around YOU:

  • Your business

  • Your problems

  • Your previous campaigns and marketing experiments

  • Your future business goals and marketing objectives

But once they've found as much information about you, expect a proposal and solution.

This is where you can do some more digging and use these 7 ultimate questions.

Read on to discover how to choose the right agency that doesn’t put your time, efforts and money in vain...


  1. What sort of businesses have you worked with?

  2. How are you different to your competitors?

  3. How often will we communicate with each other?

  4. What are the most important KPI's to measure success on when working together?

  5. What is included in the scope?

  6. Can you describe the on-boarding process for new clients

  7. What sort of campaigns do you believe will work for us?

1. What sort of businesses have you worked with?

Some agencies operate in tight niches, if this is relevant to your industry great as you can leverage their experience and tried and trusted results within your niche. But you do have to be comfortable that your competitors will also be leveraging your future results too.

Ask or case studies and for actual ROAS and ROI, not just 'impressions' or likes.

Can you pay your bills, suppliers and staff with impressions and likes?

Ask for more detail on the process and how they achieved these results for their clients and if they would also apply to your business and its problems.

If you are going to collaborate with any agency, it is important to investigate their past work and projects, especially their achievements in terms of marketing for the businesses like your brand.

The ways they helped those clients, marketing strategies and channels they used, and the level of innovation incorporated, are some of the crucial factors that become obvious when you ask this question. Eventually, it reveals the mindset of the people you are going to work with.

2. How are you different to your competitors?

All businesses providing a service should have a clearly distinct offering and values compared to similar providers. They might do seemingly similar 'jobs' or have similar prices but this question helps you identify the winners in the pack.

Every business should clearly understand how they are different to their competitors.

How are Evergreen different to other social media advertising agencies you ask?

Evergreen exclusively focuses on small, ambitious businesses looking to add an extra '0' to their monthly revenue by building out a digital marketing machine, fuelled by social media advertising, that generates predictable & scalable profit.

We help our clients hunt attention online and turn clicks into customers!

This places us quiet neatly between the 2 most common types of social media advertising agency

Type A

Large social media advertising agencies exclusively dealing with blue-chip clients.

Only willing to entertain brands that can spend between £100k- £1m+ per month on social media ads.

They earn their money by large flat fee's and then taking a percentage of the advertising spend they manage.

Lots of staff, qualifications, upselling to improve margins, office politics and procrastination that stifles speed of results for the clients

Type B

Wannabe agency owners.

Usually young guys who have taken a course from an online guru promising this amazing business with no overheads where you can charge 'desperate' business owners cash then work out how to run the ads later.

Sure these guys might turn out to be great and fair play to any young hustler finding their way.

But even if they crack Facebook ads and the algorithm, this is without any context to the wider consumer psychology and marketing mix and how to grow your business and take it to the next level.

More often than not they shift their business model to become #hustleporn influencers, then sell their peers on the and other wannabe's on the dream of their latest online course as to 'How I make £999k a year from my agency'.

Commonly seen sharing 'other great courses' from other wantrepreneurs as they get a 40% affiliate fee.

Sorry for giving people a peek behind the curtain! 🙊🙊🙊

3. How often will we communicate with each other?

For any collaboration to work successfully, effective communication is a must.

Any agency that you want to work with should make an effort to be readily available for you.

It isn’t a good sign if the agency says they would just send you a monthly report.

Find an agency that is willing to keep you updated about the progress of your campaigns at least on a bi-monthly basis.


Expect a successful business to be, well... busy. Personally I try and keep my phone exclusively for pre-booked calls or family/friend emergencies.

Agencies or freelancers will have other clients and projects as well as their own businesses to run, I'd be suspicious of anyone that is too available unless they have a huge staff to client ratio

4. What are the most important KPI's to measure success on when working together?

There are various metrics that can determine whether a particular campaign has been successful or not.

Website traffic, ad impressions, leads, social media follows are some of the factors that you may find being discussed.

But there is more to it than that...

It’s now easy to buy social media followers and inflate numbers.

Is the traffic on the website relevant and from your target audience?

Make sure your agency is particular about high-quality leads and believes in following ethical practices.

5. What is included in the scope?

Whether it’s a monthly or a yearly contract, you need to be clear about what is actually being delivered.

Does your monthly contact include three blog posts and social media management?

Who is building the landing pages for the campaigns?

What about setting up automated email marketing for the leads?

It’s good to be clear on these things before you begin.

Don't expect every agency to be accommodating when you ask 'can you just do this as well'.

If it's extra work and responsibility, expect your quote to rise too!

For a good 2-way relationship ensure both sides understand expectations and don't be afraid to ask for an explanation.

There is a lot of confusing jargon and terms in digital marketing so double-check!

6. Can you describe the on-boarding process for new clients?

This question is to dig deeper into how professional the agency is operationally. If they have structured processes set up to make it easy for you.

The best on-boarding processes are comprehensive and smooth, tweaked and adapted from years of experience bringing in many new clients before you.

Initially expect a lot of questions back to you as a business owner and a lot of sharing of previous work, access to accounts and images/videos you have on file.

This gives you an insight into the processes the agency has in place and it's fair to say if there is no on-boarding process or it's a confusing mess, don't raise your hopes for any amazing results long-term.

7. What kind of campaigns do you believe will work for us?

Tell them the end result that you are expecting from your marketing campaign.

It could be increasing brand visibility, launching a new product or boosting revenue.

Whatever it is, ask them to lay out a specific plan of action to achieve those goals.

Ask them to show you similar work they have done before.

Their plan of action should leave you feeling confident and excited that your project is in safe hands.

You can tell a lot about any agency on the basis of these eight questions.

Only sign an agency once you know they really care about your goals and progress.

We hope these questions help you find the right agency for you.

But don't stop there, arguably more importantly here are....


  1. What are your goals for the next 6-12 months. Clear SMART goals that detail real numbers with revenue, sales, customers and profit. If you aren’t clear on your bottom lines and how can any hired help know how to improve it?

  2. Are you happy where you are now?

  3. How is your business different to its competitors

  4. From your previous marketing activity what are the biggest hits and biggest flops?

  5. Who exactly is your perfect customer?

  6. What problem do you solve for this customer?

It takes two to tango!

Good luck in your search for a partner...

If you want to include us in your pitching process why not get in touch

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