At NV8v we offer the same quality of services to a local restaurant that we do to a Global chain and we charge Birmingham Consultancy Prices not London or NY rates. That said it is much more important to focus your efforts on finding a SEO partner that fits your needs rather than spending time worrying about location.
The key to hiring agencies is partnering and a this is based on a shared feeling of benefit.
When I began my consulting career, I worked on a number of business change programs surrounding marketing and web presence and my mentor gave me sage advice that has served me well in the years since then.
As a young hotshot with something to prove, I wanted all my clients to be competition killers, number one in their niche and a credit to me and my company who had advised and helped them.
Of-course there was nothing at all wrong with those goals, except they were not realistic, nor achievable in many circumstances. That was when I learned about the solution to fit the client. You see some of us can run fast while others are strategically clever and so-froth. Each has succeeded and got to the point they are at through their own unique strengths and their unique position in the market. It follows therefore that the solution which solved IBMs problems won’t necessarily be realistic for a SaaS start-up in Manchester. That was easy enough, but it is less obvious though equally true that each solution needs to play to the strengths of the people ho will execute on it.
When you are selecting an agency to work with, you have to accept that they most likely will not possess that same level of flexibility nor have the same consulting skills as my colleague, but within a specific area of endeavour they may well be very good. You must now be the consultant and select an agency that fits your current situation and goals and will run at a speed you are going to be able to keep with and of course not behind you.
A useful ploy that will contribute to achieving this is to do honest appraisal of your own strengths and weaknesses internally and then look externally at the threats you face and the opportunities you see. With this information to hand, be brutally honest in explaining to your potential partner agency what you believe your capabilities are and the areas where you will be particularly in need of support.
If they don’t run for the door and you are still hearing the sort of feedback you had hoped for, then maybe you are in with a good chance.
Would you really consider driving across the country to discuss some slides and plan next steps?
If you have not yet fully embraced the use of voice and video conferencing and presenting, then I urge you to make it part of your everyday toolset. Why? Well if you are already doing it you are taking all this for granted and wondering what I may be rambling on about, but of you have not yet developed this capability, you are depriving yourself of opportunities and creating unnecessary barriers to development.
First, let me explain why you need to be using these tools every day.
In order to be naturally confident and fluent presenting a case or explaining an issue to someone in another city or country, you need to be very familiar with the toolset and the medium as a whole. The only way this will happen is through familiarity. Your confidence will then spread further confidence and make your communication even more effective.
Why do you need to be communicating effectively with remote people and teams?
Because the opportunities are so much greater when you remove unnecessary and imaginary boundaries.
Cost: Not only can must cheaper services be purchased offshore form English speakers with very high standards of ability, but just calling someone 100 miles down the road can find you the same skills at a discount of 10 to 20% because the cost base is substantially lower and there is slightly lower demand for their services.
Skills and experience:
Sometimes the main goal is finding the right experience and skills to help you compete in a given situation. When this is the case, you will often find that the best people are abroad somewhere or a few hundred miles away. There is no simple answer, but the more flexible you are as an individual and as an organisation the more you are going to be able to achieve. Having said that, working relationships are critical and if your team really needs handshakes and eyeball contact on a regular basis then by all means look locally, or better still, build your core capability locally and find the specialist skills or strategy where you can find it and use technology to join them all up. This is a winning combination in many industries today
When you no longer have insurmountable barriers driven by the need to get only local people and get all of them into your office in order to have a useful discussion and get a job done, then you can do a great deal better for yourself in just about every situation.
About the Author:
Ed is a Marketer who turned technologist for a decade and has that useful insight into not just what works on the web but how and why? In fact he spent half of those ten years building search engine crawlers and NLP systems, so SEO is especially intuitive. He writes for a number of blogs on both Digital marketing and also Big Data and ML subjects