How do we find a marketing partner for our business?
We operate an SEO company in Seattle. We have yet to market our SEO firm due to our small staff of five concentrating on our clients. We have excellent references. Our CEO and I have discussed providing a third of our company to a partner that shares our vision and will bring with the needed marketing.
How should be go about finding the right partner?
Any advice will be considered and much appreciated.
I would find a new tech start up marketing company. This way the interest in ownership will accelerate their start and provide a vested interest to Market the SEO. There are companies out there like this. I would also present that in exchange for the ownership and to make sure they are not out a ton of money to bill for the hours provided as a future right off against any profits that are brought in from the venture. This will provide some security.
Sean M. Purdy
Having patner is one of the exciting thing in the build business, as Business Coach I had many clients asked the same question like you. First of all, make sure your patner having the same GOALS with you, secondly is SYNERGY, third thing make sure that your patner have a HEART, means your patner loves with the Business that you did, and the fourth thing, find out that your patner having a SPIRIT like you had or more much than you, so both of you can inspiring each other. And the things is do it together with FUN.
David, some very good advice in this thread. Take your time, define your long- and short-term goals, evaluate your options, choose wisely.
Look in the Seattle area for someone who has dealt with your situation before. Let me know if you need some suggestions. I'm a business connector in Bellevue, WA.
OK this question is way to open ended to really answer. David, Farzad and Jonathon have provided some excellent advice.
I think you need to start over and clearly define what the word partner means to you. Does it mean do you want to bring in a person as an equity partner in the business that will focus on marketing the business or does this mean you want someone to be your sales representative and you will share the wealth via salary, commission or draw vs. commission?
These are two totally different scenarios.
Next, you need to think strategically. What are your goals and how do you achieve them? Do I really need an equity business partner or full-time sales representative as an employee? Or is there some other method for generating leads and additional revenue?
Or, maybe there's yet another option like finding a strategic partner in the form of a small marketing communications firm or boutique or a sole proprietor that needs your services to expand theirs? It could be a great opportunity that might lead to a merger.
Lastly, just like trying to find a life partner (i.e., girlfriend, wife, boyfriend, husband) you need to put in writing all the traits you want in this partner — and partnership. Then use that to guide you through the 'dating / courting' process. Take your time and don't rush things.
Then if you choose an equity partner or a strategic partner have a clearly define contract that spells each's responsibilities and what happens if there's a breakup.
I think a few things should be addressed here first and foremost i wouldn't give a third of my company to bring in a marketing partner. However if your skill isn't marketing out source that work. In addition be your own client, when it comes to SEO is a great method to model and share your work. I also agree with Dave below grow your business wider in your area of expertise. I would also recommend focusing the majority of your work on the things you are really good at and delegate or outsource the areas you can't thrive.
I agree with Dave.
There is an old saying in the marketing world "People don't buy drills, they buy a hole in the wall."
Business owners don't really want SEO, they want traffic to their website to generate sales.
I recommend rebranding and restructuring your services to include conversion rates.
I would start with your own site. It like a writer applying for a job with "I is wantin 2 apply 4 da job innit". Your site is showing many SEO errors, check the woorank report and run it through W3Compliance.
Secondly, branch out, SEO is nothing, every man and his dog is doing it (usually badly) these days, so branch out into social media, PPC, etc. People more want a digital marketing agency these days.