Category Archives: Alter Endeavors

The Content Lifecycle: Putting it All Together

content lifecycle

Content is dynamic, not static.

Content creation is pretty straightforward, but it’s important to know how and when to move through each step. The content lifecycle process can be broken down into these 5 steps…


Step 1: Strategize & Ideate

The first step in creating any type of content is thinking about what your ideal client is having trouble with. Then, create something that will help solve this problem for them. This will involve some research surrounding different topics in your industry. Find out what people are struggling with and answer their questions.

Step 2: Plan

The next step is to create a plan. Decide what type of content needs to be made and where it will be distributed. Are you going to write a blog post? Make an infographic? Film a video? Different platforms handle different types of content better than others. You should already know where most of your ideal clients or consumers hang out, so choose content mediums that work best for those platforms. For example: blogs do best on a website, Instagram does best with graphics, photos, and videos, and Twitter is best for short-form written content.

Step 3: Create & Design

After the plan has been created, it’s time to start designing and creating the content. As mentioned before, content can be in the form of blogs, social posts, graphics, etc.

Step 4: Publish & Distribute

Once the content is created, it’s time to edit and schedule for publishing and distribution. Again, decide beforehand where each piece of content will be published for best results. What platform are people most likely to engage with it and is it relevant? Familiarity with each platform is a must.

Step 5: Evaluate & Maintain

After the publishing phase is the final step: evaluation and maintenance. This is easily the most overlooked step in the lifecycle of any piece of content. Content maintenance can happen in several ways. Update:

  1. For technical reasons
  2. Popular older posts
  3. For relevancy

Whatever the reason for updating older content, doing so can be super beneficial. Some ideas are what we call “evergreen”, meaning they stand the test of time. Instead of trying to reinvent the wheel every time, you can simply revamp an older post that was once popular, giving it new life.

Putting it all together

  1. Find a problem you can solve
  2. Plan your content
  3. Write, design, record, etc.
  4. Distribute across the right platforms
  5. Breathe new life into older content

Understanding the content lifecycle can help you establish your brand. Instead of just focusing on one part (usually content creation), take the time to give each part of the lifecycle the attention it needs. This will help strengthen your online presence and keep you relevant for the long term.

Optimize Your Instagram Like a Professional

optimize your instagram

What does it mean to optimize your Instagram profile? It means planning content ahead of time, posting relevant content, and engaging with your audience.

Having an optimized Instagram is crucial for all businesses. With more than 800 million users, Instagram is the largest platform in the world. You can bet people are looking you up on Instagram to see if your business is credible.

Instagram has quickly become the first social media platform consumers go to learn more about a business. The quality of your brand’s feed may be the deciding factor for a lot of consumers, especially if your business is in the food industry. When’s the last time you didn’t check that new restaurant’s Instagram to see what the food looked like?

Here are the best apps to optimize your Instagram profile and start earning consumer trust.

  • Plann
  • Facetune
  • Canva
  • Hashtag Expert for IG


Plann is an all-in-one app for scheduling and planning your content ahead of time. Here are just a few of the things this powerful app can do:

  • Preview your Instagram feed before posting anything
  • Schedule Instagram stories
  • View performance analytics such as likes, follower growth, best performing hashtags, and best-performing color swatches
  • Discover your best times to post

It’s not every day you come across an app with this much functionality. You can even edit your photos right in the app. Creating and posting content with intention is an absolute must, and this app makes it easy.


Facetune is one of the best photo editing apps on the market. While it’s promoted as an app to photoshop your face and make you look better, it does much more than that.

  • Replace backgrounds
  • Change the light source for perfect lighting
  • Remove shadows and glare

If you want high-quality photos but you aren’t a professional photographer, this is the app for you.


Graphics are everywhere on the internet and Instagram is no exception. They’re a great way to get your message across quickly. Canva is a great, easy to use, graphic design app that allows you to create professional looking graphics. The free version should be enough to get you started, while the paid upgrade will grant you access to hundreds of professionally designed layouts.

Hashtag Expert for IG

Using the right hashtags is important in order to be seen by the right people. It allows others to find your profile by searching for things they’re already interested in. Hashtag Expert for IG generates hashtags based on your post topic. Give it a base hashtag and it will do the rest. It also generates a report card for you so that you can see how a hashtag group is expected to perform. You can even search trending hashtags to see what others are searching for.

It’s all about having the right tools. An updated and professional Instagram profile is crucial for marketing success. Leave as is and you run the risk of missing your target audience or pushing them towards your buttoned-up competition. Use these tools to optimize your Instagram profile and gain consumer trust.

Catch Engine as a Lead Generation Tool

lead generation tool

Our goal at Alter Endeavors is to bring a unique strategy to our clients’ digital marketing ecosystem. We work with a wide variety of clients, but our most successful clients are those looking to drive engagement with their brand, rather than just short-term success. This includes both nurturing a brand’s community and identifying relevant leads. Catch Engine is a lead generation tool we often recommend to our clients because of its ability to grow email lists, amass leads, build data-sets, and so much more.

When we’re approached by small businesses, a question we’re often asked is, “How can I grow my business? I spend around 15 hours a week cold calling and attend every networking event I can. Surely there is something else I can do to help convert referrals to sales?”

Let’s say a particular company offers retirement assistance. Using Catch Engine, we would create a simple quiz asking, “Are You Prepared for Retirement?.” This quiz would then live on their website and could be circulated using social media advertising. In order to receive his or her results, the quiz taker is first required to input their email address. The email they receive following the quiz is completely customizable and is an opportunity to introduce the business and demonstrate how its services can be of help to anyone who is, in fact, not ready for retirement. By knowing where the client is in his or her retirement journey, you now have the information you need to follow-up accordingly. If the relationship requires more nurturing, you can easily continue the conversation through Email Marketing, and send your newfound audience monthly or bi-weekly newsletters. 

Catch Engine is the ultimate lead generation tool, as it allows us to grow your sales pipeline with high efficiency and low cost. Email Marketing then allows us to follow-up with the individuals who would benefit from your product or service most. The combination of these two services are our answers to every small business owner’s question: How can I grow my business? 

If you’re curious to see Catch Engine at work, here are a few examples of assessments Alter Endeavors has made for our clients:

For any follow-up questions regarding Catch Engine as a lead generation tool, contact us! 

Social Media Resources for Small Business Owners

social media resources

The key to successfully navigating the digital marketing world requires accessing a simple, yet exhaustible resource: time. Even with an impressive budget dedicated to your social media platforms and digital ads — without setting aside time to research best practices, you’re likely throwing money down a black hole. Before you decide to go all-in, we suggest that you first spend time learning the rules. We’ve rounded up several of our favorite social media resources that we subscribe to in order to stay on top of our game.


For those that are constantly on the go, driving from meeting to meeting — podcasts are a fantastic tool as far as social media resources are concerned. We suggest that you subscribe to the Social Media Examiner Podcast and tune-in for longer rides. This podcast is filled with interviews from industry experts and the occasional applicable gold nugget for your business. The Social Media Lab Podcast from Agora Pulse consists of data-driven content in short, digestible episodes. It’s an excellent way to test whether what you thought you knew as a digital marketer is in fact…fact!


The issue with solely relying on podcasts as your educational resource is that they do not require your undivided attention and valuable information often ends up going in one ear and out the other. Which is why Social Media Examiner and the Social Media Lab have website counterparts that you can quickly refer back to what image editing app is a must-download or a new Facebook Ad approach that could be a game changer. 


It’s important to set yourself up for success, and instead of assuming you’ll set aside time each week to continue your digital marketing education… why not have the education come to you? Dedicate a folder of your inbox to continued learning and sign-up for the newsletters that promise valuable information alongside their sales offers. Some of these include the Planoly Blog, Digital Marketer, and the Alter Endeavors Newsletter. And when it’s time to buckle in and take notes, you can easily navigate to your folder and see what’s new in the social media world.

Free Downloads

If you’re looking for a comprehensive document to reference, we’ve created this Social Media Best Practices Whitepaper to help you get started down the right path. We are committed to creating valuable content that helps bring back the human element to the digital sphere and are always available to help you get interactive!

If there isn’t time in your day to learn from these social media resources — we suggest you entrust the responsibility of managing your social media platforms to someone whose job is to do just that. While it’s often cheaper to be a “do-it-yourself-er,” the end result isn’t always the best quality… especially if you dive in with little experience and no guidebook. Our approach is to create a comprehensive social media strategy that addresses your goals and is both cost-effective and worthwhile. If you’d like to discuss ways we can help you achieve your business goals, reach out! 

What You Need to Start Building Your Social Presence

social presence

When entering into a partnership with a client, there are a few important items we hope to acquire from our new client in the beginning. As a Digital Marketing Coordinator, my job is to elevate my client’s brand and showcase who they are and what is unique about the brand to the public, but that can be hard to do without the right tools to succeed. Below are some of the things we as a Digital Communications Agency try to acquire from our clients to start building their social presence.


Content is probably one of the most important things we need from a client. In this day and age, visuals are what sell and without those, it can be hard to promote a brand. To start off, it’s important that we have a client’s logos, brand colors, high-quality headshots (if applicable), and any photos and videos they have. Getting this base of visual content can really go a long way in helping to market a brand.

Account Info

This information, while it’s not as glamorous as visuals, is a vital part of setting up or running a client’s social presence. If the client already has social accounts, we’ll need to gain access to those to be able to take over posting for them. If they haven’t created an account, it’s time to decide which email to use and create that account so that we can start building out their basic info and later their posts. During this process, we’ll discuss what username / handle the client would like to use and what information the bio should include.

Brand Identity/Personality

Here, we get into who the brand is and what they stand for. It’s important to figure out the personality of the brand, their mission, the audience we’ll be targeting and the style of writing the brand uses. Keeping a consistent brand image across all platforms is extremely important for brand recognition and recall. You want your audience to be able to go to any of your social platforms and instantly recognize who you are. If your platforms don’t match up, it could lead to losing followers due to confusion.


At the beginning, it is crucial to understand in specific terms our client’s goals. Is it more important to them to gain followers or to increase engagement? Create a community for people to come to or encourage people to visit the brick and mortar location? Once we determine the goals of our client, it’ll be a lot easier to start creating content and promoting the brand with those objectives in mind. While it’s important not to only “sell sell sell!” your client’s brand, finding out their goals can help you determine what aspects of the brand to promote and when.

Hopefully, if you are considering doing business with Alter Endeavors or are unsure of what type of information is needed to start building your social presence, this guide will help you form a solid base of knowledge for getting started. Cheers y’all!

Need Website Support? AE’s Hosting Plans May Just be the “Ticket”

website support

There are so many working parts to a website it won’t be long before it needs some help. Perhaps the content is dated, or in your images, you have that funky old haircut. Exactly what were you thinking? Or even worse, text is floating in the left margin, one of your menu items returns a 404 and your contact form notifies aliens when completed because no one you know gets an email. And then everyone’s favorite. “What on earth is my password?”

Looking at the website support landscape we knew it was difficult for small, independent organizations to get friendly, timely and helpful support for anything ranging from DNS problems to new pages to bad punctuation. Countless clients have complained to us that their last developer is out of business or won’t respond in a helpful way. Perhaps their site is hosted at one of those companies that spend too much money on questionable super bowl commercials to have excellent, timely and friendly support. Dealing with big companies, especially when there may be more than one involved, can be so frustrating and unproductive.

We listened. Alter Endeavors has combined flexible hosting and web management options with a helpful, responsive and easy to use support ticketing system where you can get help with your website issues no matter how big or small.

Alter Endeavors offers three options to help manage your website. Two are ongoing plans and a third option provides help only when you want it.

Basic Website Hosting Plan (Ongoing)

This plan is best for individuals and small companies that have websites that are important to them, but require only occasional, less complicated updates. It provides safe, secure and best-in-class hosting. We lease and manage our servers from Media Temple and we take care of support issues through them for you.

The plan is priced at $35 per month or $348 yearly. If you should need it, the opportunity to use our ticket support system at our standard rate of $125 is also available.

The base price on this plan covers standard backups and maintenance as it relates to basic hosting (keeping your site up!) It does not cover items or issues that may break or become outdated within your website or happen outside of our control such as problems at your registrar. For that, you will need to use our ticket system and pay the $125 per hour.

Deluxe Website Management Plan (Ongoing)

For those of you that place super importance on keeping your website in tip-top operating shape and have the need to update it fairly often, we offer our deluxe website management option.

It includes so many benefits and I don’t like super long paragraphs, I’ll include a bulleted list!

  • Everything included in the basic plan mentioned before, plus:
  • Monthly Site Backups
  • Hacking Protocols – In the very unlikely event your site goes down from hacking or a code update glitch, Alter Endeavors will recover the last working version of your site from our site backups (no more than 30 days old) to be sure you have a working site. We will then dive into the issue to determine the root issue and resolve it at no additional cost to you.
  • Necessary WordPress theme and plugin updates for security and stability
  • Quality Assurance checks after updates to be sure nothing on your site broke after an update
  • 1 hour of support to be used however you wish (towards design, content, coding, training, etc.) – Can build up to 3 support hours in reserve at a time (if you don’t use an hour one month, it will roll over to the next month with a max of 3 hours in reserve at a time). Our response time on support tickets for this service is within 8 business hours.
  • A reduced hourly rate of $100/hour (instead of our agency $125/hour) for additional support time during normal business hours – (9AM-6PM CST Mon – Fri)
  • A reduced emergency hourly rate – $175/hour (instead of $250/hour) for any immediate support time needed outside of our normal business hours
    Whew! That’s a lot for only $200 per month, so if keeping your website up and available, updated and looking good is important, this is the program for you.

Ticket Website Support Only (Hourly rate)

If these plans are not quite what you’re looking for, consider registering with us for hourly support. You can do this by sending an email to and we’ll put you down as a person that is entitled to our excellent support system at our standard hourly rate of $125/hour.

You can read more about the details of our hosting plans at this link Website Support and Hosting.

Meet Christopher Jennings!

Christopher Jennings

Every once in awhile, we like to shake it up at Alter Endeavors and spotlight one of our incredible people and their accomplishments. It’s past time for us to brag on Christopher Jennings.

Christopher Jennings aka “Topher,” the Director of Website Operations at Alter Endeavors, just got back from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) National Conference in Los Angeles. That’s right, besides running the most complicated department at Alter Endeavors, Christopher S. Jennings is a man of many talents.

Christopher has worked at AE for a little over 3 years now and was our very first hire after Nick and Jamie (the owners). So, it should go without saying that Christopher means a lot to us —he’s like family. Not only does he head up the department of Web Operations at AE, but he’s also an illustrator and author for children’s publications. Like we said earlier, superbly talented.

Topher has illustrated dozens of published works for children (and he has even written a few of them too). Though he’s obviously extremely talented, he’s also incredibly versatile. He’s worked in publishing, gaming, editorial, advertising, entertainment, animation, commercial, apparel, apps and even drawn greeting cards for American Greetings. (Phew. What a list!)

It’s Topher’s focus on children’s books, and why they are important to him, that makes him extra incredible in our humble opinion. As a kid, reading didn’t come easy. His mother read him picture books to ease him into it. Picture books allowed him to learn to read while making sure not to discourage or dissuade him in the arduous process of learning how letters formed words. Huge props to Christopher’s mother, who says she still has Green Eggs and Ham memorized from all of those repeated readings. Although picture books helped Christopher read, their visuals also fostered Christopher’s love for the fun (but important) things, the light-hearted things, and how to visually interpret those things.

Christopher is the author of Hello, Texas! as well as the author and illustrator of the picture book Animal Band, both published by Sterling Publishing. He has drawn for published works for such companies as Penguin Group Books, Scholastic and Stone Arch Books (to name a few.) Christopher was chosen as the featured illustrator for SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) in September 2015. That year he was selected from volunteers around the country and given a grant—SCBWI flew Christopher up to New York, all expenses paid, for the annual conference. In October of 2016 Christopher took the reins as illustrator coordinator for the Austin chapter.

When asked what his favorite part of the creative process is, Christopher replied that “he loves the revision process.” Not only does this make him an exceptionally talented artist, this is why Alter Endeavors has built so many impressive websites over the past few years for some really important folks. What’s more, people love working with Christopher. He is kind, patient, understanding, experienced, and forward-thinking.

Not many super creative folks are able to be even half as organized and focused as Christopher, which has a lot to do with why he was made animation lead for the film A Scanner Darkly and why so many folks choose to work with Alter Endeavors. We are proud and thankful to have Topher as part of the Alter Endeavors core family. If you want to check out his awesome work, click here.


4 Tips for Recent College Grads

In March I submitted my resume to Alter Endeavors.  As a senior business major with a focus in marketing, I was looking for an entry level job in those fields. After the long process of applying for jobs and going to interviews, I accepted the Social Media Intern position here at Alter Endeavors.
Trust me, I know those last months before graduation can start to get stressful if you haven’t found a job, a place to live, etc. It can be terrifying not knowing what’s on the horizon, what to expect in interviews or where you’ll be living a year from now. We spend the first 20 years or so of our lives in a structured school system and then suddenly we are adults with jobs.
In my last few months before graduation and my first few months after, I’ve learned a few things I wish someone would’ve told me.


Here are 4 tips for recent college grads:

1. Ask questions

Throughout the interview process, it can be tricky learning about a company or the potential job you’re applying for. While it is important to learn as much about the company and their culture before your interview, sometimes you might not be able to find the answers to your questions on their website. This is where you need to be sure to speak up and not be afraid to ask questions. If you are well-prepared and knowledgeable about the company, they will be impressed with your questions. A company wants to see your interest in them as well as your drive to learn more about the company. Not only will you go home with a better idea of the job you are applying for, the interviewer will see you take initiative in learning about them and appreciate the effort you put into the process.

2. Be yourself

It can be hard going into an interview and feeling like you need to talk yourself up as much as possible. To a certain degree, you need to promote yourself, but don’t create a whole new persona. While commenting on your accomplishments is important and necessary in the interview process, it is also important that you get to know the company culture as well as the potential employer. At the end of the day, if you tell the interviewer you’re relaxed because their company is relaxed, but you prefer a well-structured day, then you’ll end up getting frustrated with your company. You need to find a company that fits best with you and vice versa, or someone will end up being unhappy with the relationship. So, be honest with yourself and your interviewer, and you will be more likely to find a great match for you.

3. Never stop learning

I know some of you don’t want to hear this. You’re thinking, “Are you serious? I just got out of school, I thought I was done!” But, constantly learning and looking for new information and ideas is important. For my job as a Social Media Intern at Alter Endeavors, keeping up with new practices and trends can make or break your success in marketing for a company. Online marketing is still relatively new, and it changes day by day. My boss is always sending us articles about new trends and the best social media strategies and practices so that we can stay on top of what is going on in the industry and change with it. Adapting to your industry is necessary, and the companies unwilling to do this tend to die out with the old practices.

4. Don’t be afraid to change

Lastly, we all know change can be hard. You get comfortable, and the idea of changing can be daunting. It may seem like too much work or too far out of your box, but sometimes that’s how the best ideas are thought of or created.  Working for a small company, I have learned that being able to adjust and wear many different hats is a necessity. While larger companies may have you specialize in one area, being open to change and being adaptable can benefit you when they may be trying to fill a more senior position. Over my years of playing soccer, I had multiple coaches tell me that for them, the best player isn’t the one with the most skill but the one who is coachable and willing to try new things. This ability to be innovative and unafraid of change can be the difference in your company’s long-term success.

If you work hard, ask questions, be yourself, keep learning, and adapt you’ll be okay.  Keep these tips in mind, save yourself the trouble of applying for jobs that aren’t a good fit for you and make a good impression on the jobs that are. For us recent college grads, after-college life can seem intimidating, but we’re more ready than we know.

Three Benefits of a Diverse Portfolio

diverse portfolio

Many agencies will specialize in one particular industry or type of client. If you peruse our portfolio, you will see that our clients range from local businesses and brands to doctors, financial firms, authors, speakers, thought leaders, lawyers, resorts, apartment complexes, commercial real estate and more.  The benefit of specializing in a particular industry or vertical means that an agency will become highly proficient at representing a specific type of client or industry online.  Alter Endeavors has taken a different approach.  Website design, development, and online marketing are all extremely dynamic.  Instead of positioning ourselves as experts, we prefer to be known as life-long learners.  There is no way to master something that is constantly changing, alternatively, we place our focus on research and ethically following best practices for sustainable growth that can adapt with variable platforms and burgeoning client needs.  Our diverse portfolio enables us to experiment and apply effective strategies across various fields.  Specializing may be easier, but we are more concerned with what is best, not what is easiest.

Three ways our diverse portfolio benefits us and our clients:


The clients of agencies that specialize all have something in common—they are involved in the same industry or vertical.  Our clients all have something in common too—they all have a relationship with Alter Endeavors.  The best way to get new clients is to keep the ones you have and grow through their word-of-mouth recommendations to others.  We don’t want to build your website and disappear, we want to build a relationship with you and retain you as an ongoing client. Building trust online is a strategy we use for our clients and ourselves. You can’t fabricate integrity, but you can build trust online by implementing a well-rounded digital marketing strategy and continuing to meet the needs of a growing brand.

Best Practices

It may be easy to spot all the differences between our diverse clients, one is a moving company another is an expert on introverts.  The real strategy is isolating what successful brands in various industries have in common. We are able to identify best practices that transcend specific verticals and help our clients thrive.  Clear calls to action on a web page and a design that directs visitors to take the desired action are one strategy that can be applied to almost any client.

Compare and Adapt

A huge element of an online presence involves experimentation. Everything from a social media strategy to Facebook ads requires patience and a willingness to try something new.  When we work with clients from diverse industries, our experimentation powers are magnified because we are able to compare what is working in one field and apply it to another.  As life-long learners, we are prepared to be surprised by what we can learn from the success of our smaller clients and adapt that for our larger clients and vice versa.  A diverse portfolio provides us with the opportunity to compare and adapt.

The next thing we want to learn: how we can help your unique brand grow!

So, You’ve Been Burned By Your Digital Marketing Agency…

burned by your digital marketing agency

A number of our clients come to us with burn scars—battle wounds from working with a digital marketing agency who either could not or would not live up to what they promised to deliver.  Sometimes an agency is overwhelmed, does not understand the client’s brand, needs, or the agency is simply dishonest. Regardless, at the end of the day, your brand may be suffering from serious burn scars.

Having a negative experience with a digital marketing agency can carry some advantages. Ultimately, the experience makes you wiser and more knowledgeable about what to do and what to avoid when you start shopping around for a new agency.  That being said, how can you make sure you are signing a contract with an ethical and competent agency; one that will deliver a product built on best practices while understanding your brand and helping it grow the right way? The answer? You need to do some homework before signing on the dotted line. Dig deeper to discern the true nature of an agency before contracting with them.  Here are a few things to consider before choosing a digital marketing agency.

Ask Others

Asking others about reputable agencies can go both waysask for recommendations and references. Query colleagues, business partners or other brand owners in your industry about which web agencies they used.  You will probably get recommendations for companies you should contact and some companies you shouldn’t. Once you contact a digital marketing agency, don’t be afraid to ask for references of recognizable (i.e. easy to find online and well-established) brands they represent. You wouldn’t hire a babysitter without doing some background work, why would you trust your website or online presence to just anyone?

Is The Price Too Good To Be True?

If you have a few proposals from different agencies in front of you (which you should), and pricing between them is radically different, you need to seriously be asking WHY. 

Typically, pricing variations within a digital marketing agency are based on four things: team, technology, process and expertise. Someone that comes in really cheap may be relying on some kind of automation service and/or outsourced contractors to produce and disseminate content and/or build platforms. This may be totally fine in certain cases with certain companies, but diligently assess the quality and customization of their work for other clients.

Outsourcing, if very well managed, can be totally great; however, experience has taught us over here at Alter Endeavors to keep all of our services US-based simply due to communication and timelines. It makes us a little more expensive, but we are also able to control the outcome of services rendered much more closely, quickly and efficiently. This may change for Alter Endeavors if we ever come across an outsourcing resource that we feel meets our needs.

Technology can also mean automation. Some automation, especially when it comes to analytics and goal tracking is great. For example, we created Catch Engine to help automate some aspects of lead generation or review acquisitions, but not everything. If any agency says they can have you simply fill out a survey and then put you into their system for insta-automated-magic success, run away as fast as you can. Things need to adapt and change constantly, and artificial intelligence isn’t far enough along (yet) to replace the human element in this process.

Speaking of process, ask about it. Cheap pricing can possibly mean an agency is new or inexperienced or dishonest enough to simply ignore the need for a process to discover and help achieve brand goals online and off within a promised time frame.

Lack of experience or expertise may also be a reason for cheap pricing. The agency may be hungry and is willing to work for peanuts in order to build experience and their portfolio. It may be that an agency, although inexperienced, could be able to quickly adapt and grow into an effective marketing machine for your brand, just be careful that their inexperience does not cost you time, money or reputation.

On the flip side, seriously question higher-priced agencies. Just because they are the most expensive does not mean they are the best either. Ask the same questions above and vet them further with the following techniques as well.

Have More Than One Conversation

Just like if you were buying a car or a house, don’t be pressured into doing something you are not ready to commit to.  For many small to medium-sized businesses, the budget required to create a website or maintain a social presence is not insignificant.  Before entrusting any agency with your funds, interview them more than once.  You want to make sure that the digital agency is a good fit for your brand.  Be honest with the agency about your needs and timeline and a reasonable agency will do their best to give you a good idea of what they can accomplish and how they can meet your needs. Good agencies will tell you upfront when they are not a good fit for your brand, but will then suggest someone they think might be—something we do over here at Alter Endeavors more often than folks expect. 

Ask About the Team

If you have met with a representative of a digital marketing agency in person, more than likely, your first point of contact will be someone working in sales.  As the conversation progresses further, don’t be afraid to ask to speak directly with someone you will be working with.  The process of building a website is very intimate—you will be entrusting this agency with passwords, your email and more.  Ask to be put in touch with your potential point of contact.  A good relationship with your point of contact is necessary, especially if you might be signing up for an ongoing social engagement. You will be corresponding with your account manager on a monthly basis or more.

Know Your Goals

Sometimes a less than satisfactory website or failed social campaign isn’t the result of an incompetent agency, but a premature or undeveloped business idea.  In order for an agency to execute a solid product, you need to enter knowing your goals and your business. A deadline, eager business owner or half-baked plan can lead to a hastily put together website or social media presence that doesn’t truly represent the brand or achieve the desired goals. Put the time and thought into developing your business, sales funnel and calls to action first.  If you don’t have all the details ironed out, it’s not a deal breaker.  You may need to build extra time into your website building or social media planning process so that your agency can assist with your overall branding strategy.

No agency is perfect, including Alter Endeavors, but great agencies know this. Great agencies have systems in place to deal with infrequent mess-ups and failures. They are also constantly proving that their successes far outweigh the occasional, inconsequential blunder. There is definitely a difference between an agency who can help your brand thrive online and an agency who cannot —maybe even hurt it. Want to start a conversation with Alter Endeavors about your online presence?  You can ask us ALL the questions (we don’t mind).  Our goal is to build a powerful and sustainable online presence that will help you grow your brand!