Internet Marketing Consulting Scams
Common sense will tell you that Internet marketing consulting has scams and cowboys mixed up among its pool of professional expertise. If Internet marketing companies email you touting their latest 'get rich quick' scheme, don't be tempted. There are 'gurus' aplenty ready and waiting to rip you off. To find legitimate professionals, you should first look in your local business directory to Internet marketing companies in your area with whom you can liaise with ease (and if you can get a recommendation for someone local to your business, even better). The Direct Marketing Association (www.the-dma.org) also lists hundreds of services - including Internet marketing companies - on its free site. Your second bet is to do your homework - find out what programs and scripts used by web developers (including programs like FrontPage, Dreamweaver and Flash) - and see if your prospective Internet consultant expresses a familiarity with them.
You should then narrow down your search by looking at the consultant's level of Internet and web developing experience (don't consider less than two years, and go for five if your budget will allow it), your consultant's past clients (very few clients should ring warning bells), and obtain references. By this point you should aim to interview three Internet marketing consultants, and pick the one whose ideas and temperament suit.
Once a company has got to the point of hiring its consultant, a common complaint surrounding the Internet marketing consulting business is its 'experts' charging huge fees and producing poor quality work, or no work at all. Break the deliverables and fee structure down so that the consultant gets paid when they deliver the goods on time to the expected standard - make sure they're aware that their contract could be terminated if they don't.
The final issue where companies come unstuck is that of copyright. Draw up a contract that stipulates that your company owns the sole copyright of all the design elements and text on your site; be aware, too, that Internet marketing consultants should never copy text or design elements from elsewhere and use them on your site without the elements being properly licensed. Work this into the contract between you and in the Internet marketing consultant, and you'll save legal problems later.