WordPress Designer and Developer. Professional Blogger. SEO/ SEM Strategist. I help people rock out their sites like rockstars!
It's important to make sure when you get involved with another company to make sure what their terms are and have a definite copy of the project agreement to back up your end.
While a lot of these places may have their own account to conduct their work instead of a login plan for individual clients, you won't be able to get information from them unless it is in the project agreement. You can't make them do anything. This usually means that their method of working is flawed and there seems to be no drive to give stats to the client.
If they can't provide stats you may have to cut your losses if they refuse and decide to sabotage your business. If they do sabotage your site's listings that you paid for, and if you paid using a credit card, reverse the transaction and put a good case to your credit card company with proof the agreement and any other relevant information.
You can't be blackmailed by them, and you have a lot more power on your hands than you think. You can go to business service review sites and leave reviews. You can report them on scam sites too.
AND... If it really is worth your time, you can take them to small claims court if there are enough damages to discredit your business that you have to spend money to fix it.
This is definitely a tough call to make.
As for determining how many people you have converted, here are just few things to decide if you are: how many people have scheduled an appointment through the website? Are you asking new patients who called on who referred them to your business? Do you have an active newsletter and have you had new subscribers? Do you have any social network handles connected with your brand that you are engaging with new people?
The biggest thing about filling any workshop or conference is to have a great connection with your community. If you don't already have a newsletter built for the event, you should.
You should be encouraging people to promote. One Facebook, on Twitter, etc. Spending and doing a careful targeted ad on Facebook even for just $20 helps.
Make sure to reach out to local businesses or Internet companies that are relevant to your event to see if you can get sponsorship for them. They are more than likely to tell their people about your event too.
Having a discounted coupon code is definitely nice to have.
Make sure your topics and speaker or speakers are interesting.
Approach bloggers relevant to your event's niche and let them know about the event. It might help even if they were closer to your venue, at within 150 miles of it.
Go to Meetup.com and look for local area groups, especially similar to your niche, join, and ask the organizers if it is cool to post your event. It would be courteous if you'd at least attend their events, which are normally free (minus gas to get there and possibly food cost.)
It seems a lot of the agreement is between the amount of work or length of time of the project to determine whether you should use a freelance designer or a full time designer.
The full time designer is a great choice, especially if you have many projects or one large ongoing project. This allows you to build a relationship with that designer and eventually you are on the same page, making your project more streamline.
In picking a full time, make sure they have a strong background and have a portfolio that contains examples of exactly what you are looking for.
It wouldn't hurt to make sure that the designer is flexible in different arts as it also creates less time hiring a freelancer here and there to re-create new type of design style (example: the full time designer might tend to only do specific art in their design and you need a different flavor.)
The freelancer is more for on the fly. You WILL encounter a lot of duds who are lazy. It might be best to do a search for established freelancers rather than go to the freelancer or crowdsourcing websites. (Example: I've found in the past that I've been re-approached at a later date to re-brand a site that was given to a freelancer who did poor job.)
As a side note... when picking a designer whether for full time or a short time freelancer, be specific with your needs and don't settle for less. These days there are few things you should be told "that can't be done" and if you are, that is the wrong designer.
This is more of something you have to research first to find a startup. You will have to find a startup you like, and then reach out to them to see if they are actually hiring. It might be through Facebook, Twitter, their main website, or via phone.
The big thing to remember is to make sure you let them know all your credentials and what you can bring to the table for that startup. They don't want just a number, but someone that will be a key component to making sure they don't flop.
Make sure to talk about their business and some ideas you have to improve them. This shows your true interest in their business.
Don't come across as cocky and a know-it-all. You want to be friendly and be someone that they will actually want to work with.
A good adviser brings to the table their knowledge of the field, a suggested plan that augments the original business plan for the better, and a no nonsense approach.
They won't hold the startup's hand, but be more of a guide. A lot of startup's who aren't familiar with someone who advises (or consults) often mistake it as a means to slough off vital business and marketing lessons. They won't do it for you. They will teach you how to do if for yourself so you can rinse and repeat the situation.
An adviser is not always an investor, but someone that you can pay to consult your business. They know what it takes to get you going.
If they haven't had any experience in your niche, the best consultants out there will have a good referral list to send you. They may also have references for potential partnerships and gaining good startup capital.
Don't accept such a fee on a per month basis. Accept on a contract basis.
You should have them audit your site, and based on that audit, you can decide to go further with that person. This audit should include an additional plan on how they would help you. You also need to come into agreement on specific campaigns to focus on each month (depending on how long your contract goes for.)
You definitely should have a decent budget in mind. You If you plan on having someone work on SEO each month, you certainly will want to make sure that they deliver a report of what they have done, and a short report on the next month's on how things have improved or not.
Of course, if that $2500 is a fee per month that you are paying and nothing is improving after a few months (2-3), perhaps finding someone that can deliver results after a couple months would be best.
It wouldn't hurt to become more familiar with SEO basics and run your own short reports 1-2 times at least a month at places like Moz.com.