117 - How to Work With a Marketing Agency with Stevie Brown


spotify button
google play button
itunes button
stitcher button
soundcloud button

Frequently, business owners encounter budget constraints when deciding whether to hire an in-house marketing professional or opt for marketing services based on their specific business needs. Additionally, there is a common misconception that marketing and sales functions are identical, even though they are two distinct aspects.

In this episode, Gert has engaged in a conversation with Stevie V. Brown, an expert from a marketing agency, to explore the cost-related benefits of hiring a marketing agency with access to a global team of specialists. Creating a successful marketing strategy for your business doesn't yield instant results, emphasizing the need for commitment and accountability on the part of business owners. If you're a business owner facing the dilemma of choosing between hiring for in-house marketing positions and working with agencies, this episode is essential to listen to.

Podcast Highlights:

00:00 Prologue

00:41 Podcast INTRO

00:51 Introduction of the episode and the guest

02:10 What is ‘The Care Factor Fix' all about? (...What are the four pillars of marketing services?)

03:47 Commitment on the marketing process from both sides, the business owner and the provider.

05:24 The Accountability Phase of the marketing process. (...Sales vs Marketing)

07:01 Why do business owners have to be realistic about timeframes and budgets?

08:02 How can business owners be engaged in the right way and understand how marketing providers do their job? (...And how engagement works both ways?)

11:21 The wrong marketing mindset and the lack of commitment from business owners.

14:37 Client engagement and marketing strategy at SEOLeverage

17:43 The importance of the on-boarding process.

20:47 In-house marketing versus outsourced marketing, which is better and costs less?

25:23 Ideal hiring for different marketing functions with one generalist that has access to a team of experts.

29:19 What is the first thing to think about when planning a marketing strategy for your business?

33:46 Marketing strategies, metrics and expectations for timeframes and results. (...Why is marketing not sales?)

39:27 Overnight success is not really overnight, it may take years.

46:33 Recap

42:33 Where to connect with Stevie Brown?

43:39 End


Book - The Care Factor Fix by Stevie V Brown MSc - https://www.thechangestarter.com/the-care-factor-fix

Gift and Bonuses -  https://www.thechangestarter.com/podcastgift

Connect with Stevie Brown: 

Website - https://www.thechangestarter.com/

Connect with Gert Mellak:

Website: https://seoleverage.com/

Email: [email protected]

How to Work With a Marketing Agency with Stevie Brown

There are compelling reasons to collaborate with a marketing agency. You may be interested in introducing a new marketing strategy to establish a stronger online presence. Saving costs could also be a priority.

Regardless of your specific goals, your success depends on working with a marketing agency. This requires a dedicated effort on your part.

Join Gert together with Stevie Brown to delve into the pros of working with a marketing agency.

The Four Pillars of the Marketing Process

Stevie, a digital marketing expert, developed “The Care Factor Fix” framework while undertaking their master’s degree. The model was inspired by the expert’s experience advising businesses. So, he found that many were unhappy with their marketing services providers.

To understand the problem better, the expert interviewed and surveyed both businesses and marketing providers. They found that the disconnect between the two sides stemmed from four key factors


Marketing is vital for businesses to grow and succeed. However, many businesses are not committed to marketing. They may view it as bad, but they do not fully understand it or invest in it. This can lead to trying different things for a short period of time and then giving up when they don’t see immediate results.

Stevie advised not to forget that marketing is not a magic bullet. Both businesses and marketing providers need to be committed to the marketing process.

A business needs to commit to a marketing strategy and budget and stick to it for the long term. Marketing providers need to be committed to their clients to achieve their desired outcomes.


The misconception in the business world is that they assume that when they invest in a marketing team, their responsibility for their business’s growth diminishes. However, Stevie clarifies that marketing and sales are distinct functions.

Marketing acts as the mechanism to attract potential customers. On the other side, sales is the process that converts them.

Successful businesses revolve around three core elements: marketing, innovation, and meeting customer needs. Often, businesses attempt to delegate marketing responsibilities, perceiving it as a chore. This can lead to negative outcomes due to a lack of commitment and the right mindset.


When setting up a marketing campaign, business owners and marketing providers need to be realistic about timeframes and budgets. Marketing providers should not expect clients to be able to turn things around quickly. As such, clients should not expect to see results immediately.

It takes time to implement a successful marketing campaign. For example, it takes time for content to be indexed and for SEO to start showing results. Business owners need to be patient and realistic about how long it will take to achieve results.


Engagement is a two-way street.

Stevie stresses that clients should be engaged in the marketing process but in the right way. They should engage as experts, offering valuable insights and industry-specific knowledge. Additionally, clients should avoid delving too deeply into the technical aspects of marketing.

Marketing providers, on the other hand, should also be engaged with their clients’ businesses. They should improve their services to meet the specific needs of each client. Thus, align their marketing strategies with the client’s objectives.

Why Business Owners Fail at Marketing

Most business owners focus on the wrong marketing mindset and a lack of commitment. They only turn to marketing when they face a client shortage in a state of panic. Stevie emphasizes that this approach is problematic because it’s unrealistic to expect instant results in business performance.

In short, this mindset can lead to disappointment and harm the reputation of marketing providers.

Established businesses tend to adopt a long-term perspective and display confidence in their future. On the one hand, early-stage businesses often focus on immediate revenue concerns. 

It’s so competitive, whether that’s SEO, Google ads, or social media. You’re always competing to stay at the top of the newsfeed or the search results. If clients show these signs, it’s best to consider declining such partnerships to avoid future issues and dissatisfaction. 

SEOLeverage’s Client-Centric Marketing Strategy

Gert Mellak, CEO of SEOLeverage, describes SEO as watering a tree-- “You need to be patient and consistent in order to see results.”

SEOLeverage has a strong focus on client engagement. In their framework, they have:

  • Lengthy onboarding process to ensure that they understand each client’s business and goals.
  • Regular check-ins, workshop calls, and media updates to keep clients informed and engaged.

Gert believes that communication is essential to a successful client-agency relationship. He also sees the rise of AI as an opportunity to improve client engagement. This knowledge can then be used to create more effective marketing campaigns.

The Importance of the Onboarding Process

An onboarding process is essential to educate clients about the marketing process.

Stevie shares that his agency has recently revamped its onboarding process to include more education and to focus on the client experience. He believes that it is important to be engaged with clients’ businesses.

Gert agrees that the onboarding process can lead to a trusted advisor relationship with clients. He shares that some of his clients renew their contracts simply because they want to get coaching.

In-House Marketing vs. Outsourced Marketing

Many businesses mistakenly believe that marketing is a one-person job. But it’s not. Marketing is a complex process that requires a variety of skills and expertise.

Stevie argues that outsourcing is often the better option for businesses. This is especially true for those who are beyond the stage of DIY marketing.

He cites the following benefits:

  • Outsourcing lessens the need to hire and manage a full-time marketing team.
  • Outsourced agencies have access to a wider range of expertise and experience.
  • Outsourced agencies can scale up or down as needed, which can save businesses money.

There are too many specialized marketing functions for any one person to be an expert in all of them. So, it can be difficult to judge the skills of potential hires, especially if you are not an expert in their field.

Stevie agrees that it is often better to hire one generalist who has access to a team of experts than to hire a large in-house marketing team.

What to Consider First When Planning Your Marketing Strategy

Stevie’s advice on the first things to think about when planning a marketing strategy:

  1. Determine your budget. Stevie advises businesses to spend 7-10% of their revenue on marketing. This is a good global benchmark, but it may vary depending on the type of business and industry.
  2. Identify your point of contact. Who in your business will be responsible for overseeing the marketing campaign? This could be a CMO, a coordinator, or even yourself. It is important to have someone who is dedicated to the process.
  3. Choose your providers. When choosing a marketing agency or consultant, look for one that aligns with your values and has a passion. Don’t necessarily focus on experience in your industry, as good marketers can learn quickly.
  4. Make sure your house is in order. Before you start promoting your business, make sure your website is up-to-date and that you have a lead magnet. You should also have a process in place for dealing with leads and inquiries.

Once you have determined everything, you are ready to start planning your marketing strategy.

Strategies, Metrics, and Expectations for Results

Marketing is not sales. However, its results should be measured in a variety of ways, including awareness, engagement, and conversion.

Conversion in marketing does not necessarily mean buying a product or service. It can simply mean taking an action.

Key takeaways:

  • Overnight success is not really overnight but rather the result of years of learning and testing.
  • It is important to set realistic expectations for marketing results.
  • Marketing providers should educate their clients about how marketing works and what to expect from different campaigns.

They recommend a 90-day onboarding process for new clients to allow for discovery, strategy development, and other tasks before promotion begins.

Final Thoughts

Marketing is a continuous process. So, be patient and consistent with your efforts. Have a budget and resources in place to support your marketing efforts.

Your website is more than just a digital presence; it’s a powerful tool that can drive growth and success. To learn more about Stevie’s outsourced marketing team services, visit the Change Starter website and book a consultation. To truly leverage your website, you need the expertise and experience that SEOLeverage offers.

SEOLeverage is your trusted partner in maximizing the impact of your online platform. Our team of experts understands the ever-evolving digital landscape and knows how to navigate it effectively.

about gert

Loved This Episode?

Please consider leaving me a review with Apple, Google, or Spotify! It'll help folks discover this show and hopefully we can change more lives!

Listen to the Previous Episodes

116 - How to Best Prepare for SGE

Numerous strategies can be employed to prepare our business for the Search Generative Experience. One potential shift might be attributed to the

115 - How to Build a Team for Search Marketing in AI Times with Wil Reynolds

In today's episode, Gert had an interesting conversation with fellow SEO expert, Wil Reynolds. Wil started Seer Interactive as a one-man operation

114 - The Top-Down Focus

In this episode, Gert provides a very good analogy for SEO optimization, using the supermarket's eye-level strategy for users to find what


How we approach SEO

Recently, our founder Gert Mellak, has published a book about our approach “ERICA” that guarantees consistent, strategic execution to improve your site’s SEO and protect your website from Google updates and penalties.