Take Your Stuff Back
Have you ever broken up with someone while some of your belongings were still at their place? If so, you can see where I’m going here. You probably didn’t get those back! When you cancel your contract or monthly service with your marketing provider, they might be equally inclined to hold onto what they have in their position and not give you the time of day when you request things from them later on. Some agencies are just plain spiteful, but that tends to be more rare. The most common reason for this is because when you are not paying them, you tend to get deprioritized to the bottom of the list behind current customers and prospects. This is why it can be hard to get your questions answered or files and things sent to you once you have ended the relationship.
• Log-ins for the website, blog, social media accounts, etc.
• Basic account information like owner’s name, email address used, phone number given and security questions selected so that you can verify ownership if needed
• Assets like images used, design code implemented and content written
• Planned efforts – details about anything that was in the pipeline, started or promised to followers
Figure out What It will Cost You
Some marketing companies have cancellation fees when you decide to discontinue services or early termination fees if you break your contract. (As a side note: LionShark does not have any cancellation fees, nor do we lock clients into contracts but this is becoming more common across the industry.) Review your terms and conditions or contract – there’s nothing worse than cancelling a service and then getting hit with an unexpected fee.
Determine Any Restrictions
You never know what might be included in a contract. We have heard some weird things before about limited content ownership and other types of restrictive oddities. Hopefully you read any binding legal documents before starting your relationship with your marketing company so these won’t come as a shock to you. But, if you have been with your marketing company for a while, the details of your partnership may not be fresh in your mind. So before you walk away from it, just be sure that you know what you are and aren’t allowed to do after leaving.
Be Honest & Nice
Business relationships don’t always end for bad reasons. Sometimes you end up leaving your online marketing company because they help you grow so much that you now need more than what they can provide and you decide to move it all in-house. Usually though, you are looking to leave because you haven’t seen the results you were looking for or you don’t particularly like the people you have been working with at the marketing company. When you announce your intention to leave, they will want to know why and you will probably be asked the age old question, “Was there anything we could have done to keep your business?” Be honest, but in a nice way. This feedback can really help the business learn and grow and sometimes it can even mend the relationship so you don’t have to leave after all.
For instance, if you just don’t feel like your concerns are being heard and addressed, a marketing company may assign you a different account manager. Give the company a chance to make it right, and if you are still dissatisfied, you can leave after that. Just, whatever you do, do not burn any bridges! You never know when you may need some help down the road.
Preserve Professional Contacts
Just because you are breaking up with your marketing agency doesn’t mean you hate everyone there and never want to speak to any of them again. If you worked with some good people at your marketing company, be sure to connect with them on LinkedIn or exchange email addresses before you leave. Again, you never know what’s going to happen down the road.
By Kate Pierce. Kate Pierce is the owner of LionShark Digital Marketing LLC, a West Michigan internet marketing company. Her areas of expertise include Paid Search, Search Engine Optimization, Social Media, Web Consulting for small businesses, Copywriting and Local Online Marketing. She lives in the Grand Rapids area with her husband and enjoys cooking, watching sports and spending time outdoors. Like a true digital marketing expert (i.e. geek), she loves talking about marketing theory and SEM trends… so don’t say you weren’t warned!