Don’t Be a Victim of a Bad Marketer

This advice is probably one of the most frequent pieces of advice I’ve given out in the last 20 years, and it flies in the face of how most other marketers do business:

One of the most important things you need to do in your marketing is to have everything in your name and not the marketers’ name.  Here’s how to do that and why it’s hard sometimes.

It’s easy to tell a marketer that you’ve just hired to go ahead and “handle everything” as they set up services for you.  It saves you time and avoids you having to go through a number of learning curves. But that’s a very bad idea. At some point, you may want to part from that marketer. When you do, that’s when it can get awkward if essential digital assets are in the marketer’s name and the marketer has low or misguided business principles.

Over the years, I’ve seen everything. One client faced a bankrupt hosting company that registered his company’s domain name. It took him six months and a legal battle to get the domain back.

Another client had his Google for Business account set up under a marketer’s email and did not have primary access to it.  The marketer refused to put the Google listing in the business owner’s name.

Many of our clients have had their domains registered by or transferred to webmasters who take control of the domain. We’ve had a few clients have to pay to get their domains back. We’ve had to fill out legal paperwork for others.  There’s a way to avoid these hassles altogether.

Just because you don’t know how is not a good excuse to delegate these important tasks.  Take the time to get through the learning curve so you can do these steps yourself.  Or if you do delegate, make sure you have the passwords to the accounts at all times and total control over the email addresses that are used for account setup.

Here is a list of things I can think of that need to be in your name or your business’s name, and not anyone else’s.  Use this as a checklist to review your own business’s assets and take steps to get these in your name now if they aren’t already.

  1. Your domain name.

You should have full and total access to the registrar account where your domain name is set up.  There is only one exception: private registration, where it’s in the registrar’s name.  We don’t recommend this, but some people choose it when they purchase.  If it’s not in your name, start the steps to get it transferred into your name.

How can you tell what name it’s in?  Go to the registrar account, log in, and check the contact records.

  1. Your Facebook page.

You should be listed as Owner on your Facebook page.  Go to your business page in Facebook, click Settings, locate Page Roles on the left menu, and look to see how you are listed in the Page Roles section.  You should be listed as Owner and/or Admin with full rights.

  1. All other social platforms.

Be sure you own the email address that was used to setup any other social media platforms for you.  These include Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

  1. Google My Business listing.

Claim or set up your Google My Business listing using an email you have access to.  Never let a vendor set it up for you.  Instead, you can grant vendors Editor or Manager access to your page, and you have control over when to revoke it.

  1. Your web site.

If you’ve hired someone to do a custom website for you and made a large payment to own the full copyright, then everything – the hosting, the website software, the plugins, the graphic licenses – should be in your name.  Most people are avoiding the large upfront fee by “leasing” their website. In that case, you don’t own the copyright so it will likely be in the vendor’s name.

  1. Your ad accounts.

Your Google, Facebook, and other ads should be in your name.  However, Google Partners are able to take over the management of the account, and that should be granted to a vendor that you trust.

  1. All marketing software: CRMs, email marketing, shopping carts, and dashboard apps.

All of your marketing software should be set up using your email.  In most cases, you’ll have multiple users and you should be the primary one.  In other cases, Certified Partners may have control over your account if they are paying for the billing. You should still have the login credentials in all of these situations.

We hope that helps you keep your marketing assets safe and in your control.