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3 Tips to Ensuring a Successful Discovery Phase

Read this to learn how to start building a successful partner relationship from the very beginning.

So you’ve found a Mailchimp partner who seems like a good fit for your needs—that’s awesome. Expert help is on the way! But rather than immediately launching into the project, it’s important to start building the foundations for a successful partner relationship, one where you are both invested in the success of your marketing strategy.

This is called the discovery phase—the time where you are simply getting to know each other, before you commit to a contract, statement of work or any other agreement. Typically, this involves exchanging some emails and having a short phone call (rarely more than 30 minutes). There won’t be enough time to get into every single hope and dream, but there are key things you should cover before you hire any freelancer or agency. Here are 3 things to share with your partner ahead of your first meeting.

Tell your story — it’s okay to be vulnerable

Don’t be shy to talk about yourself or your company. Think of this like dating. Before you ask someone to go steady, they should have a solid sense of what you are all about. So tell your story, vulnerabilities and all. What’s the mission, vision and background behind your business? What are your pain points? Working with a freelancer or independent agency, you may have similar backgrounds or challenges, and this can help build an understanding of what you do. Plus, dropping these tidbits will ultimately pay back in the long run, because your partner will have a clear sense of what you want to achieve and how they can help you.

Goals are good — and so are problems

In the discovery phase, it’s OK to not know your exact, overall vision for the project to come. In fact, you might be looking for a partner because you're not sure what to do next with your marketing. Or you might have a goal without a firm strategy to get there. Being able to articulate your main pain points and aspirations is invaluable. Our 1000+ Mailchimp partners are excellent problem solvers. If they are able to grasp what you want to achieve, they will be in a great position to help get you there.

Be upfront about budget—and unafraid to ask about returns

Talking about money can be awkward. And in the discovery phase, you might not know the full budget yet. But if you can give your partner an honest indication about what you're able to spend, they will be better able to tell you exactly what services they can provide. Don’t be afraid to ask what results you might be able to expect based on how the expert has helped other businesses like yours. Keep in mind that if you see returns on your first project you can re-invest the returns into working with that partner on other, potentially larger collaborations going forward. Many mailchimp freelancer partners are OK with starting with a small project and growing the relationship from there as you start to see returns.

Now that you know how to navigate the discovery phase, it’s time to learn about the many ways a Mailchimp partner can upgrade your marketing.

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