In the past, I've spoken with some CROs and got actionable tips.
But this time I'm looking for someone that gets their hands dirty with strategy AND execution to achieve a measurable $$$ result. Not eCommerce, but online-only creative service business looking to do better lead-gen.
Basically, I have traffic (~5k users/mth) - but feel we could get more quality leads from that.
1. What should I be looking for and what should I expect to pay?
2. Do I need a baller person or a firm?
3. Is CRO ultimately what I need, or something else?
You need a transitional CMO that brings people in and allows your results to close the sale. If these are typically $500+ creative projects, seek someone with B2B experience. Otherwise someone with ecommerce experience is still ideal.
You'll get more individual attention with a single person, but unless you're paying a full-time salary, you won't be that person's only client.
CRO work can be billed hourly or by project. For someone really good, you can expect to pay $100-150/hr, probably.
Look for stats.
Not all campaigns are the $300,000,000 button— https://articles.uie.com/three_hund_million_button/ —but showing you stats means that CRO person or agency is doing their dilligence to track their own progress.
YOU should define the goals, not them. But they should definitely be able to explain in great detail how they plan to achieve your goals. No smoke and mirrors. Get specifics.
Be skeptical of promises or guarantees. Be accepting of softer language like estimate, experiment, trial, variable, likelihood, etc.
And to answer your last question, if you have good traffic but few leads, yes CRO is what you need. Good luck! Let us know how it goes.
I should start by saying that I am a UX/CRO consultant myself, so obviously, I don't really have the experience of hiring someone else. The first question that you've asked don't have definitive answers.
The most important thing you should look for is someone who really has a process and is very data-driven instead of just actionable tips that are according to tried and tested rules as they don't apply to all situations. What you should expect to pay depends on many factors such as the stage that your business is currently in, the person's experience, etc.
There's no need to look for a baller person or a firm. The important thing is whether the person excels at his field and is able to get you real results.
I do feel that you need CRO as you could be losing leads right now(I cannot confirm this as I haven't seen your site/landing page yet).
You could call or message me for any further questions that you may have. I'd be happy to help you.