4 Questions to Ask Yourself When Hiring a Digital Marketing Expert
We all want what's best for our businesses, and our clients' businesses or customers' overall wellbeing - caring is engrained in us entrepreneurial folk! Meanwhile, we also look for the easiest, quickest and most cost-effective solutions to our business issues while still upholding quality, meaning and value in the outcome. Hiring a digital marketing expert is a wise choice for the growth of a small business, but there's a few things to ask yourself before you pull the trigger.
Does this person have my best interests at heart?
I think it's a pretty big no-brainer answer when you ask yourself this question after conversing with the expert you're thinking about hiring. Are they in this for the fame / money / referrals or are they truly working with your best interests at heart?
Making sure that the person you work with is looking out for your best interest is so important.
Is this person qualified?
Are they simply saying that they have experience and abilities to offer you these services, or do they have proof, a generous portfolio and plenty 5-star client experiences to speak for them? Do they have a degree in the subject, or traditional training in the communications field? How many years of hands-on experience do they possess? How have they proven their desire to be a life-long learner and stay up on the latest trends? These are all valid questions to ask during your screening process. Most seasoned professionals will have websites speaking to all of these Qs.
Am I buying into vanity metrics, or seeing the bigger picture?
It's easy to get consumed by the numbers - follows, likes, shares until it overwhelms you! A lot of digital marketing "experts" are quick to sell you on the amount of followers or likes they can achieve for your biz. What a lot of innocent business owners don't know is that they use bot (or bought!) tools to make this happen - and very few of these follows and likes are real people.
If the digital marketing expert you're considering has an unrealistic amount of followers and likes, but very little other engagement - comments, shares, meaningful exchanges, it's likely they're using these sketchy programs to get ahead. Beware!
There is very real validity in the fear of not being taken seriously as a brand or business without a high number of followers in today's world - a world in which social proof rules all and vanity metrics can matter depending on your field of specialty.
I never advertise myself as the best digital marketing expert for everyone - every individual and business has unique needs and I will only be able to meet the needs of some. I always challenge my leads to look at the big picture: what is your goal for hiring a digital marketer? Is it to simply have tasks taken off your plate and a consistent posting schedule/updated website? Or are you trying to impress publications and brands for partnership? If they answer the latter, I'm not their gal - and there's nothing wrong with that! A well-versed PR agency is who I would refer to.
We all have niche specialties and work that lights us up. All of us should only be choosing to work with those who share our passions and best offerings. Looking at the big picture of reasons to hire a digital marketing pro is super important: increase in time, decrease in worry and stress, a more relevant brand / competitors are also savvy, the list goes on. This leads me to my final point.
Do their business values match mine?
I've observed through the years that people's perception of brands is greatly impacted by who they surround and align themselves with. Making sure that the agency you partner with shares these common values and traits is key. The vibes of the agency will rub off on your business and vice versa. Making sure the relationship is a good fit is necessary to your biz success.
Communication styles can also be impacted when you don't pick the agency that's the right fit for you - take note: do they best communicate via email, text, phone call or otherwise?
Above all, it's so important to find the digital marketing expert who stands out in a sea of options and truly captivates you. Go with your gut and DO. THE. RESEARCH! I promise you'll thank yourself later. Go get 'em, tiger!