Working with a digital marketing consultant for the first time can be a challenge due to the various factors that you need to consider. Will they understand your business or products? How will they work with you and your team? Will they deliver on what they promise and will they be affordable?
These are all important questions that you will be seeking answers for and by doing some due diligence, you are sure to find the right person for your business.
Here are 9 points you should consider as you look to hire a digital marketing consultant:
1. What is their experience?
There are different types of online marketing consultants working in different sectors and you need to be sure the person you hire has experience within your industry. For example, a B2B marketer will have different skills and experience from one that is in the consumer retail sector.
So, this is an important point to consider and you should ensure that they understand the nature of your business, industry trends and what your goals are.
2. Who have they worked with in the past?
Ask for references from past clients and check out the full list of clients they’ve worked for. This should give you a clue of their experience because if they have worked with similar businesses then you are at an advantage.
3. Which sectors have they worked in?
Some sectors overlap and an online marketing consultant that has worked within the B2B services sector will likely bring valuable skills to the consumer services sector. That’s because many of the issues around the nature of services like their being intangible and being consumed at the time they are produced are very similar.
4. Are they a freelancer or agency marketer?
With the growth in Internet access around the world and fast connection speeds, it has become much easier to work with clients and partners who are across the world. So an SEO freelancer in India for example is able to offer the same or an even better service than a local marketer.
This has also been helped by freelance websites such as People Per Hour and Elance that have thousands of registered marketers who offer a great service. Also, the rating and review systems on these sites make it easier to choose a freelancer that has the skills you require.
The other two options include employing a digital marketer or hiring an agency that has a wide range of skills and a team of experts that can help in creating online campaigns, digital copywriting, email marketing, social media and more.
5. Where are they based?
If you decide to work with a freelancer, it’s a benefit if you can meet up face-to-face to discuss strategy. That way you will build a stronger relationship and it will ensure that you are both on the same page as regarding plans for your business.
6. What qualifications do they hold?
A degree or diploma in marketing is a good start, however it is not essential especially in the online world where experience and technical skills are more important. However, it’s important to have the fundamental marketing skills of market research, customer and competitor analysis strategy and other skills which are taught at colleges and universities.
7. Do they have online reviews?
If you plan to work with a freelancer or agency, then it’s likely that they have reviews for work they’ve carried out in the past. Check out these reviews to see what other clients have to say about their skills, work ethic, experience, response times and so on. Also, if you can get references from past clients that would be extra helpful to you as you make your decision.
8. What do they charge for their services?
Hiring a consultant should be affordable for your business and no matter how excellent they are, if you cannot meet their costs then it’s better to look elsewhere. Freelancers are available at affordable rates on sites like Elance, however these sites are more suited for one-off projects and tasks.
9. Are they published or an author?
This one is not as important as the other points because there are many marketing experts that have not published articles or a book. Of course a marketing practitioner that is recognised as an expert and is published is a bonus over one that is not, because they will have demonstrated deep knowledge in their field and be respected too.
Mike Ncube is a Digital Marketing Consultant and Marketing Author and his latest book is “The DIY Guide to Online Marketing Success”. He blogs regularly about the latest digital marketing trends and he has published books, case studies & whitepapers that will help you with your campaigns.