How do you know whether or not someone is legit? There are lots of online marketing experts out there who claim they can help you get ahead.
Some even offer free consultations in content marketing, email marketing or SEO strategy. But how do you tell if these people are worth your time? How do you know if they can handle your digital marketing campaign?
The Internet has become a great place to connect with other people. Many people now access the web from their mobile devices. And according to recent statistics, currently, there are around 1.18 billion websites in the World. 17% of these websites are active, 83% are inactive.
There are all kinds of claims of “SEO experts,” “thought leaders”, and “bestselling authors” who claim to have the perfect strategy for boosting your bottom line. Here’s how to detect a scam.
As a business owner or a potential client of search marketing services, you may have found yourself a victim of quick-talking and oversimplified sales pitches or emails promoting ways to “increase your rankings” on Google.
Hiring a digital marketer is a substantial investment, but it will pay off if you find one that drives your bottom-line results. Make sure that you choose wisely with these tips as you hire an online marketer.
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The Top 9 Things You Need to Look for When Hiring an Online Marketer
When considering hiring a digital marketer, many thoughts may come to mind. You need to know precisely what you want them to do and if they’re good at it. Here are the top nine things you need to look out for when hiring an online marketer.
1. Reviews, References and Client Testimonials.
Get references. Make sure that you ask for references from previous clients. They should give you a list of people who were happy with their services.
Ensure they have a case study or testimonial page on their website (if they have one). It is reasonable to expect that they’ll be happy with the work that they have done in the past. Please request case studies and testimonials if they do not have one yet. It’s certainly better to see tangible results on your own than to spend your time or money on someone who can’t deliver.
Review the case studies and analyse what they’ve achieved. Are they actual business outcomes or just fluffy? It would help if you got someone to grow your customer base, boost traffic, and increase profits. Look for case studies, as this would be the best way to find a digital marketer.
In choosing between hiring an expert or following your employees’ advice, always ensure that their qualifications are comparable to those of other experts, you have consulted in the same business line. This way, you won’t be wasting time and money on someone that is neither trustworthy nor qualified. So look at their reviews, references and client testimonials.When you hire a digital marketing company, dig into their profiles. Click To Tweet
2. Dive Deep into Their Social Profiles.
Before you hire a digital marketing expert, dig into their profiles. Look at their social media profiles.
- Are they active in the online community?
- Are they active and posting regularly on Facebook, X (Twitter), Instagram, LinkedIn or YouTube?
- How many followers do they have?
- What kind of posts are they making?
- Do you see any red flags that show they may be fakes?
You want to make sure that you’re dealing with someone who has a consistent online presence.
Ask them about their social media management process. This will help you know if they can handle your social media campaign. One of my favourite ways to tell if they’re fake is to check out their X (Twitter), LinkedIn, Instagram or Facebook page and see what sort of content they’re posting. Are they posting lots of motivational quotes or sharing funny memes? If so, they are probably fake!
3. Quality, Not Quantity.
Many digital marketing agencies succeeded by offering low-quality marketing solutions and recycled advice, despite its size and the number of years it has been in business. To assess a company’s online marketing expertise in search engine marketing, video marketing, Google Analytics or the digital marketing industry in general, you need to dig deeper into its history.
4. Active Industry Association.
A trustworthy online marketing expert will likely be involved in advancing the industry. This might mean they are members of a local interactive marketing association or national chapter or become involved in the more considerable association activity. You may look up a member and inquire with the association for membership documentation within the relevant industry associations.To assess a company's online marketing expertise, you need to dig deeper into its history. Click To Tweet
5. Google Them.
Check their website. Does it look professional? Are they using a good template? Do they have any testimonials from satisfied customers? Are they running any Google Ad campaign? Do they have a solid presence on any digital channel or social media platform? Do they rank high on any other search engine? These are just some things that can help you determine if someone is credible or not.
The best way to investigate someone’s online presence is with Google since it can provide a complete picture of their online presence beyond just their social profile.
When choosing a digital marketer, Google the person’s name, search for forum posts, online reviews, and other places where they may be active online. See where they rank in a Google search for their name. If they don’t appear on page one of a Google search for themselves, it could raise serious concerns about the digital marketer’s ability.
6. Look for Values and Cultural Alignment.
Ask them questions about your business. This way, you can better understand what type of person they are. You don’t want to hire someone who doesn’t know anything about your industry.
Your digital marketing agency needs to work with you to develop a digital marketing strategy you’re comfortable with, not one that is not in alignment with your values or culture. That’s why it is crucial to assess values and culture alignment in advance. Ask them what they want to do to help your business grow and how they intend to do it.
There are reasons to think twice before you agree to anything they suggest. They might recommend harmful black hat SEO practices that could get you in trouble with Google.
Besides checking them out during the interview process by asking values-driven questions about matters you care most about, you also need to ensure they have a certain comfort level in working with you.The best way to investigate someone's online presence is with Google since it can provide a complete picture of their online presence beyond just their social profile. Click To Tweet
7. Thought Leadership Delivery.
If you can find online content published by the company, such as blog posts, presentations, e-books, podcasts, or YouTube videos, evaluate it by answering the following questions:
- What did you learn you can apply immediately? Or did it sound like everything you’ve heard before?
- Did it contain many unfounded advice and general opinions based on unsubstantiated information?
- How concrete and factual was the strategist’s approach or did he provide only vague, unproven concepts?
You can assess the individual’s knowledge and ability by listening and reading what the online marketing expert says.
8. Audit Their LinkedIn Network.
LinkedIn is one social platform you should analyse with extra care because digital marketers like to showcase their experience on this platform.
One significant feature of LinkedIn is seeing your connection’s connections. It will help you know what kind of network your prospective digital marketer has built throughout their career.When choosing a digital marketer, Google the person's name, search for forum posts, online reviews, and other places where they may be active online. Click To Tweet
Are they actively growing a network of like-minded individuals in the digital space that will challenge them to improve their digital marketing service or social media marketing and inevitably reflect well on your business?
If you notice that most of their connections are college friends and family, chances are they don’t have too much experience in the industry yet. That might not be a bad thing, but at least you are going into the relationship knowing what you are getting yourself into.
Besides looking at their connections, you can also see their other profile elements, such as their educational background and work experience. Has anyone recommended them on LinkedIn? Do these recommendations have industry credibility?
The LinkedIn Recommendations feature lets you see what clients and peers say about a marketer. Besides showing their marketing expertise, the LinkedIn Recommendations feature can help you determine if they’re suitable for the job and how competitive their fees are.
9. Read Everything Carefully.
Always read through the terms and conditions before signing. Read everything carefully. There could be hidden fees or other stipulations that you didn’t realise existed. Don’t pay until everything is signed! Once you sign the contract, you won’t have a reason to back out.
As you have read above, there are many ways to identify a legitimate online marketing expert. One way is to look at their credentials. For example, if they have a degree in marketing or advertising, they probably have some experience. Another thing to consider is their reputation. Look at their previous clients and see if they’ve had positive experiences. Finally, ask them questions about their services. They should be able to answer them without hesitation.
I don’t know about you, but I love learning new things. It’s what I do. If I know two things in this life, I love learning about digital marketing and want results that correspond with that learning. I need to see outcomes in how well any strategy has turned out. On the flip side, if you keep telling yourself that you don’t know how to hire digital marketers and that anyone who claims to be an expert should immediately be dismissed as an arrogant fraud, then what you’re doing is sabotaging your business.If you want your business to be successful online, you need a digital marketing expert to assist you. Click To Tweet
If you want your business to be successful online, you need a digital marketing expert to assist you. I hope this article has helped you know how to hire an online marketing expert to deliver your business results. If you need further help, schedule a consultation. I’ll be glad to help.
In conclusion, if you want to hire a digital marketing manager or marketing professional, it’s essential to hire someone with experience in online marketing. And if you find yourself wondering whether an expert is credible, refer to the tips mentioned above to figure it out.
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