So, you’re looking to hire someone to help with your digital marketing. How do you choose a good digital marketing consultant and not end up hiring a snake-oil salesman? Here’s some top tips for hiring a specialst.
What practical experience do they have?
Anyone can talk the talk, but can they walk the walk? Ask for examples of previous clients they have worked with, along with technical details of their achievements.
Look for at least 8 years experience working in digital marketing. Ideally they would have experience working within and alongside a number of agencies and other businesses. If they have worked in different positions within those agencies, that is a bonus.
Testimonials from past clients
Any half decent consultant should be able to reel off at least half a dozen examples of past successes they have had. They should be able to give the names of clients who can testify. If they’ve really made a positive impact, they should be only too happy to provide a testimonial, right?
Even better, after they have named some businesses they have helped, ask if you can cold call those businesses to verify. If the consultant is being totally honest, they shouldn’t have any problem with that. If they have a valid reason not to, perhaps due to a NDA or other personal reason, it would only be fair to give them the benefit of the doubt, but they should at least be okay with you calling a couple.
Thorough understanding of digital marketing
If you have digital marketing experience yourself, have a call with the consultant to discover where they are at. Ask some probing questions, preferably a few you know the answer to, to see if they genuinely get it.
Ask them to take a look at your website to see if they can identify any potential areas that can be improved. Usually, there will be all kinds of issues and potential improvement areas. Even if they don’t find anything, they should at least be able to explain their process for auditing websites.
Review their website
How can someone be expected to improve your website when they can’t even get their own right?
A good digital marketing consultant should have a compelling website that ranks well for ‘digital marketing consultant [area]’. There should be no obvious technical issues and it should load quickly and display correctly on mobile.
Review their LinkedIn profile
Their LinkedIn profile should list some of the businesses they have worked with and their skills etc. They should normally have a pretty complete and well-compiled profile page with a couple of testimonials at least.