Thinking about hiring a digital marketing consultant or freelancer for your biz? Here are a few tips to help you pick the perfect candidate

Do you know what questions you should be asking a potential social media or digital marketing consultant for your business? Finding the right contractor to help with your business marketing can be challenging if you don’t know what you should be looking for. 

There is a lot of talent out there but sadly not all are equal. Not everyone can produce the high-quality results they’re promising. 

We’ve put together this list of 6 questions you should be asking a potential digital marketing consultant:

6 Questions to ask a digital marketing consultant:

1. How long have you been in business?

Many people claim to be social media or digital marketing consultants and experts, but really don’t have the training or experience to back it up. If you want results, hire a consultant or firm that has experience aside from managing their own personal accounts.

2. Do you have references, referrals that I can speak to about your work?

It’s hard to know what it’s like to work with someone, but testimonials and references from others can help provide a little more certainty. When hiring a digital marketing contractor ask for references or referrals and get on the phone with them to ask about the contractors’ experience, work ethic, methods, and results. 

3. How do you measure results?

In order to see how well your marketing is going, you need to track measurable statistics. Ask your social media or digital marketing contractor what tools they use to track the success of their projects and what metrics they usually track.

4. How do you report these results?

If you are new to the world of marketing analytics, be sure to ask how the contractor creates their reports. Some many just give you a spreadsheet of numbers, and others may translate them into graphics and comparisons. Make sure they can provide you reports in a way that you can understand them.

5. What results can I expect in 6- and 12-months from now?

Digital marketing is often a long-game. You can’t often expect overnight results on your marketing and campaigns. Ask your potential online marketing consultants what kind of results you can expect from them over the next 6-12 months.

6. How does my business compare to that of your other clients?

While your online marketing consultant doesn’t necessarily need to have worked with clients in your specific niche before, having clients with similar goals can shorten any learning curve for the contractor, thus saving you money.  

After you ask your potential contractor these questions, and any others you may have, open the floor for them to ask about you and your business. Here are a few questions they might ask:

8 questions a digital marketing consultant should ask YOU:

1. What are your overall business goals?

Your business goals should be aligned with your online marketing expectations. Based on what your business goals are, the contractor might recommend different campaigns and strategies to help you get to your end result faster. 

2. What do you currently do for digital marketing and social media?

In essence, they are sussing out how much work might be needed! They are looking for the current state of affairs so they can see where you’re doing well already, and other areas that they could help you improve. They will ask you what social media platforms you are currently active on, how often you post, and what types of content to post. They may also ask about a blog or any other content marketing you currently have. If you do any other type of online marketing like paid ads or have an SEO (Search Engine Optimization) strategy in place, that will be helpful to share now too. 

3. Can you give me a 30-second elevator pitch about your business?

Digital marketing strategies will inevitably involve marketing online through ads, content marketing, and social media. In most online channels, you don’t have very long to capture a reader’s attention so it’s important that you are able to capture the essence and intrigue of your business as quickly as possible. 

4. What’s your unique value proposition?

You’re not the only business who sells what you sell, or offers what you offer. But there is always something different about your business and something that will set you apart from your competition. Be prepared to share this with the contractor. 

5. Who is your biggest competitor?

In business, you need to be keeping an eye on your competition, then finding ways to do what they’re doing at least a little bit better. Have your list of competitors handy to share with the contractor so they can better learn what you’re up against. 

6. Who is your ideal (target) customer?

By now, hopefully this is a no-brainer for you. Share a little bit about your customer personas so the contractor can recommend the best platforms and formats to reach them.

7. What is the greatest source of traffic currently coming to your website?

If you have any type of analytics set-up for your website, check to see which type of traffic source (direct, social, email…etc) brings the most traffic to your site. If your analytics data can be more specific and share any specific websites that drive the most traffic to your site that is great to see what’s working and what’s not. 

8. What organizations and associations are you connected to?

This is helpful so your digital marketing contractor can look to thee association websites to see what they are doing for their digital marketing. They can then determine if there are any parallels you can also take advantage of. 

The Bottom line

Your choice of digital marketing consultant should be based on your opinion of their experience, responses to these questions, your budget, and your gut feeling. Often you will get a feeling if someone will be difficult to work with or not and if they can actually produce the content and results they promise. 

To expand your knowledge further before hiring a digital marketing contractor, check out our Digital Marketing Essentials course which will give you a good foundation for online marketing so when you hire your digital marketing contractor, you can understand a bit more of their thinking.