When looking for a digital marketing consultant, it’s essential that you know what you’re looking for and do an in-depth analysis of each candidate. Ensuring that you find the right digital marketing consultant for your business takes a while and can be intimidating.
We’ve compiled a list of six things to look for to help you in your search for the right digital marketing consultant:
1. Understand The Skills You Need
Before you go ahead and put out a wanted ad, ask yourself, “What is this company looking for in a digital marketing consultancy?”. Become familiar with basic digital marketing consulting services. These skills include content marketing, PPC management, social media engagement, SEO, and more.
Once you know what services you need, you can better tailor the job ad and your interview questions to find the right fit for our company. You can also properly budget for such a position. Digital marketing consultants are in high demand, and asking for vague deliverables or skills and low-balling them will leave you hunting for one for months on end.
2. Review Portfolios
Now that you have a good idea of the basic skills you need, you can start accepting applications. A vital part of the application should be a link to or an upload of their portfolio. Ideally, they should have a website, but a document showcasing their best work can also work.
Review their portfolio to see if they have worked in the areas your company needs expertise. Look for their proven results, including conversions and analytics. The portfolio is the first place you will weed out the digital marketing consultants that don’t meet your basic service requirements.
3. Read Reviews and Testimonials
Once you’ve ascertained that they can do the work you need to be done, check their client reviews and testimonials. This is where an online portfolio has an advantage over a document one. While online marketing consultants can link to their client’s websites and social media pages for you to see results, you need testimonials to know if the client was satisfied.
You can also use third-party websites like freelancer networks and platforms. If a consultant gets clients from such sites, they usually have reviews and ratings. Testimonials and reviews help you learn about a consultant’s service quality, turnaround times, and customer service.
The point of reading these reviews is to understand if they meet your service, work ethic, and conduct standards. Those whose reviews you like, you can shortlist for the next step.
4. Analyze Credentials
At this point of the application review, you want to check for a stand-out feature. Look for credentials like years of experience, work with companies in similar industries, certifications, diplomas, and awards.
A lack of credentials should not dissuade you from interviewing a candidate who has made it this far in the shortlist process. Some digital marketing consultants are newer to the industry and haven’t taken the time to get their certificates or worked with similar companies. You can choose to push them to the interview stage if their previous work meets your standards. However, a consultant with both the results and the credentials is even better.
5. Check Client Retention
At this point, you can reach out to the clients of the candidate you have shortlisted. On freelancer’s platforms, you can message them and see if they still work with that particular digital marketing consultant. Alternatively, you can email these clients or references.
Again, this is not necessarily a red flag. If the client and the digital marketing consultant parted on good terms, you should consider interviewing them. The problem comes in if past clients have a problem with their work or results. A green flag is if the consultant has a high client retention rate. This usually means that they know their craft, enjoy working with the client, and continue to produce impressive results.
6. Conduct The Interview
Any candidate who has made it this far through the process will likely be the right digital marketing consultant for your business. You can set up an interview and have a chat. At this point, you want to understand a few things about them:
- How they form their digital marketing strategy
- What digital marketing strategy would they implement for your company
- How they handle challenges
- Whether or not they have the knowledge or experience to work in your company’s industry
- How they stay up-to-date on digital marketing trends
- How they adapt and respond to failing campaigns
- How they involve their clients in their digital marketing process
- What is their rate
These questions are both for you and them. You want to find a digital marketing consultant who can confidently take on tasks. They want to know if they can work with your company.
The ideal candidate will give you responses that provide you with confidence in their abilities. They will also ask their own questions like:
- Who is your company’s target audience
- What are your digital marketing goals?
- What are you looking to promote?
- What are your past digital marketing strategies or experiences?
- What is your company’s budget for this position and digital marketing endeavors?
You should be ready to clearly and concisely answer these questions. They are an essential part of the digital marketing consultant’s process. Remember, they also have to decide if your company is the right fit for them. It would be unfair to come unprepared to give answers and expect them to agree wholeheartedly to work with you and to produce results when they do.
You can find the right digital marketing consultant for your business using these six simple steps. It may take some time, but in the end, both you and the consultant will fit perfectly together. Remember, the goal is to find a consultant that can deliver on your top digital marketing needs. Be clear about what you want, check their portfolio, examine their reviews, and ask the right questions.