how to hire a marketing consultant

The Do's and Don'ts of Hiring Freelance Marketing Help

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Many of our clients come to us for the first time when they are not getting the results they had hoped for from their marketing efforts. We work with them to find out where they went wrong. Over the years we’ve discovered that the biggest mistake most businesses make when it comes to marketing is how they go about choosing the person (or people) to lead their marketing and branding efforts.

Take a lesson from what some businesses have learned the hard way. If you’re ready to hire professional marketing help…try to avoid these “hiring don’ts”…

DON’T…

Take a chance on your brother-in-law’s ex-girl friend who used to do a little writing in college

What’s that? She created her own Facebook page and is super creative. Uh huh…

Recruit a first year college student in a design or marketing program

There’s a reason why college students are still in school. They don’t know all the ropes yet and they don’t have any real experience working with clients. If you need an intern, hire a smart college student. It you need a marketing professional…well, you know where this is going.

Browse Craigslist

Remember the Craigslist serial killer? Have we learned nothing?

Bid for a freelancer on an "auction" website

Ever see a doctor auctioning off her services online? Is this how you would choose a tax attorney? We know you want the best marketing and creative talent at the most reasonable cost…but you’re not buying farm animals here. Real talent and expertise should be valued but that doesn’t mean you can’t find someone to get the job done well without selling a kidney.

Try to do all the work yourself

We know on the surface, marketing doesn’t seem all that complicated. We’ve all had 7th grade English and even grandma uses PhotoShop now. You might be thinking...“Why couldn’t we just “Tweet” or “Pin” our story? How difficult can it be to write a 140 character message?” This is not sound thinking, not at all. Just because there are more marketing tools readily available to everyone doesn’t mean everyone knows how to use them effectively. It’s true, anyone can do marketing (see grandma comment above)…but only some can do it really well. Hire those people.

Hire an agency that has a lot of initials in its name

Can you say, Cah-ching? One word for you – overhead, and over head will cost you. When you hire a fancy schmancy agency, you are not only paying for the talent, you’re paying for the lights, rent, landscaper, medical plan and that sign on the front of the building with all those initials. Why pay for things that don’t really solve your problem?

The best way to hire a qualified marketing or creative professional is to do your homework.

• Ask your friends and colleagues if they know anyone they would recommend. They can give you valuable insight into the quality of the person’s work as well as things like rates, work style and personality.

• Search Linked In profiles for professionals who specialize in your type of business and have experience in all areas of tactical marketing and communications.

• Contact the ones who match your criteria and take the time to discuss your business, challenges and budget with them to determine which one feels like the best fit.

• Give some serious thought to what your business and marketing goals are and what you are willing to invest in before you make a final decision.

It doesn’t matter how much or how little money you have to spend on marketing. Eveyone who owns or manages a business can afford to spend just an hour or two with a marketing professional who can help you attract and engage customers and grow your business. In the long run, it’s a small investment that has the potential to pay off big, if you choose wisely.