What To Look For In a Digital Marketing “Specialist”

If you’ve been in business for some time, you may have experienced some rough lessons in choosing people to work with. I like how David Metzer, whom I often listen to his podcasts, training, and mentorship, instructs on the importance of vetting. He says, Vet! Vet! Vet!

We can be subject to lose thousands of dollars on a project that we have entrusted with someone who decided it was harder than they realized and ended up not just underperforming, but not performing at all.

The pandemic has created a workforce of workers who have decided to go into business for themselves. They either hire help or they will market themselves as the “expert.”

Right now there’s not a lack of available help for your business. Online promotions are the lifeblood for a lot of businesses right now because that’s the only way customers will find it.

At the very least, businesses will need content, social media, advertising, video, and a website.

For a small business owner trying to manage it all can be daunting. Even corporations have found themselves in the same situation when it comes to an online marketing strategy.

Marketing your business nowadays includes a few social media accounts, a website, listing sites like Google and Yelp and maybe some video to emphasize your efforts.

With a little research, you’ll soon learn how to add music to your video, what to post on social media, and then realizing how important it is to network with other users.

Then you have to figure out how to connect your business with an area that identifies with the areas you do business with the most so your potential customers or clients can find you.

It’s a lot of work which is why positions have been created for an “expert” in digital media for companies large and small that can handle all of it.

From social media, content such as copy, photos, video, and marketing campaigns with the right insight are all basic fundamentals in today’s marketing. From that, there’s scheduling your ads, report the analytics, and effectively communicate the best strategy to assure there’s a good ROI.


The best way to look for a real “expert” sometimes is to find the one who knows who the experts are to refer you.

Who is better? The person who claims they can do it all or the person who can manage the experts? (Should I rewrite what happens when you try to find a person who can do it all?)

When looking for a digital marketing expert, here are 7 simple takeaways to look for.

1. Check their LinkedIn profile to look for this.

Every professional looking for business should have an online profile for transparency. Where have they worked and for how long? If they’ve moved around, what is on their resume that might show who they know and what they know?

Better yet, isn’t it interesting to see what they’re commenting on, what their comments are, and what they’re posting?

If you’re looking for a digital media specialist but he/she is posting about how awesome TV personalities are, why? Do they blog to show their expertise? Or are they sharing what the latest sitcom is and how funny the show is?

This is a good indication of how well they know what platform to use too.

2. Do they have referrals?

Do they have reviews on their website? If you look at reviews for restaurants where you might spend $100, why not see what people are saying about the person you’re about to give thousands of dollars to? (I know, I learned the hard way too.)

Sure companies do background checks, interviews and feel they really vet their hiring but I’ve witnessed a hired worker not only sue the company but the company missed that it wasn’t the first time this worker sued a company and walked away with not just thousands but tens of thousands of dollars.

Not bad for a year’s wages when you count her salary too.

LinkedIn profiles will sometimes have reviews if none can be found on a website or you can ask for referrals.

3. Go onto their website and check how it functions.

This sounds obvious but when I looked for the person who handled a website for a client that didn’t come through, I went to that person’s website, and sure enough, their own website had the same problems.

Their links didn’t work, the photos didn’t show up, there was a lot of empty space and not even their video worked. Their video was a picture with an arrow to click into it to show a video but the video didn’t play. It was just a photo with an arrow on the image showing a very unorganized background office.

The reality is that sometimes we’re so busy that if they sound good on the phone or they’re a referral, we just want to quickly move forward with our project and hire them right away. And for a lot of busy workers, owners and managers, this is sometimes the case.

Just go to their website and take a peek. Poke around, click their hyperlinks, their videos, and see if their format looks professional.

Even if you’re just looking for a landscaper, if they have an outdated website is it because they’re a one-man show? Who’s holding them accountable?

4. Learn whom they’re connected with on social media.

If you’re looking for an expert, they almost always work with other experts. There’s no such thing as a lone-ranger-expert any more than a person’s success because of themself.

When you find a professional company that does an immaculate job, even if it’s a restaurant, there is always a team behind it. Even soloist has a band.

Ask who they like to work with and who else you would be working with “on their team.” I worked for a company with one person even though he said there was a team when there really wasn’t. He was just posing like a professional with no team.

Companies have you interview sometimes with a whole team of people to be hired, why not turn it around and ask to interview their team?

5. Do they work solo or with a team?

This brings the next topic. Who is their team?

Are the common traits of the team aligned with yours? Do you get along with the team, agree with their backgrounds, what they say and do?

Know the team and feel good about the whole team. Remember birds of a feather, flock together.

6. Are their prices competitive?

Have you shopped around? Usually, when you’re looking for the right partner, worker, or team member they should all have a similar price comparison. If something is too good to be true, as they say, it usually is.

If the offered pricing is different from the rest, there should be a good reason. Maybe the pricing has changed because of technology or they are more efficient. Have them explain their costs and why they charge what they do.

I’m often amazed that businesses go with the best pricing without knowing the differences in costs. How often does this happen?

7. How are they with communication and responding?

How quick are they to respond to your questions? Does it take a few days, a few hours or is it mixed?

If you have an issue throughout your project, how reliable are they to respond in a timely manner?

I simply no longer continued renewing with a team because the communication was bad. When the person doesn’t get back to you in a timely manner, is it because they’re out paying a bill, going to the store, or hanging out with friends during the day?

Good employees work all day with break times and lunch and why shouldn’t this be the same for independent people working from home? You should expect the same thing from remote workers.

Unfortunately, there is no governance to regulate being taken for granted. Who wants to deal with small claims for someone taking a few thousand dollars from you for doing nothing?

A lot of times it’s better to take the loss and count that as the cost for learning. And looking back, it’s a cost that sometimes can be avoided with a little elbow grease or vetting.

Feel free to reach out and ask me if you need help vetting. Or maybe a shoulder to cry on?

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