In my industry, there are tons of people who claim to be social media or marketing experts, but very few practice what they preach. For me in my business, I never recommend digital strategies that I have not practiced myself and learned how to execute properly. Would you trust a plumber to fix your issues if they had never done it before?
From marketing help, contract workers, accounting services and any other service needed to help run your business, you need to make sure you choose service providers that practice what they preach. Here are a few guidelines to help:
When looking for professional services, you want to choose someone or a company with expertise. Would you hire a social media company that claims to be experts that is using only recent college students? Likely not, you want to work with established companies that have helped others see success…which takes me into guideline #2.
2. Track Record
Look to see if the company you are looking at using has a track record of success. Do they have legitimate testimonials on their social media? For individual or small service providers, taking a look at LinkedIn recommendations is a good start. You can see who has recommended them and even message the reviewer for more in depth questions on working with them.
I use this tactic as well when people try to sell advertising in print publications. I call people currently running ads to see what results they have been getting. Just as if you are looking into hiring a new employee, calling references and those they have worked with in the past will give you insight on what you can expect working with them.
3. Set a Trial Period
Professionals that stand by their product/service will have a satisfaction guarantee on their work and/or allow customers to use their services on a trial basis. Signing up for a long contract with a company you have never worked with before can be scary. If the business really stand behind what they do, they will give you a 30 min trial period to make your final decision.
4. Do They Practice What They Preach
For my in my social media business, I have spent a great deal of time marketing myself and running trials to see what works and what doesn’t work online. If you are hiring a professional in my industry, you would want to see consistent social media postings that reflect their expertise. So many marketing agencies today do not spend time on the platforms they push clients to use, without using them themselves.
- If you are hiring a copywriter, do they have a consistent, professional blog?
- If you are hiring a printer, do they have print examples in their office?
- If you are hiring a graphic designer, do that have a portfolio of recent work?
- The list goes on and on. Check peoples work to see if they really live up to the hype they project.
Following the 4 guidelines above will help you make the most educated decision for hiring outside help to run and marketing your business. If of course you are looking for help marketing your business online, contact me. Feel free to see if I practice what I preach on my social media. You won’t be disappointed.