When people consider starting up a business they usually focus on the technical aspects. And, while it is important to outline what your product will be like, or what services you will provide, it is good to remember that there are other factors to consider. Namely, marketing is often underappreciated and underresearched, especially with modern startups. With social media and youtube, you might get the idea that marketing is something that is easy to deal with. But, in actuality, marketing can be surprisingly complicated. So, considering the importance of marketing, and the relatively difficult learning curve that it entails, a common choice is to hire a professional to handle it for you. And with that in mind, we will use this article to describe how to find a good marketer.
For the purposes of this article, we will assume that run a small-to-mid-sized company. Here, a single marketer can likely tackle your marketing with decent effectiveness. If you were running a larger company, you would likely have to hire a whole internal team of marketers in order to properly handle your brand. Or outsource your marketing to an agency. So, for now, we will focus on finding individual marketers. And leave large-scale marketing for a different article.
Start with LinkedIn
When it comes to finding marketers for your company, LinkedIn is a great place to start. A single freelance marketer can be all you need to tackle your marketing with ease. And LinkedIn is chocked full of marketing managers in need of work. So, if you haven't so far, create an account and post that you are looking for marketers. If you find some that you like, don't shy away from contacting them.
Another option is to use UpWork or some other freelance platform. Mind you, you will have to work within their constraints, and pay a fee. But, if you are still learning how to run your business, UpWork can save you from a lot of headaches. With it, you can outline clear milestones and standards for your marketing manager. And you can easily learn how much you need to pay for a decent one. If you go out of your way to learn from other people's experiences, you can even avoid costly rookie mistakes. So, all things considered, do spend some time researching UpWork. Even if you don't plan on using it.
Reviewing a marketer
Before long, you will have a decent number of marketers to review. As we said, there is no shortage of marketing managers. And most of them will be more than glad to work for a startup. Now, once you make a list, you will need to review them.
Check previous experience
The more experience a marketing manager has, the more you will have to pay for them. If you feel adventurous, you can choose to work with a less experienced marketer. But, we suggest that you approach this with utmost caution. Sure, they might seem enthusiastic and may ask for a fraction of what experienced marketers do. But all of that will be for nought if they cannot perform. Marketing is not something you can simply learn on the job, and still be effective at it. This is why most successful marketers usually start working in an agency and slowly transition to freelance work.
If you opt for a more experienced marketer, which is the safer option, you need to see what their experience is truly like. Of course, all of them will spruce up their CV. After all, what good is their marketing if they cannot market themselves? But, there is a difference between sprucing up and claiming something that isn't true. If they claim to have experience within your line of work, make sure that you verify it before going any further. Background checks are mandatory.
Performing the interview
After your first check, you should be left with a couple of marketers (a dozen at most). The next step is to perform an interview with each of them. While interviewing people is a skill in its own right, and is something that you can work at, there are a couple of pointers that can help you out. Namely:
- During the interview try to start with a professional tone, and only add casualness if the interview goes well.
- Have the marketer describe their previous experience. What is especially useful is for them to outline their mistakes and what they've learned from them.
- See if they understand what your brand and your startup are all about.
- Have them give you an idea of what your marketing campaign will be like.
- Ask about modern marketing trends and how they can benefit your brand.
- Have them outline the expected results of your campaign.
The whole point of the interview is to first see whether the marketers are competent enough. And then to see whether you can easily communicate with your marketer. Once you hire them, you will regularly have to consult with them in order to keep marketing in line with your company. And doing that is much easier if you are on the same page.
Final thoughts on how to find a good marketer
Learning how to find a good marketer is a bit like learning how to find a good plumber. Sure, you can do plenty of research, get recommendations and conduct a stellar interview. But, at the end of the day, you will need a bit of luck in order to find a decent one. This is why it is usually a good idea to set up a trial period and to see whether they are able to level up your marketing. If they are, great. If not, start looking for a different one. The last thing you need, as a small smart up, is dead weight.