The digital marketing industry has exploded. In a city like Greenville, SC, it can seem like there is a new agency opening its doors every week. Freelancers and consultants are getting in on the action as well. Business owners who want to execute a forward-thinking digital marketing strategy have dozens of seemingly qualified candidates to choose from. How do you separate the digital marketing expert from the rest?
Digital marketing experts are still rare.
You may have 15 agencies knocking down your door – proposal in hand – and a dozen other freelancers and virtual agencies cold-calling you every day, but that doesn’t mean finding an expert is easy. In fact, anyone walking all over themselves for the chance to do business with you should probably go straight to the bottom of the list.
Three questions to identify a digital marketing expert:
- How willing are they to conform their proposal to the strategy you’ve brought to the table? A digital marketing expert became an expert by validating their process hundreds of times for dozens of clients with the same needs you have. They know good strategy and they know a good fit for their expertise when they see it. An expert will drive the strategy discussion or walk away.
- Which do they talk about more – strategy or implementation? A digital marketing expert will position themselves as a strategy-only or strategy-first professional. Obviously implementation is important to any digital marketing strategy, but that stack of proposals on your desk is evidence that implementation isn’t a complicated service. You’ll find your expert positioning themselves differently.
- How expensive are they? It should go without saying, but experts are more expensive. If budget becomes an issue in a proposal discussion, an expert will make cuts to implementation first (if they offer it at all) or walk away. Digital marketing experts have learned to say no before compromising the quality of their work.
Conclusion (and a word of caution)
Whether your searching for a true digital marketing expert or just an implementation team, the old adage rings true, “you get what you pay for.” Implementation without expertise may check all your boxes, but implementation with expertise will go a lot farther toward real growth.
As a last word of caution, remember that confidence can look a lot like expertise if you’re not careful. Measure a confident professional against their results.