Finding the right marketing specialist to meet your needs can be a challenge, and while one marketer can excel at selling shoes online to a UK-based market, that same professional may not have the faintest clue as to how to generate leads for an American real estate company. With thousands of marketers offering their “unique” services at any given time, how can you possibly know who will fulfill your specific business needs best?
This challenge is made even more complex by the ever-evolving nature of the digital marketing world. With each new day, digital marketing, its new channels, and endless features grow in sophistication; marketers must master all these and more if they wish to position themselves as industry leaders and beat the competition. They must additionally understand the psychology behind customer behavior within different niches. As such, when selecting a freelance marketing specialist to create and run campaigns for your business, you must ensure they have the relevant experience and skills to drive outstanding results.
So, how do you practically locate and begin working with a freelance marketer? You can start off by asking friends for recommendations, search LinkedIn, write about the offered position on social media groups and interview several candidates to make the cut. Let's examine these options a little closer.
Talk to your connections
When overwhelmed by the sheer volume of freelance marketers hawking their skills, turning to personal connections for good recommendations can be a great place to start. This is because relying on knowledgeable people you trust will give you a sense of confidence in the freelancer you ultimately decide to interview and later, hire. And yet, the challenge of discerning whether the recommendations honorably made to you will favorably fulfill your unique business needs remains. And the fear of missing out on an “even better candidate” can at times prevent you from signing on the dotted line. So, what can you do to ensure you’re secure in your freelancer selection?
LinkedIn is a powerful tool that you can harness to search for and find professionals. There are literally hundreds of thousands of relevant profiles for each profession and niche, which you can sift through to identify those most suitable for your business, including the profiles of those freelancers recommended to you by your connections. However, apart from these professionals’ written self-assessments and the occasional review or testimonial on their page, it can be very hard to know how to pick the real talents from the real imposters. Stated abilities do not necessarily equal stellar performance in the real world.
Write in social groups
Facebook and other social media channels let you write up job openings in groups. They also allow you to search for a specialist within the group’s lists. This can be very time consuming, as you will likely receive tens of replies to every post, requiring you to set up calls, interview the candidates according to the experience you desire. But wouldn’t it be great if there was data supporting each candidate’s claims?
There are hundreds of marketplaces in which you can find a plethora of freelancers offering their marketing services, many of which experts in their fields and potentially a good fit for your needs.
Unfortunately, as in the case with LinkedIn, most statements on these freelancers’ skills and capabilities are solely based on self-assessments and reviews - not on data-driven matches.
But do not fret - and don't give up on finding the most suitable marketer to meet your needs. S
earch for marketing specialists who have worked on projects similar to yours. This will help shorten any necessary learning period as much as possible. After all, your business cannot afford to waste time wallowing in lengthy learning periods, polishing the messages that work and fine-tuning your targeting. There are plenty of specialists out there who live and breathe running and optimizing campaigns very similar to yours. Those are the freelancers you want - and deserve to find and work with.
What’s more, most marketplaces serve the singular purpose of enabling you to make these connections, but quickly abandon ship once said connections are made. The results you ultimately obtain from these connections, are to your credit or serve as your downfall. Namely, the responsibility or their success or failure is yours, and yours alone. The next generation of this kind of service is the "managed marketplace", like Mayple, where a dedicated account manager is assigned to handle your ongoing needs and monitors your marketing performance to make sure you get the great results, service levels and ROI you seek.
How can you position yourself for success when starting to work with a freelance marketer?
1. Before starting to work with a freelancer, you should grant them read-only access to your PPC campaigns. This way they can audit your accounts and propose improvements to your current activity, giving you a clear picture of how working together would practically play out, so your business can grow. This stage is critical and can teach you a lot about the different professionals, their approaches to marketing and the best practices they use. If a freelancer has read-only access to your accounts, they can make educated decisions regarding their abilities to complete your project, without risking significant and potentially disastrous changes to your content.
2. Discuss your marketing strategy up front. This is critical to the success of any campaign. Set up measurable goals & objectives, establish a clear plan regarding the different PPC channels and media budgets to be employed, review your website and landing pages, check the messages you want to deliver and define your target audience together.
3. Important tip alert: make sure you own all your assets - accounts, creatives, copies, audience data, audience look-alikes and more. This way, you won’t run the risk of losing any of it to the odd, malicious candidate. After all, you own your business, you should own your marketing assets as well. Avoid utilizing an agency model at all costs! The moment one party wants to leave and agencies begin to change, clients can lose all of their assets This would be horrible for business.
4. Be sure that all your activities remain 100% transparent. Owning all your assets means that, at any given point, you can direct your performance data towards various channels. And if you can gain access to real-time, cross-channel performance data reports, more power to you. Instead of checking all of your different channels (Adwords, Facebook, Twitter, Outbrain, etc…) separately, you’d ideally access a single dashboard with all your campaign’s data. Using a real-time dashboard will eliminate the need to chase your freelancer for periodic reports; all the data will be continuously accessible and easy to navigate.
5. What if the marketing specialist you select does not satisfy your business needs?
Mismatches can happen (although if the match is data-based, the risk should be reduced) and it's important that you retain the ability to effortlessly and painlessly replace your freelancer at any given time, should the needs arise. And, as you own all of your assets, the termination period would be devoid of any asset negotiation processes.
6. If your level of spending is in the five digits, consider the following revolutionary concept: A/B testing marketers. We are all familiar with the different A/B testing techniques for landing pages, copies and creatives. Why not A/B test two different marketers for a pilot period and select the top-performer for long-term freelance employment? The split can be made hierarchically, by diving the work according to different accounts, or by entrusting them to create campaigns for the same projects. A different approach can be to let marketers compete to work on similar markets or products.
Mayple has developed a SaaS talent management platform that is aligned with your future-forward business needs and work model. Through our data-driven marketplace, you can find and start collaborating with vetted, best-in-class PPC specialists. As there is a pool of hundreds of talented marketers, you will certainly find the most suitable freelancer for your unique marketing needs. The platform lets you manage your freelancer’s work in the most transparent and flexible way while enabling you to continue to own your assets and presenting you with access to a real-time, cross-channel dashboard. And you can change marketing specialists as you see fit. You can even simultaneously compare a couple of specialists before deciding to work long-term with the top-performer.
Mayple's account managers (AKA the Mayplers) will review your account and monitor all of your campaign performance and your satisfaction with the service you receive from your designated marketing expert. Think of them as your personal guardians and consultants, whose job is to ensure your business is always high-priority.
It's time for you to grow your business and introduce greater control, transparency and flexibility to your work processes, hand-in-hand with the best marketing specialist for your particular needs.