You’re a business owner, and you need marketing help. You know that the most important part of your marketing strategy is to have a firm grasp on SEO, social media, and content creation. But how do you find someone qualified? It’s a difficult task to hire a contractor for your company because there are so many options out there – from agencies with big names to solo freelancers who might be able to give you better rates. What should you look for when hiring an agency or freelance marketer? 

In this blog post, I’ll walk through some mistakes companies make when hiring their marketing contractors as well as provide resources that will help guide the process of finding the right one for your needs.

  1. Focusing on price over quality

The first mistake businesses make is focusing on finding the cheapest marketing agency to work with. They think that hiring a more expensive agency will cost them too much money, so they try to find someone more affordable instead. This mindset will end up costing your company in the long run because you won’t get the results that you want.

When it comes to hiring a contractor, quality should always be prioritized over price.  Both solo freelancers and larger marketing firms have been known to engage in this sort of practice, so it’s very important that you know what type of industry standards are out there when scouting out potential contractors. In order to avoid more costly mistakes, make sure that you’re speaking with the agency or freelancer directly. Ask them what type of results they can offer your business today and how long it will take to get there.

How do I avoid the mistake of focusing on price over quality?

  • Make sure that you compare apples to apples when researching different agencies by looking at their rates as well as their portfolios so that you have a good understanding of what kind of work they are known for producing.
  • If an agency has great rates but doesn’t have any samples up on their website, then you should be worried about whether or not they’ll deliver once you’ve started working together because if they don’t value their own worth enough to build a portfolio, then you should be worried about what that means for their work.
  • Remember to ask agencies and freelancers directly if they offer different types of packages so that you can find the right fit for your company.
  • If an agency is offering rates that are too low, then it might be time to rethink your decision because you’ll get better results by spending more money, to begin with than hiring somebody who will hurt your business in the long run.
  1. Expecting too much from one contractor, which is unrealistic given their workloads.

The second mistake companies make is expecting too much from one contractor, who is often given a massive workload, to begin with. Marketing contracting firms and freelancers are only human, no matter how talented they might be. Even if you’re hiring a team of people, there will always be the potential for things to go wrong due to an individual’s poor performance or lack of work ethic.

Companies need to remember that marketing freelancers aren’t meant to replace their agencies because it’s unrealistic for them to give your business the attention you’ll want even if they do offer some benefits over traditional agencies such as lower rates and faster turnaround times. This doesn’t mean that contractors won’t keep up with your company’s SEO goals (sometimes they may outperform agencies), but it won’t be at the same level you’d find with a larger marketing firm.

How do I avoid the mistake of expecting too much from one contractor?

  • Remember that agencies can handle more work than freelancers because they have more people to share the workload. If you decide to hire a solo marketer, then consider whether or not they have enough time in their schedules for your business. 
  • Ask about your contractor’s availability before committing to working with them. If they can only dedicate 20 hours per week towards your company, then it may take some time before they get any results (usually around 3 months). That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t hire them if this sort of timeline works for your needs though; just make sure you’re clear about your expectations.
  • If a contractor is offering to take on your company’s work, then be sure that they have the skills necessary for their roles. You don’t want to spend money upfront and then have somebody who isn’t going to put in the effort required. This will only hurt your business in the long run because your customers won’t receive the customer service they deserve.
  1. Knowing whether or not a marketing firm can scale as needed before signing a contract with them

The third common mistake that companies make is knowing whether or not a marketing agency can scale as needed before signing a contract with them. In order to find this out, it might be best if you actually speak with potential candidates face-to-face or on the phone. That way, you can ask them about their scaling strategies and get a feel for whether or not they’ll be able to help your business.

If you’re offering a full-time position with benefits then it’s especially important that you figure out if the company is capable of scaling as needed because this will affect your workforce planning moving forward. It’s alright if the marketing firm isn’t too comfortable with things changing because there are other companies who can work within a static environment.​

How do I avoid the mistake of knowing whether or not a marketing firm can scale?

  • Ask explicitly about how your contractor plans on scaling in order to meet increased demand from your business. If they start talking about hiring more people, then you might have found a company that’s willing to up their workload to meet your needs. 
  • If somebody is more comfortable with working within a static environment (fixed number of employees), then it may be best to look elsewhere. If your business decides they want or need more marketing help at some point in the future, then you’ll end up needing contractor(s) who can work on scaling their teams.
  1. Underestimating how important it is to have good communication with your marketing contractor.

The fourth common mistake that companies make when hiring their marketing contractor is not understanding how important it is to have good communication with your marketing firm. 

There are a couple of reasons for this:

  • If you’re dealing with somebody who doesn’t speak your language then you should probably spend some time learning about their culture before committing to working with them. This means that you should research what’s considered acceptable by their social standards, and then determine whether or not they’d be able to meet those expectations before things get off the ground.
  • You want to make sure that your contractor understands what you expect from them throughout this process because otherwise, they’ll end up throwing random tasks at you which causes an exponential amount of confusion down the line. This will end up causing a negative impact on your business because you won’t be able to tell what’s really going on.
  • The contract that you sign should clearly define expectations from both sides. This will make it easier to avoid conflict as well as ensure that your contractor meets those expectations. Without a clear set of rules, there’s a good chance things will end up taking longer than expected and may even fall apart down the line.
  1. Thinking that you can do this on your own – when in reality, hiring a professional will save you time and money down the road.

  • The final mistake businesses make when hiring a marketing contractor is thinking that they can do this on their own – which is something that ends up hurting your business in the end because there are a lot of things you won’t know until you hire somebody. This means that it will take longer for your business to get going and you’ll have to spend more money as well. On top of those things, you’ll still have some work ahead of you once the contract with your agency or freelancer comes to an end. This could leave people unsure of what to do next so it’s important to be prepared before hiring somebody which includes:
  • Knowing how many hours/employees you need on a weekly basis
  • Knowing what needs to be done
  • Make sure that both your expectations and theirs are in line with one another before signing the contract. This will ensure that you’re all on the same page throughout this process which means that there won’t be any confusion or disagreement when moving forward.
  1. Expecting the contractor to be an expert in everything.

  • Marketing agencies tend to have specific specialties so if you want them to help with SEO or social media content creation, then don’t expect them to work on any other part of their process. On top of knowing where an agency stands in its reputation, it’s also important that you know where its specialty lies. This way you won’t end up wasting your time because they either don’t understand what it is that you’re trying to accomplish or because they can’t do anything about it.
  • A large percentage of the firms out there are going to be able to help you with things like content creation or email marketing, but not all of them will be able to handle SEO. If an agency focuses on these high-level items and they aren’t in line with your business, then you’ll want to find somebody else who fits the mold a little bit better than this one does. It doesn’t matter if they have a big name or even how good their portfolio looks; make sure that they know what they’re talking about before you sign the contract.
  • It’s easy to get lost in somebody’s portfolio because it could make them look better than they are. You can’t always rely on their previous clients or even how many awards that they’ve won because sometimes those things don’t matter when it comes to effective marketing skills. If somebody has great reviews, but not much work under their belt, then take a long hard look at them before accepting anything just yet. Content creation is something that you have to hire an expert for if you want it done properly which means that you need somebody who has worked with companies in your industry before.
  1. Hiring someone who isn’t passionate about what they’re doing, which can lead to lackadaisical work and unenthusiastic results.

  • Finding somebody who is passionate about what your business does and the kind of money that you’re spending on them will be an integral part of this process. A person who isn’t excited by their work can end up doing a poor job, which means that they’ll waste time and not do anything that’s going to really help your business in the long run. You want someone who loves marketing and enjoys working with startups like yours; it might take a little bit longer but at least you’ll know for sure what you’re getting in the end.
  • Most companies care more about results than how much passion somebody has when they talk about their previous clients or projects. If somebody truly cares about marketing then they should have no problem speaking passionately about what they’ve done in the past. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they should throw their current clients under the bus; it just means that you want to make sure they know what they’re talking about before committing. Passionate people tend to do better work because they end up caring more about the job than somebody who is merely looking for a paycheck. This can be great if your team is really excited about helping your business grow, but don’t expect them to go above and beyond if they aren’t passionate about what you’re doing or how much you’re spending on them.
  1. Hiring someone with no experience or background in marketing.

  • To be completely honest, it doesn’t matter how great somebody’s portfolio looks if they have no experience in marketing. All of the best marketers out there today are people who have worked for big brands or they’ve managed to land projects with companies that still exist today. If somebody hasn’t worked on any high-profile projects before then you should avoid hiring them regardless of what their portfolio looks like. Common mistakes like this one are easy to spot when you’re looking at somebody’s background because whether or not they have relevant experience is going to show up in most portfolios.
  1. Hiring a contractor that will take too much time/resources/money for the results that they promise to deliver.

  • Another huge mistake companies make when hiring contractors is hiring somebody who is going to need too much time or money to do the job well. You can’t expect someone to work miracles if you’re not willing to spend some extra cash. Common mistakes like this one are easy to spot because most people will simply tell you that they’ll do the best that they can without costing too much money. Some of these contractors will also be inexperienced which means that their ideas might take a very long time, or they might not give you anything at all. If this happens then your business ends up wasting tons of time and money on something that produces no results. Common sense would dictate that you should avoid hiring someone under those circumstances because it’s only going to waste your company’s resources in the end.
  • Besides making sure that a contractor is going to be easy to work with, you also want them to have a solid understanding of what they need to do. Common mistakes like this one are pretty hard to spot until it’s too late because most people who want your business will look professional and they’ll convince you that their marketing strategy is the best way forward. Common sense would dictate that you should avoid hiring someone under those circumstances because there is no telling how well they’re going to do the job if they haven’t been honest about their qualifications from day one.
  1. Hiring someone with no experience or background in marketing.

  • To be completely honest, it doesn’t matter how great somebody’s portfolio looks if they have no experience in marketing. All of the best marketers out there today are people who have worked for big brands or they’ve managed to land projects with companies that still exist today. If somebody hasn’t worked on any high-profile projects before then you should avoid hiring them regardless of what their portfolio looks like. Common mistakes like this one are easy to spot when you’re looking at somebody’s background because whether or not they have relevant experience is going to show up in most portfolios.
  1. Hiring a contractor that is not being transparent about expectations, deadlines, and deliverables.

  • The last thing you want is to start working with somebody and then find out that they’re not honest. You need somebody who is going to be able to communicate well, especially when it comes to what they should be doing for your business. If somebody can’t give you clear details about their proposed marketing strategy then there’s a good chance that they aren’t the best person for the job. Common mistakes like this are typically easy to spot early on; all you really have to do is ask them some questions. The worst thing that could happen is if you hire someone without asking any questions because then there’s no telling whether or not they’ll actually get anything done properly.
  • Marketing contracts don’t have to be difficult to figure out, but it’s always important to know what mistakes may happen along the way so you can make better decisions. Most of these mistakes only really affect small businesses that are just starting out, but it’s still good to know what you might have to deal with. Marketing can be expensive if you’re unable to get the right help, so it’s important that you don’t waste your money on things that won’t benefit your business in the long run. If you feel like you’ve made a mistake along the way, then don’t be afraid to make some changes because it could end up saving your business in the future.
  • If you avoid making these mistakes then you’ll start off strong, and your business will experience more success as a result (and save time & money). Once your company starts making more progress, then you could think about hiring more people to help you with that load or continuing to work with a firm that you trust.
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