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The Top 14 Questions To Ask Before Hiring An Agency Or Freelancer
Reading Time: 8 minutes
These days, there’s a lot of competition from digital agencies and freelance specialists eager to land your account. As digital marketing gets more sophisticated every year and the rules of the game keep changing, it’s imperative that you hire the right talent.
But how do you select the best from what can seem like a long, daunting list of prospective talent?
The key is to know what to ask the agency or freelancer before you start the hiring process. The right questions are your guide to knowing who is on top of the game — and who isn’t.
If you want to know how to hire top freelancers for your projects and accounts, here are the top 14 questions to ask before you make an offer.
1. What kind of experience do you have with digital marketing in my industry?
Of course, any type of digital marketing experience is useful.
However, each industry has its own set of needs and expectations that can differ drastically from the needs and expectations of other industries.
For example, if you are an eCommerce business selling baked goods, it is probably not ideal to hire an agency that has only worked on website development projects for hospitals. They might not have the experience or expertise necessary to effectively handle your marketing strategies.
Ideally, you want to choose to work with an agency or freelancer that knows the ins and outs of your particular industry.
2. What types of digital marketing services do you offer and specialize in?
What marketing services do you need for your business? This is a question that you need to ask yourself before selecting your marketing partner.
If you hire an agency, they will likely offer a plethora of services that could enhance your business’s online presence, and you are bound to find some that fit your needs.
Just make sure that the agency or freelancer that you hire specializes in the services that fit your individual needs.
On the other hand, freelancers often only offer a small number of services since you are only hiring one single person. So, just make sure that the services that they offer are right for you!
3. What kind of marketing tools and software are you highly skilled with?
Marketing tools and software are imperative to planning an effective marketing strategy. You want to hire a freelancer or an agency that has the right tools that will help your business grow.
Among Chatter Buzz Media’s most valuable assets, for example, are software called HubSpot Sales and HubSpot Marketing.
These platforms allow us to keep track of all of our leads and sales in one area. It also allows us to communicate with both our clients and our prospective clients quickly and effectively.
We think that communication with our clients is the most essential element to the success of our work, and this platform simplifies communication significantly.
And the best part is… you can try out a basic version of this platform for FREE!
Without this software, our agency would not be nearly as organized or as successful in capturing leads. This is why it is important that the agency or freelancer that you hire has access to these tools that can optimize your business’ marketing potential.
4. How do your different marketing efforts fit together in an integrated strategy?
An integrated marketing strategy is effective when all different aspects of your business’s digital marketing efforts work seamlessly together to form a positive outcome.
At Chatter Buzz, we offer a full menu of all of the services that you could possibly need for a strong digital marketing strategy.
And… we have professionals who specialize in each of these areas!
When you hire a freelancer, you are hiring one person to achieve all of your marketing goals. If that individual does not have experience in one of your desired services areas, then your marketing strategy will not be integrated seamlessly.
When you hire an agency, each member of the marketing team puts their expertise together to create one amazing strategy.
This should be a major point of consideration when deciding between hiring an agency or a freelancer.
5. What are some examples of success that your clients have had based on your work with them?
Now, this is a big one. Do you ever buy something extremely valuable before reading the reviews and making sure that it is of good quality? I sure hope not!
Before hiring an agency or freelancer, ask to see examples of work that they have done for other clients that had a successful outcome.
Chatter Buzz has a whole page on our website dedicated to displaying some of the many successful campaigns that we have run for our amazing clients.
When you know that your marketing strategy is being handled by a team with experience and a positive track record, you feel more confident and don’t have to worry about the well-being of your own campaigns.
That’s why you should always ask for proof that your digital marketing agency or freelancer has the potential to create a successful strategy for you.
6. What expectations and commitments do you seek from your clients?
Are you the type of client who wants to be hands-on for every step of the process?
Or are you the type of client who wants your company’s digital marketing completely taken out of your hands?
Believe it or not, both of these types of clients exist.
So, before committing to an agency or a freelancer, make sure that you are on the same page in terms of your participation in each project and of what is expected of you along the way.
7. What do you think your marketing strengths and weaknesses are?
Whether or not we want to admit it, every marketing professional and agency has strengths and weaknesses.
An important question to ask when you are hiring a digital marketing agency or freelancer is: what are your strengths and weaknesses?
If the marketing professional mentions that they are particularly skilled in one of the services that you value highly, then it sounds like they might be a good fit for you!
On the other hand, if the marketing professional mentions that one of their weaknesses is one of the skills that you value highly, then maybe you should consider other options.
8. Can you provide documentation of your digital marketing processes?
One thing that you should be looking for when choosing a digital marketing partner is full transparency. You want to know exactly what to expect after you hire them.
Full transparency is something that Chatter Buzz Media values, and that is why we offer explanations of all of our processes.
For example, we have this model that details a step-by-step of our web design process so that clients know exactly what is going on, step by step, while we design their website.
This also ensures that the client and the agency/freelancer are on the same page.
Seeing documentation of your digital marketing professional’s processes also ensures that they have a process.
This is an essential element to consider when selecting your digital marketing partner.
9. What makes you unique from other marketing professionals or agencies?
You want to make sure that the people you hire are the best fit for your company’s needs. To do that, you need to know what makes them different from your other options.
If you value communication throughout the entire process, perhaps the agency or freelancer’s dedication to constant communication stands out to you.
If you are worried about pricing, perhaps the agency or freelancer has a unique point pricing model that lets you know exactly what you will be paying for each service.
Asking this question could give you more insight into how the agency or individual that you are considering operates.
10. How do you facilitate client communication and collaboration?
Once again, communication is one of the most important elements – if not the most important element – to ensure a successful relationship between a client and their marketing team.
Just make sure that the marketing professionals that you are considering offer you the options for communication that best fit your style.
If you want to be hands-on during the process, let them know! Ask if you will be able to be hands-on during the process.
That way, both parties are aware of the others’ expectations and will be able to discern whether or not they are a good fit for one another.
11. How would your other clients describe your partnerships?
Once again, you probably would not make a big purchase without hearing reviews from others who have tried the product you’re interested in, right?
Didn’t think so.
That is why it is important to ask how the agency or individual’s other clients would describe their partnership.
If the agency or individual has a good relationship with their clients, then that is a good sign!
Some agencies or freelancers, Chatter Buzz included, feature client testimonials on their websites.
This is a great place to look to see if the digital marketing professional that you are considering is right for you!
If you receive any indication that they do not have a good relationship with multiple clients, then you might run into the same issue during the partnership.
It is always better to hire an agency or freelancer that has a good reputation among its clients!
12. What will you need from us to make our relationship work best?
Once again, establishing communication and expectations is essential to ensuring a sound agency/client relationship.
Good communication will ensure a smooth-sailing partnership from start to finish.
So, make sure that you know what will be expected of you to make the relationship work.
13. How and how often are you going to track, measure, and report back on your success?
Once you have finally made your selection on who to hire, you want to make sure that the strategies that they are implementing are actually working.
So, ask about how often they are going to track, measure, and report back on your success.
Running a campaign without tracking its results is pointless.
It is also important that you are able to see the reports of how well your campaigns are performing.
Sure, some processes such as SEO can take a while to see results. However, if you go a long time without seeing any growth, maybe it is time to reconsider the strategies that were implemented for you or to consider hiring a different agency or individual who can score you better results.
This is another reason why having a CRM could be beneficial to your business. Many CRMs, including the HubSpot CRM shown below, allow you to access your performance at any time.
Tracking the success of your digital marketing campaigns will let you know what is working and what is not. Tracking and measuring these results is essential to progress.
14. How will you help me stand out from my competition?
We are living in a time where the internet is saturated with advertisements, and so many of those advertisements go unnoticed by consumers because of the sheer amount of ads that they are bombarded with.
So, what can this particular agency or freelancer do to make your company stand out from the competition?
Chatter Buzz Media is known to help our clients rank on the 1st page of Google searches… so you shouldn’t expect any less from the agency or freelancer that you choose to hire!
There are ways to make your ads unique, eye-catching, and relevant enough to be effective. So, make sure that the digital marketing professional that you hire knows how to make your advertisements pop!
Knowledge is Power
Any agency or freelancer you contact is going to insist that they’re the best in the business.
However, you need to know beforehand that they have the ability to successfully handle your company’s unique brand and expectations, and that they’re up to date on the latest technology and do not rely on old-school tactics.
These days, you definitely want to know if they have experience with digital marketing and if they specialize in any advanced digital techniques. You want an experienced marketing team that can provide you with a fresh perspective and give you new insights into reaching specific customers.
Remember — they’re working for YOU. Find the best talent!
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