I’ve noticed that quite a few buyers are struggling to find marketing consultants. Even though I don’t sell any marketing services myself on this platform, I do have some experience being on both sides so I figured I might share some tips that helped me.
This should also come in handy to buyers looking for SEO services. Buying backlinks, on-page SEO and whatnot is not always the right way to go. You should consider hiring a professional who will outline a proper strategy for you and if SEO is part of it then the consultant will help you find the right gigs.
Disclaimer: Keep in mind that these are just tips based on my personal experience. There’s no extensive research behind it and it won’t guarantee that you’ll end up with a 5-star experience. You still have to use your common sense when hiring freelancers to work on your project
FINDING THE RIGHT CANDIDATES
This is probably the toughest task because there are hundreds of sellers out there. However, once you go through a fair amount of gigs you’ll start to notice a pattern and eventually a few will stand out from the rest.
- First, go to Fiverr search - pick the right category and use the filters on the left. Don’t be too specific, use the filters that matter the most.
- Visual filtering of search results - a professional seller won’t use stock photos or poorly designed clip art cover photos. It’s not a rule, but a marketing specialist knows how to represent their business and it starts with the cover image.
- Gig description - open like 10-20 gigs on separate tabs and start going through the descriptions. Try to look for a seller who can clearly communicate the value they can offer. Try to avoid sellers promising things they can’t possibly deliver. Red flags are “100% satisfaction”, “unlimited revisions”, “all-in-one service” etc. If you didn’t find anything good, then repeat, pick another 10 gigs.
- Profile info - check for credentials. For example, have they previously worked with clients you might know. A seller stating “I have 3 years of experience in X” doesn’t mean much. “I have 3 years of experience working with X projects or in a company called Y” has more weight to it, but take it with a grain of salt as none of it is verified. Sellers with their own photo or a professional logo tend to be more trustworthy as opposed to a stock photo of something or someone.
- Reviews - focus on the quality of the reviews not the quantity. For example, “Great service!” doesn’t mean much. If it was that great then a one-off buyer would have taken more than 5 seconds to write a decent review. Returning clients is actually a good sign as they have already seen the results and wanted more, but you might wish to check their profile as well. A lot of one-off buyers write their reviews before seeing the actual results.
- Price - you get what you pay for. If it’s too good to be true then most likely it isn’t true. I can’t give you guidelines here as it depends on the service, but use your common sense.
INTERVIEWING YOUR CANDIDATES
Once you have picked out 4-5 candidates, create a template with a set of interview questions. The response time, communication style, quality of answers and questions to you will help you determine who’s the right consultant for you. Your first contact might look something like this.
My name is [first name] and I’m [doing what and where]. I’m looking for a marketing consultant to help me with [be specific and focus on the end goal not the actions].
I’ve read your gig description and I think you might be able to help me with [your primary goal]. However, I do a have a few questions about [summarize in 4-5 words].
- Ask about their experience working on a project like yours.
- Ask what they think would be the best approach to achieve the primary goal, but keep in mind that it won’t be a detailed action plan as at this point they know nothing about your business and research takes time.
- Ask about their work process. (Don’t expect a detailed response because a detailed plan will be outlined once you’ve gone through proper project scoping. The goal is to check if there is a basic process and if it makes sense to you.)
- Ask questions about the gig description if it wasn’t clear enough
- Ask for the estimated cost & delivery time
Thank you in advance! I will be looking forward to your response.
- Don’t expect detailed answers. It’s an interview, you haven’t hired them yet to work on your project.
- Focus on how they respond and if they have actually given some thought or just replied with a template.
- Give them at least 24h to respond. Don’t jump on the first response.
- Evaluate their use of language and communication style.
Once you’ve made your choice, let them know that you’ve picked them and would like to get a detailed proposal/offer. It doesn’t have to be an extensive 15-page document, but it should include
- high level objectives / deliverables
- your requirements
- actions that they will take to achieve the objectives
- expected results (measurable targets would be ideal, but it really depends on the objectives)
- communication & checkpoints (with longer projects you need to be able to check-in to evaluate progress)
- any agreements or requirements to you such as providing additional info by X date.
This proposal will decide your refund eligibility so make sure you dot your i’s and cross your t’s
Be prepared to fill out a discovery form as some sellers do the project scoping before they make you an offer. Some may list only high-level goals and fine-tune the actions when you’ve placed an order with them.
THANKS FOR READING
That’s it folks, hopefully this comes in handy
If you decide to comment here then please ask relevant questions or add additional tips. Let’s keep it clean and simple for buyers. Complaints about a specific gig or service in general will be considered off-topic.