So, you’ve come to the conclusion that you need to get a move on when it comes to content marketing, because after all, as the saying goes, “content is king.” But just because you know you should do it, doesn’t mean you know how, or even necessarily want to do all of it yourself.
Regardless of whether you want to hire a content marketing consultant or want to hire someone to create content for you, it’s important to choose the right people to help.
My quest to hire a personal trainer
I recently started going back to the gym. Like most people, I want to be in shape, but don’t necessarily know the best way to go about it. Because of that, I’m looking into hiring a personal trainer. The gym that I go to has a number of trainers, and since trainers aren’t cheap, I want to hire the best trainer for me.
In the same way that there are both good and bad personal trainers, there are also good and bad content marketers.
The things I’m keeping in mind while looking for a personal trainer can also apply to hiring someone for help with anything else, including content marketing.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when looking to hire a content marketing professional:
1. Does the content marketer practice what they preach?
Since I haven’t yet hired a trainer, I’m taking a lot of classes at the gym. When I showed up for one of the classes, I was stunned by the instructor’s appearance. She was terribly out of shape. During the class, she very briefly demonstrated what we should do, but then just stood there while the people in the class exercised.
In spite of the fact that I got a great workout in her class, I’ve crossed her off my list of potential personal trainers, because she clearly doesn’t walk the talk.
Regardless of whether you’re hiring a personal trainer or a content marketer, whoever you hire needs to practice what they preach. For instance, if you hire a blog writer, they should blog consistently. If you hire a podcasting consultant, they should be regularly producing podcast episodes.
2. Does the content marketer have a good reputation?
After I work out, I reward myself by spending some time in the hot tub. It’s amazing what you can learn about the various trainers in the gym hot tub!
I was pretty set on hiring a female, but for some reason, every time I’m in the hot tub, someone ends up saying something about a particular trainer – Larry. And it’s all good. I’ve come to the conclusion, that everyone loves Larry. While I haven’t decided to hire Larry, you better believe that he’s on the list, since I hear so many good things about him.
When it comes to content marketers, there really isn’t the equivalent of a hot tub, but there are places and ways to find out what others think of a particular content creator. First, ask your colleagues if they know of anyone. Chances are, if they are happy with someone, you will be also. Also, check out the testimonials on the provider’s website, and the recommendations and endorsements on places like LinkedIn.
3. How much experience does the content marketer have?
There’s nothing wrong with hiring a newbie, as long as you know that’s what you’re doing and you adjust your expectations accordingly; a newbie, such as a recent college graduate may be just what you need if you have a very limited budget.
Be prepared to pay more as the experience and success of the content marketer increases.
4. Do you like the style of the content marketer?
Some trainers are like drill sergeants, and some have a soft, gentle approach. Some are super into a particular type of exercise or methodology. There’s not necessarily a right way or wrong way to train, but there are some types that just don’t resonate with me.
The same is true of content marketers. Some are more formal and stuffy. Some specialize in content that is more relaxed. Others have specialties related to a specific niche or industry. The bottom line is to make sure that the content marketer’s style resonates with you.
What about you? What do you look for when hiring a content marketing consultant or creator? What tips would you add to what I’ve written above?