How to Avoid Hiring Wrong Freelancers and Agencies

Let’s talk about how to avoid hiring wrong freelancers and agencies. Because it’s killing you and you don’t know it.

It kills slowly. It costs you time and opportunity. It’s downright ugly.

Thousands and thousands of businesses — large and small — are looking for help with digital marketing. Granted.

With platforms like Upwork and others, there’s also no way you won’t be able to find digital marketing agencies or freelancers who can help with digital marketing.

Chances are that you are hiring wrong marketing freelancers and digital marketing agencies. These hiring mistakes are almost “the way” it’s done; these have been happening for ever, I choose to talk about it now.

When you make mistakes when it comes to hiring digital marketing freelancers and digital marketing agencies, the issues are multifold:

  • You ruin your digital marketing strategy completely.
  • Wasted time and opportunity is bigger than you can imagine.
  • You won’t get the results you seek.
  • Your business gets nowhere near the traction & growth that it deserves.
  • Spending tons of money is only the cherry on top.

See some of the top hiring mistakes you do as a business (& Why it should change):

Portfolio? What Portfolio?

The first thing clients (essentially businesses of all kinds) do is to ask for portfolio. You know? This huge list of who freelancers or agencies worked for in the past; or clippings/snapshots of their work.

It’s a good first handshake, but it doesn’t tell you “anything” about the kind of results you can expect to get.

So, I’ve written some thousands of blog posts (not including the ones on this blog alone). So what?

What does that tell you about me, my capabilities, or how I can help your business in any way at all?

What you should do instead:

Ask for results achieved. Results can be big or small (won’t matter), but some kind of result should have been achieved by the work that’s being shown to you.

Results could be as follows (depending on agencies and freelancers you want to hire):

280 blog posts published > DA 36 blog > gets 6000 unique visits per month > makes $80,000 per month in sales

WordPress plugin > Also on WordPress Repository + Envato + website > 560,000 downloads for the free version > 3450 sales per quarter.

Website Design (optimized for mobile, fast loading, no code bloat)> Helps speed up sites by 300% on average > Led directly to 56% more in conversions (than before) > 1700 leads captured thanks to the intuitive design > avoids usual issues with CLS and scores great on Google Page Speed.

See what I am talking about?

Ask for results; not portfolios.

Asking for the wrong skills

Let’s say you are looking for a blogger specializing in [whatever]. Here’s what you normally ask to see: Great writing skills, grammar, sentence structure, and creativity.

That’s complete bullshit. Agreed that you’d have to write in a way that anyone understands. Short sentences do well. Creativity is an additional perk.

For the purposes of business blogging though, those list of skills should have been “secondary”.

What you should do:

The primary skill should be: resourcefulness, ability to quickly do keyword research, create headlines and titles that really work; and be able to write with consistency (doesn’t have to write like Stephen King).

Publishing velocity trumps the Skyscraper Technique (I have proof).

This is one of the easier SEO strategies that any business can manage (since you are not Semrush or Ahrefs).

How you measure the effectiveness of your blogging strategy then is to use tools like Google Analytics, DataBox, or other data visualization tools to understand how you’ve been growing, the results, you get, and more.

Note: Social Media Shares and social media popularity are not results.

Choosing Freelancers & Agencies Based on Price

Quick question: Is a digital marketing freelancer who charges 175/per almost always better than someone who charges $75 per hour? A digital marketing agency that charges a fixed price of $3000 per month — is that better than an agency that charges $799 per month for the same set of tasks?

It’s impossible to tell. As established above, even a portfolio or a set of case studies won’t tell you the complete picture.

Choosing skilled freelancers solely based on price — where you think that agencies or freelancers who charge more must be good and those that charge less must be struggling is a fallacy.

You just don’t know.

Of course, there’s a legion of businesses who only want the “cheapest”. Best of luck with that. I have nothing more to say for those.

What You Should do:

Ask for results. See if the price is a good fit for your business.

Then, match the fees you pay for freelancers and agencies with the results you get for your business (leads and sales) for the work they deliver.

It might take time to see solid results (and that’s just the nature of digital marketing business).

If you asked for the results in the first place (see above), you would place better bets as to whether or not these investments prove to be fruitful.

Don’t do mistakes while looking for the best talent there is (and there’s a lot of it out there).

Take steps to avoid hiring wrong freelancers and agencies and you are already on your way to a fantastic presence on the web, geared up to succeed for the long-term.

What do you think? Let me know by connecting our community on LinkedIn or follow me on Twitter. Checkout my videos on YouTube

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