A Guide to Choosing an Online Brand Ambassador
Some small business owners don’t even know how to spell SEO, let alone have a deep enough understanding of internet marketing strategies to make a well informed hiring decision. Naturally, these are the most prone to hiring the wrong kind of service provider and following misinformed advice.
Here are some steps you can pass along to a business owner who isn’t computer savvy to help with choosing somebody to represent their brand online.
Asking the right questions, and how to evaluate the responses.
While success rates are impressive, you really want to see how an SEO provider has helped relevant businesses in a similar niche or industry, and exactly which methods were used to generate those results.
This question is a simple test to determine if a service provider is trying a cookie-cutter strategy or offering a personalized solution. Ask this question before giving away any details of your business, products/services, or target demographics. A qualified candidate should insist on knowing the specific details so they can provide a unique solution catering to all important elements. So if you get a lengthy response without providing these details, keep looking!
This is a very important question because the right SEO provider works as an online brand ambassador. Search engine optimization is a saturated industry full of qualified specialists as well as ambitious amateurs who have yet to learn the associated skills—specifically representing and protecting the reputation of a brand.
With this question, you can filter through a number of candidates and narrow the list down to those who either have experience within your industry or are capable of learning enough to maintain an authority presence for your brand on the internet.
- What kind of experience do you have, and can I see some examples.
- What would you do for me?
- What do you know about (topic)?
Evaluating the questions that an SEO provider may ask.
One of the most important questions you can ask is “Do you have any questions for me” and then evaluate the responses accordingly.
- “No, I don’t have any questions.”
- “Yes I do. I am sending you an SWOT Analysis that will help provide insight into where your brand stands at this moment and what your goals are, so I can do my best to make those goals happen.”
This one just might be a keeper!
- “What is your budget?”
Clients—do not take offense over this question. An amateur may be afraid to ask this question and may even be flexible enough to work within your terms. On the other hand, a professional knows their stuff and has the right to be picky. Most of the time, this question is asked so a service provider can put together a proposal that fits your budget instead of exceeding your financial limitations.
- “What are your expectations?”
Again, this is a keeper. Any service provider should identify your goals before putting a proposal together. Likewise, if a candidate does not ask this question you can assume they probably don’t really care… keep looking.