How can you verify that the marketing guru proposing to help your business is genuinely knowledgeable and qualified? Thanks to the Interwebs, we have multiple ways:
• LinkedIn – check their profile; see how many Recommendations they have – from former bosses, not just from customers or peers. What, they have no LinkedIn profile? Red flag! Why? Do the numbers. There are 310 million US citizens, about half of us are working age (~160M), and over 400 million LinkedIn members, most of whom are in the US . Statistically, that means anybody who’s anybody in business – at least in the US of A – has a LinkedIn profile. If your prospective social media guru has no LinkedIn profile, exactly what do they know about being visibile online?
• Social Presence -do they have a blog? How often do they blog? Do they have a social media presence of any sort? How well maintained is it?
• Klout Score – This single numeric measurement of your online reputation has come under a lot of scrutiny lately and, just like a smarterer badge, it’s just a single measurement. But it beats having no measurement at all. Keep in mind, however, that even having a mid-range Klout score (30 or above) is an indication that at least your social guru has a “pulse” online.
• Smarterer (http://www.smarterer.com) – a simple testing site that assesses each applicant’s knowledge of a battery of social media and marketing tools, technologies and platforms. Ask your prospective consultant to show / link you to their Smarterer.com badge(s). The numerical score is a rough equivocation of their prowess. Hey, it’s only a number, but at least it’s a consistent measurement.
• Paid audition – try carving out a discrete set of chores, or ask for work delivered in natural phases, with your payments linked to successful completion of each gated phase of the project in question
What other methods have you found to vet the qualifications of your marketing consultants? Leave a comment and let’s list them here!