These might seem like two totally different things but the similarities are very clear. It can be extremely difficult to know whether or not you have found the right person so here’s a few things you can look out for to help you narrow down your options and hopefully hire the right person, first time round.
So, what to look for…
They are passionate
You need someone that has a passion for what they do – they love staying up to date on all the latest trends, algorithms etc. etc. so you don’t have to. They need to take a genuine interest in your business and your goals. Particularly with a social media manager, you need to have someone on your team that is monitoring what’s going on – all – the – time. You need someone that is going to be on the ball, knows how to deal with a crisis, knows how to take immediate action to protect your brand, your reputation and your digital presence.
Example: Well, all my clients know how protective I am of them online. I don’t tolerate online trolls and bullies. I have my eye on current affairs -international, national, local and in their specific industries. It helps that I’m a demographics geek. I’m constantly reading, watching, listening to stay up to date on what I do, how to do it, and how changes affect my clients. I really do love what I get to do everyday.
They are a good listener
You need someone that will let you explain your business goals, your vision, your style/tone, your voice and actually listen. You should always feel comfortable talking to your content manager, social media manager and/or copywriter – at any time. Obviously they also need to have a life but you should feel that you can contact them at any time and be listened to.
Example: My clients know that they can Facebook message or email at any time and they can text 24/7 if they are particularly worried about something or there’s an issue that needs to be dealt with urgently.
They are an asker of many many questions
Yes, to the point of possibly being annoying. A great copywriter and social media professional is curious by nature – they ask lots of questions either over the phone, via email or by having you complete a thorough written brief. When you begin working together expect to be put on the spot about your business, your aims – you will be forced to think outside the box but that’s a good thing, right?
Example: My new clients all need to fill out a pretty indepth intake form – we cover everything from who/what their business is, to their audience, their current positioning, their short and long term goals. I call it their ‘homework’.
They are likeable
Okay so now we’re getting a little personal, right? But when you’re about to engage someone to become part of your team, when you’re entering into a business relationship, it’s super important that you like each other. You’re going to be working together, giving them information about your business and your plans that many other people won’t be privy to so it’s important you like and trust them. Ask yourself this – would you be happy to sit down and have dinner and drinks with this person? If not, they are probably not the right fit for you.
Example: I’m so super fortunate that I have lovely relationships with my clients – I like and admire them as people. Yes, where geography and time allows, we do have dinner and drinks, and coffees, and even go to shows, gala events and festivals. Some friends have become clients and some clients have become friends – super fortunate – I know that!
They are experienced
Now you’re not going to hire an inexperienced builder to build your home are you? Of course not, so why on Earth would you consider hiring an inexperienced copywriter to write your copy, or an inexperienced social media manager to manage your social media. Makes absolutely no sense. Engage someone that has a track record they can prove and at least a few years of experience. Ask to see a portfolio, examples of work, testimonials and even if you can contact some past clients to have a chat. You might be lucky and that uni student daughter of a friend might be brilliant but it’s a bit risky – experience is often much safer.
Example: My clients can access an overview of my work via my website, request examples of work related to their field, chat to a current client or two, and/or read reviews on the website and my biz Facebook page. I’m also more than happy to provide my experience and qualification summaries (and even ID lol) so you can see how long I’ve now been in this game.
They are value for money
We all know the saying ‘you pay peanuts, you get monkeys’ – right? So, you need to look for someone that is not ‘cheap’ but represents value for money, is happy to work with your budget, and yet values themselves and the quality of the work that they do. All of your content and social media efforts must represent good ROI.
Example: I’m neither the cheapest, nor the most expensive. I don’t have to cover huge overheads because I work from home in my slippers and I have my own coffee machine – this also means I don’t waste time commuting and I can quickly log on and log off as work and monitoring requires! I do not work for peanuts because I know that my time, experience, expertise, training and qualifications is valuable. It’s all about helping my clients with their digital presence in a sustainable way. I’m extremely aware that the bulk of my clients are micro/small business and, as such, ROI on investment is paramount.
They are busy
There’s a couple of issues in here – a great content and social media manager and copywriter will be busy and you need to be prepared to wait for them. But, a professional is great at managing their capacity, managing their time and deadlines, and is super flexible should an emergency rear its head. Understand that an emergency on your part will not always equate to an emergency on their part but someone busy but flexible is the key here. Good copy and strategy is always worth waiting for – bugging them every hour leading up to the deadline will not help AT ALL. A professional will offer up dates of when each aspect of your project is due and will stick to those.
Example: Gone are the days when I will say yes to every project and promise it the next day – too stressful. These days I’m super comfortable providing my clients with a realistic time they can expect their copy or a task to be completed – it might be today or tomorrow but then it might not be until next Tuesday. As always, if an emergency crops up they know that I will attend to it asap as needed.
They are honest
You do not want to hire someone that is simply a ‘yes man’ or doesn’t have a backbone. You need to find a no bullshit professional. Someone who is going to be honest about previous social media attempts and copy. Someone who is going to be honest about whether it can be tweaked or if it needs to be scrapped and started anew. Someone who is not thinking of their own bottom line – someone who will be open and honest if they feel your current efforts are great and there’s nothing else they can add and therefore charge for.
Example: If something isn’t working – I tell my clients. If they are doing something that’s a bit off base, not in line with their biz goals or even just a bit silly – I tell them. At the same time, I’m a massive believer in education so I aim to inform my clients about the whys behind what I do so they are informed and empowered in their own business because at the end of the day – it is their business.