Updated: May 9
There are so many content, digital, and social media marketers out there, and frankly, I’ve worked with people who claim themselves as good inbound marketers but just knows the very basic, if not less.
For a small business owner or an entrepreneur, changing your mindset from doing it all to delegating can be difficult. It doesn’t help when you don’t know what qualities to look for and end up hiring the wrong person.
This is why I want to go through some key indicators you need in a good inbound marketer, so that you know what to ask for, and what to expect.
⬇️ Hear the full episode or read the full script below. ⬇️
What is an Inbound Marketer?
According to HubSpot, companies that prioritize inbound marketing are 4 times more likely to be effective at lead generation than those that don't. This highlights the importance of hiring an experienced and skilled inbound marketer to help you execute your inbound marketing strategy effectively.
An effective inbound marketer is critical to the success of your inbound marketing strategy. When hiring an inbound marketer, look for someone with experience, strategic thinking skills, excellent communication, technical skills, and creativity.
I've watched a lot of content, social media and digital marketer’s content online, and I’ve found this quite interesting idea. A lot of them are not opened to clients who have no basic understanding of inbound marketing terms and execution, meaning things like content strategy, paid social, targeting, and SEO or SEM. They are only here to help you strategise executions, and help highlight and allocate your budget. If they are required to explain what inbound marketing is, they will not take the job. This is because the time spent is way more than the time they need to execute, hence harming their ROI.
For someone like me though, who has positioned myself to specifically help entrepreneurs, I believe in quite the opposite:
1. The first thing any entrepreneurs should look for in their inbound marketer is the ability to educate.
To be honest, if an entrepreneur already understands the basics of inbound marketing, he or she is very likely to try and execute things themselves. Even though it is likely that they will not get the results they want, hence, out looking for professional help, they will have their very distinctive point of view and accumulated knowledge from experience.
This, I think, makes it harder for the client to keep an open mind and be okay with completely back tracking and trying something new, which is often required in terms of content marketing. Therefore, an entrepreneur who wants to learn about content, social media, and digital marketing is a great client for someone like me.
They can be as blank as a slate, but if they want to learn, I am more than happy to educate them on strategies, concepts, and ideas. So, if you’re an entrepreneur who doesn’t know much about inbound marketing but wants to use it to push your brand to the next level, look for an inbound marketer who has teaching abilities, preferably someone who is patient, and can simplify concepts for anyone to understand.
2. The second thing any entrepreneurs should look for in their inbound marketer is the ability to be highly realistic.
Any types of marketing requires a budget, but we all know entrepreneurs are often running on a tight one. Your inbound marketer can be as creative and results-driven as one can be, but if he or she is not realistic when it comes to lining up his or her deliverables with the budget that you have, you’re not getting anywhere. If he or she is unable to give you multiple plans and let you see what you can achieve with your budget, and only showing you what a much bigger budget can achieve, he or she is not the inbound marketer for you.
Of course, there is only so much a tight budget can achieve, but if the marketer can let you know what might be better pushed for a later date, or what the entrepreneur can consider up taking him or herself, that helps you in understanding what your priorities should be and what can get you there.
3. The third thing any entrepreneurs should look for in their inbound marketer is if they share entrepreneurial qualities.
Though the usual reason for entrepreneurs in not hiring advertising agencies is because of the cost, one of the other reasons is because they do not take initiative as much as a freelance marketer would. Those in agencies usually only hand in what they are asked of, and when asked for new ideas, will usually use that as a lead to ask for more money.
However, what an entrepreneur needs is someone to give them ideas, to take initiative, and to hustle as hard as they do. If you end up having to chase your inbound marketer for deliverables, you have a problem. Your inbound marketer should be the one taking things off your mind, not to have you also remember his or her job. If they don’t feel invested in your brand, there is no point for them to work for you.
4. The fourth thing any entrepreneurs should look for in their inbound marketer is passion.
Ask your marketer about content, social media, and digital topics and see how they react. Do they sound very official or do they sound like they really know and love what they do?
Inbound marketing is a continuous process, and if your marketer doesn’t have the fire within themselves, they won’t be able to keep their minds fresh and updated on the changes happening in the online world. This means they are unlikely to help you push your brand forward. The process of content marketing is very tiresome and there are a lot of creating and thinking involved, so look for someone who is analytical, creative, and most importantly, resourceful in the way they create. A content marketer who knows how to utilise every ounce of what you have is absolutely gold.
5. The fifth thing any entrepreneurs should look for in their inbound marketer is honesty.
While bigger companies should look for marketers who knows how to navigate company hierarchies and effectively communicate with different team members in the department, I believe an inbound marketer for an entrepreneur needs to be able to speak up.
He or she needs to be able to identify problems and provide a solution. There is no point to brag about the brand and be indirect when it comes to identifying what can be better, he or she should give it to you as it is, and let you as the owner to make the decision. He or she should be somewhat a leader, unafraid to tell you exactly what you should focus on, and what tools and assets he or she needs to get the job done.
I have been fortunate enough to provide my inbound marketing services for clients who recognise the importance of these qualities right from the beginning. Though expert knowledge on content, social media, and digital marketing is a must, I often find them valuing the learnings they are getting during our meetings the most. Seeing them able to understand, digest, and replicate certain executions themselves makes me and my clients very happy about our relationship.
So, if you wish to learn tips and tricks on content marketing, keep yourself posted for my next podcast episode, or visit me at joycetsangcontentmarketing.com, where I have written explanations of different online strategies, blog posts, and uploaded free downloadables for you to try and kickstart your own content.
Until then, I am Joyce Tsang, a content marketer here for entrepreneurs.
Still have questions? Simply schedule a free 30-minute diagnosis session with me and get all the answers you need on spot!