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Red Flags to Be Aware of When Hiring a Digital Consultant

Posted on 10.31.2013

Hiring a digital consultant – whether it be for search engine optimization, social media, Web design or other digital initiatives – can be one of the best decisions a small business owner makes for his or her company.

Since many small business owners don’t know the ins and outs of what they are hiring for an expert for, however, it’s easy to get taken for a loop. With this in mind, Website Magazine editors asked two digital consultants what red flags small business owners should be on the lookout for:

Matt Hensler, President of Hensler Integrated Marketing:

Name-dropping is a big red flag. Many consultants have worked with the bigger companies, but very few have worked with small businesses and achieved results. Working with a small business compared to a Fortune 100 is a whole different game.

Long-term commitment is another red flag. A consultant that wants a long-term commitment (anything over six months) may not on the up and up. I typically like to start my clients with a three-month trial period, which gives us enough time to generate results and establish long-term relationships with our clients.

Kristina Cutura, Google AdWords Expert and Former Google Employee

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Avoid anyone that guarantees top placement or a certain number of leads or sales.

Search is dynamic and real time, and it’s impossible to just “buy” the top spot or guarantee any type of results. Make sure that you can access your own account—some agencies or consultants are not transparent with their customers but you should be able to review your campaigns at any time.

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