Marketing is the most important aspect of building a successful brand. With demand in digital marketing taking an upward tick, brands are increasingly seeking the services of digital marketers. However, brands are usually left short-changed as there are no official rules or systems in place to distinguish thorough-bred digital marketers from inexperienced ones.


As a result brands are left to rely on the often overblown self-praises of so called marketers. The result is unsuspecting brands placing their money in the hands of someone with little to no experience at all.

If you’re looking to hire a digital marketer for your brand, the following are signs to look for in high quality and well experienced digital markers.

  1. Experience

Many digital marketers learned the craft through real-life experience, and this is only expected since there’s hardly any course dedicated to teach digital marketing in colleges and universities. Most of the marketing knowledge acquired in colleges may not be applicable in real-life situations, where the industry is constantly changing.

You should know how much experience someone has before hiring them to handle your digital marketing needs.  Want to know how experienced a digital marketer is, check out for the following?

  • Do they have a website?
  • Are they blogging on their website?
  • What are they posting? Is it relevant to their industry?
  1. Their Work History

Any professional marketer should be able to share their work history with you. As a prospective client, you should demand that they show you samples of their past jobs. Some might claim client-privacy privilege prevents them from sharing their past works with you, but they should at least have some work portfolio of themselves which they can share with you.

If a digital marketer, be it a freelancer or an agency, is unable to share samples of their previous jobs with you, you should smell a red flag right away.

  1. Their Penalty Prevention Strategy

The digital marketing industry is one marked by constant changes and often undesired penalties from search engines. This often results in several small businesses closing their stores or going into huge debts. To protect their client’s investments, experienced digital marketers would have a “penalty prevention strategy”.

A good “penalty prevention strategy” would proffer very clear short and long term tactics the digital marketer will put in place to make sure that your company avoids a penalty from search engines as a result of working with them.

  1. Online Presence

Digital marketers should have a real online presence. This is the form of currency that is used to value the essence of their worth. If someone is going to help you market your brand on the internet, at least they should be able to exhibit their skills in themselves.

An experienced digital marketer should at least have a blog or website that is regularly updated with high quality content. This is in demonstration of their expertise. They would also be seen contributing to other top industry publications as guest authors.

  1. Community Participation

Savvy digital marketers would also participate in discussions on relevant community sites. You can determine how experienced a digital marketer is by reading their response to quarries on relevant community sites they participate in.

Online communities digital marketing experts are found on might include social media outlets, forums, Quora and more.

  1. Industry References

While this is not a very practical yardstick for measuring the experience of digital marketers, highly experienced digital marketers would have been referenced in one or two publications written by someone other than themselves.

Due to the high value of the content experienced digital marketers often produce on community sites and on their blogs, it is very expected that they’ll be mentioned in other publications. References like this serve as vote of confidence on their expertise.

A digital marketer with little experience will not be mentioned or referenced in other publications.

  1. Social Media Visibility

Social media is a very important place highly experienced digital marketers like to show off their skills. They will either share quotes that reflect their belief on business or their latest articles on industry-relevant subjects.

Digital marketers will also implement the techniques they teach their followers on the social media in order to boost their own social media following.

Before making your decision, check them out on social media and see if they measure up.

  1. LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a powerful and professional-relevant social media where a glance at a digital marketer’s profile can help you know how vastly experienced they are. LinkedIn also allows users to publicly show their work experience and recommendations from past employers or business partners.

It is the ideal place to know what working with a digital marketer would feel like before going ahead to hire them. Most marketers keep a clean profile but have very little to no endorsements. Endorsements can help you know what people think a digital marketer is well experienced at.


Are you looking forward to hiring a digital marketer for your next project? The tips outlined above will help you avoid falling into the wrong hands when making your hiring decision. You may use a combination of some of the tips I have shared or use one of it independently, but anyhow you choose to go by it, you’re going to be saving yourself thousands of dollars by only hiring an experienced digital marketer.

Image credit: flickr (sreenivas digidm)