How To Hire an Online Marketing Superstar

A Real Superstar

I’ve read quite a few blog posts on “How to Hire an SEO” and they’ve all been pretty informational, but I’ve always wondered what comes of the company that needs more than just a search engine marketing professional, but rather a jack of all trades instead.

Usually it’s through no fault of their own, but most SMB’s can’t afford to hire an “expert” to cover every area of their online marketing strategy. Instead they need someone that’s willing to dive into other areas of specialty to help cover those ”holes” in the company’s game. 

In my previous posts I’ve talked about how important it is to be a well-rounded internet marketer, but today I’m going to help the small business owner who needs to find that superstar. You know, that one employee who is ready to accept the challenge of being the “man of many hats” within the company. Since I’m currently playing this role, I can say with confidence that it’s not an easy job, and definitely not for everyone. 

I’d have to say hands down that the number one reason I’ve seen any success in what I do is because I have a passion for what I do. I know the whole passion pitch has been beaten to death, but it goes without saying that if you find an employee with passion for their work, you just can’t go wrong. People of passion are much more willing to learn and try new things in order to better themselves. That drive translates into a rockstar employee for you. 

So how do you determine if your future employee is passionate? Well, the first thing you can do is ask them. See what kind of response you receive. Do you see enthusiasm? Or does it feel like you’re talking to a drone? I can guarantee that with most people you’ll be able to separate the two, but just to be sure, here are a few other things you can do to gauge your candidates drive.

Google Their Name
The Google search results are part of this generations resume, and unless you’re hiring someone that is newer to the field, you should receive a nice data set of information to sift through. Blog posts, profiles, websites, etc…  Search through comments that they’ve left on other peoples blogs.  Do you see the passion?

Find Their Forum Profiles
Most marketers are public about which forums they participate in, and what their monikers are. If you can find those profiles, spend a little time looking at what they say in those forums. Those that are good at acting can exaggerate their enthusiasm for their work in an interview, so it may be harder for you to see the truth. But when you don’t have them on the spot, you have a better chance of seeing their true personality and skillset. Another benefit of searching through forum posts is that you get to see which areas of the forum they tend to frequent the most. Do they stick strictly to one area like SEO, or do they ask questions in areas that they are not too familiar with. That’s a great way to tell if you’re future employee is open to learning new things. 

It’s always great to find someone who has speciliazed knowledge in a specific field, but if you need an employee that has to cover everything from SEO to Email Campaigns, then you’re better off finding a candidate that is able to pick up new strategies and implement them quickly. 

Although I don’t believe in being conservative during rough times, I do believe that most companies are going to hesitate when it comes time to hiring new talent. So, if you only have the resources to bring in one guy for the whole online marketing enchilada, then you’d better do your homework first.

If you don’t know how, or don’t have the time to do your homework, I would suggest going with a reputable recruiting firm. They have experience in hiring, so they may be able to pick a better candidate for you. You can always hire me to help you recruit as well.

December 19, 2008 | Leave a Comment 

Sears’ Black Friday Boo-Boo Prevention Plan

For those of you that haven’t heard, Sears had a bit of a problem during one of the busiest shopping days of the year. I personally found out about it because I was actually planning on buying something from their online store. I didn’t feel like being shot at or trampled to death in the mob of shoppers, so I jumped online where I do most of my shopping. Anyway, this is what I saw.

Not exactly the site you want to be showing your customers. How much money they lost because of this is beyond me, but oh well, I don’t own Sears the company or any of Sears’ stock…so I’m golden. :)

There’s been a couple of posts about this already. There was a small tidbit on Valleywag and Marketing Shift, but nothing in depth. I personally wanted to put together a piece that would help Sears and the many other large corporations who’ll probably have the same exact problem in years to come, to actually make moves in preventing it from happening to begin with. I know it’s a lot to expect from these big wigs, but it might help the smaller shops that are a little more agile and can move quicker at getting things done.

So, I’ll begin by listing some consequences of neglecting to prepare your servers for high traffic volumes:

  1. Loss of MUCHO DINERO!!! That’s an obvious one.
  2. Possible caching of 404 error page in search engines. Not so obvious.
  3. Loss of reputation. Someone like myself might cut Sears a little slack, because I know that these things happen, but that 21-year old Digg power user who’s pissed cuz he couldn’t buy his Nintendo Wii is going to flame the sh*t out of you…everywhere!
  4. Loss of job(s). Managers, IT guys and Web guys…you’re all fired!!

I think that about covers it. Now let’s see how we save ourselves from all the madness.

It seriously only takes one person within the company who has even a tiny amount of influence and courage to get everyone on the same page, which leads me to my next point.

Somebody needs to step up to the plate to make this a priority. Don’t be afraid, open your mouth, keep telling whomever you can that the company needs to be more prepared for handling heavy traffic during the holidays. Constant nagging has a way of getting others to move out of their complacency, just so they can get that guy to shut up. Chances are “that guy” will be the president of the company someday.

Update Networking Hardware
Hardware issues probably won’t even be touched until effective communication has been established by a viable leader within the company. After that, I’m sure the IT department knows what needs to be upgraded. Get it done!!

Monitoring service
If I was “that guy,” I would find all the email addresses of the most influential people within the company (maybe even the CEO), and I’d dump them into a website uptime monitoring service. That way when Bill Crowley is watching the New England Patriots play football on black friday, he can conveniently receive a text message that is losing millions and millions of dollars. This is just a guess, but the problem might get some more attention.

December 5, 2008 | Leave a Comment