Here’s a challenge for you.
Go online, find a job board – the more targeted it is towards marketers, the better – and then announce that you’re looking for an inbound marketer.
I’ll bet you a thousand bucks that you will receive a slew of emails from liberal arts students, stay-at-home moms, retired history professors, mechanics, rocket scientists, and even that kid who works at the Starbucks down the street. “I’m the perfect inbound marketer,” they’ll claim. “I’m always on Facebook!”
With so many social media channels available to the public today, everyone suddenly fancies themselves a social media marketing guru, expert, master, specialist, or legend. Some will even go as far as add it to their resume and then market themselves as a Social Media Brand Ambassador, Social Media Strategist, Social Media Marketer, or whatever other title they can dream up.
Let’s face it; it’s hard to wade through all of the “I-know-how-to-create-a-Facebook-business-page”, “I-have-3-thousand-followers-on-Twitter”, and “I-even-have-a-Google-Plus-account” chatter to find a real inbound marketer who actually knows what they’re doing.
However, simply finding someone with inbound marketing experience is not enough. The hunt is not over until you find the perfect inbound marketer for your team – someone who not only lives and breathes inbound marketing, but also has the right skills, shares your vision for the future, and will stop at nothing to take your business to the next level.
“Come on,” you’re probably saying right now. “Do I really have to be that picky?”
The success of your business lies in your ability to market and drive traffic to your business, so having the right inbound marketer can make or break your business.
The key to finding the right inbound marketer
You can’t just cross your fingers and hope that the inbound marketer of your dreams will miraculously sweep in just when you need them. Even if the perfect candidate happens across your job posting, there’s a chance they won’t even take the time to contact you and present all of the reasons why they’re right for the job.
That’s why you need to make it happen.
Obtain a clear idea of what you’re looking for in an inbound marketer, and then create a targeted job posting. Don’t forget to be specific. Very, very specific.
The more you delineate and clarify the set of skills and experience required for the position, the more targeted your job posting will be, and the more attractive your job posting will appear to the right candidate. You want them to go, “Whoa, that’s me! I’m exactly what they need. We’re a perfect match. I must make my glorious existence known to them right away!”
To make it happen, you need to know how to recognize a diamond in the rough when you see one.
What does a diamond-in-the-rough inbound marketer look like?
Of course, every business needs an inbound marketer who can identify what potential customers want, come up with effective strategies, and market content in ways that bring great results. The problem is that every inbound marketer you happen across will claim that they have those abilities.
Your business is no place for any run-of-the-mill inbound marketer.
What you need is a superstar who truly believes in the success of your business; has all the skills, experience, and areas of expertise to give your business exactly what it needs; and will stop at nothing to take your business to places you’ve only dreamed of.
You can instantly recognize a few superstars because they appear as perfectly polished diamonds, but that’s rare. We’re talking about the likes of Seth Godin here.
Most superstars come disguised as ordinary inbound marketers. It’s up to you to dive into the sea of cubic zirconias and find that diamond in the rough.
In other words, how can you spot such a smart, enthusiastic, and compatible superstar in a sea of Twitter-addicted self-proclaimed social media gurus and a-dime-a-dozen inbound marketers who are just in it for the paycheck?
Easy. Just don’t look at the big picture.
Instead, examine each candidate carefully and seek out the following five ingredients to the perfect inbound marketer (yield: one awesome employee):
1. Extensive experience
What kind of extensive experience are we talking about here?
It’s up to you.
It’s because you’re the best person to determine the type of experience this position requires in order to meet (and exceed) your business’s expectations.
First, I’ll have you know that the perfect inbound marketer for your business might not have a college degree, and that’s perfectly okay. Still, you know what’s best for your business, so you’re free to decide whether or not a college degree is a requirement for the position.
That being said, experience is paramount when it comes to finding the right inbound marketer for your business. While it’s true that the most perfect candidate ever could be fresh out of college with little to no experience, it would still be unwise to hire this person and let them test out different marketing strategies. Your business doesn’t have the time and resources to be a guinea pig for an inbound marketer who’s still trying to find their footing.
You need a seasoned inbound marketer who has all of the knowledge and experience necessary to make your business succeed right off the bat.
While it’s up to you to decide how seasoned you want your inbound marketer to be, there are some types of experience and areas of expertise your ideal candidate must have under their belt:
Marketing automation: Of course, it’s the inbound marketer’s job to attract potential customers to your business with great content, but it’s also their job to keep the customers as well. That’s where marketing automation comes in. Your superstar needs to understand how to implement marketing automation software such as HubSpot or Infusionsoft. Be sure to find out whether or not your candidate has any experience with marketing automation; if they do, ask them which software they’re familiar with.
Past campaigns: The best way to determine a candidate’s competency as an inbound marketer to ask about their past campaigns. Have them show you their portfolio and explain what they have accomplished in the past.
2. Outstanding writing skills
Successful inbound marketing is impossible without great content. Your inbound marketer is solely responsible for producing riveting content that keeps people coming back to your business website, so you better hire one who can write really well.
Not only that, but your inbound marketer must also have a keen eye for grammatical errors and a knack for writing killer headlines. You know what they say: content is king.
3. A clear vision for your business
Of course, it’s always important to see eye to eye with each of your team members, but it’s extra important to be on the same page as your inbound marketer.
The more your inbound marketer understands what you’re looking for, the more they will be able to meet (or hopefully exceed) your company’s goals. Once you decide that your candidate shares your vision for the company’s future, you need to see if they:
Have a strong eye for design. Presentation matters. Even the best content in the world will be ignored if it’s not displayed in a way that’s appealing and optimized for all digital devices. Your inbound marketer doesn’t have to be an award-winning designer, but they still need to be able to recognize and appreciate good design.
Can see the big picture. That means taking into account your company’s goals and all the viable strategies available in order to create a wildly successful inbound marketing campaign. Without an inbound marketer there to visualize the campaign as a whole and take the necessary steps to meet all of the goals, the entire campaign will tank.
4. Flexibility and adaptability
Today, the Internet is evolving faster than ever. New social media, advertising, branding, and a zillion other types of trends emerge every day, and this fast-moving industry is going to eat your business alive if your inbound marketer doesn’t stay on top of the trends at all times. That’s why you need to hire an inbound marketer who can roll with the changes with a smile on their face. That means continuously learning new trends, questioning old and new marketing tactics, and adapting your company’s inbound marketing strategies accordingly.
5. A go-getter personality
A good inbound marketer gets stuff done, one way or another. In other words, you should never, ever bring a quiet, passive person on board to run your company’s inbound marketing campaign.
Your inbound marketer needs to be reliable, tenacious, and vigorous enough to meet tight deadlines, make difficult decisions on the spot, and produce results overnight. They need to have what it takes to get stuff done, stat.