Finding a great internet marketing consultant in Bozeman is not that hard when you know how to test their skills

How to find the best Internet Marketer in Bozeman?

If you know more than five people in this small town, chances are you now know someone who declares themselves a social media internet marketing expert. How can you tell if that person really understands the secrets to great internet marketing? Just because your friend joined Facebook over the past two years does not make them a person in the know. The Conversation Marketing blogger recently took pen to paper and wrote a tongue in cheek quiz to determine the expert’s gravitas, and I thought it would add some value to give some additional content to understand the reason behind the correct answers.

Here is his short quiz. It is written so that you can ask each question and take the appropriate action:

1: Do you have a blog?

Ian’s answer is that if the expert answers ‘no’, then you need to follow up. He mentions that you should ask something like ‘Oh, you’re using Posterous instead?  If the expert looks puzzled, you can end the meeting there because the person is not in the know.  If the expert says they have a blog, get the address and go look. If they’ve been blogging for less than 2-3 years, and there’s no explanation like “I had to move my blog”, again, end the meeting. The bottom line is that any social media expert has been somehow participating in the conversation for a long time.

2: When did you start in social media? The best answer for this is to identify someone who is an early adopter of technology. If the person just started six months ago, they are not deft at staying up on trends. Especially when it comes to internet marketing, you need a person who is an insider.  Social media marketing just went mainsteam over the past year when Facebook went from 100 million profiles to 400 million profiles. But you have to remember that  Facebook only opened their network to the general public in 2007. Even Youtube did not gain popularity until 2005, so the age of social media is still fairly young. If the person said 1992, then they may be too old for social media. Back then is was about bulletin boards, Gopher, and Usenet.

3: What is social media?

“Blogging and Twitter and stuff”. This reminds me of my wife when people ask her what I do for a living. She says he does computer stuff. It is just a big bucket to make sure people don’t roll their eyes. However, you don’t want your expert to explain to you that social media is just stuff.

If the person answers “All of the conversations going on between people and people and businesses and such online”, then maybe they understand the principle behind web 2.0. It is about creating relationships with your user base. Moreover if the person answers “A trendy term to describe a new kind of mass media”, then the person is beginning to get burned out about the hype.  This is perfectly acceptable. Just think of all the computer programmers who could not understand the excitement over the PC when in their head, it was just a computer. But you have to remember that some things seem new to the people that finally discover it for themselves.

4: What’s a social media campaign?

“Voting something to the front page of Digg using my proxy server and 35 computers”. This is a funny answer, but it needs clarification. The answer described someone using “blackhat” spamming techniques. Of course you do not want to be associated with a spammer. That is why the original post said to back way slowly, and get to a minimum safe distance as soon as possible, and don’t hire them.

If the expert answers “Developing a great message and then reaching out to people, while giving them an incentive to ‘pass it on'”, then you can feel comfortable that they understand that a campaign is about multiple messages around a theme.

5: How do you monitor social media for a client?

Once again, if the person looks bewildered, and their face expresses “Huh?”, then your next step is to look elsewhere. One way an expert should monitor is to set up “Google alerts”.  You can also set up twitter search filters.

6: How did you learn all this stuff?

Bad answer – “Oh, I read this book I bought from Amazon.com”. Why is this so bad? By the time that book went to print it was out of date. No go.”I’m always learning” is a good answer as well as “I read a lot of blogs, and try to use as many different tools as I can”.  The other great approach is when the person attends conferences. It shows that the person believes in investing in their own education.

These six questions are just the beginning to help qualify the person before you hire them. However, what makes internet marketing more an art than science is because the platforms keep changing and reinventing themselves regularly. The main point is to find a person who is involved in internet marketing on a daily basis so they are aware of the changes and know how to adapt. Following these guidelines will help you get a better return on your money.

All the best,

Brian Metzger

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