Evaluating a Marketing Person: Criterion #1

Criterion # 1: Sufficient Experience . . .

As Evidenced by LinkedIn (or other professional online network)

Background: I get asked sometimes by friends (even those who have made hiring mistakes in the past) about how they can “screen” an independent contractor or small marketing agency based on its leadership and what to look for.  This is the first in a series of  posts providing an answer to the questions: “How can I evaluate a marketing person (independent consultant or contractor) to help achieve my small business goals?” and “How can I be assured that I am engaging a qualified professional?”

About the Criterion: Look at past and current titles as well as dates of employment listed and duties performed to see if the individual has held positions in marketing that are aligned with the services they are offering and you are requesting.   Consider the collective marketing experience and level of responsibility for results as well as accomplishments.

Serious Red Flags:

  • No previous work experience within one or more marketing departments or agencies
  • Only one prior position in a marketing department and/or agency, especially if for a limited period of time, before going independent
  • No recommendations directly related to marketing work or positions

More Causes for Concern:

  • Recommendations not related to the type of marketing services you are seeking
  • The website links provided are broken or point to parked or expired domains
  • A summary lists evidence of leadership and experience but no former positions (with dates) are provided as support
  • No prior companies listed except the current marketing business
  • A summary that provides ambiguous company goals
  • All prior experience in an industry other than marketing
  • Profile cites age and/or founding a company as an indicator of marketing expertise
  • No actual marketing results/outcomes provided in recommendations or work detail

If you have had experience with evaluating expertise using LinkedIn or another professional network profile, please share your stories.   (Future posts to address other criteria and evaluation methods; stay tuned!)