I'm starting to have some more success & consistent sales and feel it's time to hire someone to help with marketing.
I spend too much time marketing and it's exhausting.
At what point did you hire your first marketer? How did you make that decision? Was there a revenue metric/milestone you used?
I hear ya @Marisa, I think most of them are lower quality, but I respond to the occasional cold email and am pleasantly surprised.
I read most of them, and also ignore most of them, but if they seem legit I'll ask them what it will cost, what's the estimated ROI, and examples of campaigns they've done in the past. If they can intelligently answer those questions, I'll consider the service.
I've found that's a quick way to filter for quality work.
To me it just comes down to if their service will generate a positive ROI, and they seem trustworthy, I hire them. You win some you lose some, but I'm a fan of experimenting and trying to find new channels to get traffic/sales.
I've personally been the first marketing hire at a few startups throughout my career. One general rule you should follow is, "Hire slow. Fire fast." Here are my thoughts:
Does this person have proven experience? I know there's the meme of "you must have 2 years of experience for this entry level job" for college grads, but a work history focused in marketing goes a long way.
Can they provide work samples? Marketers have a catalog of the work they've done throughout their career. Ask for examples of publically available work they've done like ads, emails, blog posts and more.
Will they wear multiple hats? At a small company, marketers have to be prepared to fill the role of sales, marketing, customer service and more. If a potential hire says they'll only do one specific thing, they're better off working for a Fortune 500 company.
Sometimes, an agency is the best way to go. Why? Because successful agencies have proven experience. Disclaimer: I do work for an agency, so I'm slightly biased. But if I had to choose between paying an agency $2k/month or an entry-level marketer, I'd pick the agency. You can Google most agencies these days to get a sense of who's legit and who's a scammer. Pro tip: a good agency is patient and provides case studies.
Finally, do they know eCommerce? People think eCommerce is easy because it's just getting people to buy products online. It's not as easy as people think. To truly be successful, your marketing team needs to know copywriting, advertising, emails, competitor offers and more.