How to hire a marketing agency

How to Hire a Marketer – 6 Insights from Successful Marketers

How to hire a marketing agency - 6 Tips to finding a successful marketer: from the pros. via @scalablesocial it writing skills? Insight into human thinking? Creativity? Technical know-how? Yeah, those sure help, but many of the BEST marketing minds have a little something extra. Often it’s an innate ability that has been cultivated. I have my own idea of what makes a good marketer, but decided to ask (via Google+) some of the best marketers I know to tell me what THEY think! What makes a successful marketer?

The hard part is, they were only allowed to give one.  If you’re looking to hire an agency to promote your business, you’ll find their insights extremely helpful.

It’s About Attitude

This first one comes from one of the most delightful people online these days, Peg Fitzpatrick. She’s co-author of the recently released Art of Social Media along with Guy Kawasaki. Peg is EVERYWHERE online, has a very distinctive style, and is relentlessly positive – always lifting up others. She makes social look easy (dagnabbit!). Here’s what she said.

What Makes a Successful Marketer? This one from @pegfitzpatrick . Get all 6 at think having a great attitude is important because marketing is much harder than it looks! Having a positive attitude allows you to ignore the occasional jerk, continue to work hard, and have an open mind to learning new things. Ignoring the Negative Nellies keeps you on track and focusing on the positive!”


Agency Search Takeaway: When interviewing marketers, what’s the overall tone of the conversation? You don’t want a “yes” woman, but do you get the feeling that she’s excited in the potential of your brand and is not a negative Nellie in life? If not, walk away.

Never Stop Learning

Vincent Ng is a Pinterest expert, slated to speak at the upcoming Social Media Marketing World in San Diego. He’s the ultimate gentleman, generous and kind. He knows his stuff!

“I believe a willingness to always learn is so important. If you stop learning, eventually you stop being a marketer that’s relevant with the times.”What Makes a Successful Marketer? This one from @mcngmarketing . Get all 6 at

Agency Search Takeaway: Ask your prospective marketer if there are any current trends he is excited about that might be of benefit to your business. The response will give you an idea of how current his knowledge is, leaving you confident he’ll always use the newest information for the good of your business.

Be Consistent

Jeff Sieh is the host of the Manly Pinterest Tips show and podcast. He’s become the unofficial ambassador of Pinterest for the guys. He’s unstoppable on video and an all-around great guy. You should look him up.

What Makes a Successful Marketer? This one from @jeffsieh . Get all 6 at the social guy that he is, he added his two cents to the comments above stating, “I agree with +Peg Fitzpatrick some times I wonder if the so-called “thought leaders” actually make any money.  They spend way to long talking about what everyone else is doing wrong 🙂

+Vincent Ng has a great point as well.  Following and collaborating with leaders in your industry has never been easier than now.  I learn something new everyday!”

And his take on what makes a successful marketer?

“Be consistent.  There is no marketing “magic pill”  Putting out good content, building relationships, networking, doesn’t happen overnight. “

At which point we all discussed how great that magic pill would be. You can see our whole conversation here

Agency Search Takeaway: Check out the work your possible marketer has done for other clients and HIMSELF. Are there huge gaps in activity? If so, ask why.

Be a Good Listener

Melanie Kissell is an amazing editor and blogger, but when you connect with her, you’ll see she is first and foremost about helping others. Seriously. To the point where I wonder how she does it all.

What Makes a Successful Marketer? This one from @melaniekissell . Get all 6 at“To market with any measure of success, you need to master the skill of objective listening — uninfluenced by emotions or personal prejudices. Good listeners are good communicators. And let’s face it … communications is everything in life! A successful marketer is one who “gets” his or her clients. :)”

And personally? Melanie says, “if someone is void of warmth and wit, forget it. That’s someone I don’t care to work with.”  Amen, sister!

Agency Search Takeaway: Is your prospective marketer listening when you talk? If she has suggestions different from what you propose does she at least acknowledge what you said?

Look to the Future

Katherine Kotaw is the ultimate storyteller. Whether you need visual, social, or long-form written content, she will spin a yarn that will captivate anyone! A total breath of genuine fresh air, Katherine is another generous soul you should definitely follow.Successful-Marketer-Traits-Katherine

“A great marketer must be psychic – or at least believe that she is.  Because no matter how much research you accumulate and metrics you study, agile marketing demands a leap of faith.  The past and present guide us, but the future is where the opportunities and profits lie.  So you’d better be willing to risk your reputation – and your clients’ or employer’s money – on your fortune-telling abilities.  You don’t have to be the smartest person in the room, but it sure helps to be the wisest.”

That is so Katherine. 🙂

Agency Search Takeaway: Ask questions that suss out her forward-thinking abilities. “What do you see as the biggest marketing challenges to my industry today? Tomorrow?” Ask about risks they’ve taken that have paid off, or not.

Be Fearless

This one is mine, and the one I had in mind when conceiving this project. Honestly, this is what I see in myself as the reason marketing is my professional passion, and something I seem to be good at.

What Makes a Successful Marketer? This one from @alisammeredith . Get all 6 at“Marketing is always changing and there are no hard and fast rules, which makes it fun. Be curious and don’t be afraid to try something new. Chances are, you’re not going to break anything. You’re definitely going to learn something which you can then share with others.  You might even have an epic success!”

Agency Search Takeaway: Ask if she’s tried anything new lately? How did it work out?

The Big Marketer Success Takeaway

Knowing each of these contributors, I know that the very quality they stressed is exactly their top strength. Thing is, they all possess all the other qualities, too. Don’t settle when choosing someone or some agency to help market your business. Insist on it all. You and your business deserve it.

Your turn: What do you see as the top quality of successful marketers?


Article Name
How to Hire a Marketer – 6 Insights from Successful Marketers
Not sure what to look for when hiring a marketing agency? Look at the marketer! Do they possess these qualities cited by top marketers are crucial?

About the Author Alisa Meredith (311 Posts)

As co-owner and chief inbound marketing consultant at Scalable Social Media, Alisa Meredith spends a lot of time keeping up with online marketing trends for the benefit of our customers. Computers have been a passion of hers since her first T1-99, so inbound and social media marketing is a natural fit.


  1. First off, Alisa, many thanks for getting this conversation rolling on G+, the privilege of participating in your project, and the joy of sitting on this page with some of the neatest folks on the web. 🙂

    The insights you’ve gleaned are not the proverbial run-o-the-mill, worn out viewpoints I see everywhere I turn. Kudos and cupcakes for traveling off the beaten path.

    Visually appealing and verbally vivacious post!

    • Alisa Meredith

      Melanie, thanks so much for stopping by! I’m glad my blog let you comment this time 🙂

      All props to the contributors! I love how each one provided something unique and, at least from my perspective, something that perfectly describes them! Most grateful for your quote, Melanie.

  2. Alisa, thank you for writing such a wonderful article and for creating (or was it Graphic Superstar?) the wonderful images. I appreciate the wonderful words. Take care Wonder Woman.

    I agree about there being no hard and fast rules when it comes to marketing. It’s all about putting creativity and knowledge and add in some metrics, and voila!

    • Alisa Meredith

      Aww, I’m so glad you liked it! You all made me look good. Haha, the images were me – I know how to work Canva, too, you know. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by, and especially for letting me include your fantastic quote!

  3. This blog of yours makes me smile, Alisa! I love how the quote graphics you created seem to perfectly fit everyone’s personality and personal brand. That was one of the very first things I noticed, which points to both your amazing marketing skills to identify the colors/images/style of each individual marketer, but also makes me happy in terms of all our personal brands being so recognizable by color palette, design, etc.

    Thank you SO MUCH for including me in this wonderful blog of yours along with so many of my favorites in social media. I agree that each person’s answer is a crucial element of what makes a successful marketer and LOVE that you ended with your answer of fearlessness — an essential attitude to have in marketing (and life!)

    • Alisa Meredith

      Yaaaay! I made Katherine smile! 🙂 It makes me so happy that you noticed that. I really wanted to say a proper “thank you” to everyone by honoring their style and branding. So glad to hear you approve. Oh you know me – never afraid to fail – because sometimes I don’t 😀

  4. Such a great question to ask, Alisa! Thanks for including me.

    I shiver to think of some of the people that are getting hired because it makes people think that social media sucks or doesn’t work. From the outside, social media marketing looks easy so everything thinks they can do it. From the inside, as you know, it’s freaking HARD! And everyday is a new challenge so you have to continually work hard. I loved everyone’s input and ideas!

    • Alisa Meredith

      I’m so happy to be able to include you, Peg! It really is a shame the bad name marketing gets from some “pros.” If this helps just one business make a good decision, our mission will have been accomplished! 🙂

  5. Great article, Alisa! Agree with all of the above is right on the money when it comes to personal traits. One key skill I believe a marketer needs is prioritization and balance. You always have something else to do, some other program to get started and the right mix of energy and focus where you need it, real-time is crucial.

    Everyone thinks they can be a marketer but really good ones are not as common as you think….


  6. Howdy this is somewhat of off topi but I was wondering if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you have to
    manually code with HTML. I’m starting a blog soon buut have
    no coding experience so I wanted to get guidance fromm someone with experience.
    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  7. Not just in marketing. I follow this in hiring every employee. I personally understand his job and keep an eye on his work.
    But, marketing is very importnt aspect in Modern Businesses and this strategy can be really useful

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