If you have a blog, an eCommerce business or really any business with an online presence, you’ve probably considered hiring either an individual who specializes in digital marketing or a firm.

There’s a lot that goes into making this decision, however. First, depending on who you hire and where they’re based, it can be very expensive. This is especially true if you’re going to be working with a large, U.S.-based company.

If you decide to outsource maybe to an individual or agency outside the U.S., it can be less expensive, but you’re also facing obstacles such as language barriers. You’ll also be sending money abroad to pay the person or the company.

Along with the specific considerations of your situation and budget, the following are some things to think about when you’re hiring for digital marketing services.

Know Why You’re Hiring

Digital marketing is an incredibly broad term, and before you start the hiring process or even start looking at candidates, you need to know what it is you’re looking for. If you’re a startup and you’re in the very earliest stages of developing your business, your needs are going to be quite different from a business that’s established but that wants to scale up.

If you have people on your team who currently do some of your digital marketing, but you need to outsource one specialized area, again your needs are going to be different than a business who needs a little bit of everything.

The Generalist vs. The Specialist

This was briefly touched on, but it’s important to highlight on its own – a generalist isn’t often going to be your best option. If you hire someone in-house, you’re more often than not going to get a generalist.

This may be fine, but if you hire someone who doesn’t specialize in any particular area, you might not be maximizing your ROI.

Sometimes, it may be better to have someone else on your team learn the general elements of digital marketing but hire a specialist for more in-depth work.

Don’t Fall for Big Promises

There are a lot of people and agencies all over the world that say they can do digital marketing – however, the number of people or agencies who are actually skilled and deliver results is a fairly small percentage of that.

It’s easy to fall for big promises or pitches, but this isn’t necessarily what’s going to work best. Also, a lot of digital marketers will say they’ve come up with a secret formula that never fails. In reality, digital marketing is complex, changes quickly and there isn’t a one-size-fits-all route you can take.

Look Beyond Job and Freelance Sites

Finally, it’s easy to go to job boards or freelance sites and find digital marketers looking for work. There can be great talent, but you might want to look beyond these methods to find someone who has the kind of experience you’re looking for.

For example, you might want to go with word-of-mouth references or do some digging and find out who companies similar to your own are using.