Author: Nicolas Thomas

New comment by hoyinc in "Ask HN: Who is hiring? (April 2021)"

Remo | Product Manager |Remo.co | Remote-First (Worldwide) | Full Time

Loom video of my pitch to you to join!
https://www.loom.com/share/ab45ad0f1cdd48c2a54afca8c216be6f

Remo is a world leading virtual event platform I started 2 years ago that facilitates meaningful connections in this new virtual world that we’re living in. We are a remote-first company from all corners of the world coming together to build an amazing product. We’re a profitable start-up that has seen huge growth (zero to eight figures annual revenue in 12 months).

I’m looking for our first Product Manager to come on board to drive innovation of our primary product.

You can find the full job description here: https://remo1.freshteam.com/jobs/D-Iu_QtKSaXy/product-manage
Feel free to apply or email my recruiter directly at timothy@remo.co

Hoyin, CEO of Remo

New comment by dfangshuo in "Ask HN: Who is hiring? (February 2021)"

Abnormal Security | Senior/Staff Infra Engineers, Product Engineers, ML Engineers, Engineering Management roles, and more! | SF, NY, Singapore, REMOTE | Full-time

Abnormal Security is an email security startup startup funded by Greylock and Menlo Ventures. We use Machine Learning (ML) to catch advanced social engineering attacks that no one else can. We are looking to grow very rapidly in the next 6-12 months, and are hiring across most roles (remote first). Would love to tell you more

Interested in learning more?

– fang@abnormalsecurity.com <- I’d love to chat

https://abnormalsecurity.com/careers/ <- check out our careers page for job openings

To read more about what we’ve done so far:

– Series B: https://www.forbes.com/sites/kenrickcai/2020/11/18/abnormal-…

– Engineering Blog: https://medium.com/abnormal-security-engineering-blog/scalin…

– Our Q1 Threat Research Report: https://abnormalsecurity.com/blog/an-inside-look-at-the-risi…

The post New comment by dfangshuo in “Ask HN: Who is hiring? (February 2021)” appeared first on ROI Credit Builders.

NuCypher (YC S16) – Rust Software Engineer – Remote – Full Time

NuCypher is building a distributed threshold cryptography network based on the Ethereum blockchain. (https://nucypher.com/). We launched our main product offering which leverages Proxy Re-Encryption to offer decentralized access control in October 2020.

We’re looking for a rust developer who has a keen interest in cryptocurrency and distributed systems to work on a new product offering. You will be a core member of the team working on bleeding edge cryptocurrency technology. As such, this role is ripe for an ambitious person to help lead engineering efforts and make a dent in the space. We understand that finding experienced folks in this niche category of development is rare, so don’t let your lack of experience prevent you from applying – there’s a beginning to all journeys – all we ask is that you have a sharp ability to learn quickly.

Bonus points for experience with Tendermint or have contributed meaningfully in the cryptocurrency space before.

Email tux@nucypher.com to begin the conversation. No recruiters please.


Comments URL: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=26049890

Points: 1

# Comments: 0

The post NuCypher (YC S16) – Rust Software Engineer – Remote – Full Time appeared first on ROI Credit Builders.

How Upstart Peer to Peer Lending is Changing the Face of Financing

Upstart peer to peer  was founded by three ex-Google employees.  That being the case, it is no surprise that the company’s model is changing the face of financing.  What is surprising, however, is that the COVID-19 pandemic and the following recession actually served to prove what they do really does work. 

How can a global pandemic solidify a lender that is still working to prove their way is the best way? 

Changing the Face of Financing

Financing is extended to borrowers based on their perceived risk.  That is the way of the world, and not only will it not change, it doesn’t need to.  What may change, is how that risk is determined.  Historically risk for individuals is based almost solely on FICO.  The funny thing is, most lenders do not really understand everything that goes into calculating a FICO score.  It combines financial information and credit score, that’s all they see.  Upstart peer to peer and their innovative AI risk model is helping lenders breaking away from this format and aiding them in making better lending decisions. 

Think about it.  We all know a business owner that doesn’t have a great FICO, but is totally capable and willing to make payments consistently and on-time. These borrowers are great for lenders, but many of them are missed due to the old model.

Check out our best webinar with its trustworthy list of seven vendors to help you build business credit, even in a recession.

Upstart Peer to Peer: What is It?

Upstart peer to peer is a lending company that questions how well financial information and FICO alone actually predict the risk associated with a particular borrower.  They have developed a way to use a combination of artificial intelligence and machine learning to gather alternative data.  They then use this data to make credit decisions.

Alternative data includes things like mobile phone bills, rent, deposits, withdrawals, and even other information less directly tied to finances.  The company’s software learns and improves on its own. The really cool thing is, they don’t keep this software to themselves, but they also provide it to traditional lenders through a service called “Powered by Upstart.” 

Upstart Peer to Peer: Oversite 

Since this idea is so new, Upstart has worked with regulators from its inception in 2012 to make sure they stay within the law. 

In fact, they were the first company to receive a “no action” letter from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, or CFPB.  It basically says that the CFPB has no intent of taking action against them.  They just want to see how it goes.  They acknowledge Upstart’s way may potentially be better, but they also realize they need to watch things closely. 

The letter states that Upstart must report lending and compliance information to the Bureau to reduce risk.  The goal is for the bureau to gain an understanding of the real-world impact of alternative data use for lending decision making.

What Exactly Does Upstart Have to Report? 

Upstart peer to peer shares information with the CFPB about:

  • Loan applications received
  • The decision approval process
  • How their model reduces risk to consumers
  • How the model expands access to credit for traditionally underserved populations
  • Application of management systems for compliance

Upstart Peer to Peer: Is it Really So New? 

You can already ask landlords and utilities to report payments to the credit agencies to give your score a boost. Using this information in lending decisions is not a totally new concept.  Of course, this is an indirect use as it is still rolled into your credit score. 

Upstart peer to peer reviews this type of information along with education and employment history. The theory is that, despite a not so great credit score, you may still be a great borrower.  They find that a solid education and stable job experience also reduce the credit of a borrower. 

Upstart Peer to Peer: So Does it Work? 

Of course, it’s really hard to tell how well something like this works during easy economic times.  Since the company has been in operation, opening in 2012, that’s what we’ve had.  That is, until COVID-19.  The pandemic and the recession that followed has been the true test.  According to co-found Paul Gu

“No one expected the timing and cause of this crisis. When you look at how predictive Upstart’s scoring of loans against something like a FICO score, we see that Upstart was 5 times as predictive as traditional FICO. When you look at the results of our platform across all banks, we ended up at the end of May with a 5.8% hardship rate. That’s almost 50% less than industry benchmarks.”

Upstart Peer to Peer: Products

They offer various types of financing products. These range from credit card refinancing to student loans and pretty much anything in-between.  Debt consolidation and personal loans are included, as well as business loans. Most recently they have added auto loans to the menu.

Quotes are available online in a matter of minutes.  The most you can borrow for a business loan is $50,000.  Just to check out the process, I got a quote to see if it was as easy as they said it would be.

Check out our best webinar with its trustworthy list of seven vendors to help you build business credit, even in a recession.

The Quote Process

First, I had to enter how much I wanted to borrow.  This is how I know the maximum is $50,000. I tried $100,000 and got an error message that said the amount had to be $50,000 or below.  Later I realized it says it right there on the screen.  I decided to go big and ask for all $50,000. 

Next, I had to tell them my why for the loan.  Of course, I went with a business loan.  After that they asked for name, birthdate, and contact information.  The form also asks for the highest level of education and primary source of income, as well as how much you have in savings and recent loan history.

Then, they want to know how you heard about Upstart.  You will also have to click to agree to the terms.  I got my quote almost instantly after I hit submit, and it was a soft pull on credit so there was no impact on the credit score.  Of course before closing, should you choose to pursue the loan, they would make a hard pull on your credit report. 

I found it intriguing that I could use the quote tool to play with different amounts and terms to see the various interest rate possibilities.  In general, business loans are available in amounts from $1,000 to $50,000.  Interest rates range up to 35.99%.  You can choose either a 3 year or 5-year repayment term. 

There is no penalty for prepayment, and usually funds are available the next day after approval. Keep in mind these types of details can change with the market, so check with the lender directly for the most current information.

Loan Eligibility

To be eligible for a loan with Upstart, you must meet the following qualifications:

  • Credit score of 620+
  • No bankruptcies or negative public records
  • No delinquent accounts
  • Meet debt to income standards (they only note they will check this ratio, not what their standards are.)
  • Have fewer than 6 inquiries in the past 6 months on credit report, not including those related to student loans, vehicle loans, or mortgages

Note: Even though there is a minimum credit score of 620, they do accept applicants that do not yet have enough credit history to produce a score.

Additional eligibility requirements include:

  • A U.S. residential street address
  • Not living in West Virginia or Iowa
  • 18 years old or older, 19 years old or older if living in Alabama or Nebraska
  • Valid email address
  • Verifiable name, date of birth, and Social Security number
  • Full-time job, offer for full-time job starting within 6 months, regular part-time job, or other source of regular income
  • Personal banking account at a United States financial institution with a routing number

Existing customers have more requirements.   For example, the past 6 months of payments have to be on-time.  Also, there you can’t have more than one loan outstanding with Upstart when you apply.  With that one loan, if there is one, there can be no more than $50,000 of the total principal outstanding at the time of loan origination. After a loan is paid off, you have to wait for one month before applying for another loan.

How Can This Upstart Review Help You?

Most traditional financial institutions require a higher credit score than 620 for approval.  If you have a minimum of a 620-credit score, you could get a loan to start or expand a business with Upstart.  The interest rate doesn’t have to skyrocket either.  They take alternative data into consideration when making decisions on approval, rate, and terms. 

So, if after reading this Upstart review you feel Upstart could be right for you, then this review has helped you.  There is more, however.  Once you have the loan to help you achieve your business goals, on-time payments will help increase your personal credit score.

Consider this however. Once you have the loan and are able to open your business, you can then work on building business credit. 

Why Business Credit?

Business credit is similar to your personal credit.  However, it is attached to the name of your business directly rather than you personally.  This is good, because it keeps your business finances from directly affecting your personal credit report.

Imagine this.  Your business is doing great.  You have credit cards that you use in the course of business and pay them off regularly.  However, their limits are not as high as business credit cards that are only associated with your business name.

This means that you are often getting close to your limit.  Even if you pay them off, the high debt to income ratio reduces your personal credit score.  It can affect your ability to get financing for personal things such as a car or home projects.

Typically, when you get a business credit card using business credit, the limits are much higher.  This means you do not need as many cards.  Furthermore, you do not have such a high debt-to-income ratio.  Most importantly, personal credit is out of the equation.  It doesn’t matter if it isn’t great.  You can still access funding for your business.  Also, if your business runs into problems, it will not necessarily affect your personal credit score.

How Can an Upstart Peer-to-Peer Loan Help Build Business Credit? 

It’s not a direct correlation, but a loan from Upstart can help you get your business up and running.  After that, you can start building credit in your business name.  Be sure to start off on the right foot by incorporating.  Do not operate as a sole proprietor or a partnership.  Also, get an EIN so you can use that along with your business name when you apply for credit.  Don’t use your personal name and social security number. 

Check out our best webinar with its trustworthy list of seven vendors to help you build business credit, even in a recession.

What Next? 

After you have an EIN and incorporate, set up separate contact information.  Your business phone number and address should not be connected with your own contact information.  Using that information, you can get a DUNS number from the Dun & Bradstreet website.  It’s free.  D&B is the largest and most used credit agency. You cannot have a business credit profile if you do not have a DUNS number.  They will try to sell you other services, but these are unnecessary.  The DUNS number itself is free.  It is also vital to building business credit.

Once these things are settled and your business is up and running with the funds you received from your Upstart loan, you can use your new business credit to order items you use in the everyday course of business from starter vendors. 

What are Starter Vendors?Upstart Peer to Peer Recession Credit Suite

These are vendors that will extend net 30 invoice terms and report payment to the business credit agencies without a credit check.  That means you can have these payments reported to your business credit profile even if you do not have established business credit. 

As these payments are reported, your business credit score will grow. You will then be able to apply for credit from the other credit tiers, including store credit cards, fleet credit cards, and eventually standard business Visa and MasterCards. 

Upstart Peer to Peer: The Verdict? 

This is a young company.  Their true impact remains to be seen.  The fact that the CFPB is watching them and wants to learn more without taking action is promising. Also promising is the fact that their loans have done so well compared to those of traditional lenders during the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting recession. They are accredited by the BBB and have an A+ rating.  I say if you need money to start your business, Upstart peer to peer lending it worth a try.  They seem to be on to something. 

The post How Upstart Peer to Peer Lending is Changing the Face of Financing appeared first on Credit Suite.

How To Use Google Autocomplete for SEO

When you type in a keyword into the search box, you know how you get a list of keyword predictions?

This is called Google Autocomplete. Its purpose is to save users time. In fact, according to Google, it lowers typing time by 25%.

There’s no doubt that this feature makes our lives easier, especially when using Google Search on mobile devices.

Google Autocomplete is often overlooked by digital marketers, so taking the time to understand it can give you an edge over your competition.

What Is Google Autocomplete?

Google Autocomplete is a Google Search feature that provides search term predictions.

For example, if you type “what is the capital of” into the search bar, you will see something like this:

Google Autocomplete predictions 1

As you continue typing, predictions will adjust accordingly, until you see the search term you want to use.

You can then simply click on that option instead of typing it all out.

Google Autocomplete’s purpose is to help you save time by completing the search query that you had in mind.

Where Do Google Autocomplete Keywords Come From?

Here’s how Danny Sullivan, public liaison for Google search, explains it in his blog post on Google Autocomplete:

“How do we determine these predictions? We look at the real searches that happen on Google and show common and trending ones relevant to the characters that are entered and also related to your location and previous searches.”

Are Google Autocomplete Predictions Different in Various Countries?

Google Autocomplete predictions depend on which country you’re in.

For example, if you’re in Vilnius, Lithuania, and you type “best pizza in” into the search bar, you will see something like this:

Google Autocomplete predictions 2

All these locations (except for Milan) are either in Lithuania or near Poland, Latvia, and Estonia.

If you change locations, Google will “follow” you, and your autocomplete options will adjust accordingly.

Are Google Autocomplete Predictions Different for Various Languages?

Google Autocomplete predictions differ based on the language(s) you’re using to enter queries into Google.

For example, if you set your default language to English, you will be shown English predictions.

However, if you add other languages that you understand, say, German and French, you’ll also be shown predictions in those languages.

Does Your Search History Affect Google Autocomplete Predictions?

When you’re logged into your Google account, Google Autocomplete considers your search history when showing predictions.

When you see a prediction that has a “Remove” option next to it (it shows up as an “X” on the far right), know that this is a prediction based on your search history—it remembers that you searched for this, but recognizes it may have been a one-time search.

What Are the Google Autocomplete Guidelines?

Not all search queries are deemed appropriate to display as predictions.

These types of predictions go against Google Autocomplete policy:

  • Violence and gore
  • Sexually explicit, vulgar, or profane language, though medical and scientific terms are allowed
  • Anything related to hate speech or approval of hateful acts
  • Sensitive information or terms about named individuals
  • Dangerous predictions, meaning searches for things that could allow serious harm to people or animals to happen

Google admits that while they do their best to remove inappropriate predictions, they don’t always get it right, so they provide a way to report a prediction.

How Can You Use Google Autocomplete for SEO?

Before you start analyzing Google Autocomplete predictions for SEO, it’s essential to do these three things:

  • Log out of Google or use incognito mode to make sure your search history doesn’t influence the predictions you get.
  • Use a VPN if you are based in a different location than your target audience. For example, if you’re currently in Thailand, but you’re focusing on people in the United States, use a VPN to make it seem like you’re in the United States. You want to see predictions for the location where your target audience is.
  • Adjust your language settings to be similar to the language settings the people in your target audience use.

These parameters will help you see the predictions similar to those shown to your target audience.

Keyword Research

Google Autocomplete can be a useful keyword research tool.

Here’s how you can make the most out of it.

Type in a Keyword, Look at the Predictions

Simply type in a keyword that is relevant to your niche and look at the predictions. This research is a great way to discover valuable long-tail keywords. (Answer The Public is another free tool that does this for you.)

Then, use an SEO tool like Ubersuggest, Ahrefs, or Moz Pro to analyze those keywords and identify ones that are worth going after.

Go Through the Alphabet

What if you don’t like any of the predictions that you got?

Brett Farmiloe, the founder and CEO of Markitors, advises to type in your keyword, then just go through every letter of the alphabet to see what predictions come up.

He uses the keyword “equipment financing” as an example:

Google Autocomplete predictions 4

You can add the letter “a” to get a new set of predictions:

Google Autocomplete predictions 5

And then you can add the letter “b” to it:

Google Autocomplete predictions 6

…and that’s how you go through the entire alphabet.

“This is particularly good when you are really stuck, and you are really just in need of some inspiration,” says Brett.

Let Google Fill in the Blanks

Tom Dupuis from Online Media Masters suggests using the underscore character “_” in a phrase so that Google would complete it.

He uses the keyword “chicago _ photographer” as an example:

Google Autocomplete predictions 7

“Instead of having Google complete only the last part, this can show you a better selection of keywords depending on what type of phrase it is,” explains Tom.

Experiment With the Position of the Underscore

Dupuis also encourages people to experiment with the underscore’s position to see what new Google Autocomplete predictions show up.

For example, if you already tried “chicago _ photographer,” why not try “_ chicago photographer”?

Google Autocomplete predictions 9

Try Both Singular and Plural Form of the Keyword

Another valuable piece of advice from Dupuis is to try both the singular and plural forms of the same keyword because this leads to different Google Autocomplete predictions.

Take one more look at the predictions for the “chicago _ photographer” keyword:

Google Autocomplete predictions 7

And now look at the predictions for the “chicago _ photographers” keyword:

Google Autocomplete predictions 8

As you can see, the predictions are different, so try both forms of the same keyword.

Online Reputation Management

This tool is also useful for researching results about your branded terms, such as company, executive, or product names. Google Autocomplete can present a serious threat to your public image if an unflattering search term appears in the predictions using your brand terms

What can you do if you find yourself in that situation?

You have several options:

Address the Problem

If the unflattering prediction refers to something true, fix the problem.

The resolution won’t make the autocomplete issue go away immediately, but if the problem is solved, then over time, people will forget about it and stop searching for it. As the volume for that search term goes down, it ultimately will drop off the prediction list.

Work on Your Brand Image

Again, if the prediction is about an actual incident, you can help people forget whatever happened faster by giving them something positive to focus on.

For instance, you can feature loyal customers on your website, do a giveaway, or organize an event.

Even directly engaging with your customers on various social media platforms can go a long way towards creating a positive brand image.

Other Ways to Use Google Autocorrect Research

Google Autocorrect is a simple tool — but it can be quite powerful. From keyword research to maintaining your reputation, those suggestions can super-charge your digital marketing efforts.

In addition to finding popular keywords, there are several other areas where Google’s suggestions can be useful concerning SEO.

Uncover Key Words for Local SEO

Google Autocomplete can also provide suggestions for local SEO searches you might not have considered.

Say you are looking to rank the website of a coffee shop in Denver — would you just target “coffee shop Denver”? Or do people use neighborhoods, cross streets, or even zip codes?

Google Autocomplete will tell you what terms people search when looking for a coffee shop in Denver:

google autocomplete local SEO

Looking at this example, what can we learn?

Denver Tech Center is a business and trading center in the southeast portion of Denver, Colorado. It’s a popular destination for business workers, so if your shop in that area, you’d want to include Denver Tech Center in your key terms list.

Denver Airport shows up on the list, so if the shop is near there,  you’d want to target that term as well.

Google autocomplete shows several major landmarks (including the airport), so you will want to research if your shop is near any popular locations, such as a museum or shopping center.

There are also listings for Denver, NC, and Denver, PA, which means it’s probably a good idea to include the state.

It’s easy to assume you know what people will search — but it’s worth the few seconds it takes to check and see what inspiration Google autocomplete might offer.

Create a User-Friendly E-commerce Website

Ecommerce is big business — according to Oberlo, more than 2 billion people make online purchases annually. Despite many online shoppers, there’s also a stiff competition to get shoppers to your site.

Using autocomplete to find key terms to target is just one way to use the feature to create a better ecommerce store and create a user-friendly site.

Let’s say your e-commerce sells shoes, clothing, and accessories. Your goal is to make it as easy as possible to find what they want and make a purchase.

Google Autocomplete can help by:

  • Showing which categories are most popular: For example, if you search “women’s shoes” in Google, the search engine will also suggest: “women’s shoes near me,” “women’s shoes on sale,” and “women shoes size 12.”  That means people often search for shoes on sale and by size, so those are categories you’ll want to include on your website.
  • Uncover popular brands: A search for “women’s tennis shoes” tells you which brands users search for most often, including Adidas and Nike. Those are brands your audience is likely to purchase.  
  • Get ideas for your FAQ page: Searching “are women’s shoes…” provides a list of questions people often ask, including “are women’s shoe sizes the same as men’s?” and “are women’s shoes more narrow?” Those are questions people are asking, and providing those answers could help drive more traffic to your ecommerce site.

User experiences can impact search rankings, so making a user-friendly site should be a top priority.

Get Inspiration for Content Topics

Google Autocomplete features searches that people make regularly. Targeting any of those terms or phrases is going to drive traffic. (At least it will if your content is good!)

Here are a few suggestions for getting content inspiration:

  • Who, What, Where, How, Why: Use your primary key term with question words before or after (whichever makes more sense). See what Google suggests — you might uncover the bit of inspiration you need to write your next great piece of content.
  • Use action verbs: This can provide creative angles for your next blog post or ebook. Searching “content marketing is…” shows a list of quirky title ideas, including “Content marketing is like a first date.” Other ideas for action verbs include: are, will, show, be, build, and replace.
  • “Key Term and…”: Looking for related topics? Search your primary key term with “and” to see what associated terms searchers are looking for. For example, if you search “content marketing and…” Google suggests social media, lead generation, storytelling, and sales.

Content marketing is a critical part of SEO, so finding topics that users are searching for can improve the ranking for specific pages and a site.

Conclusion

Google Autocomplete isn’t just a neat user feature that allows you to complete a search term without typing it out.

You can also use it to discover valuable long-tail keywords that you wouldn’t have thought of yourself.

Of course, it can also wreak havoc on your life if an unflattering prediction appears next to your name or your company’s. It’s wise to keep an eye on what shows up on Google Autocomplete so that you can address a problem immediately.

Just don’t make a bad situation worse by using black hat techniques. It’s not worth it.

How do you use Google Autocomplete for SEO?

The post How To Use Google Autocomplete for SEO appeared first on Neil Patel.

Social Media Marketing Consulting

Hiring a social media marketing consultant could be a game-changer for your business. You could use the help of an expert if:

  • You’re struggling to acquire or retain customers
  • You aren’t getting the ROI you’d like from social media 
  • Your social media strategy is all over the place
  • You or your team don’t have much social media experience

Social media consultants have the knowledge and skills to turn your lagging social media campaigns around. You’ll be able to access advice and strategic planning at the highest level.

If you’re considering working with a social media consultant, here’s everything you need to know:

4 Ways a Social Media Marketing Consultant Can Help Grow Your Business

Consider a social media marketing consultant your business’s Yoda. They’re the wise teacher and guide that can help you 10x your business through social media. Here’s what they’ll do:

1. Develop a High-Performing Social Media Strategy

A social media marketing consultant will take a deep dive into your current strategy and performance. They’ll help you figure out what’s working and what’s not to see where there’s room for improvement.

The consultant will work off of your business objectives or help you to set smarter goals if that’s what’s needed. From there, they’ll develop a custom social media strategy to help you smash your goals.

Your social media expert will help you with tactics tailored to your business and establish a high-performing social media sales funnel, which is key because on average it takes seven and a half visits to your website before somebody makes a purchase.

2. Achieve Big Results

Working with a social media consultant can be very rewarding. They will help you get the most ROI from your social media campaigns.

First of all, they can help you build a larger social media following. They’ll teach you how to grow a community around your brand and engage followers.

They can also come up with content and advertising strategies that: 

  • bring new potential customers to your business 
  • re-engage leads
  • drive conversions and more…

3. Provide Expert Advice

The best social media consultants are experts that have tons of experience helping clients grow their businesses. They’re able to share that wealth of knowledge and experience with you.

If you’ve hit a roadblock on social media, a consultant can bring a fresh perspective and use their know-how to come up with solutions to your issues. They’re well-versed in established best practices as well as new trends, so they can for sure point you in the right direction.

Some social media consultants offer training so that you can continue to manage your campaigns effectively.

4. Help You with Analytics

It’s essential that you track your social media performance using the right metrics. 95% of the most successful B2B marketers use metrics to measure content performance.

When you monitor your analytics, you can see if you’re meeting your goals and where you might need to up your efforts or tweak your strategy.

But for some, all of the data and reports can get a bit much. A social media consultant can guide you towards the best tools or software for social media analytics and monitoring.

They can help you decipher reports and pick out the key information and metrics for your business or campaign objectives.

All in all, a social media marketing consultant will develop a strategy and implement tactics that will help you meet your goals and grow your business.

How to Get Started with Social Media Marketing Consulting

If you make the right preparations, you and your social media marketing consultant can hit the ground running. Your collaboration will run smoothly and you’ll get much more from it. So, here’s what you need to do to get started:

1. Figure Out What Kind of Consultant You Need

The first step is establishing what areas you need help in. You must decide what kind of role you want the social media marketing consultant to take. This may fall into one or more of the following categories:

Strategy

The consultant takes an advisory role. They do their due diligence regarding your company and target audience, for example, by interviewing the right executives within your team or creating buyer personas.

With all of the information gathered, they’ll create a detailed social marketing strategy, provide the necessary training and/or continue to advise you over a set period of time. 

Project Management

It’s also possible to hire a social media consultant that not only comes up with the right strategy but also turns that strategy into an actionable plan. They’ll figure out timelines, budgets, resource allocation and so on.

Execution

In this case, the social media marketing consultant will do all of the above and then jump in the trenches with you. They’ll oversee and participate in the implementation of your strategy.

So, the question is do you need an advisor or somebody who is going to roll their sleeves up and see the project through, too?

2. Set Your Goals

Your social media goals are the jump-off point for a marketing consultant. They determine the overarching strategy to be implemented, as well as the key performance indicators to measure.

If you have an idea of what you hope to achieve through social media, then try to document your objectives as clearly as possible. For example, you may wish to increase your Instagram ad clickthrough rate by X%.

But, as mentioned above, if you’re lost, a social media marketing consultant can help you set goals and create a sales funnel from scratch.

3. Get Your Ducks in a Row

The final thing you need to do before working with a social media marketing consultant is to prepare any documentation or reports that you wish to share.

For instance, you might put together a package of analytics reports from the past year. Or perhaps you want your social media strategy to align with your wider digital marketing strategy. In this case, you’d need to share your documented strategy with the consultant.

The more useful information you’re able to share, the better.

Essentially, there’s a bit of groundwork you need to do before working with a social media marketing consultant. But, ultimately, it’ll make your work together that much more successful.

Measuring the ROI of Social Media Marketing Consulting Services

When done well, social media marketing produces a high return on investment. In fact, I used social media to generate $632,481 in sales in one year.

But, one thing you have to bear in mind is that the way you measure ROI depends on your goals. Sometimes, social media marketing activities have an influence on sales, but you don’t necessarily see the dollars that come directly from those activities.

For example, you might share blog content on social media to generate traffic and increase brand awareness. The way you would measure the ROI of such activities would be according to the number of views or levels of engagement.

Naturally, it’s easier to calculate monetary returns when working with lead gen campaigns or paid ads. In this case, you’d measure the number of leads generated or, simply, conversions.

It’s vital that you discuss ROI with a social media marketing consultant in terms of your goals. You need to understand what you can expect to achieve for the rate that you’re paying.

6 Point Checklist for Finding the Right Social Media Marketing Consultant

There are tons of social media marketing consultants out there. Not all are made equal. Hence, you need to know what to look out for and what kind of questions to ask in order to make the right choice for you:

1. Relevance

As mentioned above, there are different kinds of social media marketing consultants. Therefore, you need to see if the consultant offers the services you require.

Furthermore, do they have experience of working in your industry? Relevant experience with similar clients to you means they know which tactics are likely to be most effective for your target audience.

Check their website to see former clients and what they’ve achieved for them. Some review sites, such as Clutch, also indicate the size and category of clients.

2. Experience

In the world of consulting, experience is everything. A consultant might make big claims but can they actually follow through?

Anyone can take a quick online course or read blog posts about social media marketing. It’s an entirely different thing to have implemented successful campaigns IRL.

The first step is to check the consultant’s own social media channels. If their following, engagement rates or content seems a bit crap then they’re likely inexperienced and will do a crappy job for you.

Next, check their credentials. How many years of experience do they have in the industry? Do they have hands-on experience?

3. Connections

If you can find a consultant with industry connections or links to social media influencers, then it’s a huge bonus. 

This is the kind of thing that the average business would find very difficult to achieve on their own unless they wanted to pay through the roof on influencer marketplaces and the like. Find out from your consultant what kind of collaborations are on the table.

At Neil Patel Digital, for example, we’ve fostered connections with thought leaders and influencers in a number of spaces over the years, including B2B, marketing, tech and more. We know what benefits such relationships can bring.

4. Examples

Firstly, it’s a good idea to source examples of a consultant’s previous work as proof of their experience. This might come in the form of case studies or blog content in which they talk about their professional experience.

You should also seek examples of what the consultant can do for you specifically. Obviously, they’re not going to map out an entire strategy for you before you agree to work together.

However, they should be able to give you examples or ideas of the kind of work they can do for you and what kind of results they would expect to achieve.

5. Pricing

Social media marketing consultants’ rates vary. Usually, you can expect to pay a higher rate for more experienced and more skilled consultants. But, be sure to do your research on all of the other points to check a consultant is worth the rate they’re charging.

You also need to consider how their pricing works logistically. Does the consultant offer tiered packages or an hourly rate? Is there a minimum length of contract? Are there additional costs involved?

Always choose a consultant that’s transparent about their terms and pricing.

6. Balance

The consultant you’re vetting should have a positive attitude. You should seek out somebody that is enthusiastic and confident about helping you grow your business via social media.

However, be wary of those that over-do it. A good social media consultant will also be realistic about what they can help you achieve and the time-frame you can expect to achieve it in.

Overall, don’t be afraid to ask a bunch of questions. A good social media marketing consultant will be willing to answer them clearly and openly.

Conclusion

It’s worth hiring a social media marketing consultant if you hope to revamp a failing social media strategy or to take your existing strategy to the next level. Using the right tools and tactics, they’ll gain an in-depth understanding of your business and target audience to help you achieve your goals.

When it comes to choosing the right social media marketing consultant for you, make sure they not only have hands-on experience with social media marketing but also experience relevant to your industry or the services you need.

Now it’s over to you to find a consultant that will help you grow your business. The first step: Set your goals and work out exactly where your business needs help.

The post Social Media Marketing Consulting appeared first on Neil Patel.

New comment by deepsunn in "Ask HN: Who wants to be hired? (April 2020)"

  Location: Southeast USA
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  Email: joehdodd@gmail.com

Lots of full-stack SaaS product experience. I’ve got a lot of depth on the front-end, but I have a good bit of breadth across the stack. Currently working fully remote (pandemic or not) on a product team. Love building products and having a hand in shaping their future for the good of users.