Stop Trying to Hire a Marketing Unicorn - They Don't Exist

Stop Trying to Hire a Marketing Unicorn - They Don't Exist

This topic was something that came to mind weeks ago, but I was really pushed to finally write about it due to a post I saw recently in a Facebook group aimed at social media job postings. The poster was asking for a social media expert who:

  • Has graphic design experience
  • Has video shooting & editing experience
  • Has copy writing experience
  • Can create sales funnels
  • Has influencer campaign experience
  • Pull reports
  • Develop strategy
  • Can run community management
  • Has paid ad & optimization experience

And has been doing all of the above for 3-5 years and was will to be paid only $50/hr for it. She even wrote in her post "I know... it sounds like a unicorn."

Well if it looks like a unicorn and walks like a unicorn....

This really blew my mind because the client posting this was well aware of the fact that the likelihood of finding a single person who could do all of the above and do it well was probably a long shot. And yet she asked for it anyway, even with that nagging doubt of it being successful. 

This is definitely not the first time I've seen a client looking for a jack or jill-of-all-trades in digital marketing and it won't be the last. And I understand what they are thinking:

"If I can hire one person who can do all the things, it saves me from spending money on hiring multiple people who each do a few of these things." 

There is SO much wrong with this statement.

You Won't Get the Results & Work You're Expecting

I've been working in digital marketing for over 8 years and even I can't claim that I can do every single one of the above skills just as well as the next. I have no problem admitting that. Why? Because it's impossible to spread yourself across that many skills and be an expert in all.

Have I designed creative for social? Sure, but it's never been as amazing as the design team created at the agencies I've worked in. Because they were hired for just that; design. And could they maybe whip together a social media calendar? If they had to, sure. But that was left up to me because that was my area of expertise, because I knew how to optimize it in a way they couldn't.

If you hire the person who says "Yes! I do all those things!" you may find that yes, while technically they can execute, chances are it's not to the standards necessary. They may handle every aspect of the job just okay, but nothing is particularly outstanding. Or, they may have one or two strong points that are just killing it, but the rest is falling flat. 

It's impossible to be an expert in all things. This goes for all aspects of life. But for some reason when it comes to marketing, people tend to forget this. If someone is a digital marketer, that means every nuance that is underneath that umbrella, right? Marketers are NOT agencies. They can't be a single human made up of every department needed to fulfill your marketing strategy. It's just unrealistic.

You'll Stress Out Your Hire

Say you do hire someone who claims they are this unicorn. Not only are you likely not getting as strong as a performance on all skills, but they know this as well and they are stressed. You find this from beginner contractors and freelancers most frequently. They are hungry, they need to pay their bills and so they will take on the world for you, to prove themselves, to land you as a client.  Now they can't keep up with every aspect of what you need and they are feeling the stress as much as you are. 

Or maybe you hire someone with the initial task of content creation and engagement. But you think, well, they work in social media so they've got to know how to optimize ads, right? So I'll just add that to their workload. And they probably also understand email marketing, because it's pretty much all the same, so let's add that as well. Making assumptions based on what you think they can do, rather than outright establishing their expertise, can put you in hot water.

You'll Actually Waste More Money In the Long Run

When you realize that while your strategy is strong, your click funnels are not, you are going to have to hire someone anyway to handle that part of the business. Now you've wasted both money and time paying for this "unicorn" and are not getting the results you want.  You could avoid this entire waste of resources by just hiring two, even three different people who have a combined skillset of awesome. That investment is going to be far more worth it in the long run.

And remember this...

These unicorn job ads insult true experts in these skills.

Because a social media graphic designer knows how much work it takes to create truly engaging, original content. And a paid ad specialist knows there's so much more to what they do than boosting a post and throwing a few bucks behind it without much thought. And they see those sorts of ads, looking for unicorns, and they know that this "ideal person" is really one who would be spreading themselves thin. And they know they can do the job better, but will likely get overlooked for being too expensive, or too niche, even though they might be the best person to work with in the long run.

Let the unicorns go and instead, hire for the tasks you need to be done immediately. You know that list at the top of this blog post, the one from the Facebook ad? If that client just wrote that list out for herself from most important and pressing, to "we can get to this a little later," they would know exactly the kind of person they should be hiring first. And when they team up with that person and find that it's benefiting their business and increasing their revenue, then they can hire the next person who can handle a few of those other tasks. And then they'll have a kick-ass team of marketing experts, each doing their own thing to the best of their ability, and together, like Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, they become... a giant unicorn.


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