Marketing Consultant, Marketing Know-how

Hiring a Junior Marketer vs working with a Marketing Consultant

hiring a junior marketer

There are many reasons why you may find yourself in need of marketing support for your small business. Whether it’s that you’re ready to grow and need help with your strategy, or simply that you’ve become too busy to focus on it yourself, there are different options available. At this point, you’ll have to decide between hiring a junior marketer in-house, versus an external marketing consultant.

Both options have their pros and cons. In this post, we’ll explore the differences to help you make the right decision.

Difference 1: Expertise

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The first way hiring a junior marketer differs from a marketing consultant is in the level of expertise they will bring. It’s right there in the job title, after all!

By hiring a junior marketer, you’re getting someone in the early stages of their career. That’s not necessarily a bad thing! Everyone has to start somewhere, and being a part of that journey can be extremely rewarding. This way, you’ll still be in charge of your marketing, guiding and training the junior marketer as and if needed.

So, if you have been successfully running your marketing for years, and are comfortable with your strategy, paying for the expertise of a consultant may not be necessary. Take a look at your current results – are things going well? If so, maybe what you need is someone to take over what you’re already doing. A junior could do that. (This also applies to any freelancer you want to hire to take care of your social media or email marketing, for example.)

If, however, that is not the case, a junior position may not be the best fit. If you need a strategy and want to make sure you have a solid plan in place that includes generating new as well as repeat business, working with an experienced marketing consultant will make a world of a difference.

They can also help you make sense of your small business marketing. For example, understanding the difference between marketing strategy and tactics is crucial. Sure, you might know how to post on LinkedIn, but do you know why you’re using LinkedIn? And how it, combined with your other channels, is building your brand long-term?

Hiring a marketing consultant can help you get to grips with all the most important elements of your marketing. So if your problem isn’t lack of time, but lack of expertise, a marketing consultant may be the way to go.

Difference 2: Commitment

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The next thing to consider is the commitment you are willing to make. Hiring a junior marketer is a long-term commitment. Sure, you can implement review/trial periods but no one wants to have to take that “get out of jail free” card. It’s never a pleasant situation for either party.

Hiring new staff members for your business is a big decision. There’s a lot to consider; are you financially and mentally ready for the job of managing employees? Can you afford the wages every month, even if things get quiet? And are you mentally ready to loosen the reins a little, and delegate?

Working with a marketing consultant, however, can be as flexible and long-term as you need it to be. In an ideal world, it will work out brilliantly and you will continue to seek them out over the years for help with reviewing your strategy or advice about specific campaigns. Most will work on either a project-by-project or a retainer basis, meaning you can end the contract when it suits you. No hard feelings!

However, there is a lot to be said for hiring in-house staff members. Sharing the load on a day-to-day basis can be a huge help when running your own business. Staff members can also become an extension of your marketing in themselves, sharing your work with their networks. Working together day in, day out, in the same physical or virtual workspace can be great for brainstorming new ideas.

Difference 3: Approach

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Another way in which hiring a junior marketer is different from hiring a consultant is in the approach to the job, and the way they work.

What this comes down to is whether or not you want someone to do the work for you or to understand how it’s done. When you hire a new member of staff, you are hiring them to take on that responsibility for you. You expect them to be able to handle the day-to-day tasks associated with your marketing, freeing your time up for other things.

A marketing consultant, generally speaking, is not going to do that for you. Obviously, every consultant works differently! But in most cases, their job is to work with you to enhance your strategy, boost your brand and build the foundations for long-term success. So rather than handing them the logins to your website and social media accounts and never looking at them again, you’ll be collaborating with them to learn what works best for your small business.

If your goal is to fully understand your marketing and run it by yourself, a consultant can work wonders. However, if you’re looking for someone to take over, hiring a junior marketer might be the way to go.

But do remember, you’ll have to train them…

Hiring a junior marketer can also be a great long-term plan. If you are comfortable training them (and yes, in the early stages, it may take up more time in your day), they can become a fantastic long-term asset to the business.

Here, it’s worth noting that this doesn’t have to be an either/or situation. If you aren’t an expert, but don’t want to take your marketing on yourself, working with a marketing consultant before hiring a junior marketer to take care of the delivery could be a great solution. It will be an investment, for sure, but if that’s right for the future of your small business, it’s always worth considering.


If you are interested in reading more about this topic, have a look at these:
Marketing Consultant v Marketing Agency – the Need to Know Differences
4 Ways a Small Business Marketing Consultant Can Help You
FAQ! 12 Questions I Regularly Receive as a Marketing Consultant
Hiring an Employee – What Your Need to Know and How to get it Right First Time

Denise Strohsahl brand and marketing consultant for small businesses

Hello, I’m Denise from sandstonecastles, a brand & marketing consultancy based in Edinburgh, Scotland.

I help small business owners like yourself to find the right marketing that’s in line with your brand and values.