Hiring an Amazon Marketing Consultant – Full Guide [2023]

Picture of Author: Martyn N.

Author: Martyn N.

Hi! I’m Martyn, a full-time Amazon E-Commerce Manager with over 5 years of experience selling and managing a wide range of products for various small businesses on Amazon.

What is an Amazon Marketing consultant? How is it different from other consultants?

“Marketing consultant” is quite a vague term, designating a broad range of business activities that are often confused with advertising.

“Marketing” in its simplest definition, refers to the process of bringing a product to the right market.

So what does that mean in the context of Amazon?

Basically, marketing for Amazon refers to any task or activity which helps you connect your product with the customers who are willing to purchase it.

This includes branding, listing optimization, SEO, advertising and more.

An Amazon marketing expert or consultant usually isn’t as specialized as say, a PPC consultant – while an advertising consultant will focus exclusively on the advertising part of your Amazon business, a marketing freelancer will look at the “big picture” and try to get all the different pieces of your business that fall within the umbrella of marketing to work together so as to maximize your success, whatever your goal is.

Defining your needs and requirements

Hiring an Amazon marketing expert versus hiring a more specialized consultant naturally has advantages and disadvantages, just like any generalist vs specialist.

While a marketing consultant can help you shape the macro-scale of your marketing operations, they most likely will not delve into the nitty-gritty of the operational tasks and issues.

For example, an Amazon marketing freelancer might analyse your brand as a whole and report to you that your positioning strategy is not ideal and that you would be better off positioning your brand and products differently – for instance, position yourself more as a premium brand.

In contrast, they are unlikely to go into your individual advertising campaigns and make specific keyword suggestions.

To avoid wasting time and money, you should be clear about the reasons why you want to hire a marketing consultant.

Is your brand as a whole suffering? Are you finding it hard to understand what value your products can bring, what your unique sales propositions are, or who your customers are?

Then a marketing consultant could be the right choice for you.

Are you having listing issues, out-of-stock periods or overly high ad spend?

Perhaps you are better off finding a technical specialist.

Always make sure that YOU are clear about what it is that you need – if not, you will find it difficult to judge if you’re getting the right person for the job.

Setting your budget

Once you’re clear about what you need, you can decide how much you are ready to pay for it.

Having a clear idea of what you can afford and what the standard market price is for the work ahead is crucial to make sure that you’re not going to overpay or worse, have to sacrifice your budget for another area.

Let’s talk about the first point – being clear about what you can afford.

Any business, whether online or not, requires careful capital management to ensure it functions well. Basically, it means being efficient with your money.

You should already have a ledger or an accounting file that tracks your budgeting per area, such as raw material purchase, shipping costs, tool subscriptions, advertising and so on.

If you’re not keeping track of all of your finances properly yourself, I strongly recommend that you get yourself a bookkeeper to do so – not only is it extremely useful to ensure that you keep proper track of your finances and budgeting, but it is also extremely helpful to make sure that your business is compliant with local income/tax laws and regulations.

Where to find Amazon Marketing consultants

If you look online for Amazon marketing consultants, you will be given a wide range of agencies that will be happy to do the work for you.

Personally, I advise against hiring directly from such websites, for the following reasons:

  • You can never trust the offers and reviews (all content and reviews are made by website owners)
  • Agencies often ask for premium prices or act as middlemen, increasing the base amount you have to pay
  • Refunds can be tedious or downright impossible, depending on the agency and country

Instead, I recommend hiring a freelancer directly yourself – this has the following advantages:

  • You can hire from an independent freelancer platform, which prioritizes customer satisfaction above all else (for future purchases)
  • You have a much higher chance of reading real customer reviews, meaning more chance to hire the right person for the job
  • You benefit from much better security, from work contracts to smooth refunds
  • You avoid the unknown premium margins and have a larger chance to pay less for the same amount of work

Below are the direct links to find the list of freelancers for my top 3 preferred platforms:

Amazon Marketing Consultants on Fiverr

Amazon Marketing Consultants on Upwork

Amazon Marketing Consultants on marketinghire.com

If you want to know more about platforms that offer freelancing services, here’s my article reviewing these 3 most popular freelancing websites for Amazon freelancers/consultants/experts etc:

Spotting the real experts

So you’re now browsing one of the freelancer platforms – and you’re faced with dozens of similar results.

How do you find the right one for you?

Well, here’s the good news – the platform is designed to maximize the chances of you hiring someone and being satisfied enough to come back and hire again.

Thanks to this, most of the first results you will see should already be a good match for you.

However, here are a few things to keep in mind while you’re browsing:

  • First – make sure that what you searched for matches what you want.

This can be so obvious that it is often overlooked – you search for something and have a certain idea of what you mean behind it, yet the search engine – or the consultants – might have a different idea of what this means!

Double-check the descriptions of the top results to confirm that the results show what you’re actually looking for.

  • Make a list of potential candidates.

Firstly, even though I’ve just made a case for “best results come first”, don’t just go for the first result you see. You will want to have at least 5 different tabs open with the most suitable candidates.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of hiring the first one that looks good – but don’t rush!

Remember, if you’re looking to give away a reasonable amount of money, then it’s worth spending an extra hour ensuring you get the best fit.

  • Focus on consultants whose skill spectrum is as narrow as possible (while still fully covering your desired work).

What do I mean by this?

You might spot a consultant who does it all – from listing optimization to PPC management, knows inventory management, expert at supply chain management, etc.

Consultants who seem to be able to do everything might seem appealing, but just like in any industry, being a generalist who can do everything very often means that they are not quite as good as a specialist.

A consultant who specializes in just what you require is as such more likely to have more experience and expertise for the task at hand.

  • When looking at reviews, don’t just rely on review score/rating.

Firstly, check how many reviews the consultant has accumulated – a few reviews can always be fake ones from friends and family looking to help them out. A couple dozen gets harder to fake.

To help further on spotting the fake reviews – check the distribution of reviews.

For instance, if they have a rating of 4.5 stars with 90% being 5/5 and 10% being 1-2 stars, this should alert you – reviews for good consultants are usually distributed in an exponential-like pattern, with most reviews being 5-4 stars, very few 2-3 stars and a couple 1 stars for horrible clients who don’t know what they want.

Having only 5 stars is also shady – you cannot please 100% of people, no matter your skill. Someone with loads of 100% 5 stars reviews is either a unicorn or a liar!

Still on the reviews – take a look through the reviews to see what previous customers said, especially on the “cons” or “dislikes” part.

Try to find out if there are inconsistencies between the reviews, for instance some reviews saying “great attention to detail” while others say “could have gone into more detail”. Such comments can point out to inconsistencies in work quality, which you will want to avoid.

Basically, look for a consultant whose alleged “cons” or “weak points” are alright with you.

For instance, if you’re happy to wait longer for quality work, hiring a proper expert whose negative point is said to be that “they are slow” is actually a good sign for you.

  • Check their writing style and grammar.

An expert is often well-educated and has good knowledge of the language. While English might not be their mother tongue (my case as well!), there should be no obvious mistake that hints that they haven’t been properly educated (such as basic spelling or grammar mistakes, like “I am ppc consltant expert for you”)

Of course, you can be great at say, bid management and have terrible English – however, you’re more likely to hire a quality consultant if their description shows a good level in your target language.

Furthermore, this will make communication between you easier, which is critical to ensure that you get what you’re asking for.

The above points will not guarantee that you’ll find a proper expert if you follow them all diligently – however, they should increase the likelihood that you’ll find one.

If your gut tells you that someone isn’t competent and yet they pass the above tests, don’t just shush it – use your own flair as well to tell who might be good or not.

Conducting a proper first call

Once you have selected your top choice, it’s time to establish first contact.

The call will mostly be about confirming what you found out in the previous section i.e. that the consultant is competent and will deliver what you pay them for.

I strongly advise to insist on a video call – reason being that it’s a lot harder to fake being an expert on a live video than it is on a webpage.

If they try to dodge a video call, that could be a bad sign, unless they have a valid excuse.

While most of the call should be a simple discussion of what you need vs what they can provide, here are a few other things to ask on that first call to confirm their expertise:

  • How did they get into this job?

This is both a good icebreaker and a good way to spot if the consultant has indeed the experience they claim to have. Usually, a competent (and truthful) freelancer will have no problem telling their story from the beginning with enthusiasm and with minimal hesitation or visible discomfort.

  • What do most of their clients ask for?

This question is aimed again at confirming that they have had a fair bit of clients. A lot of hesitation or an inability to provide a clear answer can be a sign that they’re overplaying the number of clients they have had.

  • Within their job, is there any part that they really feel they excel at or particularly like?

Watch out for freelancers who say that they are experts on everything when it comes to their job – unless they say that with visible excitement, in which case that’s a great sign.
This question is aimed more at seeing if they are truthful – someone who wants to just impress you is more likely to brag that they can give you everything at the same top-notch level of quality.

A good answer could be something like: “Well, I am an expert on every topic when it comes to X, but I suppose I have particular experience with Y, and I enjoy doing Z the most”.

The next one isn’t a question – but check out their background in the video. Does it seem like they are in a professional office, or in a small, noisy shared bedroom?

Of course, with many freelancers working remotely, many will be working from home. However, successful freelancers should have the funds to afford a good workplace (which also contributes to increased productivity!).

If they seem to work from their bedside, maybe they haven’t the skills required to afford a decent workspace – or if they do, then they may not take their job seriously enough to work in a professional way.

On the other hand, watch out for signs that they are trying too hard to impress you – full business suit, throwing business jargon around even when it’s hardly relevant, talking too much about their achievements and glorious past clients, and so on.

Finally – don’t forget to tell them clearly what you’re expecting from them, and for how much!

Don’t be shy about your demands – you’re paying money for this, and if the demands are too high for the amount you’re willing to offer, it’s the consultant’s own responsibility to negotiate.

However, keep your head cool and request another call if you feel that you’re being asked for too much or being offered too little for your money.

Remember to have your budget sheet open during the video call so you can review it anytime you need.

Better to take it slow than to quickly agree to something that you’ll later regret!

Monitoring and tracking performance

So you have finally gone through the list of consultants, found your top choice and after a video call, decided on the tasks to do and the cost – congratulations!

However, we’re not just done yet 😊

We have to make sure that your freelancer is going to deliver on time – which means task tracking and monitoring.

The best system I have personally found is to use a team task management software, such as Asana or Monday.

I personally use Asana for both my own full-time job and my personal work (like writing this article!).

Dashboard for Asana – perfect for monitoring all tasks with your freelancers.

Having such a task-tracking software with clear responsibilities and deadlines helps tremendously to keep the workload as clear as possible.

Way too often have I dealt with external freelancers who only communicated through email – and let me tell you, you quickly lose sight of what’s going on!

“What’s happening with this task? What was the deadline again? Are they working on it? What’s the last thing they said about this other thing? Did I tell them that I need it done?”

You get the idea.

If you decide to use this kind of software – just Google for tutorials. There are plenty out there that will explain all you need to know better than I ever could.

And yes, many of them are free.

I also recommend having a weekly status quo meeting with your newly hired consultant.

Even with a clear task-tracking system, it helps to fully understand the details and intentions. Sometimes, you can’t put everything in a description box, particularly if the task is a bit creative, like creating or optimizing visual content.

There! Hopefully this is helpful in getting you to hire the right Amazon consultant for you.

Remember that this is not a step-by-step guide – please use it as general advice from someone who has/is working with Amazon freelancers.

There are naturally more aspects to hiring a consultant that I cannot mention – namely contract laws, taxes and so on – since these are dependent on local laws, which is not my area of expertise.

Still, the most important part of hiring a good consultant is – well, hiring a good consultant. I hope the above has helped you with this.

On that note, let’s keep selling!

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