We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again - stalking the internet for your next virtual staff is like being in a jungle. It’s thrilling and can be risky if you hire the wrong ones. And boy is it easy to find horror stories abound from an industry like this, inflicting damage to both parties, whether it’s a client that has gone incognito without a trace leaving a lump of unpaid invoices behind or a web designer who ran off with the whole payment but leaving the website half-done. A few weeks ago, we showed you what questions to ask to avoid being scammed. Today, we discuss how to sniff those outlaws even before you ask the tough questions. Be on the prowl for these warning signs:

No Branded Email

No offense to AOL, Yahoo, or Hotmail, but nothing raises the suspicion level than an email that is not linked to their domain. Worst is, if they don’t have a domain (think a site still under Wordpress)! Domains won’t cost an arm and a leg and it’s definitely a business investment that should be considered even before the launch of the agency. This just means the company wasn’t thinking of going long term when they started out or couldn’t care less about branding. If they aren’t OC about these things, how can you expect them to be OC when handling your business?

Shady Payment Method

If you don’t know the payment method and they keep shoving you to go with it or if your intuition just feels squirmy, then take it as a good sign and run to the hills. Always trust your instinct and demand for a payment method you know is secured. If your financial information is at risk, then you cannot afford experimentation in the payment department. PayPal is the default and is also widely accepted (We at Coefficients also use PayPal), but new payment options such as Stripe are rising among the outsourcing crowd.

Making Their Own Digital Mark

You are a reflection of your own work. If your outsourced digital staff can’t practice what they preach and apply it unto their own brand, how can prospective clients expect that they can deliver? If your outsourcing agency claims to be data-driven and results motivated, it should show on their own brand. How are their social media pages? Do they even extend their branding strategies on new platforms such as Snapchat or Vine? How’s the quality of their blog? Is it witty, enlightening, or bland and boring? You should be wary of their own digital presence.

Experience, Certifications, and Clientele

Though this is more of a preference rather than a requirement, it’s actually a good sign if your outsourcing agency has these. Though not having all of these doesn’t make the agency’s reputation a scam, you should also be on the lookout as this means they can be trusted and have honed their craft through the years. A Google Badge on their homepage or a Hubspot Certificate Icon on their LinkedIn profile means they have mastered the craft. Also, the number and types of clientele they have amassed also speak for their specialty. Though a good outsourced digital marketing agency does not apply the same strategy twice (understanding that each client has a unique set of goals), you can often see it in the dominant industry their client dabbles in. For example, their content writers are good with doing health-related content or SEO-optimized real estate website - just think of it as a strength rather than a limitation.

But with all these warnings signs outlined, one should never be scared to outsource, you just have to be careful WHERE to outsource. Like shopping, don’t settle if it’s just cheap because it might be a headache for you in the long run. One provider maybe expensive than the other but if they have the track record, impressive portfolio, certifications, or network to prove it, then you just found yourself a sweet deal at a reasonable price! Now head forth and be careful out there!

About Coefficents Co Ltd.

Coefficients currently serves more than 20 global clients in knowledge services. The company’s eventual metamorphosis from BPO to KPO is a very good opportunity for it to be ideally positioned to lead in knowledge-based services via ramping up capacity and honing its people’s competency.

Here at Coefficients, we go above and beyond for our clients. From assessment to solution design, to training, transition and launch; we cater to every phase and we got you covered every step of the way. We don’t go for temporary aids. We strike to the core.

Author's Bio: 

Kaizer Mancenido
Team Lead & Marketing Strategist for Social Media of Coefficients Co Ltd.
Coefficents Co Ltd.