Do You Want a College Student to Represent Your Brand?

March 22, 2012 1:28 pm

Why a “College Kid” Shouldn’t Manage Your Website Design (or Online Marketing Program, for that Matter)

I know it sounds like a great idea. After all, college kids are smart. They have a degree. They’re young and therefore more tuned into web, digital and social media platforms and devices. And they bring that hip cool factor.  Hire ‘em cheap and let ‘em go to town on your site or your search marketing program.
college student website design
BTW: You can also substitute cousin, brother, neighbor, or “the dude that works on our servers at night” for “College Kid.”

Good idea? Only if you don’t care about quality, image and results. If you do, it’s probably not the best way forward. If you’re a “let’s get it done cheap” type of person, by all means; go for it. Get the experiment out of your system.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking college kids. We ABSOLUTELY appreciate fresh young talent at Delia Associates. But guess what? The recent grads that are really, really good at website design, social media, content or search marketing are ending up at firms like ours. We take the best of the best. So what you’re essentially getting is a college kid that couldn’t find a job doing what he/she wanted to do, and is going to work with you until something more desirable comes along. Is that really what’s best for your online brand?

Would you have your cousin, brother, neighbor, “server dude” or proverbial “college kid” treat a broken leg? Probably not. You would want a great doctor, one that has worked on numerous broken bones, and knows precisely what to do. The same is true for your online brand.

If you’re planning to launch or re-launch your website, you want the new site to be a leap forward from the previous site; working great and up and running as soon as possible. The college kid may be “all hands on deck” at first, with big, bold ideas; but execution is where the rubber meets the road and where a firm with trained and qualified experts pulls ahead. We’ve seen many projects come our way because the previous provider was in way over their head, or simply “took a job” and abandoned the project. Suddenly, readily available and cheap labor that seemed so promising, gives way to massive delays, frustration, unrealized dreams, and a very ticked off CEO.

If you want a college kid to lead your brand into the world of search marketing or social media, again be wary. They certainly will be familiar with search and the core social media platforms; but when it comes to your business and brand, content drives the bus. Great, quality content is going to represent you and your brand to the audiences you engage with. Again, would you send a college kid out to a major industry event to speak on behalf of your company? Probably not. By forfeiting control of your search and social media program to them, you are essentially doing the same thing. Trained experts, adept at writing with effectiveness on a variety of subject areas, are better suited if you need content creation support.

Bottom line: Let the college kids practice on someone else’s brand. If you want excellent results when it comes to the functionality of your site, search marketing or social media program, turn to trained and proven experts. You’ll get the results you desire, faster and with far greater impact. When you add up all the wasted time, dead ends, and bad brand impressions that come from letting an inexperienced person manage your online presence, you’re probably coming out ahead financially also.

About The Author

Delia Team
We specialize in b2b, supporting the clients who are the "The Brands Behind the Brands." These are the supply chain partners of brands, either in Tier 1 or Tier 2 positions, who drive value through the delivery of goods, services and technologies. We enjoy blogging about all things related to Branding, Marketing, Inbound, Tradeshows, etc... And we're always happy to talk about any ideas you may have that might Get You To Your NEXT!