Shorr Solutions: The Podcast Ep. 64 - Should I Hire a Marketing Intern? - Shorr Solutions


Deciding whether hiring a marketing intern for your aesthetic practice will benefit you can be a tough decision. Many questions may come to mind, such as: should the internship be paid or unpaid, the number of hours the intern will work, and/or how much training and teaching time will be involved? In this episode of Shorr Solutions: The Podcast, “Should I Hire a Marketing Intern?” host and practice management expert Mara Shorr shares her thoughts, as well as her own experience of hiring marketing interns for Shorr Solutions in order to help you decide if this might be the right fit for you!

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Hello and welcome back to another episode of Shorr Solutions: The Podcast. I am one of your hosts, Mara Shorr, partner here at Shorr Solutions. One of your all-time favorite practice management consulting firms, and we’re going to talk today about a question that we’re getting a lot, especially now we’re in well into summer, especially here in Florida, where I’m located.

And quite honestly, whether we’re talking about summer weather, we’re talking about year-round we hear the question a lot about hiring a marketing intern. So, I want to talk today about some of the do’s and don’ts when you should hire a marketing intern versus when you just need to go ahead and hire a marketing coordinator or a social media coordinator. All of that good stuff. So let’s dive into it

One of the things that we want to talk about is, as with any position, you need to have a job description. So, before you decide, oh, this is whether we’re calling this person an intern or a coordinator or an assistant. So, and this is before we get into the other components, we want to really talk about what is it that you’re looking for out of this position.

So, for example, are you looking for somebody to just do some light updating of the website, i.e., post the blog now and then? Or are you thinking that this person should have knowledge of website coding? Right. So, think about what is intern level work versus what is actually a trained, experienced professional. Then we want to really think about that.

So, are you looking for somebody that will help out with some of your graphic design? Are you looking for somebody that is going to help with any of your scheduling? Are you look for someone who’s going to help with writing or proof reading or renaming photos, organizing your before and after photos, all the things like that.

So, what we want first and foremost is to take a look at what that job description should be, and you should really be doing this with any position within your practice. We always go into this with the job description. We, personally, here at Shorr Solutions, we are always looking for amazing marketing interns. So, we leave that position posted year round right on our website, and we post the job description, we post what we’re what we’re looking for in terms of hours.

We post whether it’s paid or unpaid. We post all of those details, who that position will report to, all that good stuff. So, these are things you really want to think about. Now, when we talk about who that position will report to, if you don’t have somebody in your office that is willing to train an intern, really, really go above and beyond and train an intern than an intern position is not for you.

This is not a position that should really just be coming in and expected to be completely autonomous right from the start. An intern typically is a college student. Perhaps you might get a junior/senior in high school or you might have somebody who has recently graduated.

Now, the next component that I want to really talk about is whether this position should be paid or unpaid. First and foremost, look within your state laws. So, for example, here in the state of Florida, an intern must be paid unless they are receiving college credit. So, I am an example. As a college student, I did several internships and some of them were not for credit. So, they were just because I wanted to go above and beyond and continue to get experience.

So, if they are not doing it for credit, if they are somebody that has already graduated, for example, then they must be a paid intern, okay? They must be paid at that point. So, check with your local state law. And I really encourage you to connect there. You also want to think about one thing we ask quite honestly, for every single team member that we interview is, when it comes to social media, will looking at before and after photos make you uncomfortable.

So, whether these are your before and after or whether these are some of your competitors before and after. Keep in mind that here, right in our wonderful industry, there could be surgical before and after’s. They could be on your social media account and be looking at the accounts your social media account follows. So, it may not even be the work that you’re having them directly look at on your website before and after photos.

When we’re talking about breasts, whether it’s a breast lift, a breast augmentation, a BBL, think about all the procedures. And we always ask every team member that there is a lot of nudity here in our industry. Is this something that will make you uncomfortable? If it is, this might not be the position for you. So always make sure.

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Now, if this person is under 21 and I use this because I find interns do tend to be under 21, not every single one of your interns but there is a higher chance if they are under 21 and you take them on any sort of work conference, if you have them attend a work event you know something that you’re doing inside your office and you serve alcohol.

Make sure it is very, very clear, although this should be clear and make sure it is very clear that they should not be consuming alcohol. So, when you hire, when you hire somebody that is under 21, we want to keep this in mind, whether they’re an intern, whether they’re any other position. So really keep this in mind. Also, keep in mind the number of hours, we talked about this at the very beginning.

How many hours a week are you looking for this person to really dive into that position? So, establish this upfront and especially if you have a student intern and keep in mind that this student is likely still in school. So really, I always encourage practices, we are as well, their job is to be a student first your job is to run your practice.

And so, while I understand that their job is really to be a student first, so keep in mind that they are going to have exams they might have spring break. They might have, if we’re talking about summer, they might have a pre-planned trip. Ask this up front. They may need a little bit of flexibility if the position is not paid, they may need a little bit of flexibility to work a paid position as well.

So, another reason, if you can, especially if you plan on keeping someone longer than two or three months, I really encourage a paid position. So, establish right up front what the hours and the guidelines are regarding the internship are they going to be working for you 10 hours a week? 20 hours a week? I find that often between ten and 20 hours a week is that sweet spot for an intern.

So, although we have had interns that are looking at 30 hours a week, a five hour a week internship, quite honestly, it’s not going to do a whole heck of a lot for you or for them. And remember, with this internship, it’s meant to be a teaching moment. So, although yes, you are going to get work out of the intern, they’re there to learn.

So simply putting them in the back office and only ever having them fail when you aren’t helping them or teaching them how to edit videos, right? Social media captions write a blog post. And when you’re doing this, don’t just necessarily correct it yourself. Show them, use “track changes” in Word so that they’re able to see their opportunities for improvement within their work.

Tell them which editing apps you use, whether it’s photo, video, writing, whatever that looks like. So really make sure that you’re prepared to teach all of this. If you are not, then an intern might not be for you. And that is okay. An intern doesn’t have to be for everybody. But if this is not something that you are interested in or something that your manager is not interested in, if you’re not the one that’s directly supervising, it is not going to be as successful internship.

So really keep in mind that that teaching period is going to be longer than if you simply just hired a paid position. So, if after all of this sounds still like a great idea, you want to bring somebody in under your wing, then I truly encourage you to move forward.

There are several websites out there, handshake being one of them that really is a great source for internships. Interns go and they look at the different internships available. So again, that’s Also, I encourage you, go to the schools in your area and ask them about how to get started with the internship program and what are the guidelines. What needs to be done. If you go to the schools in your area, typically there is an internship connection liaison that is really going to be happy to work with you, with your practice and with these students.

And honest, be honest about if there is the opportunity to hire this student on after the internship is complete. We’ve done this several times before. It’s worked out beautifully for us. We have somebody that started as an intern and quite honestly, she’s coming up on four years this fall. She’s our project manager now and absolutely a great, great team member. But it always takes continuous learning.

So, with that if you have any additional questions, know that we are always here to help here at Shorr Solutions. And if talking through whether or not a marketing intern or any intern is right for you, call us. We are more than happy to talk. Have a great day. And thank you so much for listening to another episode of Shorr Solutions: The Podcast.

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So that wraps up today’s episode of Shorr Solutions, the podcast. If we mentioned any links in our show notes, be sure to check them out for the easiest way to discover your best solutions. You can find them. Yep, in our show notes. We love your help in spreading the word about our podcast. How Write us and share this episode with your friends, colleagues, and the rest of your team.

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