Top 10 Questions a Small Business Should Ask Covalent

Take a look at the 10 questions small businesses should ask Covalent before applying.

Digital marketing is often the aspect of a business that an owner neglects. The truth is that your digital presence is like your resume. It’s how you represent yourself and people will come to a conclusion about your business within seconds of viewing your website or social media. 

It’s crucial in the digital-first world that you’re staying on top of the marketing trends. Your competitors are. Now, if you need support in digital marketing and want emerging professionals who truly understand these services to help, you’re in the right place. Before you apply to work with Covalent, we’re here to answer some questions you might have about our organization. Here are the top 10 questions:

1) Do I have to pay for Covalent’s services?


Yes. In order to best serve our small businesses and fellows, Covalent requests a $900 project fee from participating small businesses. Each fellow will receive a $700 stipend and the remaining $200 supports Covalent’s operating costs.

2) Can I request multiple fellows for larger digital marketing projects?


Absolutely! Small businesses can indicate their desired number of fellows in the application process. Following the initial application, you’ll speak with members of Covalent’s leadership team to ensure we best understand your digital marketing needs before determining the amount of support you’ll need.

3) Can all the work be completed fully remote?


Yes. Covalent provides an entirely virtual experience for its fellows and small businesses. Travel and time barriers create challenges for low-income students and Covalent’s virtual experience allows fellows the flexibility they need to complete their assignments. In addition, the remote setup allows Covalent to expand its reach and offer opportunities to out-of-state students.

4) What does the academic background of a fellow look like and how does Covalent ensure its fellows are prepared to offer quality marketing support?


Fellows are traditionally rising juniors, seniors or recent graduates with diverse backgrounds and academic experiences. While Covalent accepts out-of-state students to its fellowship program, the vast majority come from colleges and universities located in Illinois. Covalent welcomes fellows with advertising, marketing, communications or graphic design backgrounds, but also considers students with other majors that have the skills or experience needed to execute on digital marketing.

Covalent’s team takes the following steps to ensure our small-business clients receive quality support from fellows:

  • Fellows meet with industry experts and participate in a robust, 10-day training program where they learn and build a wide range of skills each day.
  • Fellows and small businesses work together to develop and finalize a project proposal so both parties understand the expectations of the fellowship.
  • Fellows receive guidance from mentors and Covalent’s dedicated team throughout the fellowship. Small businesses and mentors also complete surveys during the fellowship so we are able to make adjustments to projects, as necessary.

5) How much hands-on support will I or my staff have to contribute to my fellow’s project?


Our program is designed for fellows to be self-sufficient. Covalent’s training program, 1-on-1 mentors and internal team members enable fellows to access a wide array of resources necessary to complete their projects. We also provide fellows with frameworks, templates and additional resources to help them stay on track with their deliverables.

However, Covalent’s model is reliant upon clear communication. It is critical for small businesses to be responsive to fellows and meet weekly to discuss the progress of their projects. Please make sure you or a member of your staff can dedicate the necessary time and communication to create a meaningful experience for the fellow and your business.

6) My business is located outside the state of Illinois. Can I still apply?


Of course! While many of the small businesses, fellows and mentors are based in Illinois, Covalent welcomes and encourages any out-of-state individuals or businesses to apply, as well.

7) What kinds of small businesses does Covalent work with?


Fellows completed past projects for local cafes, boutique agencies, restaurants, start-ups, personal training groups and more. Covalent does not discriminate across industries and encourages small businesses within any sector to open a conversation with our leadership team to determine if there might be a fit.

8) Does Covalent prioritize diversity, equity and inclusion in its recruitment?


Covalent is committed to creating equitable opportunities for small businesses, fellows and mentors alike. Our fellows have been 58 percent female and 45 percent BIPOC. Small businesses have been 58 percent female-owned and 38 percent BIPOC-owned. We strive to create a community in which opportunity and success are independent of circumstance and background and will continue to use our platform to support that mission.

9) What if I’d like to continue working with my fellow following the conclusion of the fellowship?


We’ve often found businesses are thrilled by the work of their fellow(s) and pursue additional part- or full-time work opportunities with the fellow. Any work conducted beyond the completion date of the fellowship will be unaffiliated with Covalent. However, your business will incur a referral fee if you hire the fellow part-time or full-time.

10) I can’t commit my time to a fellow this summer, but I’d still like to support Covalent. How can I help?


There are a number of ways that Covalent could use your help:

  1. Consider a donation to our organization to help support emerging professionals and small businesses in your area.
  2. Share our mission with friends, family and colleagues.
  3. Follow us on social media.
    • https://www.facebook.com/thisiscovalent
    • https://www.linkedin.com/company/thisiscovalent
    • Instagram.com/thisiscovalent

We hope that you’ll consider applying to Covalent this summer and get the chance to be matched with an emerging professional who can support your digital marketing needs. 

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