As a business owner, your time is valuable. You need to focus on growing your business, making sure the lights stay on, and paying your employees. The majority of your time is spent servicing customers but you also need to wear many other hats to keep your business going. So, how do you have time to market your business and gain more customers? You need help and you need it fast. Outsourcing marketing can be tricky and managing it can take just as much time. Here are 7 Tips to help you get marketing support so you can get back to business.
Tip 1: IDENTIFY WHAT YOUR COMPANY TRULY NEEDS AND WHY.
Your company may have glaring marketing needs all over the place. Your website is outdated. The logo needs to be refreshed. There is a new competitor taking away your business. Not enough people know about your service. You need to have a solid understanding of the biggest problem you think marketing can solve. Between you and me, a new website, new logo, or new message is not going to cut it unless you know exactly what you want to achieve. Be specific.
– We have a better service than our competitors. Our target needs to understand that.
– We need more leads coming in. Right now we only have one source of lead generation.
– Our website isn’t converting business the way it used to.
– Our target doesn’t understand the value of our service.
Now depending on what your desired outcome is will determine the actions needed. You may be savvy enough in marketing to know what the strategy and tactics should be to achieve it, but if not, speak to someone who does.
Tip 2: WHEN YOU OUTSOURCE, HAVE A PERSON DEDICATED TO WORKING WITH YOUR MARKETING RESOURCE
Here’s the thing. If you do not have the skill set or know how to understand the aspects of marketing you have hired for, find someone who does. Hiring an outside individual or firm leaves you at their mercy. They can overcharge and under deliver and you would be none the wiser. I once worked for a company who paid $15,000 for a video to be produced when there were online options that would have charged $500 for the same video. Having an in-house person or consultant to work with your talent will save you time and money in the long run.
Tip 3: DO NOT OVER MANAGE
You have made the decision to hire a professional or team. Understand how they work and ensure there are communication mechanisms in place to be aware of their progress and success. You have hired experts to take work off of your plate. Do not get mired in how they do it. Everyone has their own systems and methods. If you demand they work how your company does and use the same tools and processes your company employs, you will muck up their progress and limit their effectiveness.
Tip 4: COLLABORATE NOT DICTATE
This person or team that you have hired has the skill set to create your marketing project. They need to understand the purpose behind what you want and the outcome you are expecting. You have the knowledge they need to help hit those expected outcomes, so collaborate with them. Share what you have learned over the course of your business and what your core service benefits your customer’s typically respond to. Now, let the team go to work. See what they have done and collaborate more if needed. The last thing you want to do is then start to second-guess their work. You hired them for their expertise remember.
Tip 5: SEE HOW IT PLAYS
Marketing can sometimes be a longer process than expected. There are deliverables that do have expected timelines and can be measured. A new brochure should take “X” amount of time and a new website should be “X.” However, when you do something new, it needs time to connect with your customers and audience. Good marketing is not a one and done procedure. It is value driven content delivered consistently. Depending on the project, you should have an agreement with your marketing person on what should be deemed successful. Is it more leads and if so how many? Maybe more traffic to your website? Your marketing person will provide a strategy and plan on how to get to where you need to go. Make sure you have a clear understanding of what he or she is promising as a result of their work but give it time to actually happen.
Tip 6: PROJECT BASED OR CONTRACT BASED
Let me first explain the difference. Project based marketing is one project and done. Contract based is ongoing marketing support to deliver your expected outcomes. The problem with project based marketing is that if you do not have an in-house marketing person to carry on the project, it will not produce. For example, you hire someone to help redesign your website. They come in do a good job and you have a new site. Now, who maintains it? Who adds more content to it? Who ensures it is growing and attracting customers? When you hire a contract based team, they can develop a plan to not only build your site but to ensure your site does what is supposed for the long term.
Tip 7: LEVERAGING ONLINE FREELANCERS
There are some great sites out there to help deliver some quality services such as writing, design, app development, etc. Many of these sites such as Upwork do a great job of showing reviews of providers and showcasing their work so you can review and choose. These sites are relatively easy. You describe your job, the budget, the skills you are looking for and then post. It’s only a matter of time before you start to get responses. Sounds easy right? In some cases, it is but it is a lot of work as well. If you go this route you need an understanding of what you are managing. You can get great deals on projects especially from providers overseas, but those providers require a lot more management and oversight. Again, it is key to having someone manage this process for you so can ensure you are not getting taken advantage of.