Running a business is hard. And expensive. And there’s never enough time to focus on all the tasks you need to focus on. Inevitably, certain things you know you should do get sidelined by the daily grind of making sure work gets done and the lights stay on.
Marketing is often one of those backseat-takers. But you also know it’s important. Because if you don’t create a way to consistently bring in customers (the definition of marketing), you won’t have a business for very long.
So, what can you do? There are a number of options.
Split Your Focus (Even More)
In the beginning, many entrepreneurs decide to handle marketing themselves. After all, there are lots of DIY tools out there these days.
They’ll do a little quick training (maybe) and toss together a website, some blogs, a logo, a few emails – whatever.
If you truly don’t have any money to spend, this may be the only option available to you, and that’s okay. Lots of people go this route when they’re just starting out, and it can work – at least on a temporary basis.
But keep in mind that every moment you spend being the marketing person is time you can’t do the million other things your business needs from you.
Give Marketing to an Employee who Has Time
Often, the next step up after doing it all yourself is to pass tasks along to an assistant or someone in another low-level role who has “main” responsibilities, but also secondary “duties as assigned.”
For some reason, many business owners decide to make marketing one of these secondary responsibilities. Often, this is someone young who “understands technology.” Unfortunately, marketing is about more than using Canva and Squarespace.
- Identifying your target audience and understanding what problem your business solves for them
- Crafting a clear, compelling, and consistent message and ensuring it reaches your target audience
- Utilizing data analytics to measure the effectiveness of marketing campaigns and make informed decisions
Usually, this low-level employee does not have the skillset to create an effective marketing strategy that helps the business grow. And often, they’re not even given the data necessary to ensure their efforts are impacting the bottom line.
Essentially, despite absolutely no malicious intent, they are being set up to fail.
Using “Whatever You Need” Freelancers
There are countless really good freelancers out there who specialize in creating particular types of marketing materials. Writers who can deliver amazing copy. Designers whose work is gorgeous. Web developers who will give you the best site money can buy. And so on.
Typically, these types of freelancers are the least expensive way for you to get expertise in particular areas as long as you engage in some due diligence to make sure they produce quality work.
What most of them won’t help you with is a sense of direction. In other words, if you ask for a particular piece of content, they will happily do it – regardless of whether they actually think it’s smart marketing for your business – because doing the work is how they get paid.
Hiring Someone for a Marketing Position
Want someone with a good level of marketing skill and knowledge who can serve both as your “get it done” person and provide you with more of a focused marketing strategy?
Hiring an in-house marketing person is a great way to do this, provided you get the right individual. The downside to this is that finding – and paying – this “right” person is likely to be fairly expensive.
The going rate for in-house marketing is around 80K in annual salary – which doesn’t count additional employee costs such as payroll taxes, any benefits you offer to entice them to take the job, and the cost associated with the hiring process.
Moreover, if they don’t work out, you have to go through all of that again. And even if they possess a variety of marketing skills, chances are good that they will be stronger in some areas and weaker in others.
No one can be an expert in writing, graphic design, web development, PPC strategy, SEO, data analytics, videography, print advertising, market research, branding, budget management, project management, photography, and social media. It’s an impossible skill set for one person to have… and I’m probably still forgetting a few things on that list.
Working with a Marketing Agency
When many people hear “marketing agency,” they assume it’s something for Fortune 500 companies. And those definitely exist. But there are plenty of high-quality marketing agencies out there that work with small and mid-sized businesses, too.
Think about it this way: for less than the cost of hiring a single marketing employee, you can hire a marketing agency with a team of people, all of whom are experts in their respective fields.
Obviously, you won’t have that robust team of people working for you full time. But most businesses don’t really need a full-time marketing team. What they need is a group of people who understand marketing, know the ins and outs of their specific business and target audience, and possess the various skills they need when they need them.
That’s what we give you at WR Digital Marketing. Want to see if we’re a fit to help you grow your business?