This article is written for small business owners who have a limited marketing budget and not a lot of time; if this is you, read on.
Marketing is no rocket science, it doesn’t need a degree to operate and the worst case scenario won’t end in death.
So, in a nutshell, yes you can do-it-yourself or ‘DIY’ it.
But whether or not you should DIY your own marketing is a whole different question in itself.
This article will explore why it makes sense to hire help and what to look out for when you do so.
Marketing is a necessary part of every business, and as the owner you need to know about it irrespective of whether or not you are involved in its actual execution.
I will keep the pros and cons really brief because at the end of the day there are only two key determining factors: TIME and MONEY.
And on that note, what’s costing you in time is actually costing you money because time is itself a non-renewable opportunity cost.
E.g. You can be earning money doing task X if you didn’t spend the time doing task Y.
If you go down the DIY path, you will certainly learn a lot along the way.
However, there will be a learning curve for you to master marketing and to appreciate its intricacies if you are not from a marketing background.
Fun things you will learn about marketing include branding, buyer’s journey, email marketing, niche, organic and paid traffic sources, SEO, social media post, influencers, copywriting, testing, optimisation, and the list goes on.
There is a reason why ‘marketing’ is a complete industry in itself and there are companies that even specialise in the sub-niches of marketing.
Just like other professions, it takes time, practice, and constant learning to keep up with the industry’s operational, legal and technological changes.
Unless your business involves selling marketing services or products, it makes more sense to focus on how you can improve your core business to better service new customers and existing ones.
Remember, your time spent on DIY marketing is time lost to your other business activities.
Don’t let short-term monetary savings or your curiosity to learn distract you from what’s important. At the end of the day, you have a business to run!
At some point, if you want more time freedom and not be chained to the nitty-gritties of your business, you will need to hand over your marketing tasks to a person who has the ability to deliver equivalent or better results for you.
As the business owner, you should be constantly looking at doing that ‘one thing’ that only YOU can do as your business grows; every other task should be handled by someone else who costs you less than doing the job yourself.
If the above makes sense to you, and you have a budget to hire help then the logical next question is, ‘who should you hire?’.
Marketers come in all shapes and sizes; some are implementation experts in specialised areas while others act more like advisors and coaches assisting on a strategic level.
Who you should hire comes down to knowing two things:
1) where you are right now with your marketing, and
2) where you want to be, e.g. your marketing goals.
Note: Just to be clear. This article is written about hiring or outsourcing to an external marketer. This external marketer is usually hired as a contractor.
For a small business, it is often sufficient without employing an in-house full marketer.
Outsourcing gives a business more flexibility and less financial burden to find the right resources to meet certain shortcomings in their marketing strategy and or tactical execution.
On another note, the marketing being referred to here in this article is “digital marketing” and not traditional marketing, e.g. letterbox drop, billboard signage etc.
Warren Buffet once said, "Never invest in a business you cannot understand".
I think this same rule applies to hiring help for your marketing.
Marketing is indeed a big topic if you wish to get into the nitty gritty of it, but in a nutshell it is the first and ongoing impressions that you make on your prospective and existing customers.
Ask yourself the following three questions to gauge if your marketing needs additional help.
Where is your digital marketing currently at?
(What are you doing right now?)
What’s working, and what’s not?
If you put more resources on what’s working, will it get you to your goal fast enough?
Let's say we agree from the above questions that you need to hire help. Before you bring in a marketer you must know what your goals are and how you define success.
For example, do you want to:
Increase brand awareness?
Drive traffic to your web pages?
Get more engagement on social media?
Generate leads and conversions?
Since 2020, Covid-19 has pushed more people to interact online and this includes doing research before their next purchase. Hence, your marketing goals need to be supported by a solid online presence and with content pieces to help position you as the go-to industry leader.
There is no point driving traffic to your website if it has no content because visitors will just “bounce”, ie. leave your website the moment they can’t find the relevant answers.
If you don’t want to struggle with generating leads, you must establish the necessary trust with your prospective customers by increasing the number of digital touch points along their buyers’ journey.
The truth is, even if you can get in front of your target audience, only a small percentage of them are ready to buy right there and then. Therefore, you need a marketer who understands not only how to drive traffic to your content but someone who is also able to help you nurture the audience from your cold traffic, and warm them up systematically until they are hot and ready to buy.
You can read more about the different types of traffic in our other article here. In addition, you want a marketer who can grow with you and understands how to help you test a new market and optimise your existing marketing efforts so you can accelerate your growth.
Finally, communication is a huge factor in finding the right marketer because the business landscape is rapidly changing especially since 2020’s Covid-19 disruption.
Not only do you need someone who is agile and flexible to adapt with your business, but more importantly someone who is reachable and can keep you up to date if there are any changes you need to be aware of.
In conclusion, we recommend hiring help if you have the budget. But before doing so, you need to understand where you are at with it and what your goals are so you can find the right person for the job.
The key qualities of a great marketer include:
Up next, we will talk about if you should hire a marketer who provides a full package marketing solution, or someone who provides specialised modular marketing services.