Outsourcing Marketing vs Hiring a Marketing Team

Sigh! It can be incredibly frustrating to feel like the vision you have for your business is moving excruciatingly slow. You have zillions of brilliant marketing strategies. The problem is there is never enough time in your day to execute or manage it all especially without a marketing team

I have found the biggest cause is from something called the Marketing Strategy Execution Gap. You need more soldiers on the ground to deploy multiple marketing strategies to free you up to shine as Chief Visionary. You need a marketing team.

“Without vision, the people perish.” ~ Proverbs 29:18” “Without marketing, the vision will perish.” ~ Yoon Cannon” Click To Tweet

You probably already tried outsourcing to a marketing agency only to be disappointed with the results. According to digital.com, 76% percent of small business owners report facing marketing challenges.

The core challenges of marketing fall into these 5 areas:

  1. Generating traffic and leads
  2. Training your team to generating traffic and leads
  3. Lack of resources (budget / people / time)
  4. Hiring talented people
  5. Social media

I mean, starting a business is hard enough. Can’t leads just come you? You have a great business idea, right? You should be overwhelmed with leads, right?

Wishful thinking.

After All, There are amazing musicians who, based on their genius of talent, should be worldwide superstars. But instead, they starve and struggle for decades because they were never ‘discovered’ by record labels who can market the heck out of them. 

Your genius business idea is no different. Doing all the marketing yourself should no longer be an option. 

As the visionary, how will you close that ‘Marketing Strategy Execution Gap’?

  • Option 1: Outsource your marketing to a bunch of freelancers or to a marketing agency.
  • Option 2: Hire your own in-house marketing team.

Which is better for you? … 

Here From Entrepreneurs On Marketing Team

I’ve rounded up 10 small business entrepreneurs to weigh in with their opinion on this decision. Find out the pros and cons they have experienced with outsourcing vs hiring an in house marketing team. At the end I will also share my own experience from everything I have tried over 26 years of being an entrepreneur to help you make a more informed decision for yourself. 

Kymberlie Dimoz, CEO Of Lighting Rod Agency

Outsourcing is perfect when your business is making a healthy profit margin. Click To Tweet

 

Kymberlie Dimoz shares “outsourcing is perfect when your business is making a healthy profit margin but you haven’t quite yet realised your potential.”

 

 

Ambroise de La Gorce, CEO/Founder Of Openinno

@ambroisedlg Outsourcing at the very beginning of the business can offer more flexibility. Click To Tweet

Ambroise de La Gorce shares, “Outsourcing and in-house marketing both have their pros and cons. Each option can be better than the other in different situations depending on numerous factors, including type of management, marketing tools used, sprints management, business stage.

In my opinion, outsourcing at the very beginning of the business can offer more flexibility. Recruiting in-house is necessary when the product/market fit is validated, to give more stability to the business. Then outsourcing 20% of the team or so when scaling the business can be interesting to gather the resources we can hardly find on-site.”

 

Kerry Maybank Owner Of Strategic Links

@TheMaybankGroup I have team members that are great at marketing and create more of the significant pitch documents for us Click To Tweet

Kerry Maybank shares, “I mostly do my own marketing, but I have team members that are great at marketing and create more of the significant pitch documents for us.  I also have gotten free advertising by doing interviews with the media.

My company does not have employees.  We have team members.  People come onboard with exceptional talents in particular areas of the business that significant interest at the time.  Sometimes we provide equity if the need is that great or we barter and provide their companies something in return based on our expertise.  It keeps costs down, and creates mutually beneficial relationships, while increasing the exposure of our firm.”

 

David Murumbi Founder Of Rafiki Digi

@Rafiki We keep our marketing in-house because it allows us to harness our own data. Click To Tweet

 

David Shares, “We keep our marketing in-house because it allows us to harness our own data and learn to understand how our customers interact with our business. Combining marketing customer data, building segments, and then activating those segments in your communication is something that really draws growth.”

 

 

Peter Rigas Founder Of Fini Cutlery

No one will care about your business or know your products/services better than you and your staff. Click To Tweet

 

Peter Shares, “You need both. You need in house because no matter how much you pay an outside agency or group of freelancers, no one will care about your business or know your products/services better than you and your staff. However, there is so much to manage and oversee that you need outside agencies that specialize in the various verticals.”

 

 

Mark Walerysiak Jr. Founder Of Giverrang

@marktuff I would prefer to have someone inside the team and as close to the product as I am. Click To Tweet

 

Mark Walerysiak Jr. shares, “I’m early stage, and do all the marketing myself (at the moment). I could see the benefit of outsourcing particular tasks related to content / SEO. The more weedy stuff. But when it comes to telling compelling on-brand stories I would prefer to have someone inside the team and as close to the product as I am. When you eat, sleep, and breathe a product (and not worrying about other clients), you can communicate much more passionately about it in just about any form, and I think the audience can pick up on that. So the preference would be in-house if it’s doable.”

 

Laurie Kessler CEO Of The Celebrity Source

@celebritysource Our team has a great deal of experience - so we can tap into our own knowledge for basic initiatives Click To Tweet


Laurie shares, “Our marketing needs are managed with both internal and external resources. Our internal team has a great deal of experience in marketing and PR – so we can typically tap into our own knowledge and experience for basic initiatives like drafting corporate communications and pitches, social media posts, email marketing, etc.

We outsource for marketing tactics outside of our areas of expertise, or if our bandwidth is tight – such as more complex social media campaigns, SEO and digital advertising.”

 

 

Gary J. Nix Founder Of Brandarchist

@Mr_McFly No one can create someone else's brand on their own Click To Tweet

Gary Shares, “I’ve always done my marketing in-house. I’ve only worked in or ran marketing companies, so outsourcing my marketing would be really weird, lol.

The one piece of advice I would give entrepreneurs that feel weary about or otherwise unable to fully carry out marketing duties, still be involved. As a consultant, part of my job is to learn as much about my client’s brand as possible because the person or people leading the business know the most about their brand. I can help a client focus. I can help a client develop. However, no one can create someone else’s brand on their own.”

 

Staci Schweitzer Founder Of Blue Moss 

@stacischweitzer I'm doing it all right now -- I think it actually helps build trust and is part of my business values. Click To Tweet


Staci shares, “As a new one-woman consultancy, I’m doing it all right now — marketing and business development as well as everything else involved in the business! 

Honestly, while that requires more time and effort from me, I think it actually helps build trust and is part of my business values. With me, it’s personal, and my clients know that they can trust Blue Moss for personal dedication and utmost quality.”

 

Keith Kirkpatrick Principal & Founder of 4K Research & Consulting

@4K_Research I find it easier to directly reach out to potential clients Click To Tweet



Keith shares “I generally do not outsource marketing, as I find it easier to directly reach out to potential clients. Additionally, much of my work comes through referrals, anyway.”

 

 

Yoon Cannon Founder, Paramount Business Coach Host, Biz Growth Doctors Show

@yooncannon Make sure your marketing project manager is a well trained Full Stack Marketer. Click To Tweet

I have done all three options throughout my 26 year  journey owning 4 different businesses. I once did all the marketing myself. But I quickly found that not to be the best use of my time as the Chief Visionary and Strategist. Just because I know how to do the marketing, doesn’t mean I should be the primary person executing it all. So, then I spent many years outsourcing to freelancers.

While it’s a good choice for one time projects,  the danger is you end up spending way too much time vetting and project managing freelancers, which prevents you from acting as the Chief Visionary and Strategist. The other common pitfall with outsourcing is the temptation to hire the lowest priced freelancer. Like with anything else … you get what you pay for.

You risk super sloppy mistakes and oversights that cost you your brand’s reputation. Here’s an example a realtor friend of mine forwarded me. She subscribed to be on an email list from a marketing provider in her industry … to her surprise here’s what the email read:

 

My realtor friend was so confused! …. Here she thought she was signing up to let this marketing company do her social media posts and email marketing for her.  Instead of getting info about the done for you marketing services she was expecting, an email template and an email from a weight loss company came instead. Certainly people do make mistakes. But, when you outsource to the cheapest provider, sloppy mistakes just seem to occur in high frequency. 

Marketing is not a mindless task any monkey can do.  

When I exhausted my patience for chronic sloppy mistakes from outsourced VA’s and freelancers I decided to let go the reigns and hired a marketing agency to take care of it all A-Z. I hoped outsourcing the majority of my marketing to an agency would remove the project managing off my plate.

I hired Several different agencies, but in each experience I didn’t see the ROI to renew. Instead, I discovered the project managers who were assigned to me were skilled at project managing (which is a good thing), but so many critical details got missed because they weren’t skilled enough in all things marketing. [CONTEXT] There are many great marketing agencies out there who have highly skilled marketers as project managers, but these agencies are often geared to Enterprise size clients, not so much for the SMB community.

What I do now, and my advice to other SMB’s (small-medium business owners) is the 70-20-10 mix. 

  • 70% of our core marketing is done in-house
  • 20% is outsourced (one time projects or a specialty area we don’t have in house yet)
  • 10% still is done by me (like recording videos, giving interviews)

I finally found the key to taking project managing off your plate as a small business owner is to make sure the project manager is a well trained Full Stack Marketer. 

Conclusion

Ok … there you have it. You just heard from 11 of us about our experiences and opinions on whether it’s better to outsource your marketing or hire your own in-house marketing team. 

Whether you decide to outsource or hire in house, the next set of decisions you’ll need to make are things like: 

  1. Who should you hire first?
  2. What’s the going rate for this and that?
  3. What is the best marketing strategy they should be implementing for your business?
  4. Where can you go to find marketers who know what they’re doing?
  5. What should you look for when hiring your marketing person/team?

My answer to all of the above questions is this: 

It depends. 

I would answer all of these questions differently depending on each unique business owner, bandwidth, budget and brand. If you want to get clarity on best way for you to eliminate the marketing strategy execution gap in your business why not take me up on my free offer? For a limited time, I am offering a FREE 45 Minute Strategy Call to help you work through this. 

FREE THE WIZARD

Click the link below and Eliminate Your Marketing Strategy Execution Gap!

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QUESTION: What other questions would you add to the list of 5 above? Share your comments and questions below.

5 Ways to Build Your Digital Presence During Covid-19

It’s a scary time for everyone during Covid-19. We all know this pandemic has forced a lot of business owners to go out of business. 😢😧

If you are blessed to be among the lucky group who are NOT facing going out of business here’s a short video that shares 5 free effective ways to build your digital presence, so you can boost more visibility for your business during and after covid.

We are also offering free help, guidance, feedback, support for business owners on Tuesdays from 12noon-1pm EST on Zoom through the end of April.

Just comment below “Business Owner Public Service” and we’ll message you the link to join.

5 Great Tips for Marketing Your Small Business

When it comes to marketing your small business, where every dollar counts, it can feel a bit like throwing your money into a giant black hole, never to be seen again. However, it doesn’t have to be. 

Small business owners today have never had greater access to cost-effective and trackable marketing tools. The question is, where to start?

Below, we’ve gathered five great ways you can go about marketing your small business, no matter your budget, from five experts in the field.

Also, be sure to check out our previous article on Easy Local Business Marketing Ideas to Boost Sales.

#1: Marketing Your Small Business With Email

@KabbageInc Consumers regularly say that email is their preferred channel for brand communications. https://bit.ly/2sTOeQ9 Click To Tweet
market your small business Victoria Treyger

Victoria Treyger shares “There’s a reason email marketing ranks high on our list of recommendations for small businesses and startups: It works. Regardless of industry or organizational size, marketers across the board point to email marketing as the tactic that produces their highest return on marketing dollars invested. ExactTarget.com’s 50 Email Marketing Tips and Stats for 2014 reported that marketers received an average return on investment of $44.25 for every $1 spent on email marketing.

Not only is it effective, it’s also desired. In study after study, consumers regularly say that email is their preferred channel for brand communications. According to MarketingProfs.com, a study suggests that for nearly one-third of all consumers, email is the communication channel they prefer when it comes to marketing.”

Read More: 6 Ways to Market Your Small Business for Less Than $100 

#2: Socialize on Social Media

@ChrisDunnTV nearly two-thirds of American adults use #socialmedia now. https://bit.ly/2sTOeQ9 Click To Tweet
market your small business Chris Dunn

Chris Dunn says, “According to the Pew Research Center Report of Social Media Usage: 2005-2015, nearly two-thirds of American adults use social media now. This is a near tenfold increase within the last decade.

Popular social media channels include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Reddit, LinkedIn, Google Plus and Snapchat. Each of these social media platforms are unique in its own right and require unique ways of engagement. Rather than try to master it all at once, choose a few you like and try to master those first.”

Read More: 8 Powerful Ways to Market Your Business on a Limited Budget.

#3: Create Compelling Content

@marrsipan it’d be neglectful not to mention the importance of kick-ass #content. https://bit.ly/2sTOeQ9 Click To Tweet
market your small business Megan Marrs

Megan Marrs shares, “I don’t think I even need to say this, but it’d be neglectful not to mention the importance of kick-ass content. If you can create it yourself, all the better (isn’t free always better?). Even if writing isn’t your strong point, you shouldn’t have too much trouble getting someone on your team to crank out some articles for your blog. Try top 10 lists, tip collections, best practices for your industry, etc.”

Read More: 22 Low-Budget Marketing Ideas For Small Businesses

 

#4: Write Guest Posts

@ianblair44 Guest posting is one of the most effective ways to promote your brand online. https://bit.ly/2sTOeQ9 Click To Tweet
market your small business Ian Blair

Ian Blair says: “Guest posting is one of the most effective ways to promote your brand online.

Guest posting is where you can write an article for another website that they then publish and promote to their audience.

While guest posting will rarely drive any significant amount of actual traffic, it can be very valuable for a number of reasons:

  1. Establish yourself and your brand as an authority in the space of marketing your small business
  2. Get backlinks to your website from popular, high-ranking websites
  3. Get your brand directly in front of your targets when marketing your small business
  4. Network with influencers in your niche (potential joint venture partners)
  5. Link to people who will then link to you in their own guest posts”

Read More: How To Promote Your Business: 20 Proven Strategies

#5: Marketing Your Small Business Will Create Buzz

@SusanSolovic Today, a small business owner can accomplish a lot without hiring a professional firm. https://bit.ly/2sTOeQ9 Click To Tweet
market your small business Susan Solovic

Susan Solovic shares, “I started my corporate career in the field of public relations and the business has changed significantly because of technology.

Today, by marketing your small business you can accomplish a lot without hiring a professional firm. Subscribe to Help a Reporter Out. You can respond to reporters’ queries that are looking for story ideas and resources. Some are small media opportunities, but others are major media outlets that use this service too.”

Read More: 10 Ways to Market Your Small Business on a Shoestring Budget.

Also: How to Generate More Leads from 7 Marketing Tactics You’re Already Doing

As you can see, marketing your small business doesn’t have to be daunting. The tools you need are more accessible than ever, and with these tips (along with a little creativity), you can build an effective strategy for your business.

QUESTION: Have another Tip (or question) for marketing your small business? Share with us in the comments below!

P.S. If you want to see the best results from implementing these expert tips, it’s important that you first know who who your ideal customer is, where they are, and what they will buy. Instead of using a spreadsheet, be sure to Download our FREE Customer Avatar Template Worksheet to get clear on exactly who you’re selling to.

6 Essential Tools for Scaling Your Business

The proven process of scaling a business is a slow and winding one, and is more involved than basic growth. As a small business owner, it can be difficult to remember that every Fortune 1000 company started just as you are. And while it may be tempting to seek out shortcuts and quick schemes that promise to speed up growth, your results will likely be as fleeting as the path was to get there.

To ensure you’re taking the right steps for long-term success, we’re highlighting six essential tools for strategically scaling your business.

Also, remember that you don’t need to overwhelm yourself – Work Less and Achieve More Growth in Your Business.

1. Chatbots

Success stems from customers. Happy customers are more likely to become repeat customers, and oftentimes can also be your biggest advocates. 

However, given that business growth is only sustainable with a reliable customer base, a decline in customer satisfaction can have a significantly negative impact on your growth plan. Keeping this in mind can make all the difference in the speed at which you scale your business.

For this reason, establishing a strong customer service model is essential. This allows your team to provide the service your customers have become accustomed to, while also catering to new customers.

Many small businesses, particularly ones with plans to scale, have begun implementing chatbots. This eases the workload of increased customer queries and also maintains high-quality service.

As chatbots become increasingly more advanced, more and more businesses are relying on them for the bulk of their service requests. This not only enables businesses to successfully grow their customer base (and, thus, take on larger workloads), but it also meets modern customers’ requests for on-demand service. In fact, more than half of consumers would rather talk with a chatbot, than a human, in order to save time.

2. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) System

A dedicated CRM system can be a big help as you grow your customer base. It cohesively manages all of your company’s relationships and interactions with new and existing customers. This allows your team to effectively work toward improving business relationships as you grow.

Along with the increased customer connections, a CRM system can also aid in user data management and improve team collaboration—particularly between your marketing and sales teams.

CRM software for SMBs

When selecting the CRM software best suited for your small business, there are a few key qualifiers to help you make the right decision. 

  • Budget: Seek out cost-efficient options capable of growing with your business without breaking your initial budget.
  • Customization: Certain datasets are more relevant than others in the early stages of growth. So, tools that allow you to look at the bigger picture can reduce the sense of overwhelm. 
  • Integration: Make sure the system you choose integrates well with other tools.
  • Customer support: Overall, SMBs have smaller teams. Therefore, a reliable support system helps get you up and running with the new technology. 

HubSpot CRM is a popular free option for small businesses, thanks to its easy to use built-in interface. Since everything is deployed in the cloud, there is no need for complicated installations and/or navigational training.

Salesforce CRM is another excellent option, for it’s easy integration with external business solutions and sales assistance tools.

3. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) System

Organizational software can make all the difference when it comes to achieving your business scaling goals. Generally speaking, small businesses can get away with simple record-keeping processes, and basic accounting solutions. However, as you scale, you’ll likely grow out of these preliminary tools. Therefore, an ERP can help automate and coordinate the growing number of complex business processes that your scaling business will inevitably accumulate.

Since the introduction of cloud-based systems, top quality ERP systems, once only available to large corporations, are within reach of smaller companies—both financially functionally.  A modern ERP cloud solution can help streamline operations, ensuring your entire organization is working in sync, and on pace with technology.

For business scaling in particular, software that you can both, trust to update autonomously, and grow with your business, is essential. You can avoid any unnecessary complexity by choosing a solution that is specific to the cloud, as opposed to the on-premises solutions that have been rewritten to service in the cloud (for instance Infor ERP products).

Today’s industry leaders recognize the power that small businesses hold. As a result, they are increasingly targeting small and medium sized businesses with cloud-based versions of ERP software. Depending on your specific business environment and goals, there are several available options to help you meet your scaling goals.

4. Inventory Management Software

Increased volumes of business are expected when scaling. As is the amount of inventory and information you need to keep track of. Although a spreadsheet may have been suitable as a small business, the larger you scale, the more difficult effective management becomes.

Inventory management software relieves this pressure by simplifying the tracking process of whatever it is that makes your business function. Comparing inventory management software, based on their offerings, pricing, and your specific business needs, can help you make the right choice for your business.

5. Email Automation

A digital marketing strategy is fundamental in modern business success. As you scale, however, your traditional marketing efforts will likely need a reboot.

Automation is a lifesaver when it comes to scaling a business. Extending your reach without additional effort is possible through the many tools designed to help automate marketing tasks. Mailchimp, for example, is an easy-to-use platform for email automation.

To build your customer base, it’s important to put adequate effort into spreading your message. This means alerting all potential and existing customers of your latest offering, and generating new conversion whenever possible.

6. Social Media Automation

A strong social media presence is critical to successfully promoting your business. However, in the early days of your scaling, you probably don’t have a dedicated social team.

Not to worry, though. Social media automation tools have made it easier than ever. They can pre-schedule content to share across your various networks and profiles, track performance, collaborate with fellow social media users, and manage a consistent reposting schedule.

Tools like AgoraPulse and Hootsuite are very popular platforms that can help you improve your social media presence while also saving you time.

Ultimately, There is no one-size-fits-all method to scaling a business. As you go through the process, you’ll recognize what works for you, and what your business needs to achieve success.

QUESTION: Which of these tools interests you the most? Let us know in the comments below!

You Don’t Need to Build Your Business Alone

Running your own business is hard. Running your business all alone is even harder.  😩

There’s so much advice out there it’s hard to know what to do and what to focus on first. You’re worried about following the wrong advice, or just as bad …. The right advice at the wrong time.

You can commit to working harder …. But, what if you’re working hard on the wrong things? You’ll easily waste months and even years spinning your wheels. 😭

Your friends and family don’t know what it’s like to be an entrepreneur. They don’t understand the challenges you face running your own business or how to solve the problems that keep you up at night.

Right now, you have no one to talk to who can give you meaningful support and actionable advice. 

📍You need to FIND YOUR PEOPLE. 

Take the first step … right here … right now.

✅ WHAT IS ONE DECISION YOU NEED TO MAKE IN YOUR BUSINESS RIGHT NOW?

Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. By sharing a decision you’ve been delaying to make or a challenge that’s got you stuck … not only could you receive some 💡great ideas 💡 to help you … you’re also helping so many others who are facing the same challenge in their business.