Outsourcing Your Marketing vs Hiring an In-House Marketing Team? ~ 11 Entrepreneurs Share Their Advice

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.

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.

“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? … 

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
Outsource Your Marketing

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
Outsource Your Marketing

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 LLC

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

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’ve received 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
Outsource Your Marketing

David Murumbi 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, LLC

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

Peter Rigas 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 and CEO Of Giverrang

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

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
Outsource Your Marketing

Laurie Kessler shares, “My 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 The Brandarchist

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

Gary J. Nix 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.

The one piece of advice I would give entrepreneurs that feel weary about or otherwise unable to fully carry out marketing duties, is to 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
Outsource Your Marketing

Staci Schweitzer 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, LLC 

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

Keith Kirkpatrick 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
Outsource Your Marketing

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.

MARKETING ADVICE FOR ADVISORS: 5 Tips for Building Your Expertise

Marketing adviceA lot of advisors today are still relying solely on traditional methods of business development — like asking clients for referrals, cold emailing and networking.

The problem is not the method, but the call to action used with the method. Often times you’re asking your network and your clients to invite their friends to book a consultation with you. It’s no wonder why the sales cycle takes so long and yields a disappointingly low response rate.

Whether you’re an attorney, CPA, coach, consultant, financial advisor, attorney or fitness expert there is an overwhelming number of other advisors in your category competing for your prospect’s attention.

So, how does one stand out among so much competition?

The key is to focus on building your reputation as the clear go to expert in your field.

When you build your expertise:

  • Prospects are immediately pre sold on you before they even speak to you.
  • Prospects are calling you instead of you needing to go prospecting for clients.
  • You can also command higher fees when you get known as the high level expert.

Those are 3 great reasons to building your expertise isn’t it?

Yet, this marketing advice has been missed by so many advisors who end up spinning their wheels simply networking at coffees and lunches or buying more ad space. Instead of thinking about your marketing plan as “advertising” as an advisor you want to think about your overall marketing plan more like “educating.”

Keep in mind that the job of advertising is to to simply bring attention and awareness to who you are.  It’s pretty difficult to build your expertise inside an half page ad space, but you can do this easily with the unlimited free space you have at your disposal with a blog.

Educating your target market is not only free, but it also serves a key role to attracting more traffic to your website.

Educational marketing is about sharing your unique perspective on your subject. No scarcity mindset allowed here. Click To Tweet

Be generous in sharing your thought leadership, your insights, your pet peeves — your unique perspective.

Advisors who are stingy (or paranoid) about sharing your knowledge are the ones who end up being regarded as a commodity.

Here are 5 ways to implement this marketing advice, so you can leverage your advice to quickly attract new clients with ease.

1. Start blogging.

A blog is an article that is written in your voice as if you are having a personal conversation with your prospect one on one. You publish your blog on your main business website under it’s own tab labeled “blog”.

Blogging is an opportunity for you to leverage your time while reaching a much larger audience.  Here are four great reasons you should start blogging:

Blogging builds equity into your marketing assets — like owning a home versus paying rent each month.  When you publish your blog article, since it lives on the internet forever (unless you unpublish it) your message continues to reach new people month after month … year after year.

Blogging is also one of the easiest and fastest ways to get found on the internet by those very people who are looking for an expert like you (which is an SEO marketing advice tip!)

Blogging is also a great way to fuel your other business development tactics. If you’re using a free consultation or an “apply now” lead generation approach, you’ll see higher response rates if you first drive advertising, networking, social media updates to specific blog posts. This is an important bridge step that introduces a cold audience to you and warms them up. You’ll see a much higher response rate to your free consult or apply now invitation once you give them time to know-like-trust you through your valuable blog posts.

Blogging is an easy way to showcase your thought leadership and build your reputation as the go to expert in your field.  You can even republish your blog on your LinkedIn profile as long form articles where you’ll receive even greater visibility and reach than from just your website traffic alone.

So, now that you’ve decided you will commit to blogging, what should you blog about?

2. Brainstorm a blog editorial calendar.

It can be pretty daunting to stare at a blank paper and expect to whip out a great blog article every week. So, break up your blogging process in tiny bite size pieces. First, just brainstorm a list of ideas on topics and titles you could blog about.

  • What are the top 10 most frequently asked questions you hear from your prospects and clients?
  • What are the top 10 myths your target market believes about your topic that you can debunk?
  • What are 10 pieces of bad advice you see others giving in your industry?
  • What are 10 questions your prospects SHOULD be asking you?
  • What are 10 things prospects should be looking for when choosing the right (fill in the blank)?

See how quickly you can come up with your first 50 title ideas with just these thought joggers alone?

Here are 3 different examples:

If you are a CPA you could answer questions like:

  • What’s the latest tax advice for maximizing cash flow and profits for small business?
  • How to do a profit and loss statement for small business
  • What is a general ledger?
  • Pros and cons of sole proprietorship, LLC or sub S corporation

If you are a physical therapist you could answer questions like:

  • How long should you rest from a sprained ankle?
  • My son thinks he can tape his injured ankle and still play in the game. Is that a bad idea?
  • What are the best exercises to strengthen weak ankles?

This marketing advice is not just for advisors alone. It also works for all business owners. Let’s say you own a residential / commercial painting business you could answer questions like:

  • What’s the difference between latex paint and oil based paint?
  • What is the best type of paint to use for exterior house painting?
  • What should you do when you see bubbles on your exterior siding?

Ok, so imagine your website being full of answers and advice you give on 20 of these types of questions. I’m sure you can see how that would quickly elevate your expertise in the minds of your prospects.

By simply educating the public (which is what you do anyway when you speak to potential clients one on one) you are marketing yourself while being seen as the go-to expert in your field.

Building your expertise does take work. It won’t happen is just 5 minutes a day. However, it also does not require 5 hours a day either. After all, most of your work-week should understandably be spent in serving your clients and scaling your business!


3. Re-Purpose your blog for 5X the ROI.

Here is a great way to re-purpose one activity into multiple tactics, so you can reach more prospects through multiple channels. The gem in this marketing advice is by re-purposing your written content you are scaling your reach into audiences that the written word alone would not reach. 

Speak your blogs on video. While some prospects are readers and will find your blogs while surfing the internet, other prospects are visual and will find your content while surfing YouTube. Videos are also even more effective at building relationships than the written word alone because you engage more of their senses.

Plus, your personality comes through even greater on video when you speak. Building videos does not have to be expensive. While it’s good to hire a professional videographer for some of your video marketing, you can also create lots of great video blogs right from your smartphone or webcam.

If you don’t like getting in front of a camera or you just don’t have time to shoot a video here is an example of how I converted a blog post into a video where I’m mostly sharing my slides. You can also see an example of what the audio version looks like too on this same page:

https://paramountbusinesscoach.com/how-to-create-high-performing-teams/


Speak your blogs on audio. 
A third segment of your prospects are neither readers nor have the patience to sit in front of a computer to watch videos. For people who are on the go and like to multi task my marketing advice is to reach these folks through downloadable audio mp3’s where they can listen to your advice and get educated while they are driving, walking or doing other activities.

Republish your blogs on LinkedIn as long form articles. With this tip I mentioned earlier you want to be sure you publish it first as a blog on your website, then publish it again on LinkedIn. It’s a good idea to include a note at the end of the LinkedIn version that it was originally published on your specific blog URL.

Here is an example of one of my blogs we republished as a Linkedin long form article

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/strategic-planning-tip-staging-your-business-succeed-yoon-cannon/

 

Publish your blog as a SlideShare presentation. There is a 5th segment of your prospects who like getting a condensed version of your content in a Powerpoint slide deck format. You can hire inexpensive freelancers on sites like Fiverr to convert your blog into beautifully designed Powerpoint slides. Plus, since LinkedIn owns SlideShare it’s another great way to multiply your find-ability on LinkedIn.

Here is an example of what I shared on SlideShare that got 21,054 views so far!

https://www.slideshare.net/yooncannon/linked-in-tips-how-to-share-your-posts-to-multiple-linkedin-groups


4. Promote, Promote, Promote Your Blog!

Share your blogs, videos and audios on social media consistently throughout the year. Once you publish your blog people searching your topic will be able to find your article online (more so when you learn how to optimize your blogs for the right keywords), but you can drive 10X more traffic to your blog post when you promote and re-promote your content over and over throughout the year.

RELATED: How to Automate Your Blog Promotion
https://paramountbusinesscoach.com/reduce-social-media-overwhelm-with-coschedule/

Social media is a great channel to share the links of each blog, video and audio on sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus. Once users see the value you bring, you can get them to follow you and also share your content with others.

Every time you share a blog post or other types of updates on your social media your post appears in your network’s feed which is like having your ad appear (for free!) in the daily newspaper that gets delivered to everyone’s front door. You are reaching targeted people in your network as direct mail post cards would.

Except, they’ll want to read your post because it’s not an advertisement in the style of a commercial. They read your posts because you shared valuable information that educated them.

5. Convert blog readers into email subscribers.

While a some of your blog readers may contact you right away, studies show that 67% of people researching the internet are not yet actively ready to buy. But if they are reading your blog at all you want to consider them as a “warm audience”.

A great way to turn your warm audience into warm leads is to offer something of value in exchange for their email address. That way, you have the benefit of communicating with them directly to their inbox, so when they are actively looking to buy you will be top of mind since they have already been receiving valuable emails from you on a regular basis.

In the context of a blog, this is often referred to as a content upgrade. Explaining what this is and how to do it is beyond the scope of this blog post. So, I put together a free 3-part video course where you can use this key strategy to generate a steady flow of hot leads for your business.

BONUS BENEFIT!  You don’t even need to have a blog yet to implement this strategy I share inside the video course. You can use this to start generating hot leads right away as well as using it is as a blog content upgrade. 

When you enter your name and email I’ll send you the video series straight to your inbox.

If you enjoyed the marketing advice in this post please do share with other advisors and experts you know. I’d also like to invite you to …


PLEASE COMMENT – what is the ONE biggest paradigm shift you have now about marketing your business from reading this blog? Share your comments and questions below.

Here’s to your success!

Yoon ~

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