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!

Team Motivation Ideas Coaching Call Sign Up

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

6 Affordable Trade Show Tips to Double Your Success!

In the digital age, setting up a trade show booth and talking to actual people might seem like a trip back to the stone age, but 99 percent of marketers find unique value in this format, according to the Trade Show News Network. With face-to-face meetings, you can reel in more clients and, because so many of your clients will be in the same place at once, you can build brand awareness with all of them in one fell swoop. Before you set up your next trade show be sure to include thee trade show tips to help you generate more leads.

Exhibiting doesn’t need to be expensive and, if you integrate these six trade show tips into your show strategy, you could easily increase your profits without spending an extra dime:

Trade Show Tip #1:  Make It Interactive

The more a potential client has to do in your booth, the longer they will stay. The longer you have them in front of you, the more likely they are to become a client. To keep them, your booth needs to engage and captivate. How can you make it interactive?

Inc.com reports that Monster, the career building company, has kept people in its booths by letting them play with interactive touch screens. If that’s out of your budget, bring demos of your products or iPads with interactive tours of your ideas. Even handing someone a clipboard with a form to fill out could be considered interactive.

Trade Show Tip #2: Process Sales on Site

One way to double your success is to collect money at the event itself. If someone’s excited about your product, let them have it then and there. Thanks to mobile credit card processing, you can easily charge someone’s credit card, using just your phone. Most companies offer a free card reader and charge a small percentage per transaction. You can set up this convenience without having to spend a lot of cash upfront.

Trade Show Tip #3: Secure Prime Real Estate

The show producer probably charges the same amount of money for every spot in the show. You can spend extra cash and buy a larger booth, but there are ways to be seen without digging too deeply into your pockets.

Buy your booth early and ask the producer to let you pick out your own spot. Choose a booth near the front doors, on a corner, or at the top of an aisle. The more foot traffic you have coming past, the more opportunities for earning you have. If spots aren’t assigned before the show, arrive as early as possible so you can stake out a prime piece of real estate.

Trade Show Tip #4: Promote! Promote! Promote!

Obviously, the show producer will run a big marketing campaign leading up to the show, but don’t forget to do your own work, as well. Forbes reminds exhibitors to promote the event as if it’s their own, because it is. Invite your network to the event, send email blasts to your contact lists, and even buy extra tickets so you can let your best clients into the show for free.

Trade Show Tip #5: Speak Up!

You are an expert in your field, and the show needs to fill time slots on its stage. Offer to speak. It will bring you, your brand, and your products more attention. Tailor the speech to the show attendees. If it’s a consumer show, stick with how to’s, consumer tips, or product demos. If it’s a show full of industry peers, talk about things that will grab their attention, like shifts in the industry or new product trends.

Trade Show Tip #6: Offer an Irresistible Incentive!

Among all the trade show tips the first objective you should focus on is how you will get more traffic to the table. Your aim here is not necessarily to attract the immediate sales opportunities (although that may sound more intuitive). What is even more valuable to you is to leave with contact information of potential prospects who could be in the market in the future.  Featuring an irresistible incentive to motivate attendees to give you their business card or fill out your lead sheet should be on the top of your trade show tips strategy.

QUESTION: What is a creative strategy you’ve used? Share your best trade show tips in the comment box below.

© Copyright 2016

5 Inexpensive Ways to Market Your Small Business

 

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Note from Yoon:

Setting your own hours, working from the comfort of your home (in your pajamas?) and being your own boss are some of the big perks of being a small business owner. As a business coach my clients are throughout the United States and even overseas, but it’s all headquartered right in my own home. This is me in my home office (ok, so I don’t always take the Richard Branson approach and work sitting in a hammock).

A major drawback, however, is the cost that it takes to get everything up and running. In today’s article I wanted to share with you my tips for one of the most common questions I receive from small business owners and solopreneurs who are trying to market their businesses on a small budget. Read below and make sure you share your comments and questions.

Blessings!

Signature

The Small Business Administration says that the average business owner invests $30,000 into their new business. If you’re dreaming of starting a business, or already have, and are strapped for cash; here are five low cost marketing tips to help you gain and retain customers:

Donate to local fundraisers and charity events.

Doing things like giving $50 to a charity to help victims of a natural disaster or donating some of your products to the school’s annual carnival — and getting your name printed on their handouts — is likely to be worth every penny you invest, says Entrepreneur. Aim to support any cause as a business that you would personally, and try to support events that are mid- to large-scale so that you get the most visibility for your dollar. As a bonus, your donation may be tax deductible.

Work with other small business owners to cross promote.

Nothing helps ramp up business better than by teaming up with others. Find businesses that have a natural connection to yours and hand out their sales fliers and business cards to your customers. And ask them to reciprocate. If you’re a dog groomer, it would be natural for you to work with people who specialize in walking dogs, baking organic doggie snacks, crafting dog sweaters and the local pet shop owner. In this way, you’re creating value, not competition, since each one of your offer unique goods and services.

Remember your customers’ special days

Collect info on your customers as part of your loyalty program, create and order postcards from OvernightPrints.com and then send the cards to customers on their birthday, anniversary, birth of a child or other special event that you know about. The cards can do double-duty by offering a discount or free gift when the customer comes in with the card.

Start a blog and be active in social media

Internet users are pretty savvy and are adept at finding free information. Businesspeople who hand out loads of useful info are often rewarded with the sale or contract, simply because they go above and beyond the average person’s expectations. An article from PC Mag says that providing tips, suggestions, hints or reviews of your product or service makes great web content. Also be sure to join relevant groups and be active in the conversations taking place on Twitter and Facebook.

Set up a booth or table at community events.

Dropping $100 for a booth at a local festival where thousands of people will be exposed to your products or services can offer a great ROI. Be liberal in handing out business cards, brochures, samples, pencils, magnets or whatever fun item that you have personalized with your name, phone number and website URL. Within a few days your name and phone number will be in the hands of hundreds or thousands of households in your city, where they’ll repeatedly be reminded of you and likely give you a call when the time is right.

There are actually hundreds of ways to market your small business inexpensively. I just shared 5. Please share your best ideas on other inexpensive ways to market your small business.

 

About Yoon Cannon: Top business coach Yoon Cannon has helped thousands of small business owners, entrepreneurs, coaches, consultants and sales teams achieve dramatic results in growing your business. Over the past 20 years Yoon has started 4 successful companies and sold 3 of them. She offers fresh insights as a seasoned business growth expert. Yoon delivers proven process for your sales, marketing and management development.  Grab free valuable gifts and resources at http://www.ParamountBusinessCoach.com  To book Yoon to speak at your next event email: [email protected] To schedule a complimentary business coaching consultation call (215) 292-4947. 

© Copyright 2016

 

What’s Your Follow Up System?

Note From Yoon

I was having my coffee early this morning on my front porch and noticed the fog lifting from my view of Buckingham mountain. It was so breath taking I had to go inside and grab my phone so I could take a picture to share with you. I only looked down for a few minutes to crop the photo. By the time I looked back up that fog already disappeared.  

It reminded me of how true the statement, “You have to strike while the iron’s hot”.  This made me think about the discipline of follow up. If you want to attract more clients, you need to strike while the iron’s hot. The problem with that however, is half the time, we don’t always know when our potential prospects are ready. Here’s a brief blog I wrote on creating a follow up system, so you don’t miss those hot opportunities. I invite you to share you comments and questions about how you can create effective, simple follow up systems that work.  Enjoy! 

Blessings ~ 

Signature

 

What’s Your Follow Up System?

Imagine, missing out on a great new account all because when your prospect was ready, she’d forgotten about you. Picture this scenario, you’re a financial advisor, you meet prospects every week but you don’t have a system for keeping in touch.Six months ago you met this particular prospect at a networking function.  You exchanged cards and maybe you even sent a “nice to meet you” email the following day.  But you never reached out to her again. 

Four months later, she met another financial advisor who’d followed up with an informative article.   A few weeks after that, he’d sent an email and offered a short phone consultation.  Your prospect became his prospect.  Has this ever happened to you? 

Follow up is the most important component in building your networks and getting more referrals. Marcia Yudkin of the Marketing Minute says most of her referrals are for people she recently interacted with.  So, keep in touch. 

How often?  Each contact will be different but every 1-3 months is about right for many potential clients.  And don’t always ask for work.  Forward a relevant article you think they may be interested in, let them know if you’ve added another skill set to your repertoire, be helpful.   Keep it short and related.  This tactic is simple once you get into the habit and helps to build your relationship.  When they need your services, you’ll be top of mind. 

It can take anywhere from 3 months to 2 years to turn some leads into clients.  Nurture them along the way by being a resource. If these ideas sound too big to implement there are some great ways to systematize your follow up process and even scale it to large numbers of prospects versus following up with every individual. You can learn these systems.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed or need help with your follow up marketing plan, I’m just a phone call away.   You can reach me at 215-292-4947.  Call today to set up your free 30 min Discovery Session and lay the foundation to take your business to the next level!

 QUESTION:  What follow up did you do that turned into a client success story? Share your comments here

About Yoon Cannon: Top business coach Yoon Cannon has helped thousands of small business owners, entrepreneurs, coaches, consultants and sales teams achieve dramatic results in growing your business. Over the past 20 years Yoon has started 4 successful companies and sold 3 of them. She offers fresh insights as a seasoned business growth expert. Yoon delivers proven process for your sales, marketing and management development.  Grab free valuable gifts and resources at http://www.ParamountBusinessCoach.com  To book Yoon to speak at your next event email: [email protected] To schedule a complimentary business coaching consultation call (215) 292-4947. 

© Copyright 2016

10 Things You Can Do to Generate a Buzz to Boost Your Business

Today’s tips come to you from my friend and top PR expert, Gina Furia Rubel of Furia Rubel Communications.  I asked Gina to share with my readers what her 10 tips would be for small business owners like you to generate a buzz to boost your business. So, here are Gina’s tips for you from an award winning PR expert:

There are many public relations tactics you can employ to develop new and grow existing business. Tactics designed to increase awareness among your target customers, create an ongoing buzz and position you as an expert in your industry will inevitably generate business.

1. Issue press releases. Tell the world about your business wins, promotions, awards, community outreach and board appointments. Local newspapers print good news stories.

2. Update your voicemail message. Every time someone calls your office and hears your voicemail message, they should be happy to leave a
message. Make it friendly, energetic, informative and compelling. Don’t forget to say your company name and what it is you do.

3. Use your e-mail signature. Restate your company mission, add a favorite quote, place a link to a news article about your company, or
just add your LinkedIn profile link. Whatever you do, make sure your contact information is included.

4. Be an expert: speak and write.
By speaking at conferences and publishing articles, your peers will identify you as an expert and refer you business.

5. Have a great website. In today’s day and age, if you don’t have a website you’re not considered legitimate.

6. Get social. If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile you should (at the very least). Then learn how to use it, Facebook, Twitter and the various
other free tools at your fingertips to maximize the value of your relationships.

7. Create video-casts. Since you’re the expert, start creating how-to video-casts.

Post them on YouTube and other free distribution channels then share them via your website, social media profiles, e-mail signature and other communication tools.

8. Identify on and off-line business listing opportunities. Update your company’s business listings yearly. Many online listings are free
and the more places your company is listed, the higher your website will rank in search engines.

9. Volunteer. Get active in an organization that you are passionate about. Giving back always leads to a greater good.

10. Blog. Blogs are a great way to demonstrate your expertise. They help to establish you as an authority in your industry.

Ok, so those were Gina’s 10 things you can do to generate a buzz to quickly boost your business. By the way, if you’re interested in getting top notch professional PR services check out Gina’s website at http://www.furiarubel.com. They are a full service firm who can take care of your advertising, branding and website needs as well.

QUESTION: Which of the above 10 tips feel the most challenging for you and why?  Please share your thoughts in the comment box below.

About Yoon Cannon: Top business coach Yoon Cannon has helped thousands of small business owners, entrepreneurs, coaches, consultants and sales teams achieve dramatic results in growing your business. Over the past 20 years Yoon has started 4 successful companies and sold 3 of them. She offers fresh insights as a seasoned business growth expert. Yoon delivers proven process for your sales, marketing and management development.  Grab free valuable gifts and resources at http://www.ParamountBusinessCoach.com  To book Yoon to speak at your next event email: [email protected] To schedule a complimentary business coaching consultation call (215) 292-4947. 

© Copyright 2016