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.
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:
Generating traffic and leads
Training your team to generating traffic and leads
Lack of resources (budget / people / time)
Hiring talented people
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?
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.
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 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 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 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. 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 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 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 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
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.
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:
Who should you hire first?
What’s the going rate for this and that?
What is the best marketing strategy they should be implementing for your business?
Where can you go to find marketers who know what they’re doing?
What should you look for when hiring your marketing person/team?
My answer to all of the above questions is this:
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!
QUESTION: What other questions would you add to the list of 5 above? Share your comments and questions below.
Every business today should have a blog. Publishing new blog content regularly is one of the easiest ways to quickly build your authority and thought leadership within your industry.
The many advantages, like reaching the press, improving SEO, building your know-like-trust factor and more, all make it well worth the time to publish new blog content on your website on a consistent basis.
It’s also important to optimize your WordPress blogfor relevant keywords and keyword phrases that you target audience types in search of solutions your business delivers. If you do not optimize your blog, you will create less traffic to your website, making it harder to get found by ideal customers who are in the market for your services now.
Today, with plug ins like Yoast for WordPress, it’s easier now more than ever to optimize your blog in just minutes — saving you thousands of dollars from not needing to outsource this simple task.
Yoast is easy to use once you get the hang of it and has an ample amount of options to help you get your blog found in online searches. Follow this step by step process on how to optimize your WordPress blog using Yoast and you will soon feel like a pro!
1. Get a WordPress blog: Go to WordPress.org and click “Download WordPress.”
You will be taken to this screen: Click download again and wait for it to complete.
2. Go to your website
3. Click on the plugins tab and click add new
4. Search for Yoast SEO. This is the plugin that will help you to optimize your WordPress blog.
5. Click Install Now shown below
6. Click Activate
7. It will come up on your sidebar as “SEO” once the plugin is added correctly.
8. The configuration wizard is good for starting out with Yoast. It will take you through the basics of optimizing your blog step by step. It is located in the “General” tab shown below.
9. After you have edited your blog, if you are unhappy with your work, you can click the “restore default settings” button also in the “General” tab and it will return your settings to their original state.
10. On the “Your info” tab indicated below, you can change your website name, select if you’re a company or a person, and write your name in if you are not a company.
11. Under the Webmaster tools tab, you can verify your website with multiple search engines. Start by clicking the link to “Google Search Console.”
You will be taken to a screen that looks like this. Follow the recommended method to verify your website.
12. In the Titles & Metas tab, you can choose the symbol you would like to appear on the tab of your website.
13. The Homepage tab is where you will optimize the front page of your website. You can optimize the title and description which will later appear on the search engine.
14. The Post types tab is where you will customize the templates for your posts, pages, and media. You can customize the title templates and the description templates.
15. The Taxonomies tab is where you customize templates for your categories, tags, and format.
16. The social tab is where all of your social media accountlinks go. If you click on each tab, you can customize what people will see as the frontpage of these profiles.
17. Frontpage settings will allow you to customize what people see when they share your social media profiles.
18. Click on the tools tab next.
The most useful link on the tools page is the bulk editor which allows you to edit all of the titles on your website.
19. If you choose a post and press edit, it will allow you to optimize each post inside of your website individually.
20. Under “SEO Title,” always put your most important keywords.
21. The red dots shown here will give you an idea of what is missing from your website in terms of optimization.
It’s that simple. Just use the notifications in the red and orange buttons as a checklist to fix one by one. You’ll see how quickly you can optimize your blog post for your keyword phrases that will help your blog get found by so many more potential customers who are searching online.
QUESTION: Share your best blog optimization tip below or post your question on this topic:
To me, it means understanding that for your business to succeed this year, you should have an effective presence on at least one social media network. My favorite isLinkedIn.
Knowing that these strategies can help you generate more leads. Seeing everyone else benefiting from using social media, but feeling stuck because you feel like you just don’t have enough time to do the same.
We’re going to show you a tool that lets you put your social media efforts on autopilot, so you can reap the benefits without having to worry about giving up more of your time to manage your different profiles.
CoSchedule is perfect for the busy entrepreneur who realizes the importance of staying active on their blog and social media.
Check out this step-by-step guide to using CoSchedule to take advantage of what social media can do for your business without all the overwhelm.
What does CoSchedule do?
CoSchedule is a social media and content editorial calendar that allows you to work collaboratively with your team and see what’s ahead for your marketing efforts all in one place.
In CoSchedule, you can manage, create and publish your blogs and content to all your social media platforms content in one place, all in one calendar. Its drag and drop function also lets you easily reschedule your content.
If you use WordPress, you can also create blog inside and schedule them directly to your website from within the CoSchedule app and see this content alongside your social media schedule to ensure that your marketing is cohesive and coherent.
A headline analyzer which tells you how well your headline is likely to do both in terms of SEO and social shares …
Social sharing stats, so that you can see which types of content tend to perform the best ..
Google Calendar integration, so that you can view upcoming posts and content within a tool that you already use ..
Bit.ly integration, so that you can track link clicks from specific posts, and …
Google Analytics integration, so that you can track the behavior of those who land on your site through your social media posts, and address any glaring issues you may come across (like high bounce rates).
CoSchedule is a huge time saver while making it easy to master social media. Its ReQueue function lets you recycle social media posts if you have empty slots in your calendar that need filling.
Simply put, CoSchedule lets me put my social media efforts on autopilot. Of course I have to go back and tweak my settings once in awhile, but it’s worlds better than logging into each individual account and posting every day, and then trying to scramble to put something new together when there’s a hole in my social media calendar.
Who else should be using CoSchedule
If you are a solopreneur who does all/most of your own marketing you should switch to CoSchedule.
If you have your own in house marketing person or team, you don’t need to be paying people to manually plan and post your social media content. You should have your team learn how to use CoSchedule.
CoSchedule helps you regularly promote the content that you’ve worked so hard to write and publish on your website, because “if you build it, they will come” is a flawed principle.
Here’s how to start using CoSchedule to put your social media efforts on autopilot.
2. Connect your social media accounts by clicking the gear button in the lower left-hand corner of your screen, and then selecting the name of your account.
3. On the next screen, click “Social Profiles”.
4. Then, click “Connect a Social Profile”. You will have to go through a brief verification process to connect your profiles.
Note that because of Instagram’s restrictions on third-party apps, CoSchedule will not actually post to Instagram for you but will remind you to post at the specified times.
5. To publish a social media campaign, navigate back to your Marketing Calendar.
6. Click the + button that appears when you hover over a date on the calendar.
7. Click the option applicable to your campaign – for this tutorial, we’ll choose Social Media Campaign to promote a blog we recently published.
8. The Social Media Campaign tool will help you automatically publish messages on your preferred social media channels at specified intervals such as the day of publication, three days after, one week after, and one month after the publish date. Within this module, click the plus signs to create a new message at the specified interval. This is the best way to promote a new lead magnet or piece of content within CoSchedule.
9. Add Title and Create your own labels.
Creating color coded labels can help you distinguish which type of content when you view your calendar.
10. Set your custom date and time. You can choose “Best time” to publish the content on the peak time of the day when your subscribers are most active on the given social media network.
11. Click “Add Message” to add it to your queue.
A preview of how your post will appear on the selected social media network will be available at the bottom.
This is how your social media campaign messages will look when populated.
This is how your calendar will look when populated, giving you an overarching view of what’s going on across your social media channels over the next few weeks.
12. Follow up with your efforts using CoSchedule’s Analytics dashboard. View your top content report, social engagement report, and more.
Using social helpers to streamline your posts
Helpers are custom social media templates you can use. They can automatically fill in certain aspects of the content that you’re sharing, so you don’t have to type it out every time. You can create your own custom text, image, and video helpers for content that you reuse regularly and would like to easily insert into your content.
To create a helper, click the “New Helper” button within your social media publishing module.
2. Click “Text Helper” to create a section of text that you can easily recycle. 3. Fill out image helpers for images that you regularly use within your social media posts.4. Use video helpers for the same, but with video.
Using the ReQueue function to fill holes in your content calendar automatically
Step 1: From your Marketing Calendar view, click the ReQueue button in the sidebar.
Step 2: Select the days of the week and times when you would like your ReQueue messages to populate your feeds.
Step 3: Click the “ReQueue Groups” button in the upper right-hand corner of the page.
Step 4: Click “Add Message” to create and save your ReQueue messages. You’ll never miss a social media post again!
In conclusion, it’s worth investing the initial time to learn how to use this new tool. Start using CoSchedule to help you promote your content more consistently, so you can build a bigger presence on social media.
QUESTION: Share your question or best tip that helps you grow your social media presence without the overwhelm.
When people ask you, what do you do?, do you have a clear, simple elevator pitch in your back pocket or do you find yourself stumbling on your words? If the people you’re talking to look confused, it’s time for you to ditch your old thirty second commercial.
When you’re talking about your business you’re introducing your brand to the world. If you say what everyone else does, you sound like a generic brand which can only compete on price.
Here is a simple 4-step formula to help you craft a new elevator pitch that gets your message understood and remembered:
#1. State the problem you solve.
When you lead with a specific problem it immediately grabs the listener’s attention who struggles with that same problem, or knows someone who does. You want to articulate the problem you solve in one sentence. My Problem Example: A lot of business owners are great at what they do, but not so great at marketing what they do.
#2. Summarize the solution.
In one sentence introduce the name of your solution (or company name), who you help, and the transformation outcome result.
My Solution Example: My online program, Power Biz Academy helps entrepreneurs attract high end clients just by following our 5-part Client Growth System framework.
My Differentiation Example:Online programs are notoriously difficult for members to get personalized attention. Our Academy members don’t have to waste countless hours searching and waiting for answers. They’re guaranteed personalized attention every single week on live coaching calls.
If you’re in a 1-1 conversation you want to end with a question, so you can engage them in the topic of your conversation. However, if you’re introducing your elevator pitch to a group of people, like at a networking event, you should pivot to a clear call to action.
My Engage Example: Have you experienced any type of online coaching or training before?
Remember your goal isn’t to share your entire scope of services. It’s simply to get them thinking, Huh, tell me more on one specific service. It’s also important to note that it is worth spending the time to craft a compelling elevator pitch that clearly communicates your brand.
Just imagine you investing 1 Million Dollars to advertise your 30-second commercial during the Super Bowl. You wouldn’t settle for the first thought you jot down as you rush on to your next thing. So get started now and test out your drafts in the comment box below.
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