A short story shorter. As a young professional, overwhelmed and stressed at my first marketing job, my director sat me in his office and shared an anecdote in hopes of building confidence. I was trying to learn how to be efficient in every marketing tool in every department, when my speciality and job was content creation.
He told me he had been writing with his right hand his whole life and gotten pretty good with his penmanship. Now, he could probably teach himself to write with his left hand and be respectable with it. He could practice every single day, take writing courses, and eventually, after many hours, could write well with his left hand.
I wanted to be efficient in every marketing tool
Or, he could spend that time and those hours really perfecting his penmanship with his right hand. And after the same amount of time, he could have exceptional penmanship, probably the best of anyone he knew. See, I could learn how to use every tool in the bag and do OK with them, or I could focus on becoming exceptional with what I already knew- which was content creation.
I later found out he used the example from a book he read, but the idea always stuck with me and the same concept can be applied to small business owners. Operating a small businesses can run someone thin on time and resources. In the U.S. over 22 million small businesses are self-employed with no additional payroll or employees. This means the business operator is wearing many hats, so to speak, and unless the business is a marketing business, the operator’s main focus shouldn’t be marketing (the left hand) but rather on the product and improving the business (the right hand). Better to invest in the business itself and let others handle the marketing.
There are several options for a small business owner looking to contract marketing work and it’s important to know what kind of marketing strategies are better to contract and which might be better implemented by the owner.
Marketing Strategies to Contract
SEO & PPC Campaigns
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Pay-per-Clicks (PPC) campaigns aim to increase a company’s placement on Google and other search engine’s search results page. These campaigns also place paid advertisements in search engines and other Web sites. SEO can be critical for generating leads, directing traffic to a Website, and bringing awareness.
Tactics for these campaigns include adding meta tags, creating links to other informative sites and generating links back, and finding relative ‘keywords’ to bid and monitor to gauge effectiveness. In other words, these campaigns are time consuming and technical which can spell difficulty for a business owner. It might be better to contract a marketer who can quickly implement these tactics and-even more important-maximize the campaigns for better results than you might have on your own.
Social Media consist of much more than just posting photos and telling people to ‘like’ your page. Depending on your product and the size of your business reach, monitoring social media and creating reports to analyze can quickly fill the hours of your day. Hiring a freelancer to scan social sites for mentions of your product and social users who could use your product or business, allows you to focus on other aspects of your business.
The marketing specialist will alert of you of potential client opportunities, provide you with data and reports of what online strategies are working or not working, and provide insight to proper strategies to implement, again saving you the time and energy that can be so valuable.
Chances are you already have a Website and it’s very functional and allows you to make updates and change content. But is it custom with Google Analytics tags, measurements, tracking, and aligned with goals and objectives of the Website visitors? These features can help a small business owners make decisions about its target market, sales channel, and marketing strategies and can be assisted with a freelance marketer.
A Marketing Strategy That Can be Done Yourself
No, it’s not a mistake that Social Media is on both lists because it is a very important component of a small business looking to grow and build clients. While a marketing freelancer can accomplish the aforementioned tasks, no one still knows the business better than the operator and that knowledge should be put to use with posts and content.
Creating blog posts, telling stories about the business or product that are relatable, and sharing industry related news are all ways that a small business owner can establish a social presence and become a trusted source of information for customers and these are all better accomplished by the person who knows the business best. The social media freelancer can assist with scheduling but the content should be created by the owner.
How to Find Freelance Marketers
There are plenty of freelance marketers who are more than qualified to handle jobs on sites such as elance.com, freelancer.com, or guru.com or search local networking or business groups. Register for an account, create a detailed job description or skills you are looking for in a freelancer, and post to the sites. Marketers will create proposals for your viewing and you have the ability to interview, email, and discuss potential tactics with the freelancer.
It’s always important to be diverse and posses a wide range of skill sets, but the better option might be to focus on the core of your business and what you do best, while letting others assist with what they know best.
Category: Advanced Tactics, Social Media Marketing 101