As a small business owner, you wear many hats. One minute, you're the CEO; the next, you're deeply entrenched in customer service; the next, it's all about stocking the shelves; the next, you're settling a scheduling problem with employees; the next, you're on social media, desperately trying to come up with something clever to tweet. Meanwhile, you've fallen behind on invoicing, collections, blogging, and business networking. Something's got to give...
Small Business Overwhelm
What's the solution for small business owners who feel overwhelmed? Define your core business operations, areas of differentiation, and what you enjoy doing, then outsource other activities. Bookkeeping, HR, and shipping are common business processes to outsource. Digital marketing also falls into this category for many small businesses. Here's why:
- Small business digital marketing is a broad discipline that encompasses everything from pay per click advertising, blogging, social media, to website and search engine optimization, email marketing, and more. Each of these online marketing elements requires a unique skill set and most have a steep learning curve. Do you have the time, energy, or technical aptitude to devote to it?
- Digital marketing can quickly become all-consuming for small businesses. Because it is multifaceted, you may find yourself spending a disproportionate amount of time working on it. The more you hear of the latest trends, the easier it is to become distracted or feel pulled in too many directions. A digital marketing strategist can develop the right strategy for your business and maintain the focus needed to ensure its success.
- Progress is hard to measure on your own. When you're spending countless hours pinning images on Pinterest, liking status updates on Facebook, researching keywords, writing blog posts, and figuring out where to spend your pay per click dollars, you want to see some sort of a return in order to justify your continued investment of both time and money. However, for most small businesses, success is hard to quantify. Small business digital marketing agencies make it their business to make your marketing efforts a success. In order to earn your continued business, they have to deliver results and show you exactly how they have helped.
Work with a Digital Marketer
As a small business owner who wants to worry less about online marketing in order to focus on your true passions and core business, who should you delegate these tasks to? While it's tempting to offload social media to a youthful, socially-savvy employee, it's smarter to work with a digital marketing agency that specializes in small businesses. Why?
- Building an effective online presence encompasses much more than just social media. As stated above, online marketing is a broad discipline that requires both time and expertise. Your employees probably don't have any more time for it than you do — unless you plan to ask them to invest a large chunk of time online in place of doing their primary jobs. And while your employees may not have expertise in marketing, digital marketing agencies have the time and the talent.
- Small business digital marketing can become a major distraction. Do you want distracted employees jumping from one initiative to the next, never giving a campaign time to mature and succeed? And if you are the one jumping from task to task, a Stanford study on multitasking's effect on careers and brains might make you reconsider. Digital marketers develop focused strategies and deliverables.
- Progress is hard to measure. Will your socially-savvy employee have access to detailed analytics? Digital marketing agencies are prepared to show you exactly how their efforts have translated into sales.
What To Look For In A Digital Marketer
Outsourcing (or delegating) can be a challenge for small business owners who are accustomed to doing everything themselves, but it is necessary for a business to thrive. Once you've decided to outsource your digital marketing, who should you hire? Look for an agency or freelancer that cares about the success of your business as much as you do. Do they offer comprehensive strategies versus single solutions? Also, a commitment to hard work and professionalism will create a positive working relationship. You might even begin to think of them as an extension of your small business — your own marketing team.
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