Rachel Klaver is a marketing strategist, specializing in lead generation and content marketing.
OPINION: “Are you my marketing angel?” the post read.
It went on to give a full-blown job description of all the marketing this angel was going to need to produce for the business owner, including strategy, setting up and reading analytics, social media posting, marketing automation, blog writing, search engine optimization (SEO), and email marketing.
There may have also been some event preparation and design in there somewhere too.
The ad caught my attention because of two things. The first was that it was an entry-level position in terms of pay. The second was that the role was for five hours a week.
It’s very unlikely the advertiser will find a marketing angel to fit both their brief, and their time and pay parameters.
I completely understood the desire of this business owner to find someone to run their marketing.
After all, if it’s not a core love of yours, and you know your time is better spent in other areas of the business, it makes sense that marketing is one of the first things you outsource.
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It’s so easy to undervalue marketing in terms of the time it takes, and how much you should pay someone.
There’s a huge range of options when it comes to marketing, and from using outsourced overseas help, to people just starting out, right to intermediate or experienced marketers. Then, there are agencies or in-demand freelancers.
It’s hard to work out what you should offer, and what you’ll get in return.
If you’re at the beginning stages of outsourcing, use a range of freelancers or agencies to help you with the areas you know you can’t do. Take one area at a time, ensure it’s working and then slowly handover more as your capacity and budget allows.
A skilled person will often charge more, but take far less time to complete a task.
I’ll always ask how long someone would normally take to write four posts, organize the images and schedule them. Or how long it would take them to write a 750-word blog, and edit it ready for publishing, on a topic they don’t know very well. Again it depends what skills you need. I can write this column in 90 minutes, but can take hours to complete a simple admin marketing task, for instance.
We work with a lot of small business owners who either have a goal of adding a marketer to their teams, or they’ve tried it before, and been burned.
Because we’re almost completely a strategy and training-only company, our whole focus is helping small business owners run their own marketing, and helping them get the team they need around them.
If you really need help with marketing, and are not ready for the commitment of a regular team member, the alternative is to either hire a virtual assistant for set tasks each week, or using an agency or freelancer for specific technical marketing, such as Facebook ads, AdWords, or SEO.
One of the misconceptions most business owners have is that outsourcing means you no longer have to think about marketing.
The truth is that you will still need to be involved, from offering messaging and branding direction, to approving material before it’s made live. Outsourcing still needs a time commitment from you.
As you grow your business, you may be ready to bring on a team member.
It’s really important to have clarity on what are the most important skills this person will need. People often think of a marketer as an expert generalist, who is good at every type of marketing, and can also think strategically, know how to use every tool or platform under the sun, and get it all done in 20 hours a week.
The truth is different areas of marketing takes different types of people. I’m a strategist. I’m very good at seeing the big picture. I made a fatal flaw when I first started by identifying as I originally was; a do-er, creating and posting content for clients.
I can create a strategy, identify the message, show you how to do it. But you’ll only get six weeks of great, consistent posting from me, if that’s what you need.
Thankfully we have a team who love that side of marketing, and can help take my big picture thinking, and break it into little repetitive tasks that make it all work.
Some marketers love numbers and analytics. They love spreadsheets and research. They might not be so skilled in creating imagery or writing blogs.
Conversely, those who are about to create content, and make videos often will not have a deep interest in analytics, SEO and technical marketing.
For most small businesses, you need a do-er, who loves admin, attention to detail, and can work to a plan.
Often you need to look at your primary needs, goals and plans to work out what sort of skills you need. Many of our clients first get someone to help with social media posts, content and video creation. However, for you, it might be you want someone who looks after SEO, Google Adwords and Facebook ads.
These may well be two completely different types of people.
Choose someone who knows how to google to find answers, or can get help if they need it, without pulling you in to help them every time.
A confidence to try new things, find the right answers, test new options out and work out problems independently will be invaluable.
Give them time every week to stay updated. Engage a marketing strategist/coach to help them get support, and keep them focused.
Be as specific as possible about the outcomes you want to see from your marketer.
You want to check if the work they are doing is making a difference. The truth is a post on social media can be a complete waste of time, or it can generate leads for your business.
If you’re wanting to set KPIs, avoid ones such as “Double our page followers”, or vanity metrics such as reach. Instead, choose to measure instead whether there is an increase in engagement (people liking or commenting on posts), website visits, website inquiries, marketing generated leads overall, and real metrics that lead to business growth.
Finding the right person can make a huge impact on your business. They could very well become your marketing angel.
Rachel Klaver is a marketing strategist, specializing in lead generation and content marketing. She owns Identify Marketing, which works with businesses to create the strategy they need to tell their story better to the right people. Tune in to her weekly podcast MAP IT Marketing – created to help small business owners learn about marketing.