If you’re running a small business, you probably find yourself spinning plates: from acting as an accountant to a salesperson and everything in between, business owners wear a number of different hats.
This is often because, hey, it’s easier to just crack on and do things yourself (nobody knows your business like you do!).
If you’re an entrepreneur with a growing business, I don’t need to tell you that your time is best spent on other areas of the business than marketing. That’s not to say that marketing isn’t important—quite the opposite—but that as a business manager, you have to manage your business. I’m sure this won’t be the first time you’ve been told that you can’t do everything yourself.
So, as a small business owner, how can you benefit from working with a freelance marketer?
A big reason right off the bat. The fact is that a freelance marketer will often be working with a number of clients and will block off their time accordingly. When I’m focusing on creating and scheduling social media for one client, I will designate a time to sit down and do it in one go. It doesn’t make sense to work in a piecemeal style and, as a client, you benefit from this. You’ll get two hours of intense work from a freelancer and be billed accordingly.
While that also means that every time you take up a freelancer’s time, you’ll (likely) be charged pro rata—so meetings and ad hoc work will be added on top of billable time—remember that you’re not paying for lunch breaks, tea runs and water cooler chat.
Freelancers often want to crack on with things and fit as many billable hours into their working day, so that means they, like you, just get on with it. And you only pay for the work that you get!
This is especially important when it comes to marketing, as business owners often find it difficult to distance themselves from their product or service. A freelance marketing consultant can offer a fresh perspective and will likely be in a closer position to your audience/customer than you are. With new eyes, a freelancer can quickly identify the best way to reach and engage your audience. And if they can’t get to grips with your current marketing strategy (or even your product/service!), then it’s a good opportunity to rethink your copy, social strategy and general marketing approach.
Plus many freelancers will have worked across a number of industries, so they will have some new and innovative ideas to introduce to your market.
Organisation (avoid ad hoc)
Ad hoc marketing seems to be the core strategy for many small businesses. When I’m sitting down with potential clients, I hear this constantly: a business owner does a bit of marketing when they have the time. They ‘stick something up’ on a social channel, then walk away from it. They might get lucky with this approach, but like most things in life, the more you put into it, the more you’ll get out of a marketing strategy.
This doesn’t mean that small businesses need to have someone working full time on their marketing strategy—for many, having someone in-house would be a luxury that they can’t afford or might not require at this stage of their business. But with even 4-5 hours a week, a freelance marketer can create content across a number of social channels, schedule this to go out at this most effective times based on your audience, create a short blog for your website and even prepare your weekly or monthly newsletter. All of these things are then woven into an overarching marketing strategy based on what’s going on within the business.
What is a marketing strategy? It’s the opposite of the ad hoc marketing approach outlined above! For instance, I work with clients to put together a weekly/monthly content schedule. This can vary depending on their needs, but a simple social media strategy for a small business looks like this: getting a weekly schedule of all images and copy due to go out across Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter across the following week. I communicate with clients, asking them to highlight any important events and dates to ensure that nothing is missed and then I create ‘brand’ or ‘narrative’ posts to fill in the gaps.
Being a content marketer is akin to being a storyteller, so the real skill is generating good content around a business that isn’t exclusively sales-driven. This is the ‘don’t sell it, tell it’ marketing strategy.
Yes, perhaps the most crucial reason of the bunch! Most of my clients have described their inability to keep up with marketing because they’re too busy running their business. If you don’t need to be a marketer, why not let someone take that pressure off your shoulders?
Yes, some people are naturally more creative, enjoy writing and have a good eye for what makes good content. Most people cringe at the idea of using social media, so let someone else do it (and do it well). I despair when I see people using Twitter or Instagram badly, but then again, I’ve developed a trained eye and it’s now my responsibility to keep abreast of how algorithms are changing.
So a freelance marketer can take your ideas about your business, polish them and make engaging content for your followers and potential customers. Plus they’ll be watching the analytics to see what works and what doesn’t. Developing an effective strategy is different for every brand and takes time. So let it take up someone else’s!
So why not get in touch and see how we can work together?