If you’re a solopreneur or micro business owner with a very small team, it’s especially important that you leverage your time and money spent on marketing. You may have previously hired a copywriter, web designer, or social media marketer – and didn’t get clients as a result. This can leave you scratching your head, wondering why. You may also be hesitant about hiring a marketer again.
In this article, you’ll learn:
- The limitation that causes most small business marketing efforts to fail
- The gap in your marketing that holds you back
- How to ensure your marketing budget is well spent
- Bonus tip: How to save a lot of time and money to get the results you want – all within your budget.
With over a decade in business, I’ve done close to 900 marketing projects for service providers who are looking to get noticed online and boost their business. Those projects have ranged from copywriting and website development, to lead funnel development, social media marketing, and more. As a result, the biggest marketing hurdles we small business service providers face are apparent.
Why Hiring a Marketer Doesn’t Work for Micro Businesses
Smaller Budgets = Half-Measures
The first pitfall that small business owners face with hiring a marketer is that – since done-for-you marketing services are pricey – your budget is often not enough to get the job done right. When you hire a marketer who quotes a price within your budget, the reality is that they will skip steps. Cutting corners will allow a marketer to accommodate your budget – and this is why you don’t see results with your marketing.
I often have calls with people who are interested in my services, but they don’t have an idea of what a useful marketing budget looks like. So let’s start there.
What is a good marketing budget?
First off as a small business owner with a smaller budget, you’re probably not going to hire a marketing agency and that’s because they’re quite pricey. So instead your next best choice is to work with a micro business or a solopreneur marketer. Going this route, you can expect to pay anywhere from $50 to $200 an hour. You will find a better quality of work at the top tier rates, and the more novice service providers will charge in the lower tier.
Now let’s say you want to hire a marketer to do copywriting, redesign your website, and do a bit of social media marketing. Having all of that done for you would take up to 50 or more service hours. Multiply that by $200 an hour you’re looking at $10,000 and above for a comprehensive, done-for-you marketing service.
Marketers who provide services for micro businesses and solopreneurs are aware that $10,000 for a project is likely not in the budget. So when you do approach a service provider to deliver those services, they will often quote you a lower rate to win your business — and then cut corners to stay within their profit margins.
Cheap or budget-friendly solutions are not the answer to marketing that gets business-boosting results. While your marketing will most likely be more polished by the end of your project, it won’t necessarily help you to stand out online or attract new customers.
So if you do plan on hiring a marketer for done-for-you services, be prepared to spend a little bit more money so you can get a better outcome.
Half-Measure Marketing Strategies Get Poor Results
The strategic planning phase will make or break your marketing results. Working within a budget, marketers tend to skimp on strategy, which – if done right – would add a significant amount of hours to a project.
Regardless of budget, a marketing project should always begin with a close look at your target customers. Accurate insights about their challenges – and the solutions they want – should inform your Offers, Messaging, and Website approach.
One hour of online research is not enough. Instead, real strategic insights come from having conversations with people in your target market. The goal is to shed light on the core issue(s) that drive their purchase decisions. Once you know that, then you have the key to marketing that will work for you. Otherwise, you rely on guesses – and our best guesses are often wrong.
Half-Measure Marketing is Costly in the Long Run
Another pitfall that most small business owners face when hiring a marketer is having their projects done in the wrong order. It’s totally understandable …
You want to immediately get your website up and start promoting on social media so you can spread the word and get those customers. This approach means you jump straight to the end game and skip important steps. And, this is another reason why many small business marketing efforts don’t work.
The proper order to do your marketing looks like this:
- Establish your target audience
- Uncover their needs
- Craft or revise your services to suit customer needs
- Create “Magnetic Messaging”
- Develop or redesign your website
- Do marketing and lead-generation
How to keep hiring a marketer within your budget – and get great outcomes
This above outline is the exact process I take my customers through to ensure they have the best positioning possible to stand out online to their ideal customers.
It may not be in your budget to hire out the full marketing process, as outlined above. If you don’t want to spend $10,000 or more on marketing, you may consider hiring a done-WITH-you service (DWY) rather than having it all done for you.
In a done-with-you service, you and the marketer work together to develop your marketing so no corners are cut and you’re able to get business-boosting outcomes as a result.
This type of service is far more accommodating for a small business budget. My DWY service incorporates all of the steps required to help your marketing be that customer-attracting tool that you want it to be.
More Benefits of a Done-With-You Service
Oftentimes, a small business’s monthly marketing budget only allows for a few hours of dedicated service. In the DWY service model, you can make significant progress on your marketing – without being restricted by your monthly budget.
The pace of your results is also not limited to the availability of your service provider – which also helps to get faster results.
Increase business growth knowledge and tools
Plus the added value is that you will gain insider access to the latest marketing techniques and strategies. This will give you more valuable knowledge & tools to use as your business and services evolve over time.
Also, in a DWY service, you’ll save thousands of dollars on marketing services and get better outcomes than you would with the more costly done-for-you service.
But those aren’t the only savings. You’ll keep more money in hand over the long run because the methods you learn in the DWY service can easily be taught and handed off to a virtual assistant or junior marketer that works well within your budget.
What to do next
If this sounds interesting to you and you want to explore what it might look like to employ this full process for your unique business, then book a call with me. We’ll explore your existing marketing and see if it makes sense to employ these strategies for your unique business.
All of this information comes from my nearly two decades of online marketing experience as well as having been in business for overall 11 years and working with so many service providers. These are the main obstacles that I have seen time and again – across the board with my customers and the people who call on me for services. If you have any questions, send me a message and I’ll be happy to chat.