I chose to start independently consulting because I believe small businesses are the foundation of our economy and part of what makes America so special. Each one of them has a unique story. I love that my job gets to be telling that story.
Your small business is obviously incredibly important to you. Deciding if outsourcing your marketing is a viable option for your business is no easy task.
If you are planning on outsourcing your marketing, be it your social media, your blogging, your email marketing strategy, etc. you should certainly be very selective about who you hire. After all, this person is going to be responsible for representing you and your business.
For the most part, it all comes down to doing your homework and establishing good communication.
Follow these 6 steps when deciding to outsource your marketing:
Research. Before you hire anyone, do your homework. If you're hiring someone for social media marketing, look at how that person presents themselves on social media. Do they drink their own Kool Aid, so to speak? Also, don't be afraid to ask for references for this person. No one can better tell you how well this person works than their other clients.
Responsibility. Once you have found someone you think you can work with well and have checked out his/her background, make sure it is clearly outlined who is accountable for what. Will there be any real-time engagement done on social media by the business owner? Who will write the blog posts? Who will create the reports? While no contract is wholly binding, having a signed document that outlines each other's responsibilities is usually something worth having on hand in case things get conflicting later on down the line.
Trust. Along with literally outlining each other's responsibilities comes the need for trust. When outsourcing your marketing you should trust that the person you hire will do the things that you have outlined in your agreement. Second guessing someone all the time will be counter-productive to both parties.
Passion. Like I said before, one of the reasons I moved away from the agency level of consulting was to work with small businesses. Small businesses tend to live and breathe what they do. When outsourcing your marketing, I believe it's a must to communicate your passion for your business to the person doing your marketing. Don't hold back! Believe me, it makes the marketer's job easier when they know lots of details about your business and your brand.
Feedback. While the person you hire is the marketing expert, if there is something that your representative isn't doing or is doing that you don't like, you shouldn't be afraid to communicate this. I know it helps me be much better at my job to learn what my clients do and don't feel is an accurate representation of their brand. It's important to provide feedback to your client- good and bad!
Be objective. While providing feedback is a must for an accurate marketing presence, it is also important to listen to what the person you hired is saying. For example, when posting on Facebook, there are certain ways to create a post that are inline with best practices and proven effective. There is a reason that Facebook post is crafted the way it is and may be proving to be incredibly beneficial for your Facebook page even if you don't particularly like it. Provide feedback to your representative but listen to the feedback you receive in return.