As a small business owner, you take on more jobs than you probably have hats…or purses or ties. Ya know, whatever’s your thing.
Now, I’m all for running a lean operation. I think one of the best and smartest things you can do for your business is to be sure you are as efficient as possible with what you have (or are given).
However, there comes a time when you have to throw penny-pinching to the wind and get help.
But how do you know when that time has come? We’ve compiled a list of 10 tell-tale signs that it’s time to start outsourcing your digital marketing. Bonus: some of these basic signs can be applied to any department you are feeling overwhelmed and outrun by (i.e. IT, general admin).
The IT Guy Is Keeping Your Instagram Account Up-To-Date AND Managing Your IT Infrastructure
Everyone wears multiple hats during the startup phase and even into the micro and small business phase. However, in order for your business to run efficiently, that IT guy that you hired is probably best utilized doing IT work, not updating your Instagram account.
Human capital (aka talented, passionate people) is invaluable to your small business. Instead of tapping people out, think about outsourcing irrelevant tasks so that the employees you do have are productive and fulfilled.
You Haven’t Touched Your Email Marketing List In The Past 60 Days
SAY WHAT?!?!?!? Your email marketing list is one of the best ways to market your business. Think about it. These are people who VOLUNTARILY gave you their most precious form of contact info—their email address! That means that they want to hear from you (based on inference, of course)! According to Wordstream.com, “59% of B2B marketers say email is their most effective channel in terms of revenue generation”.
Email marketing has turned into an extremely complex artform. From sequences, if/then statements, and advanced segmenting, there’s no limit to what email marketing can do. It’s even an artform that we have yet to master. Give your email list the attention it needs and look for a professional.
Business Is Booming But You’re Having Trouble Keeping Up
Having more demand than supply is a great problem to have. But having that problem for a prolonged amount of time can destroy your brand. As things like lead times, fulfillment, and quality begin to suffer, that growth bubble can pop.
Instead of waiting for those angry emails from customers asking where their order is or why that project isn’t finished yet, find tasks that you can offload to a freelancer or marketing agency.
Interesting fact: “Nearly 54 million Americans participated in some form of independent work in 2015. That’s more than 33 percent of the entire U.S. workforce and is an increase of 700,000 workers over the previous year.”
So, there’s no shortage of talent to give you the hand you need.
Your Website Looks Like It Belongs In the 90s
Nowadays, everyone is getting hacked. Even sophisticated companies like Equifax that are known to invest large amounts of cash to safeguard the sensitive information they house are vulnerable.
“What do data breaches have to do with me?”
If your website looks like it hasn’t been touched in 20 years, to a user, that means that your site’s security also hasn’t been touched in 20 years and thus even more vulnerable than a newer looking site. If users don’t trust your website, think they are going to stick around and engage? Nope. Bye Felicia.
Something as small as having last year’s date as the Copyright year on your website can turn people off from your business.
Also, if your website looks like that, it’s time to outsource!
It Feels Like There’s No “Off” Button
We all get burnt out during the course of building our business. However, as it turns out, working 24/7 (or feeling like you are working 24/7) isn’t the best thing for your health. Prolonged stress that comes from constantly overworking yourself can mess with your concentration, your blood pressure, and even your immune system.
Investing in outside help can relieve some of the stress and make you happier, healthier, and more productive!
MySpace Is Your “Go To” Social Platform
Social media is one of the best ways to build a long-term relationship with your clients. Sure, it’s getting harder and harder to reach new people on Facebook, but social media still needs to be a part of your marketing strategy. And with Instagram toting over 800 million monthly active users, 87% of Pinners purchasing a product because of Pinterest, and 500 million tweets being sent each day….Yea, it’s time to ditch MySpace (and Google+ for that matter) and focus on better platforms to reach your business goals.
With so much noise and constantly-changing algorithms to worry about, outsourcing social media can take a HUGE load off of your shoulders and help you regain some of your sanity.
You’re On EVERY SINGLE Social Media Platform
The opposite of being on the wrong platform is being on ALL social media platforms. Unfortunately, this is the case for a lot of business owners we meet. For some reason, when we start a business, we think we need to get on every social media platform—forget whether they’re the right platform or not!
“Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Tumblr, YouTube. I NEED TO BE EVERYWHERE”
Why is this a problem? One word: BURNOUT! Getting on every social media platform is not a sustainable strategy. Instead, have someone guide you through the weeds and help you find a clear path to your target market on the right social media platforms.
You Hear “SEO” But Think Someone Is Confused And Simply Referring to “CEO”
No typos here. If you don’t know what SEO means then you are missing out on a pretty sizeable opportunity for your small business. How sizable? Well, roughly 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine. If you don’t know anything about SEO then that lends to the assumption that your website is probably not being seen as often as it should when someone is actively looking for your product or service.
When someone is searching for what you do or make, that means they are pretty interested, right? Someone more interested is more likely to buy, right? SEO is something you just can’t ignore but doing it yourself is pretty daunting. Hiring a professional SEO is usually the best route to take.
You’ve Stagnated In Your Business
One thing that’s difficult to master as a business owner is effectively managing your time. For example: How much of your day is spent on menial, routine tasks like tracking an order for a customer or correcting a billing issue versus deep thinking or money-making tasks like creating a promotional calendar?
If the majority of your day is spent on the former rather than the latter, stagnation can unsuspectedly creep up on you. Constantly evaluate and be aware of your time management. When you start to see that your day is being overrun by routine tasks, it’s time to outsource.
You Created Your Own Logo In Microsoft Photo Editor
Your logo is an integral part of your brand. It should complement the vision behind your business and make a memorable first impression. Now, when it comes to logos, we love minimalistic logos.
However, when you have an amateur logo, people will either forget your business or dismiss your business as amateur. Think about when you shake someone’s hand for the first time. If it feels like you’re shaking a limp noodle, you’re first impression of that person drastically decreases. Think of your logo as your first impression. Do you want people to think “limp noodle” or do you want them to think, “Wow, professional yet not overbearing.”
It’s All About Timing
Outsourcing when you’re not ready can put your business and processes at risk. Outsourcing when it’s too late can mean that your brand has already suffered. Use our examples to evaluate your business’s digital marketing and see if there’s something (a task or a job) that you can outsource to a reputable marketing agency!
“The only mistake you can make is not asking for help.”