How can a small business increase the amount of online leads, customers or clients they get from their website? Here are five common options.
Imagine this scenario: You are running a small-medium sized business (under $5 million in annual revenue). You have your hands full wearing multiple hats to keep everything moving forward.
Yet, you realize that one of your most important sources of new business and revenue –the internet– is not getting leveraged to its full potential.
Every month, you know you are leaving money on the table, while your competitors get fatter from the steady stream of new business through their website.
What can you do to improve the level of leads, client, and customers you get from website and your internet marketing efforts?
Well, you do have options… but some are better than others.
The Good (And Not So Good) Options For Your Online Marketing
1. You can commit more of your scare hours to personally overseeing this area.
Some have chosen this route because they see the importance of the internet and their website as a key to growing their revenue… but in their mind they don’t financially have any other option.
The problem, of course, is that you really don’t have sufficient time to do this area well.
This often falls into the same category as, “I’m going to start exercising more…” or “I’m going to lose weight this year.”
You know the road to hell is paved with these, don’t you?
A business owner also doesn’t typically have the expertise to effectively navigate the changing world of technology and online marketing.
“Should I blog more?”
“Should I create a Facebook fan page? How do I do that?”
“Should I advertise more (or less?) on Google?“
“Should I start using LinkedIn? How do I do that?”
For most, this stuff makes your head hurt… and stresses you out.
What else can you do?
2. Hire someone “in-house” to oversee your online marketing.
You decide, “I don’t have the time or the expertise to get more business online… I just need to hire someone on staff to be my marketing director (or ‘online marketing director’).”
The problem with this option is that it is pretty expensive and out of the reach of many companies.
Kunocreative.com estimates that you would need to pay someone a minimum of $55-70,000 PLUS benefits to get and retain a sufficiently skilled person to help with just one area of your marketing. To do your marketing effectively, that estimate is likely too low.
That isn’t very feasible for many cash flow strapped companies.
If you can’t afford someone full-time plus benefits, maybe you could find someone to work part-time?
That is much harder than you might think. Finding a skilled person on a part-time basis who knows and keeps up with all the changes and nuances of internet marketing is next to impossible.
I should know. I have looked.
Those that are good at what they do can command a full-time position in a number of companies much larger.
Finding a qualified person who is willing to work part-time for a modest wage is like expecting to find a really good part-time tax attorney who knows and keeps up with the latest IRS rulings.
3. Outsource your internet marketing by hiring a company to do it for you.
There are all sort of national companies out there (like Reach Local, Market Hardware, Yodel) that will take over your online marketing.
The problem with many of them is their personnel are notoriously undertrained and overworked. They hire entry level people, then saddle them with dozens of companies on which to stay on top.
That’s impossible. All they can do is the minimum.
Follow this link to read the truth about certain national marketing companies.
In addition, you must sign a long-term contract, which guarantees mediocre results for a year.
There are some good options out there with some larger marketing agencies. They often get better results. But, they can be even more expensive ($3,000-$12,000/month with a long-term contract).
4. Hire a smaller agency.
This is a better, more affordable option for most small-medium sized businesses. Your internet marketing will get more attention, which usually means better results.
One thing to avoid, however, is a local marketing agency that only does one or two things. They will want to peddle their “thing” as the solution to your marketing needs, when in fact you need a full strategy using many different tactics.
You wouldn’t hire a golf pro to oversee your golf game that only has a putter in his bag, would you?
5. Outsource your online marketing to an independent contractor.
This is also a good option for many businesses. This is usually an individual who has worked for a large agency for some period of time and decided he or she wanted to reap more of the rewards for their expertise.
This option is often the most affordable.
There are, however, potential problems with an independent contractor. These CAN be minimized or avoided… but you must know what they are.
I have personally hired dozens of independent contractors over the last three years. Some have been great. Some have been horror stories.
To learn the pros and cons of hiring an independent contractor, and what to watch out for, follow the link.
It All Comes Down To This
Whatever choice you make should pay for itself many times over with better online results, more leads, clients, customers or sales. Your return on your marketing investment should be at least 100%… and often much more.
It is no different than hiring a CPA to handle your business taxes. You want to be confident that the cost of their fees are more than outweighed by the amount of money they can save you.
How can you determine if you are getting your money’s worth from your marketing dollars?
Sometimes both expensive and affordable marketing solutions for your business bring mediocre results. Always evaluate your marketing ROI. Click to tweet
Being Wise… And Minimizing Your Need For Tylenol
If you run a business or are responsible for the marketing of a company, the good news is you do have options. You don’t have to do it all yourself.
But, these options (like most options in life) have pluses and minuses.
You can more wisely navigate these options (and avoid the headaches) with a little education from those who have done it already.
As the ancient sage has said:
Wise is the man who learns from his mistakes.
Wiser still is the man who learns from the mistakes of others.
What You Need To Do Now
If you are running a business, you don’t have a lot of time to research the latest marketing ideas and insights. So, go ahead and subscribe to this blog. We will email you our latest ideas to help you get the most out of your marketing. Better still… it’s free!
One final request. If you found this article helpful, please pass it on to another business you know. You can also leave a comment of your experience with one of these hiring options. Tell us what you found. Thanks.