How to Achieve Online Success by Letting Other People Do the Hard Work for You
It is essential for every business, no matter which industry you are in, to have a strong online presence with a website and participate on social media platforms. Your business survival depends upon it.
Despite all of the reminders, it is worrying just how many local businesses have not fully embraced the Internet. A website is simply not enough these days. The Internet is not going to go away. It is now part of everyday culture. Your customers are there and are active on social media sites and they expect your business to be there too. If it isn’t, they will simply go to your competitors instead. That is the reality for business these days.
With that said, a lot of small businesses DO want to take their business online and do more pro-active online marketing but many find it either too daunting or too time-consuming.
So the question is: Should you do it all yourself or should you hire someone to do it for you?
There is actually a lot you can do very cheaply, easily and effectively on your own to promote your business online without becoming too overwhelmed.
However, it doesn’t hurt to call in a bit of help when you need it. This could be to assist you help plan your marketing, do the technical stuff, run your social media campaigns or simply save you some time so that you can concentrate on doing the thing that you do best – and that is run your business. Outsourcing doesn’t have to mean losing control – it simply frees you up to focus on your areas of strength. As one marketing expert said, “Do what you do best and outsource the rest”.
Why You Would Outsource Your Online Marketing
Internet marketing is important, but in most cases you wouldn’t be recruiting full time or permanent staff. You would simply hire freelancers for a one-off project or regular help. Here are some scenarios where you might consider hiring help for your online marketing:
- You know all about Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites but you need some assistance to help you plan and run your campaign so that you can reach the right people to promote your products and services to.
- You have lots of great ideas but you lack the technical skills to set up things like a blog, a professional Facebook page or edit a video for YouTube etc.
- Your offline business is very busy and you don’t have the extra time needed to run your online marketing campaigns.
- Your blog or website content has stalled because you no longer have the time or the interest to do it yourself.
- You and your staff are overwhelmed by the additional workload and responsibility of maintaining your online marketing.
Hiring some assistance can be a great help in all of these situations and definitely be more profitable in the long run than trying to do it all yourself.
Planning What Tasks to Outsource
The first thing you need to do is identify what tasks need doing and where the gaps or weaknesses are with your online marketing. Once you have done this you can decide which tasks you can handle in-house and which ones you want to outsource.
Be realistic and consider whether you really do have the time to run some of these online tasks alongside your other business responsibilities. What are you good at and what would be better outsourced to a specialist?
Some of the more common tasks that you may consider outsourcing include the following:
Web design should be taken very seriously and is not usually one of the jobs you should attempt yourself unless you are very familiar with HTML, CSS and PHP. We all remember the amateur homemade websites that some people used to create. Customers are more discerning these days. Nothing scares potential customers away more than a cheap looking homemade website. Your side needs to be simple, professional and bespoke to match your business.
The way that people browse the Internet has changed. They rarely sit at a desk or laptop anymore to go online. Most people now access the Internet while on the move using their Smartphone’s and tablet devices. If you had your site designed a year ago or longer, the chances are it has not been optimised for mobile devices. This makes it harder for your potential clients to find their way round your site and much of the information will be lost as they can’t find what they need. Every site needs to be optimised so that it is mobile friendly. It is an investment will more than pay for itself many times over.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Do you need a SEO specialist or can you handle generating regular daily traffic to your site yourself? The advantages of using an SEO consultant is that they can help you to reach a much bigger market and save you money, especially if you are paying for adverts. Because of the sheer volume of sites all competing for the top slots, SEO is definitely one of those tasks that you can’t afford to ignore or do yourself.
Many business websites now have a blog simply because they are so good at generating more business and attracting more visitors to your website. However they need a certain level of commitment and consistency. Many business owners start off well, but the post generally become more irregular as they run out of steam or can’t think about what to write about. An expert online marketer is a wide investment as they know exactly what kind of content will attract and engage visitors and how to use them to sell more products and services.
Social Network Updates
We can’t stress enough how important social media is. Your customers and prospective customers all use it so you need to be part of it to connect with them. However, do you really have the time for all of those Tweets and Facebook status updates….and run your own business? And you can’t forget Pinterest and Instagram as they are equally useful for generating more business. Do you have the time and resources to maintain those accounts too? Most businesses find that they don’t have the time required. Outsourcing your social media updates is a huge timesaver and you will reap the rewards as you will have a huge following of loyal fans and followers.
Facebook has tried to make it easier for businesses to create and edit their pages by making them more customisable. You can easily edit them yourselves but if you want your business to stand out and project a more professional image, you might want to consider outsourcing to an expert who can create a bespoke Facebook page for you. It will inspire more confidence in your services if your followers see a professionally designed page, which is important on a site as huge and popular as Facebook.
How to Manage Your Outsourced Projects
Managing your outsourced tasks is easier than you think. In most cases, it is simply a case of finding the right person with the right technical expertise that you require for your project and then working closely with them until the project is completed.
In some cases, especially if you are busy, you might never even need to meet the person who you have hired as you can keep in touch via email or even Skype if you wanted.
Social media sites also make it so easy to manage your outsourced projects. For example, instead of Skype you could have a meeting with your outsourced team using a Google+ Hangout or in a Facebook group. Secret Pinterest boards make perfect areas where you could pin ideas and create mood boards for your new product or service,
When to Hire a Consultant and who should you choose?
Hiring an online marketing consultant like ourselves is perfect if you want to give your online marketing a kick-start as we can help draw up a strategic and targeted marketing plan for you.
When the Internet first started to become popular, every man and his dog suddenly became a website design expert and local businesses were inundated with calls from these web design sales people. You might remember receiving these kinds of calls yourself. Now that most businesses have a website the focus has changed. The boom in social media has now been followed by a boom in social media consultants and no doubt you have them calling your business trying to convince you to use their services all of the time.