You know what irks me? Ok, don’t ask that. Unless you have a bottle of bourbon and at least a full day to spend listening…
Instead, I wanted to focus on a few freelance marketing things you don’t need to spend your money on. And while delegation plays a huge role in business growth, in the beginning, for the first few years, here’s how you should save your dimes:
Email Marketing Software
How many people are on your mailing list right now? What’s your plan to grow your opt-ins? When you first get started, those answers are hard to give. And honestly, we all started at zero.
If you don’t have at least 1,000 subscribers (or a well-scrubbed list of 500) there’s no need to spend money on an email marketing service. Instead, Mail Chimp, Receptfria Sömntabletter, Constant Contact, and Vertical Response are all perfectly valid choices (among others.)
When should I get a more advanced email marketing software? Above, I already advised that once you had a significant list, you should invest. In paid programs, the best feature I’ve seen is the ability to sanction off your sales funnels.
That means you can designate by which links the user clicks in the email what they will receive next from your company (i.e. this establishes multiple sales funnels to move your prospect along into a buyer.)
However, if you only have a few people on your list, you don’t need to pay for 30 people to be segregated into various buying processes, do you?
Others integrate billing systems and time keeping with their software…but so do quite a few free systems. So, stick with free until your cash flow and client mailing list warrants the switch.
Social Media Consultants
When I wrote my DIY freelance marketing blog a few weeks ago, I told you about a friend who hired a social media marketing agency. Well, so did another client…and she didn’t get results either.
No one wants to spend hours playing on social media. However, it’s a necessary evil. In order to sell, you need to establish meaningful connections.
This is very difficult for anyone other than an internal person, or a long-term industry partner, to accomplish. Get started yourself by signing up for Hootsuite and pre-programming pillar posts.
Then, add in pics and other content. Focus on networks one at a time and get used to popping into them during your downtime. Many are as simple as telling the world what you’re doing; advanced strategies mean watching carefully what others are doing and emulating their actions.
When should I hire a social media consultant? After you have established that you know how social media works, for the most part, feel free to look into a consultant.
Keep in mind that most experts are self-created; there is no degree in the field. Choose carefully so that you don’t get duped. Expect to pay about $1,000 for an individual or $60 / hour for a social media manager.
Look at their networks to see what they’ve accomplished and how engaged their audience is. I also recommend finding someone who works with people just like you; they will have more time to find great content since they have multiple clients in the same field.
DIY Marketing Coach Ploys
I believe in the power of coaching. I think that there are an incredible number of smart, interesting, talented people who generally want to help you get better at a thing.
My Sandler Sales Training was one of the best investments my old company ever made. To this day, I carry with me the lessons Paul and Stephanie Skalarski taught us weekly.
But why would you pay for anything you can learn yourself? For example, if you want to figure out how to change a MailChimp opt-in box into horizontal code, Google it.
The internet is a wildly powerful tool; use it. Don’t spend precious resources on learning marketing via a coach; you still have to do the work yourself! Throw spaghetti at the wall like everyone else and see what sticks (i.e. test, measure, implement, repeat.)
If you are going to pay for a service, pay someone to do it for you. For example, I will write your blogs, keyword them for SEO, and program/publish them into your platform. I will create and set-up your Mail Chimp accounts.
When should you hire someone to teach you DIY marketing? If you find yourself getting stuck again and again on an action, pay someone to help you. Look for a targeted program specific to what you struggle with – like personal branding coach Carol Ann Desimine.
If your image is in the dumps, she offers a great resource, right?
Likewise, some techy geeks are amazing when it comes to tracking analytics. Let them show you the way. A great coach is like taking a shortcut through the woods; don’t do it at night when you’re alone, but recognize when, sometimes, it’s the best way to go.
Website Design Services
My first design company got thousands of dollars out of me. Literally, thousands. They sold me a bell and a whistle and a song and a dance. And then they sold me some more.
Did I get a single client out of it? No. The ROI, while the site looked pretty, was like marshy swamp ground – soft and stinky.
The final straw was when I received a message on how to fix something myself in my website. “Isn’t that what I pay you for,” I asked.
Instead of paying out the nose, check out Elance, Guru, Fiverr or Task Rabbit. Look on Craigslist or join a barter network. Ask around on LinkedIn for an intern or a new designer looking to build a portfolio. These resources are more than sufficient for:
- Social media headers
- Facebook headers
- Website photo swapouts
- Basic ad layouts
When should you hire a website design service? While my technical skills have advanced, I don’t know how to fix a software update that trumps a plug-in, or write code for changing colors and appearances on my website.
When you have a list of services you need completed, hire a website design company to do them for you – including marketing strategy set-up.
So, if a form is pointing to the wrong mailing list, or you want a mobile version of your website, yes, it’s time to hire the pros to upgrade you. Make sure you interview three so as pricing can vary greatly, along with quality of service.