How To Hire The Marketing Pro (No, You Don’t Need To Do It Yourself)
In his timeless book “Start With Why,” Simon Sinek writes, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” Sinek repeatedly makes the case for focusing the messaging of the marketing for your business, brand or organization on the story behind it. What you do, sell, or produce is important, but the “why” is what people connect with and remember.
So how can you as a business owner or entrepreneur tell your story in a way that sticks? If you need customers, clients, patients or donors — the tool is the same: marketing. But marketing one’s own business is often just too tough to take on.
Larger businesses often have a person or department in charge of things like marketing and advertising, graphic design, copywriting, PR, and website. Though smaller organizations generally don’t have the resources to hire someone full-time, they can still achieve professional results by working with contractors or small agencies who are experts in this field.
Once you decide to ramp up marketing efforts and are ready to seek help from professional contractors, where should you start? Here’s a basic strategy:
- Identify your needs.
Do you need a website? Logo? Social media marketing? Help getting the word out about your upcoming event? Start by creating a list of what you think you need, most urgent up top.
- Outline your goals.
Are you hoping to build a local following? Attract new clients? Sell more products? Want people to remember you when it’s time to replace their roof? Establish yourself as the consummate pro in your field? Identifying your top goals will help you focus.
- Consider your budget.
What can you comfortably spend once on a project to help reach your goals? What could you afford monthly for ongoing help? Keep in mind, you may need to stretch yourself initially to bring in more business. Figure out how much new business you’d need to break even on investment, then how much more you’d like to bring in to reach overall growth goals.
- Ask for recommendations.
When seeking professional help, start asking your network for suggestions. Start with business-owning friends then tap into your professional and personal networks. If this proves fruitless, search sites like Google, Facebook or local business directories — like EverythingBrevard.com, WeVENTURE or the area chambers of commerce.
- Vet your options.
Once you have recommendations and have started outreaching to learn more, next is to evaluate your options by looking at their work and references. Ask for work samples and testimonials. Their work should be consistent, customized to the client and match the vibe of your business or brand.
Michelle Mulak owns Good Vibrations Creative + Consulting, a boutique marketing, public relations and communications consulting firm based in Cocoa Beach. She works with entrepreneurs, businesses, brands, events and organizations of all sizes to help them develop and implement authentic, effective content marketing, advertising and publicity strategies.
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