Do you sometimes feel overwhelmed by promoting your store?
Feel like you can’t keep up with everything you should be doing?
Perhaps you’re considering outside help, or hiring someone who could help you take your store to the whole new level. But is that the right move, and is now the right time?
This post is going to try to help you find answers to those questions.
Ask any seasoned online retailer and I’m sure they’ll agree:
Attracting and converting buyers isn’t child’s play.
So many techniques, strategies, and variables affect the outcome of your work. Just thinking of everything involved in each marketing channel makes your head spin:
And it goes without saying: It’s hard to manage it all if you’re a one-man band or work in a small team.
Before I answer that, let’s look at why you’d need to hire an external help:
Hiring a marketing consultant or even a full agency lets you tap into everything they know about promoting an online store. A seasoned professional can offer outside insight, as well as experience dealing with planning and problems you may have not even thought of yet.
If there’s one constant in marketing today, it’s … change.
From new strategies emerging on regular basis, to changes in search engines and other marketing channels, you have to work in a continuously evolving environment.
Having a dedicated and trained marketing person means you can rest assured knowing that they will keep track of everything going on – and can react to the changes and challenges as they come.
Your store might not be ready to hire a dedicated person to oversee all marketing efforts. In such case, outsourcing some marketing tasks to a freelancer or agency might be a logical step before you’re able to hire full time.
In business, juggling too many balls always affects the output. If you need to shift your attention from marketing to more pressing business issues, then hiring a consultant or freelancer might be the best way forward.
For a marketer to deliver results, they need to have some degree of freedom to act. They often need to make executive decisions on the spot, react fast, and adapt the strategy to the changing market. Having someone micromanaging them will certainly make it more difficult to deliver results.
Marketing takes time to deliver results. So if you can only barely afford a marketer, wait a while before outsourcing.
Stretching the budget to get someone in will only put strain on your relationship. You will press for a quick return on investment, when such a thing might not be possible from your marketer.
Based on the above, you’ve made the decision to hire. Now you need to make a call who to hire.
And you have two potential choices:
Hire a solo consultant or outsource your marketing to an agency.
Let’s look at the pros and cons of both:
Hiring a consultant means outsourcing the entire operation to just one person. Consultants cost less than an agency while being able to deliver all necessary work.
On the downside, they offer a narrow skillset. A consultant might have generic knowledge about various marketing activities. But might not be an expert in all. And thus, they might have to subcontract some of the work to other freelancers.
An agency on the other hand offers a full spectrum of marketing capabilities. From design, development to promotion and PR. Hiring an agency costs more. On the other hand, you get a complete service.
It depends on your needs. If you need help with the entire marketing, hiring an agency will always work out better.
If you need help with just a particular aspect of your promotion activities, or just need help making a plan, a consultant might be able to help much quicker and for less.
Outsourcing marketing activities is a big decision. It offers plenty of benefits and value by allowing you to step up your marketing game.
But it could also put your business at financial risk if you don’t have enough funds to sustain it.
So before you decide what to do, take a good look at your company, marketing aspects you struggle with and understand your needs to make the right choice.