When you’ve reached that pivotal moment in your small business and are ready to hire some marketing help, going with a larger digital marketing agency, a small digital marketing agency (or boutique marketing agency as we like to call ourselves), hiring a full-time or part-time marketing employee or contracting a freelance marketer are all options before you. Of course, one of the strongest factors in your final choice is making the most financially responsible decision possible. After all, that budget that you spent hours creating cannot go to waste.
It may come as a surprise to you that hiring a small marketing agency for virtual marketing services can actually save you money. Although going this route is an investment, you can still find yourself with more money in the bank versus hiring a larger agency, an employee or contracting a freelance marketer, which means more money to allot to other areas in your business.
Here are a few ways working with a small digital marketing agency can save you money
A full-sized marketing agency with a large team may have more expenses and higher pricing
Most full-sized marketing agencies in your city are going to be built or scaled to accommodate larger sized companies. If you’re the small business owner looking to get continual help with your marketing but need to work with a lean marketing budget, you’ll likely be priced out of the services a larger marketing agency is going to offer. It may be worth an inquiry to ask what the minimum spend is but chances are you’ll save money by using a small digital marketing agency more focused on small business.
A small digital marketing group can give more focused attention
Our marketing agency and others of a similar size that I’m familiar with prioritize focused attention on fewer clients. This means more flexibility to adapt to weekly or monthly changes, more of the team’s time and energy on the business’ specific needs and challenges and less chance an agency’s professionals are going to be spread thin across too many accounts. This is a tremendous value to a small business owner who wants to have an in-house, small team feel to their outsourced marketing services and other vendors.
Hiring a full-time marketer comes with not-so-hidden costs
The process of hiring an internal marketing staff for your business is not only time-consuming, it can also cost a pretty penny. Not only would you have to account for the salaries of the employees that you choose to hire, you also have to think about the list of extras that are attached to any employment, such as benefits, unemployment funding, employee taxes and the additional platforms, tools and materials an employee will need to do their job well.
By the time you hire a graphic designer, social media manager, web designer, copywriter, etc., you may already be way past the marketing budget that you set for your business.
Additionally, you could go through the whole process of hiring only to have that employee turn out a poor performance or leave at any time, meaning you’ve spent a lot of time onboarding for little return.
Small marketing agencies often require you to just pay a monthly fee which provides access to an entire team of marketing professionals without the burden of employee add-ons your company would have to cover.
With our digital agency clients, we will advise hiring as a next step when the company is ready as well as consult through this process. We’re not here to prevent hiring a marketer once it makes sense for the workload, growth rate and budget. Our virtual marketing services partnerships are meant to relieve an entrepreneur from doing all their own marketing and help grow the business to a point where it’s ready for its own marketing team. In fact, we love seeing that happen and being on that journey.
Through a small digital marketing agency, softwares and tools are provided to you
Rather than having to spend a bulk of your operating expenses budget on monthly subscriptions and tools (that you may not even know how to use), a marketing agency will provide the resources that will be the most useful for your business.
These tools can be:
Programs for Graphic Design
Social Media Scheduler Platforms
Project Management Software
Marketing Analytics & Reporting Software
SEO Management Software
Rather than having to individually purchase all of these different tools necessary to execute your marketing strategy, an agency with virtual marketing services will already have those costs covered and all setup to work for your business.
A small digital marketing agency will also have experience with various marketing platforms which can eliminate the need for the business owner or team member to spend time researching which tools to use and how to use a chosen platform.
Marketing Trial and Error is Reduced, Quality Leads and Sales Increase
Think back to all of the times that an amazing marketing idea for your business came to you, you went down a rabbit hole of trying to figure out how to implement your idea, only for it to yield no results (sorry to bring up the bad memories!)
These errors can cost you time, money and unnecessarily prolong a period without quality leads and sales. Hiring a small digital marketing agency allows you the opportunity to run all of your ideas by a team of professionals who can provide valuable feedback and protect your small business from wasting marketing money.
Ultimately, it’s up to each business leader to choose how to get marketing help, and thankfully we all have options. But the methods of getting help are evolving and it’s exciting to know that a small business has clear stepping stones toward the size its leader dreams of. Here’s a high level look at what I think works well for each typical step in the formation of a business that needs to keep the budget tight.
Startup Phase – DIY Marketing + As many consultations as the business can afford OR Startup Marketing Services if there’s room in the budget
First 1-3 Years – Hybrid mix of DIY Marketing + Partially outsourced virtual marketing services. IE: Someone on the team takes care of social or emails, other marketing is outsourced such as blogging, paid ads, Pinterest, etc.
3-5 Years – Fully outsourced marketing services. This is usually the phase of a business that can afford to hire boutique digital marketing agencies like Lindsey Wagnon Marketing and cover a full-service partnership. This is our element.
5+ Years – Continue fully outsourced marketing if it’s working well and/or gradually add an in-house marketing team if the vision is to keep expanding
The example above may feel rushed to you and that’s totally understandable. Every business and business owner is on their own time frame, but the above would be what I consider a somewhat ambitious, full-throttle effort toward growth. If an entrepreneur is more laid back about the time frame of reaching higher levels then just add a couple years to each and you’ve got your phases more accurate.
How many years has your business been operating and how are you handling your marketing? Has your approach worked well for you or are you considering making changes? I’d love to know the answer in the comments below!