We live in a digital age where just about everything is on the internet. Someone can promote their own brand for hundreds of thousands of people to see at a push of a button. That being said, some small business owners don’t have the digital marketing know-how or experience needed to grow their online audience and expand their business so they bring in people to help them. Oftentimes, it’s a choice between two options: a part-time social media manager or a digital marketing coach. But the question is – who’s the best person to bring in to help with your digital marketing? Let’s explore…
Social media plays an important role in growing awareness and online audiences for your business. As a business owner, social media marketing can feel like an overwhelming task – new platforms pop up all the time, you have to constantly create content, you have to engage with your followers, and the list goes on…
As more and more businesses are seeing the essential nature of social media marketing, social media management has become a hot job market with high demands. The thing is, if you are looking to use all of your marketing budget to hire a part-time social media manager to manage your company’s social media strategy, you need to understand the pro’s and con’s.
In order to keep your social accounts fresh and interesting, you need someone who can think of creative ways to engage new and potential customers while also making sure all social assets (like Facebook pages or Twitter bios) are up to date and consistent. If you hire a part-time social media manager they should bring fresh ideas for your social media accounts and be able to create a diverse blend of visual content such as photos, graphics, and video. They should also be well-versed in social media tools that can be utilized for your content marketing and social posts.
Not all social platforms are right for every business, so having someone who knows the best social media platforms to use for your social goals is important. Social managers help navigate this process so you can get the most out of each social channel by finding what works for your company. Having a social media manager by your side will help guide you through this process so that what works best for other companies might be just perfect to promote yours too!
They may have many other clients (or completely different jobs) and don’t have the time to dedicate to creating strategic content or building social media campaigns. Also, if you don’t understand or aren’t able to define specific social media objectives then hiring someone simply to post a meme or two to your social media accounts may be a complete waste of money and of no meaningful use to your social media presence.
Oftentimes, small businesses hire “junior” social media managers who are just out of college and don’t have the experience of connecting social media efforts to larger business objectives. In my experience, you also won’t get someone who has experience in analyzing social media data to provide valuable insights and recommendations to grow your online audience and improve your social media strategy.
Obtaining digital marketing knowledge is a necessary first step for business owners who are wishing to improve their digital marketing strategies. That’s where a digital marketing coach comes in. When searching for a digital marketing coach (or even if you are just looking for more information), you should know that there are pro’s and con’s associated with hiring one. To help you, I’m going to discuss both sides of the coin in detail so that you may make an educated decision about whether or not to hire a digital marketing coach for your small business.
In my experience as a marketing coach, the most common reason why businesses are struggling with their marketing is because they don’t have a marketing plan. Shockingly, about 20% of small businesses don’t implement a digital marketing plan according to Fundera. The first thing a digital marketing coach should do is to evaluate current marketing operations and work with you to develop a clear, actionable marketing plan. A core component of this marketing plan is identifying your target audience of current and prospective customers so that you can craft relevant and impactful messaging and digital content for them.
While it may not be the expertise of all digital marketing coaches, most of them should be able to provide you with informed guidance when it comes to your time, money, and resources (e.g. employees). This can be a valuable function if you are not experienced in digital marketing strategies or marketing operations. By having someone in your corner to provide education, insight, and guidance related to digital marketing you can avoid wasting your time and money on initiatives that won’t benefit your business.
Another very common mistake I see solopreneurs and small business marketers making is that they are not setting the right goals or accurately measuring their progress. This is a critical error because if you have the wrong goals OR if you have goals that don’t properly align with your measurement then you’ll never know what’s working or what adjustments to make. A digital marketing coach can work with you to define your marketing + business growth goals and the respective key performance indicators that are associated with your goals.
You may not have the budget or need to hire a coach on a long-term basis (6+ months). In fact, if you have an employee who does your marketing, they might have enough skills and know-how to manage your marketing operations after some guidance or help with a marketing plan. Not all marketing coaches will take short-term or project-based contracts so you’ll want to discuss options with them to understand what course of action they think would be most beneficial, why they recommend that specific course of action, and if it can be adjusted to fit your business.
This is probably the biggest factor in determining if a marketing coach is right for you. Just like a sports coach, your marketing coach doesn’t do the work for you. They are there to help you grow your skills and support you when you need guidance. They might show you how to do something in the interest of training, but after the training, it’s up to you to implement. Your marketing coach is like Mickey in the Rocky movies – providing you a training plan, working to improve your marketing abilities, yelling at you from the corner to motivate you, and making you chase a chicken in an alley (ok, well, maybe not that…)
When deciding whether or not to hire a part-time social media manager or a digital marketing coach, look at what both can provide in return for their price tag to see which is better for your budget. Remember it isn’t always about the cheapest, but the one who can provide the necessary expertise needed to help you grow your business. Talk with both of them to learn about how they work, the services they provide, and what they recommend for your business to determine the best fit. And don’t be afraid to ask for references from current or former clients!
If you happen to be a business owner who’s already hired a part-time social media or marketing manager and you’d like to invest in them improving their digital marketing skills, then I can help!
I work with many business owners who decide that they want a marketing coach for their part-time (or even full-time) marketing staff. I provide structured coaching sessions along with open Q&A so that I can assist with any specific marketing task that they are working on.