Tips For Outsourcing Your Marketing

Call me what you will, a freelancer, marketing consultant, or remote marketing manager, or perhaps – a pest – but one thing I have going for me is that I have worked both as marketing manager and as someone who takes on worked in an outsourced capacity so it seemed natural that if you want your marketing managed, you may well want some tips for outsourcing your marketing.

I guess that means I have some experience in getting the best out of people who aren’t on the payroll with your company, both being one, and using other freelancers in my working life.

So how can you get the best result when outsourcing your marketing?

Outsource your marketing and let go…

As the frozen song says, let it go, let it go. The way to get the best out of people is usually, the hire someone who really knows what they are doing and then get out of their way! I try to provide a full marketing service in place of a full time marketing manager so that means that I have to bring a lot of diverse skills to the table.

One poor way to execute this and get the most of an outsourced marketing resource was suggested when I visited a prospect.

Their idea was for me to come up with the ideas and actions on how to improve their marketing – and then impart this knowledge to a sales director – who would ‘have a go’ and then I would give feedback on how he had ‘got on’.

Frankly, I couldn’t think of anything that could be slower or less efficient.

By all means, bring me in for marketing strategy training or even guidance on how to run marketing campaigns – but to have a strategy that stems from Chinese whispers – that’s not really a great spend of your budget.

Getting the best out of a freelancer

I work with a wonderful designer and find the way we work best is when I give her a brief, let her run with it and then look at the finished work.

Whilst she seems to appreciate some guidance on tone, obviously all the copy and the aims of the campaign, I try and avoid solid ideas such as ‘I need a marketing image of someone with a beard holding a lightbulb’.

Outsourcing your marketing

The images attached are the ones I supplied my graphic designer with and below, her finished results. By letting my freelance designer choose her own route and ideas, I got a far better design overall.

In short, the image is never what I thought of, or is far better quality,  and the finished design is far better.

Some other tips for outsourcing your marketing

  1. Connect your marketing freelancer to other people in your business, eg your sales team, customer care team and account managers so they can understand as much as possible. I like to spend a few hours at least shadowing each team member available.
  2. Try and have data to hand if you can – website traffic if you have it, cost per sale, sales volumes, cost per lead – how much each sale costs you – how long customers are retained for. This helps create a benchmark.
  3. Try and scrape historic information – what have you tried? What worked, what didn’t? What is your instinct about why this did or didn’t work? Outsourcing your marketing is often about imparting information just as you would with a new employee.
  4. Have a budget in mind. A common saying is ‘well, if I make it back in sales, I would pay you £1 million!’ That’s great to hear, but what about the growth period before we make sales in large volumes? Without making a loss, what are you comfortable to pay to make. long term investment?
  5. Literature – I love it! Even if it’s the worst looking document I’ve ever laid my eyes on, it tells me what YOU think about your business and your selling points and that is invaluable.
  6. Be honest about your worries or concerns. If you think social media marketing is a black hole for marketing, tell all. We can discuss if it’s right for you, or if it can be managed in a hands-on way so you can see the results yourself and make your own decisions about whether it’s working.
  7. What would you like reported? I tend to report on-site traffic, SEO ranking and performance, broken links and issues, social media growth and interesting changes – perhaps in email marketing. Have a think about what stats matter to you.
  8. Pick up the phone – often clients will leave an email response to me for ages and I just pick up the phone. If you have any questions or ideas, just call! It’s so much quicker than an email stream, we all get a clear outcome and it’s done and dusted.
  9. Have an idea of important events in your calendar – those trade shows, days off, holidays or key moments n your sector are all very important, as are the natural peaks and troughs in your business.

Should you outsource your marketing overseas?

In a word – outsourcing your marketing abroad is probably not ideal if it doesn’t have a tangible benefit in being done overseas specifically (discounting costs.). If you are an international business, you may really benefit from having someone write your site content with a native tongue. You may want to send them pieces for approval and proofing with an eye on the tone and habits of their residence.

If you are simply looking for someone cheaper than you get in the UK, I would have big alarm bells ringing. As the phrase goes, there’s no such thing as a free lunch. Pay for a cheap service and you get the equivalent of some boiled food – whilst there may be some nutritional value, it’s certainly not a pleasurable experience and probably not a meal you’d want to eat regularly.

Is Fiverr a good option for outsourced marketing?

Like any business, there are quality freelancers and they can be anywhere. They may well be on Fiverr. The problem with bid sites or set price service sites is that it is a race to the bottom in terms of cost.

Whilst I am 100% there for the site to exist, I am sure that plenty benefit from it, the quality leaves much to be desired on the cheaper gigs. I have had some logos designed, I have even sold myself on these platforms and to be frank, charging $5 for anything doesn’t infuse you with a desire to care.

The client’s are faceless, often demanding and unrealistic and in terms of the work, it is often focused on spun content and other ‘quick fixes’. If you are paying a customer care manager £21,000, it seems a bizarre contradiction to then pay £3.50 for a blog and expect it to set the world alight!

Need freelance marketing support?

I can helo with marketing strategy, digital marketing or copywriting as well as marketing services to support sales.  It’s hands on, trusted outsourced support. Get in touch today.