Every business, one way or another, started from the bottom. Take it from Drake; no one was born successful. Even successful commercial companies like Apple, McDonald’s, and Walmart were once start-ups.
Sure, most businesses fizzle out and die before they can break even. Other companies stay firmly within the ‘small business’ category no matter how long they keep at it. But some businesses—through a bit of luck and a lot of effort—manage to breakthrough to the big leagues.
Now, people who’ve never dabbled in the world of business, commerce, or entrepreneurship might think that success is dependent on the product. If you’ve got a great product, people are going to line up to buy it from you. And you end up with a ton of money.
I’m not saying this is entirely wrong, but it is a bit of a misconception. I do not doubt that some big-name brands achieved their god-like status simply because what they offered was downright revolutionary. But this doesn’t explain Starbucks. This doesn’t explain Taco Bell. It doesn’t explain Domino’s or Coca-Cola, either.
What Am I Talking About?
Break these companies down to their most straightforward definition, and you get in this order: a coffee shop, a Mexican food joint, a pizza parlor, and a soft drink manufacturer. They’re not the only ones of their kind. Heck, they’re not even the first of their kind. And depending on who you ask, their products might not even be the best of their kind either.
I’m not trying to spark a Coca-Cola versus Pepsi Co. debate, or even a Taco Bell versus Chipotle. My point is that globally speaking, these are all famous names. Everyone’s heard of them. They are commercial giants. But they didn’t achieve that status because of their products. There are coffee shops that serve better (and cheaper!) coffee than Starbucks. Coca-Cola is not the only soft drink available. No one can say for sure that Domino’s is better than Pizza Hut.
So How Did They Do It?
Taco Bell continues to stay on top because their marketing team knows how to use social media. Domino’s has gone mobile. Everything, from ordering a pizza to interacting with customers, can be done through the smartphone. And Coca-Cola dominated 2017 not just because of its many partnerships, but because of its viral Jennifer Anniston video. AdAge even dubbed them Marketer of the Year.
It doesn’t much matter how “awesome” your product or offer is. If you’re not marketing yourself properly, people aren’t going to know you much less care enough to find you. You may not like it, but it’s true. For your business to survive, you need paying customers. For you to attract paying customers, you need marketing.
Where Do You Start?
Most start-up businesses choose to handle marketing on their own, especially if they decide to stay small-scale and local. However, this is neither practical nor sustainable. As a small business owner, you need a dedicated marketing team to monitor your marketing efforts, scale your strategies, and analyze the data gathered.
And if you think your business is small enough to do without, or if you think you can make do by yourself, well, please, Think again.
Trust me; there will be moments in your entrepreneurial journey when you’ll wake up and realize you need a dedicated marketing team—or, at the very least, a dedicated marketer. Here are some of those moments:
Perspective: You’re Losing Money per Hour
Say you spend two or three hours a day on marketing—following up on leads, creating content, driving traffic, and so on. After five standard workdays, you’ve worked ten or fifteen hours overall on marketing. How much do you have to show for it?
Let’s say you make about $400 in sales for that week. Looking at the numbers, that doesn’t seem so bad.
But once you divide that $400 by the ten hours you spent on marketing, you’ll realize that it comes out to about $40/hour. Still not so bad? What if you’re a Personal Development Coach that can afford to charge clients $150 per hour?
You don’t have to be good at math to realize that is a huge step-down. Once you start losing money per hour due to marketing, you are in desperate need of an intervention. And an expert.
Static: Traffic to Your Website is at a Standstill
A website is only as good as the number of engaged, active visitors it gets. It doesn’t matter how functional or aesthetic a page is. If there aren’t any people on it to begin with, then it’s not doing its primary function, which is to attract and convert random users into interested buyers.
If you’ve got a website that’s getting minimal monthly views and visits, you have two choices: either sacrifice a huge chunk of your time to learn all the marketing strategies and SEO techniques yourself or hire someone to do it for you.
Conversion: Your Leads Aren’t Converting
Directly related to the previous example; let’s say your website is getting a decent number of visitors and views each month. There’s also a healthy amount of engagement going on between you, your content, and your consumer base. They’re commenting on your videos, sharing your articles, or mentioning you in social media posts. You do not want the attention.
What’s the catch?
All this attention isn’t leading to anything. Your page views aren’t translating into sales. You’re getting new visitors each month but they never seem to stick around. Your last blog post was shared by a good dozen people or so, but nothing came out of it; no sale, no new subscriber, nothing.
And again, you have two choices; throw yourself into this problem and waste hours trying to figure out how to fix it or stand back and let someone else do what they do best.
>> Do You Have Content Marketing? Learn More About if You Should Outsource Your Marketing or Keep it in House!
Hiring a marketing expert to help you with your business is not the equivalent of throwing in the towel and admitting you can’t do it all by yourself. You’re human, and there’s only one of you—of course, you can’t do it all by yourself! Trust us; there is no shame in asking people to do what they do best for the sake of bettering what it is you currently have.