We meant to post this awhile ago but Richard Parr over at Executionists made some great points a few weeks ago when discussing what a business should do when it's time to make this big decision.
He's absolutely right in that you, as a business owner, have four options when it comes to handling your digital marketing.
1. You can expand your staff. This means hiring experts in the web design, SEO and social media fields, at the minimum.
2. You can hire a web agency. This is an agency that handles digital marketing and is able to handle the weight of everything you need done. Get references.
3. You can hire a bunch of freelancers that specialize in each field. You won't have to pay a salary but you'll be on their schedule.
4. You can learn and become an expert yourself, then carry out the day-to-day functions on your own.
In his post, you can see all of this pros and cons for each option. (Spoiler Alert: Hiring an agency wins.) But we'll quickly break down a few things you need to know about each scenario.
Expanding your staff, well, you know better than we do. We're not going to pretend that we know if that's best for you or your situation. We'll just add that you will need to make sure you have all your bases covered. Just because someone is an SEO expert, it doesn't necessarily mean they know how to run your social media marketing. You are more than likely looking at more than one hire.
Hiring a web agency? Yes, we're a little biased. But this is usually your best bet. It will of course depend on your situation and budget but most agencies can only work on what you need and a monthly fee can be born from that information. And at the end of the day, it's on the agency to make sure everything runs smoothly. Ideally, they already do like services for other businesses that you can check out.
Hiring a group of freelancers can save money but be tricky. An agency will probably have a flat monthly rate unless the hours get out of hand. Freelancers will charge you an hourly rate and there's really no accountability, you're kind of at their mercy. There are a lot of brilliant freelancers but there are some that you'll want to pass on. You'll want to see previous work and gather references.
Doing it yourself, not really an option, is it? You have enough on your plate already and to take the time to become an expert and then the daily tasks of carrying out what you learned, well, that's a lot. This is probably your last resort.
The last advantage we'll mention to hiring an agency is the process of adding services. If you want to add another dimension to your digital marketing, you'll either have to hire another employee (or train a current one), look for and approve another freelancer or just pick up the phone and tell your agency that you want it added.
As always, consultations with us are free. We'll help you identify your strengths and weaknesses, offer suggestions and you're free to handle it how you see fit. You can contact us here.