How to Market Your Business Without Marketing Staff

If the company you work for is like many companies, you aren’t hiring too many people and your marketing budgets have been cut. Employees are being asked to do more with less. Now more than ever, marketing efforts are needed to drive sales. What options do companies have to get all the work done and drive business growth?  
 
It may be the right time to consider hiring an interim marketing professional. It’s the idea of hiring a person to fill in for a project, a medical leave or sabbatical or just to manage workflow issues. It could be that your business doesn’t have a marketing staff but realize that some marketing efforts and plans are needed.
 
Interim staffing is an idea whose time has come. Whether you label these individuals marketing consultants, contractors or freelance marketers, they all have one thing in common; they can get the job done quickly and efficiently and at less cost and time than it might take to hire someone to do the job on a full-time basis. .   
 
The trend towards hiring temporary staff for marketing and other functions is growing.  From CareerBuilder.com, 29% of hiring managers expect to use freelancers in 2009. From the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2005, 7.4% of all workers were classified as independent contractors. 
 

Benefits of Hiring Interim Marketing Professionals

The benefits of interim marketing talent are numerous: 

  • Bridging the gap between open or new positions and full time hires
  • Controlling and managing workloads
  • Exploring new product, service or business idea
  • Providing an outside objective point of view
  • Backfilling maternity, family or medical leave
  • Expediting a critical project
  • Offering a skill set that you don’t currently have in your organization
  • Access to skilled qualified resources without the risk of hiring full time marketing staff

Companies recognize the benefit of outsourcing marketing help and even using those workers on a “trial basis” before hiring. ”Using interim marketing staff benefited my department in two ways. First, I was able to quickly bridge gaps that took place due to staff turnover and keep the day-to-day business operating smoothly during a time of transition. It also provided me with the flexibility to work with the temporary service, to evaluate whether the temporary person put in place might also be the best candidate to fill the vacancy full-time. In our case, that worked extremely well and created a “win-win-win” solution for the agency, the candidate and my department.”   Jim Hines VP Customer Marketing, with a leading apparel marketer
 
Where to Find Interim Marketing Resources

There are numerous temporary staffing agencies but many of them focus on clerical, warehouse, manufacturing or other less skilled staffing needs. Those agencies might have access to marketing professionals but more than likely the best resources for this level of talent is to simply Google interim marketing, freelance marketing, temporary marketing to learn what resources are available in your area. Word of mouth, professional networking groups, the Chamber of Commerce and social media sites might also provide insight into finding marketing professionals interested in working with your company
 
Payment/Fee Structure: There are a few common ways to pay for interim marketing services.
 
By the hour: This method eliminates any risk and assures that you the client/employee will only pay for the time/ work provided. How much per hour can vary widely but one method is to consider the level of work that is being performed and equate it to a job level. For example is the job an assistant manager or director level position. Determine the annual salary and divide by 2080 hours and you have the hourly salary. From that base salary,  layer on 20-30% for benefits that the company would have paid a full time employee. If a freelancer is filling in for a level job that is offers a bonus or other perks, e.g. car, phone, factor that in as well. Be prepared to speak to several resources and find out the “going rate” for interim help. 
 
By the project:   This method can be more palatable to employers who just want to know what it will cost to develop a social media strategy or to develop and execute a promotion.   When providing a project based fee, a range is typically given to account for changes in parameters that may arise during the course of the project. 
 
Independent freelancers will not have taxes withheld from the paycheck. However, it is important they understand they will still need to pay taxes and they are not entitled to any benefits that an employee receives. Be prepared to have your interim staff fill out a W9 form and you will provide a 1099 form from the company at the end of the year. That is the freelancing equivalent to a W2 form.
 
Value Added Services

If you want a skilled professional with established credentials and marketing skills to come into your organization and immediately add value by taking on special projects, provide strategic insight into your business and marketing needs or fill in for absent employees, then interim marketing staffing, might be the perfect solution. Consider this statement from Deanna Leonard, Executive Vice President, Williams Roberts Young a Career Partners International firm: ”Small and medium size entrepreneurial companies are the companies that will help pull us out of this recession and into a bright future.  Unfortunately, small and medium size companies often do not have the time or the personnel to focus on marketing.    Fortunately, there are great marketing consultancies out there that can supply much needed execution work.  They have the experience and ability to take a great strategy, improve upon it, and move it forward with real, actionable steps that result in increased business over the long haul.”

How to: Self-Promoting My Business and Myself

As an entry-entrepreneur, taking a step back to look at how far you’ve come to building your business, you may find that there may be minor setbacks caused by anxiety, a lack of finances, or even at a loss of what the next best step is to growing your business.

Within growing your business and being an entrepreneur, this means you may have to take on roles that you are not used to. You must become a “Jack-of-all trades” type in order to best suit your business and to keep your budget to a minimum. This may seem like a waste of time when you can just hire someone else to complete tasks but it’s your business and it is something that should solely be based on your efforts and dedication.
This article will be a way to understand and execute how to grow your business through self-promotion and the handfuls of ways to do it on your own.

First you must understand and grasp that business in general is not easy to figure out. As an entrepreneur, you must understand and teach yourself ways of business and marketing. Creativity and persistence will be one of your greatest attributes if you use them wisely. Dedication to a product or service and giving it that extra sparkle is what will get your business noticed amongst the rest.

Here are a few things you should check off or keep in mind before you start promoting your business:

+ Know your target market
+ What’s the best way to reach my market?
+ Trademark your business for easy recognition
+ Create a promotional plan that explains to customers why they would want to use or purchase your product/service
+ Quality customer service and feedback should be mandatory

Self-Promoting My Business and Myself: What are my options and how do I get noticed?

1. Create an online presence- nowadays more and more people are leaning towards online businesses because it’s cheaper and being online is like being viral-anyone who you allow, can see you and what you’re doing

2. Build your contacts through: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, KickStarter, personal websites, WordPress, Tumblr, StumbleUpon, other blogs, etc

3. Not only creating these accounts through these various social media sites, you must keep it consistent. You want people to see you; so don’t stop at 1 post a week–you must make an impression; the more you post, the more your name pops up, the more recognition you will obtain. Check out HooteSuite where you can maintain over 5 different social media sites all on one page.

4. Vocalize your mission and dedication to your business. Tell people why this is important to you and why it should be to them.

5. With not only keeping your posting consistent you should also give feedback to customers that may or may not be satisfied with your service or product. Your customers will be grateful that you responded to their needs or positive feedback. This allows customers to see that you care and the more you give feedback the more positive recognition you’ll most likely get.

6. Ask for testimonials; People like to respond or critique a product or a service when they are given option to do so.

7. Include extra keywords or tags into your social media profiles so that your business makes an appearance on more people’s computer screens.

8. Create an Android or iPhone app. Mostly everyone has a smartphone where they can search or look up their favorite sites or services through an app on their phones. Why not have your customers share an app they can enjoy while being connected to your business on their phones.

9. Be-friend other businesses that are similar to your target market’s interests. Maybe there is room for a co-op opportunity?

10. Be original! Do what you think is best for your business and your customers. Figure out something that no one has ever seen before. Be creative in branding yourself and promotion. Always remember to find the most beneficial ways to branding yourself in the most creative ways possible but while keeping a professional and reliable reputation visible.

Funding Christian Organisations – The Importance of Internet Marketing in Business and Fundraising

Internet marketing skills are becoming more and more important as internet technology is exploding, and the internet as a marketing tool is developing worldwide at a frightening pace. The entire world economy is increasingly represented on the internet. The internet has reduced this whole world economy into a manageable tool that can be explored and manipulated from the tip of your fingers in your own home. It is now possible to sell your product anywhere in the world with the push of a button! The internet opens up a whole new world of opportunity for ordinary business people and has given an entire new meaning to the concept of marketing.

An Internet Illiterate Business Executive will not be Competitive

I am currently doing an intensive Internet Marketing Course at the age of sixty, and it is opening up a completely new business perspective for me! My only regret is that I did not do this many years ago when I first read the signs. If you are thinking anything beyond a corner coffee shop, it will be important to market your business effectively on the internet. One thing is for sure, a business and marketing executive who is internet illiterate will simply not be able to make the grade in today’s competitive business world.

I know the internet can be quite threatening and intimidating to someone new; but so is everything new! Still remember the first day you attended college or graduate school? What changed your feeling of intimidation? Exposure! So, the remedy for feeling threatened and intimidated by the internet is simply, EXPOSURE. There is no substitute for spending time in front of your PC or Laptop and browsing the internet, while you discover a new world opening up before your eyes! This is exciting! I now understand what the explorers must have experienced when they discovered new worlds they never knew existed. There is nothing so refreshing in life as a new vision!

Trust God for Big Things!

God wants to broaden your vision! God has great things in mind for you and your ministry or organisation! Never underestimate God! If your vision is easy to accomplish — it is too small! Don’t fear failure! Failures are the stepping stones to success. The only danger of failure is that you may give up just before the breakthrough comes! No wonder God so often speaks to us about perseverance in His Word; for example in Rom 5:3: “And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope.” (NKJV)

One of the most important lessons I have learned in my life is the lesson of perseverance. I used to hop from the one failing project to another, of course blaming the project every time. “This project doesn’t work”, or this and that doesn’t work. Until I one day discovered a life transforming truth, namely: Nothing in life works by itself — it has to be worked! If it doesn’t work, the only reason is that I have not made it work! You know, this is even true about our spiritual lives! Does your Christianity work? If it doesn’t, it is not because Christianity doesn’t work — it is because you are not making it work! It is not me who’s so clever to have thought out this truth — I discovered it in the Bible: “Therefore, … work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” (Php 2:12,13) P.S. Don’t be mistaken, Christianity is not a faith of works, but a faith that works!

There is no Substitute for Acquiring New Skills

Remember this — there is no substitute for learning and acquiring new skills! Don’t opt for a get-rich-quick scheme! You are never too old to learn new skills. The expression, “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” simply doesn’t hold true for successful people. A large number of internet marketing courses are freely available on the internet at very competitive prices. It will only take you a few months to become a professional internet marketer if you apply yourself.