Listen, we get it.
As the owner of a small or startup venture, it makes a ton of sense to bootstrap until you have the appropriate capital to spend. There are lots of ways you can save on startup costs, like doing your own bookkeeping and taxes, bartering your services, or sharing advertising space with a neighbor or friend.
While you can pick up some skills from online tutorials or by taking a quick e-course, other talents take years of practice to acquire. Surely you’ve heard of Pinterest fails. The pros may make it look easy — but when you get in there and try it yourself, you’ll quickly learn that icing that elaborate cookie isn’t the walk in the park it seems. Not to mention the time you invest in learning the skill, purchasing the right tools, and trial and error periods. Wasted time = wasted money.
Every business needs marketing, and many business owners are quick to assume that they can handle marketing on their own. While we definitely applaud the go-getters out there who do their best to be resourceful, we believe that marketing is such a specific skillset that you should probably leave it to the pros. Here’s why:
1. Marketing takes planning.
Sure, you can have an ad designed. You can sponsor an event or boost a Facebook post. But to really be successful in your marketing endeavors, it takes strategy, thoughtful planning and well-executed creative to realize the ideal ROI. So how do you go about planning your marketing? For starters, work with a professional to help you create a calendar. This calendar will include everything from upcoming events, ad publishing schedules and social media content planning, and things like competitor analysis so you can be prepared to present your offering in a strategic and thoughtful way. From there, you can decide how and when to deploy your plan. A marketing pro will help you figure out a strategy that works best, and a creative pro will help execute on that plan with visuals that draw your audience in.
2. Marketing should be consistent and on-going.
It’s imperative to constantly think about the ways you’re addressing and engaging with your target market. Learn what is going on in their world, and help solve for their pain points with your offering. At the very least, you should be providing value through content so that you can build trust and exemplify thought leadership in your industry. With ongoing nurturing, there’s a good chance your prospects will become clients. But do you know how to execute on that plan? A marketing and creative partner will set up campaigns and provide ideas for how to continually reach your audience so that they’ll eventually convert into customers.
3. Your brand needs to be formally established and well-executed.
A creative pro will help you design and apply a strategic branding program that can be used again and again throughout your marketing initiatives. Whether it’s an ad, social media post graphics, marketing collateral like brochures or a website, the creative that represents your brand should feel polished and professional, as well as consistently tell your brand story though engaging messages and visuals. Can you do this on your own? You could – but when the elements of a marketing plan come together with gorgeous visuals and a compelling story, it’s gold, and that’s not something you can just “dig up.”
A Workbook for Startups
A powerful and comprehensive conversation-starting tool for developing your brand’s core messages. You’ll need this before you start working on anything visual.