You’re a business leader, and that means you simply can’t be a Jack- or Jill-of-all-trades when it comes to marketing your business using digital solutions and social media. There’s no good way to lead an organization yet always do the things required in order to market your business successfully. You surely can’t do it all by yourself, and it’s highly likely you can’t conquer it all even with the talented staff you have already working for you.
Sometimes, you’ve got to hire help—not only to take your marketing to the next level; it’s common to need help just to keep everything humming at an acceptable level for your day-to-day operations. Here are some insights on hiring the people power you need to be a strong player in today’s evolving digital marketing game.
Determine the Value of Digital Marketing for Your Business (And What You’re Willing to Spend!)
Before you begin the quest to hire support, you’ve got to determine what digital marketing is—or has the potential to be—worth to your business. That determination should be translated into a dollar amount you’re willing to invest monthly or annually. As you come up with an equation, keep these questions in mind.
- What opportunities is your business missing by not having adequate marketing support?
- Could sales be enhanced with more targeted and dedicated marketing efforts?
- How is productivity of your current team members impacted when they’re constantly asked to divide attention to keep up with marketing tasks?
- Are the social media and digital marketing efforts you’re attempting now hard to measure in terms of results/value?
- Do you and your team feel consistently overwhelmed by social media and digital marketing—from day-to-day tasks to trying to keep up with changing opportunities and expectations?
If your current efforts are not measurable yet consistently distract you and your team from other work to be done, it’s likely that hiring the right support will be well worth the investment.
Learn Enough So You Know What You Don’t Know
The whole point of hiring help is to delegate—to bring in the expertise your business needs so that you and your team members can stay focused on what each of you do best. That being said, you still must manage/oversee the activity of whomever you bring in. To that end, you should seek to have at least a minimal working knowledge of the kinds of expertise and activities so that you can effectively guide, review, and assess how things are going. You don’t have to be fluent in all aspects of social media and digital marketing, but you should have a familiarity so that you can determine what success will look like for your business.
How can you gain working knowledge? One quick suggestion is to read my past articles for Floor Trends. Each article covers fundamentals of key topics relevant to marketing for our industry, and these can inform you well enough to have insights on what might be expected of the person or agency you select to help your business.
Take Off the Millennial Blinders
I highly recommend you banish the thought that “millennials are best qualified” to lead and manage social media and digital marketing tasks. Be open so that you can identify the person—or the team—that not only knows the ins and outs of digital marketing but that also has keen understanding of specifics for your marketplace, customers, and business environment. Just because someone is in the generation that’s “grown up with Facebook” doesn’t necessarily mean that person has the savvy to use Facebook for professional purposes.
Weigh Pros and Cons of Hiring Direct or Retaining a Third Party
Should you hire a staff member to join your team or retain a freelancer or agency to manage your social media and digital marketing? There’s no hard and fast answer that’s right for all businesses. You’ve got to weigh the pros and cons to make the decision that’s best for your corporate culture and business goals.
If you hire in-house, you should find someone who is advanced enough in her career to be a fully accountable self-starter. That’s because you or others on your leadership team may not have the specific knowledge to offer this person direction or determine if her activities and time are being well spent. If you hire at too junior of a level, you may be adding someone to your team who needs lots of supervision that you’re not qualified to provide. Of course, it’d be ideal to find someone with flooring experience, but if that’s not possible, aim for finding someone familiar with your business type (i.e. - retail, distribution, or manufacturing) and target markets (i.e. - residential, commercial, trade).
If you retain a third-party freelancer or agency, you may have better luck at finding the senior-level expertise and industry-specific experience you need, but it will not be inexpensive. Any freelancer or agency worth salt will charge accordingly. And though this scenario could—and should—reduce your/your team’s hands-on involvement, you’ll still have a share of responsibility along the way. You or a point person on your staff will need to interact with the third-party provider regularly, as these relationships only work well when the lines of communication flow freely in both directions.
Hire for Your Team’s Weaknesses
This may an obvious point, but it bears stating: bring on help only to contribute strength to your areas of weakness. Don’t add support that’s redundant with what you’re already doing well. Do you have a team member who is currently managing social media and doing a reasonably good job with it? Perhaps your best tactic is to determine if this is an opportunity for growth for this individual. Perhaps he would like to take this on on a more focused, professional manner. If that’s the case, you may be best served to provide training that allows this staff member advance accordingly. Grow in such a way that makes your business stronger, be that adding support or enhancing what’s already at hand.
Unsure Which Way to Go? I’ve Got a Map!
Not sure what direction to go for your business? I would be happy to discuss an audit that would help you determine whether you need to hire a new team member, groom a current staffer, or retain outside support. From company culture, sales goals, productivity, expertise level required, and so on, there are many factors to weigh when selecting which way to go. This is an important decision because of the investment you’ll be making and its potential impact on your company’s success. Feel free to reach out anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org.