dog-swimming-in-water

Do you ever feel like you’re dog paddling in your business?

February 18, 2014 By: Pamela - No Comments

Three simple marketing strategies for keeping your head above water

Can you remember back when we didn’t have laptop computers, mobile phones, and tablets? Yes, I may be giving away my age, but I’ll ask the question anyway. Can you remember back to what your life was like without all this technology?

When you think about it, all these little devices were designed to make us mobile so that we could do more outside the office and still be connected. We’re now connected with the office, with family, friends, and colleagues 24/7. As a result of this technology, we’re also now expected to do more, know more and be more.

And of course, with the new mobile devices comes new technology and platforms for us to learn and use in our business.  In fact, the new apps and marketing tactics are being developed and introduced to us so quickly, we don’t know what to do or where to begin when it comes to marketing for  your department or small business. It’s easy to get shiny object syndrome having you chase after everything that hits the market to the point you have no time to implement the new ‘object’ and you just get further behind in your marketing and on top of that, no results to show for your time and effort.

Give yourself a break. You’re only human and you can’t expect to implement each and every marketing app, strategy or software program that is the ‘new it thing’. Honestly, is there anyone you know who is up on everything from android technology to Zoho cloud software? In fact, where is it written that you have to do everything out there anyway? It’s time to remove all the unnecessary pressure you put on yourself.

The key is to find a few marketing tactics or strategies that you can implement easily and consistently while providing you the greatest reach for the least amount of investment in time and financial resources. 

One such strategy that I want to share with you that has had the greatest impact on my business is outsourcing or another way of putting this is to use Virtual Assistants (VA). Yes, I refer to outsourcing as a strategy because it was a strategic decision to outsource various elements of my business rather than hire a team of people within the company whose time and talent may not be needed 40 hours a week.

Let me break this down a bit more to illustrate what specific areas I might use a VA.

Social Media Posting – For years we hear or read almost daily that you need to be engaging your fans, your consumers multiple times during the day. This seems impossible when you have a business or a department to run. That’s where hiring a VA or Content Marketing Manager comes in. You can hire a VA who will post to your blog, to article directories, post on your Facebook page, tweet for you on Twitter and start the discussions for you on LinkedIn.

For me, last year having a VA handling my social media was a godsend as it allowed me to continually have an online presence while I was able to spend quality time with my terminally ill mother.  Even when I was too busy to get a new article to post, she kept things going by finding content from my website to use. Thank you, Missy.

Graphic Design Work – This has got to be one of my most favorite reasons for outsourcing. There are so many sites available to us that host a myriad of freelancers for you to hire. Sites such as Upwork, oDesk, Freelancer and 99 Designs have freelance graphic designers ready and waiting to take on new projects.

If I were to use a local graphic design company, they may or may not be available to take on new work. With a company such as Upwork, anytime I get a new idea, I simply sign into my account and post a job, specify my price and when I need it by. At any given time, I might have 3-4 projects going on at one time with individuals from Italy, the Netherlands, India, the Philippines, to South Africa.

I simply could not be this spontaneous with a local designer and expect a quick turn around like I get with outsourcing.

Website Maintenance – These are my other favorite people in the world. It’s great to have a wonderful looking website; it’s even better when you’ve got the team of people behind the scene who make you and your site look good. Working with a WordPress or Joomla website are fairly easy to manage once you’re shown the ins and outs. I’m not a techie, but I have managed to learn the backend of my WordPress site. I will admit that when adding images and getting the alignment just right sometimes has me stumped, but that is where a website maintenance contract comes i.

As the person responsible for running the business or your department, you’ve got better things to do than fiddle with the back end of your website, so pass on this to the web team. Yes, even the small stuff. For me, I’ll start an email and list out all the projects that need tweaking on the site. What would probably take me an hour tends to take them 5 minutes because they know what they are doing and do it every day.

Research Project – There are even times when you need to gather information which would require you to dedicate 5-10 hours doing the research. I don’t know about you, but spending 10 or more hours researching information is not something I want to spend my valuable time on. Here’s where outsourcing this project to a VA comes in. Once again you go to the same sites and put up a brief outlining the specifics of your research project. I’ve found that if a freelancer is only working on your project, they complete it a lot sooner than the deadline which is always nice too.

It’s impossible to create more hours in the day, however, you can find more hours in the day by leveraging other people’s time. Not only do you gain more time, you can honestly say that you are contributing to the worldwide economy when you hire people from all around the globe.