As the owner of a social media agency, that provides both “done-for-you” social media packages and training on how to do social media yourself, I often get asked by clients
“For my business, would it be better to do social media myself or outsource it?”
The answer: It depends on what stage your business is in, but ideally you need to do a bit of both.
Let me explain.
Time vs Money
When it comes to outsourcing anything in your business, it will always come back to “TIME vs MONEY”.
If you do social media yourself, it will cost you your time.
If you outsource social media, it will cost you your money.
(And of course, if you do neither, it will cost you lost revenues from potential & even existing clients.)
So you have to decide, what is more important to you right now, your time or your money?
Your answer will likely depend on what stage your business is in.
The early startup stage
If you’re a new business, with no capital or very little money to spend, then the best thing you can do is educate yourself (read books, blogs, videos, go on courses, etc.) on how social media works and how to use social media, content marketing and email marketing to grow your business for free or by spending as little as possible (and yes, it IS possible to grow your business using digital marketing on a small budget).
However, there is ONE thing I recommend you do AS SOON AS YOU CAN to take your business to the next stage as fast as possible: Invest in training.
Why investing in paid training is important
Even if you do social media yourself, you have to remember that YOUR TIME as a business owner is your most valuable asset.
If you try to learn social media yourself, without personalised one-on-one training, coaching or without some kind of structured training course to guide you, you could spend years (through trial and error) figuring this stuff out.
With training (which isn’t very expensive, by the way), you can save time, avoid mistakes and get better results for your business much quicker.
Once you’ve won a few clients and you’ve established your business a bit more, you can move to the next stage: The Small Business Stage.
The Small Business Stage
This is the stage where most of our clients ask us for help.
The “small business stage” is what I call an established business that has a decent number of clients (so their growth is steady) but would like to scale up and grow even more rapidly.
When your business is in this stage (and beyond), it makes sense to outsource at least some of your marketing (such as social media) to someone else who can help you save your most valuable asset: time.
Why outsource social media if you’re a small business?
As a small business owner you will have a lot of responsibilities and find that life is getting busier all the time.
Some of your responsibilities will most likely include:
- Sales (speaking to new clients, closing deals, working with partners, etc.)
- Delivery (doing client work, client meetings, quality control, etc.)
- Management (managing your team, suppliers, etc.)
- Marketing (social media, lead generation, content marketing, etc.)
- Branding (your website, marketing material, positioning, etc.)
- Finance (accounting, budgeting, etc.)
- And more
You need to focus your time and attention on the highest level activities – the things that will make the biggest impact on your business.
So getting help from others (your team, suppliers, etc.) is essential especially when it comes to marketing, as without a consistent and actionable marketing plan it will be difficult for your business to scale and grow.
What part of social media is it better to outsource?
Anything you don’t have the skills or want to do, you can outsource.
To give you some ideas of what you can outsource, here are the two most popular things our clients outsource to us:
Daily social media updates
To continue to build a relationship with your existing clients, it’s important you post social media updates on all your social media channels.
By outsourcing daily social media updates, you ensure you post something each day, so that your social media channels look active.
Furthermore, people who see your social media updates will be reminded about who you are and what you do.
It’s a great way to build trust and increase the amount of touch points you have with existing and potential clients.
Social media Lead generation
Imagine being able to generate leads, every month, without having to even think about it.
Well, with a successful outsourced social media lead generation campaign, you can do that. Let someone else do all the hard-work, while you focus on the results: more leads, potential clients and new business contacts for your company.
For example, our clients point us in the right direction (tell us who they want as clients) and then we create a social media lead generation campaign to attract them and win them as leads and later (after nurturing and building a relationship with them) win them as new clients.
What part of social media is it better to do yourself (or in-house)?
Here is what most of our small business clients do themselves (or do in-house):
In-the-moment social media updates
Although we can help you by posting daily social media updates from your website, blog, and by sharing other people’s content, there are some things that will be be easier for you or your team to post yourself.
This can include: events, webinars, team meetings, team outings, company news, or anything else that is happening right now or “in the moment”. For example, at an event, it will be much easier for you to take pictures and share them on social media right then and there (this is what we call “in the moment”).
Although you can outsource elements of content marketing (such as content editing, content creation, content publishing, content promotion, etc.), you still must be involved in the process, to get the best result.
That’s why we recommend our clients either create their own content (if they have the time) or at least have a detailed brief for a professional copywriter to bring your thoughts and ideas to life on your blog and website.
One way or another, don’t just outsource your content and forget about. Outsource it and monitor it closely.
And remember, content marketing doesn’t just include “creating articles”. It also includes things such as videos, webinars, and podcasts, most of which would be better if they were created by you, the leader and the person who will know and understand your business the best.
Always keep investing in learning
As you can see above, we recommend a combination of both outsourced social media (the stuff you DON’T want to do) and in-house social media (the stuff you DO want to do).
But remember one thing:
Digital marketing, social media, and content marketing is an ever-changing world.
It’s a world that can have tremendous results for your business, but at the same time, it’s a world that can change very quickly.
Even when you outsource parts of your business (such as your marketing, social media, content marketing and email marketing) stay involved and know what’s happening.
That’s why, for all our clients, we send them monthly reports – so they can see how their social media campaign is performing and if we have any other suggestions for them moving forward.
That’s also why, for most of our clients, they continue to read and follow our content on our blog, YouTube channel, Podcast, etc.
It’s important to keep learning and keep improving.