Professional services firms held by solo practitioners and small teams struggle to stay on top of their marketing plan. These firms should instead consider outsourcing their marketing.
Marketing is critical to the survival of any business. After all, marketing is the act of telling the world about your business. Consistent marketing efforts lead to more business and faster growth.
Companies that have a marketing plan have better direction and ROI according to Forbes. By regularly putting your message and thoughts out there in front of your prospects, you stay top-of-mind with them. When your audience thinks of specific services they need, marketing ensures that they think of you.
Large organizations often have a dedicated marketing department. Small and midsized companies, however, can rarely afford an in-house marketing team.
For companies without in-house marketing staff, an outsourced marketing team can provide a full range of marketing services at a fraction of the cost.
In this article, I’ll draw on my experience as founder and president of Professional Services Marketing, LLC, to explain why small businesses benefit from outsourced marketing and what types of marketing services outsourced partners can provide.
Outsourced Marketing Is Cost Effective
Solo practitioners and small professional services firms can use help with marketing. These are the businesses run by a small team, or by a solo professional.
It is hard to keep up with marketing commitments when you have client work to complete and deadlines to meet. So, you may drop marketing until after you are less burdened.
The cost of hiring one marketing professional is between $60,000 and $250,000 per year, according to research by Marketing Sherpa. This excludes an in-house marketer’s benefits, office space, software, training, and computer infrastructure.
If you hire an SEO/SEM specialist alone, it costs you somewhere between $60,000 to $100,000 – and this employee would solely focus on SEO efforts. You'd need an entire marketing team if you want to make marketing a 360-degree endeavor.
This is way outside the budget for most small businesses – in which case, outsourcing becomes an affordable solution.
By contrast, hiring an outsourced marketer would cost you between $24,000 to $96,000 annually, depending on the services you choose.
Outsourced marketing firms are an affordable option for you if you want to invest in your business but find it hard to afford consistent marketing efforts.
Outsourced Marketing Teams Provide Strategic Consulting
With a strategic approach to marketing, you will never sway from your path to achieve your goals for the week, month, or year.
The best marketing firms don't stop after completing their traditional designated tasks. They go the extra mile to coach and teach you to become part of trade associations and groups that are frequented by your ideal clients and referral sources.
By strategically placing you online and offline in front of your A-level clients, your outsourced marketing partner can enhance your visibility where it matters.
The best outsourced marketing agencies will:
- Identify the unique selling points of your professional service
- Build your marketing strategy around your Unique Selling Proposition, or USP
- Increase your visibility in your industry
- Make you known as a topical authority
- Offer a holistic approach to marketing
A strategic outsourced marketing firm will also measure the ROI of each marketing service and provide insight into what works best for your business.
Outsourced Marketing Teams Provide a Full Range of Marketing Services
Marketing requires a multi-channel approach. Six marketing channels businesses rely on include:
- Association Involvement
- Social Media
- Thought Leadership
- Content Marketing
An outsourced marketing agency is responsible for carrying out consistent, multi-platform marketing for their clients.
A heavily outsourced marketing task is paid search marketing, outsourced by 23% of survey respondents, according to MarTech.
SEO and Display Advertising are the next most outsourced marketing areas.
Here are some popular marketing services you can expect to receive from an outsourced marketing agency:
- Blogging: Blogs engage your website users, drive website traffic, and improve SEO. When you consistently publish thought leadership pieces, you tell your audience that you have the knowledge and the expertise to handle their needs. Solo practitioners and small firms who miss out on regular blogging because it is time consuming should consider outsourcing it.
- Social Media: Your clients are now searching for you on social media. To achieve ROI from social media, you need to establish a presence on major platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram – and build brand authority by publishing content that is useful for your target audience. Like blogging, social media can be too time consuming for small businesses or solo practitioners to keep up with, so hiring an outsourced marketing company can help.
- Website Development: A website is the most crucial marketing tool any business has. To get it right, services firms need to focus on SEO, copywriting, graphic design, navigation, and mobile responsiveness. Small firms that lack the technical expertise to build and maintain their own websites should consider hiring a web development agencies or outsourced marketing company.
- SEO: SEO is critical for appearing in your audience’s search results. SEO provides a path to landing on the first page of a search result when people look for the services you offer. An outsourced marketing firm can help you make marketing a priority with least investment. Save precious time and costs of having an in-house marketing team and you can still get high-quality marketing services for your business.
- Branding: Branding is about much more than your logo. It is the art of your company’s communications cohesive and consistent. An outsourced marketing agency can help you refine and revamp your branding to make sure it conveys your company’s value to your clients.
From designing your print material to selecting your CRM software, there is no part of marketing that you cannot outsource.
Outsourced Marketing Helps Professional Services Firms Achieve Their Business Goals
If you have been struggling to keep your marketing moving, you should consult a professional services marketing firm and consider outsourcing some or all of your marketing efforts.
Give marketing a boost and ensure new business development this year by outsourcing this critical task to a team of specialists who know your industry and can help you attract new clients.
About the Author
Terrie S. Wheeler, MBC, is the founder and president of Professional Services Marketing, LLC. For nearly 30 years, Terrie has provided outsource marketing services and worked with individual lawyers to help them hone their personal networking and relationship building skills.