First up, why digital marketing?
After many years of consideration, I finally decided to go freelance as a digital marketer. It’s an exciting time for me, particularly after working in a range of senior marketing roles, I’ve found that digital marketing is still an expense small to medium businesses can’t afford to do properly.
Over the years I’ve worked with companies such as Tesco, Edinburgh University Students’ Association, Bachilton Barn, BlueSky Experiences, H&M, Unity Technologies and Great Away Days, operating across B2B, B2C and Internal Comms practices over multiple channels.
Having worked in a range of very different sectors, I noticed that the same issues tend to arise and stunt creative development – lack of resources! Mainly, a lack of marketing budget.
I’m so passionate about marketing and it’s my mission to help smaller businesses get found online and get more customers.
Why target small to medium businesses?
There is a clear trend – businesses are hiring more and more in-house marketing talent. Why? Getting your business/brand online is vital in today’s market and large/established marketing agencies tend to be very expensive.
Hiring internally will save the cost of gaining creative services externally and also shows a positive investment in employee skills development, but as an SME (small to medium business) what is the true cost of hiring marketing internally?
Let’s assume that you’re going to hire a marketer who has just graduated or has no qualifications but is super eager to learn… As someone who graduated (in Economics, not marketing) and was super eager to learn, these are some of the downsides (based on my own experience) to hiring marketing talent internally:
- An intern/entry level/junior marketer is unlikely (not every case) to have experience in managing large marketing budgets across on and offline activities and channels. Resulting in a low, or worse, non-existent annual yield. There’s no point to investing in internal marketing talent unless you can see yourself building and investing in it regularly. You can’t expect one person to do it all with little experience and be massively successful straight away.
- Delivering multifaceted and joined-up marketing campaigns is challenging for anyone working solo with less experience in-house. The success of the campaigns relies heavily on the buy-in from the rest of the team/company, this is often staff working in other commercial and non-commercial roles. To put it bluntly, it’s a very broad net and though not everyone will get involved, everyone will still have an opinion on the marketing campaigns of their company! The in-house marketer may not have yet developed the necessary skills to generate buy-in from the team and this can cause content marketing efforts suffer hugely. Not to mention, a drop in morale and job satisfaction.
- You can’t expect polished and glowing marketing reports on a regular basis if you only have one person delivering across all marketing channels – it’s simply too much work for someone with less experience – and sometimes, someone with experience! HOWEVER, if they are doing an amazing job on their own, they are generating a positive ROI, they can demonstrate their worth to you and don’t feel stressed you should definitely pay them more and keep them happy!
These are just some reasons why hiring internal marketing talent can initially be a challenge as an SME. If you agree, or don’t agree with my experience, I welcome comments below for healthy discussion. I’d love to hear your thoughts! Whether you are a marketer, a business owner, entrepreneur or investor!
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not bashing in-house marketing teams whatsoever. Some internal marketing teams deliver incredible, unforgettable marketing campaigns which have shaped my approach to digital marketing over the years (I’ll share more about this in future blogs). However, I have noticed that SMEs are investing in in-house marketing talent and it may not be the most cost effective alternative to expensive marketing agencies.
Why go freelance as a digital marketer?
I’ve genuinely loved every role I’ve had over the years. I’ve been able to develop my skills in on and offline marketing and I’ve met some incredible people along the way! Each role has been relatively similar, in terms of the methods to promote, but the products and services I promoted couldn’t be more different!
I’ve marketed corporate team building, fashion, outdoor experiences, wedding venues, SaaS game tech, home-ware, bars, cafés, restaurants, club nights, pop-up food outlets at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, charity events, virtual reality … you name it! I’ve found that what I love is variety and working with lots of businesses as a freelancer will give me that variety and the freedom to be even more creative!
“It was time to break the shackles
and let my creativity flourish!”
I didn’t reach the decision all by myself either! I’ve spoken to a number of people – family, friends and colleagues – over the years about their experiences of going freelance/self-employed, and after gathering tonnes of feedback I knew it was time for me to make the change!
I would highly recommend to anyone thinking about going from full-time employment to freelancing, to do your research first! Get in touch with free services such as Business Gateway – they have lots of helpful free workshops around Scotland. Speak to people you know have made the change, and just as importantly, do your sums! I don’t think there’s ever a perfect time to make any huge life decisions, but you should make sure you can afford to make the move so you’re not struggling straight from the go.
So, what services will you be offering?
I’ve been working in marketing for 10 years, and over that time I’ve developed a wide variety of skills in both on and offline marketing practices and I own many marketing hats! Many fellow marketers who work in an in-house role who are reading this will relate to that!
More recently, I specialised in digital marketing and quickly found that I love it.
Some of the services I will be offering are available as a stand-alone service or as part of a larger digital marketing strategy that you can apply to your business to grow your following, online visibility, sales and lifetime loyalty!
- Marketing Strategy | Plan and align your marketing strategy with your business goals and objectives.
- SEO | Dedicated support to help you rank highly in your area for the products/services you offer.
- PPC | Run paid adverts on Google, Bing and Social Media platforms to reach your target audience and get more sales.
- Social Media | Create a social media strategy to keep your customers engaged all year round.
- Copywriting | Personalised, engaging content to grab your customers’ attention.
- Video | Use eye-catching video content to wow your audiences across multiple platforms.
- Email Marketing | Slick email marketing campaigns to drive sales at key points throughout the year.
- Web Design | Get a slick and attractive website to represent your business, for a fraction of the usual industry cost.
- CRM/Sales Pipeline/Automation | A base for all your customers’ data, structured and organised securely to help you and them get the most from your relationship.
I also offer digital marketing packages which are great if you’re looking to update your existing website, or get a website for the first time. Digital marketing packages also come with some help setting up your SEO and social media content. You can add on ongoing support afterwards if you need some extra hands on a part-time basis.
I am based in Aberdeen city but I can help you grow your business anywhere in the world. Get in touch for more information!