It's true, you have to spend money to make money.
I started my entrepreneurial journey (if you don’t my run at poker) in 2014 with an idea for digital and social media marketing as a service. Alright, let’s be honest, it wasn’t exactly an original idea but I knew I could I had the heart and hustle to get something off the ground.
In the beginning it was a lot of cold calls, a lot of google searches and a lot of ‘what the hell is this’ whenever Facebook changed their ad platform. What I really wanted to focus on though, was content development. I found there was a lot of value in providing that as a service as opposed to just ‘social media marketing’. Three and a half years later, prospective clients are still wondering what that really means.
I’ve always found a lot of value in blogging. I love writing, and decided I could do this for my clients. There are the obivous SEO and branding benefits for the client when they’re original pieces. From a business building standpoint though, it was a deliverable that I could say “hey, we provided this for you” if it ever came up in a monthly recap meeting. Of course, there are only so many articles you can write before you realize you have to grow your business.
This is where my activity on Twitter may have paid off more than any other marketing tactic I’ve ever tried. From my former company’s account, I ‘favorited’ one of Hannah Moyer’s tweets which led to a quick twitter conversation. I noticed she was a freelance copywriter after checking out her page, and I knew I was overwhelmed and I needed some help so I decided to DM her about her services. The initial interraction was shaky, at best but over time it did wonders for my business and here’s how.
I was able to free up time to focus on business development.
As much as I loved writing, sales and business development are my biggest strengths. By hiring Hannah, I was able to free up time to acquire more clients and build more strategic relationships. This alone was such a huge benefit to my business. As an owner/operator, it’s important to free up time for sales. Additionally, it gave me a piece of mind that I was able to deliver for my clients more efficiently.
I was able to increase the rates of my services.
By offering more services, I naturally was able to increase my monthly retianer for clients. Here’s the kicker though, it wasn’t just about offering more services, it was about offering quality services. Hannah’s attention to detail and willingness to go as far as to interview my clients or do additional research on them led to exceptional pieces. It’s important to not just sell a service, but to deliver a product and deliver it well.
I was able to get referrals through contracting her.
As a fellow digital marketer, Hannah ran into some situations where she wasn’t able to fulfil a clients request. When this happened, she referred more business back to to me since we had developed a great relationship over time. It’s amazing what happens when you treat your vendors and contractors as equals, pay them on time and promote their services. If you think word of mouth is powerful, imagine what a positive review from someone who works with you can do.
Hannah and I have been working now for over 2 years. In that time, we’ve worked together on a podcast, and recently started a Facebook Live series. We started our professional relationship remotely — she was in Nashville, Tennessee and I am in Orange County, CA. Since then she’s moved to the west coast to work more together more closely, despite the fact that I’ve exited my former agency. The next article I write may have to be about the ROI of a friendship, which is incalculable at best.
In closing, remember that hiring someone is an investment, not an expense. Allowing yourself to manage other aspects of your business, close more sales and allocate some much needed ‘me time’ is invaluable. If you plan it correctly, hiring the right person to help you with your work can be one of the best decisions you make for your business and for yourself.
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