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Should you hire a social media manager? There's a right way – and a wrong way.

The tools of marketing are easy. Marketing, though, is hard.

There are several major challenges involved with trying to do all this yourself:

1. The "easy marketing tools".... aren't.

It’s easy to forget that these social media and web platforms are built by really geeky people who… well, maybe they don’t live in the basement, but they live in San Francisco (arguably the sam… oh, nevermind). 

Indeed, while “user friendliness” is now a major consideration versus what it was in early days of computers (if you remember Windows 95 or Mac OS 9, you remember), it’s still tough to navigate some of these platforms. Not to mention: Facebook, Google, et al. keep changing their mind about what the platforms should look like! You learn one, and then it changes.

Facebook hasn’t just changed its name to Meta, it keeps changing all the backend stuff about managing pages, advertising, and so forth. We’re not even huge proponents of social media as the end-all-be-all (that discussion is for another article). The point is, what should be “easiest” isn’t as easy as you might expect. Nevertheless, dedicated users can figure it out with a little patience, so that alone isn’t enough reason to hire a digital marketing agency. So we move to number 2…

2. You lack perspective

Forgive us for being direct, but it’s true. No business owner on earth has a perfect outsider’s perspective on their business, much less themselves. 

As human beings, we struggle mightily with this. There are countless examples we like to use, but perhaps our favorite (and we have an entire article on it) is billboards. Good old billboards. A lot of business owners enjoy seeing their brand, the business they worked so hard to build, on a giant highway billboard for the world to see. It’s a nice feeling, granted, but that doesn’t mean it’s effective! Billboards, depending on what you’re doing, might be effective – but in general, they’re not (or at least not used effectively). Now try telling that to the businessman spending $5,000 a month for a prime billboard, and you’ll get into a verbal altercation mighty quick. 

There are countless examples of this kind of short-sightedness (and yes, we have articles about many of these topics)… advertising in tiny association meetings with a handful of people where no one can see your ad and everyone already knows you… buying weird giveaways for conferences that no one cares about… the bottom line is, you need someone one the outside of your organization to tell things like they really are. If you try to hire someone on the inside, by the way, they will lack the incentives to tell you the truth, too – why lose your job ticking off the boss? (We cover that here, as well) Still, the biggest reason not to do this all yourself and maybe hire a digital marketing agency is number 3…

3. You just don't have time.

How much explanation does this really require? All business owners think they have more time than they have, then they don’t, then they’re frustrated that they don’t.

In our experience, the number one reason projects (not just marketing projects – buildings, training programs, product development, you name it) get delayed is because the boss slows things down by micromanaging. And yes, if you’re trying to pull all the marketing in-house and/or learn it yourself, even if you’re not “the” boss or if your firm is small – you’re probably making something of a mistake.

Now look, while we want your business, we’re not going to lie to you: there are ways to do it yourself (and our helpful free resources will make it much easier to learn). We just don’t recommend it. And we should know! We made the exact same mistake ourselves (even though digital marketing is like, a lot of what we do)…

Stopping advertising to save money is like stopping your watch to save time.

Henry Ford

How we made the same mistake...

They say that just admitting painful truths makes things feel better, so here goes nothing: in spite of the fact that our agency has grown by leaps and bounds, in spite of the fact that we’ve secured multimillion-dollar contracts and worked with enormous government, nonprofit, and private sector partners, in spite of all that… we couldn’t market ourselves. At all. 

We were way “too busy.” Sound familiar? So we left A LOT of business on the table, consistently. Yikes.

Saving time is not saving time, saving money is not saving money

We never thought that failing to market our… well… marketing agency was a good financial move. It had more to do with time. Our President, Jess, well. As we say in Texas, bless his heart. He thought he had time for evvvverrrryyythhhiiinnnggg and of course, he didn’t. “When we get around the corner,” or, “when we get through this project,” he’d say. Then we’d get there, and suddenly the whirlwind of activity would suck him back up and he’d be too busy to think about marketing Precision Outreach. 

Truth is, we all get sucked into what author Sean Covey calls “the whirlwind,” especially if we own companies or manage large departments or projects. Political candidates and nonprofit causes? Yes, they too get sucked into the whirlwind. And don’t even get us started on the day-to-day at government agencies! (As an aside, we can’t recommend enough the Covey book – 4 Disciplines of Execution – it’s great)

If you decide to just go with the flow, you'll end up where the flow goes, which is usually downhill, often leading to a big pile of sludge and a life of unhappiness. You'll end up doing what everyone else is doing.

Sean Covey

How we saved ourselves, and you can too!

Essentially what we did to reverse course was, well, hire a digital marketing agency – ourselves. We found time to escape the whirlwind (phew!) and build up our marketing as it should be with the helpful information we always wanted to have. It’s not quite where we want it yet (will it ever be?) but far better than it was. After all, you’re reading this article, aren’t you?

We used the tools of the trade that we use with our own clients, like Search Engine Optimization (which is not actually voodoo, unlike what you’ve been led to believe by shady marketers). We built great content (like this article) that has the potential to hold a reader’s attention and give them value without having to pay us anything (looking at you, paywalls… you know who you are). We marketed ourselves directly, encouraging others to stop by and have a look at what we were building (and will always be building, because it never stops!

And behold, dear reader, here you are. And here we are. So if you’re asking why you should hire a marketing agency… you’re asking the right question. 

We can help answer it for you (honestly – because the answer’s not always yes) if you reach out and have a chat with us.

Of course you can always just keep on reading our free articles, too.

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