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I started my entrepreneurial journey in 2014 (if you don’t count my run at poker) with an idea for digital and social media marketing as a service. All right, let’s be honest, it wasn’t an entirely original idea but I knew 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 obvious 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 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. She is a freelance copywriter and I was overwhelmed. I needed some help, so I decided to DM her about her services. The initial interaction was shaky, at best but over time it did wonders for my business. Here’s how.
1. I freed up time to grow the business.
As much as I love writing, my biggest strengths are sales and business development. Hiring Hannah freed up time to acquire more clients and build more strategic relationships. Just that 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 peace of mind that I was able to deliver for my clients more efficiently.
2. I was able to raise rates of my services.
By offering more services, I naturally was able to increase my monthly retainer 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.
3. I got referrals.
As a fellow digital marketer, Hannah ran into some situations where she wasn’t able to fulfill 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 two 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 more closely together, 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 not an expense, it’s an investment to allow you to manage other aspects of your business, close more sales and allocate some much needed “me time.” Hiring the right person to help you with your work is one of the best decisions you can make for your business and for yourself.