You're scaling your marketing agency, but you’ve hit a roadblock. No one ever said this business was easy but scaling it can seem nearly impossible. You are teetering between overstaffing and underfunding or understaffing and overworking - it’s difficult to grow and maintain consistency in your work.
If you are having a hard time figuring out how to scale your digital marketing agency, we have a few solutions. These ideas will not only help you with scaling your marketing agency, but they will allow you to have more time and less stress.
Outsource to Free Up Time
One of the keys to scaling your marketing agency is learning how to utilize outsourcing properly.
You cannot always do everything on your own, and even if you have an agency with a few employees, there are still a ton of things you can outsource.
For some reason, digital marketers get themselves into this rut where they feel the need to do and handle everything. They think if they don’t know every little aspect of their business, they will fail.
That is not true.
You don’t need to know everything, and you don’t need to do everything. There are amazing services to help you outsource simple work so you can focus on what matters most in your business.
So, how do you know when you need to outsource?
Take a look at your day and how you currently fill it. Is there anything you hate doing, and you put it off to the last minute? If the answer is yes, it might be something you could outsource.
Scheduling and posting to social media is an example of something that can immediately get outsourced. If you are spending time posting on your own social media pages, you are wasting your time. I’m not saying that social is unimportant, I’m saying that this is something that anyone can do and for a small price you could save yourself a lot of time.
What About Quality?
I understand you are afraid that the freelancer you hire will not hold the same standards as you. The truth is, you have to let go and give them a chance. You’ll never find the right person for the job if you feel that they cannot do the job as well as you.
One of the biggest challenges facing small businesses is hiring, so you want to do it carefully, but you also want to give the potential hire a shot.
If your seriously concerned about the quality of work that outsourcing will yield, you could consider outsourcing in areas of low-performance. If you are the only person working in your agency, you could send out work to someone who has more experience or skill in that specific area.
For example, if you always do your own graphics or creative design, but the results are sub-par; consider handing that job off to someone with graphic design experience. The great thing about outsourcing is you can ramp up the amount of work you give out during busy times and decrease it when the work isn’t there. This alone makes outsourcing a very “scale friendly” tool.
Where Do You Find Workers?
If you need help with content marketing and writing, ContentFly has a custom volume plan that allows you to choose the amount of SEO-optimized writing you want each month. Outsourcing article writing is a great way to save time each week.
For all kinds of freelance gigs, from design to web development, you can use Upwork.
Invest in Your Team
If you want to keep everything “in-house,” you might want to consider hiring some employees to help with scaling your marketing agency. Hiring is a complicated process, and it can be scary letting go of so much in your business. You’ve worked so hard to get everything to its current point; you don’t want to risk anything.
Eventually, you reach a point where you have no choice. It's either hire some help or don’t scale.
How Do You Know When to Hire?
If you are on the fence about whether or not hiring is necessary, take a step back and look at your business.
Do you feel like you are wasting a lot of time on tasks that are not essential to your growth? Are you receiving more complaints or unsatisfied clients? Is your current staff complaining about their workload? Can you afford to hire?
David Finkel from AllBusiness says you should “hire only as your business can afford.” If you are experiencing a sudden influx of work, don’t panic and hire for a short period. Hire only when the increased workload is consistent enough to support another employee.
What Positions to Fill
If you are committed to hiring, what do you do if you don’t know what positions to hire for? Scaling a marketing agency is all about finding the right people to accomplish tasks.
Luckily, you can quickly figure out what positions to fill by taking a look at your current business. Does it have any shortcomings? Do you have any areas where you feel someone else could perform better?
Find all the bottlenecks in your current workflow and find out what you can afford to hire for. Not every agency can afford a full-time salesperson, so make sure you make the right choice for your business.
How to Find Great Candidates
Now it’s time for the scary part. Where do you look for new employees? If you’ve never hired before, I suggest leaning on the expertise of people who have been in your shoes. Touch base with other people in your industry, they’ll have connections with professionals who can help you, and they may even have someone to recommend.
If you are looking for a more streamlined and standard hiring process, you could always use job boards. There are so many different job board sites depending on what type of person you are hiring.
For design and creatives, you have job boards like AIGA. You also have the traditional job boards like Indeed, SimplyHired, and Craigslist. There is no right or wrong board to use, just understand that using a “niche” board like AIGA might yield more experienced workers.
Once you settle on a candidate, you can smoothly bring them in using the onboarding tool, Workbright. Workbright allows you to onboard new employees without any paperwork or training documents. You can handle everything directly from the app, so the process is streamlined and organized.
Expand Your Services
Another great way to scale your business is expanding the list of services you provide. You don’t have to revamp everything entirely but you could add-on more services that go hand-in-hand with what you currently do.
For example, if you offer content creation, you could start offering SEO as well. If you do logo design, you could think about providing branded marketing materials.
One big issue owners have with scaling their marketing agency is charging more money. Everyone reaches a point where they’ve maxed out the amount of work they can do so they either need to hire more people or charge more money.
Adding new services and providing more value is a great way to increase your competitive edge in the marketplace. If you are looking to offer these new services yourself, Udemy is a great place to go to learn new skills for a low cost. You can also use Udemy to expand the work scope of your employees.
Scaling Your Marketing Agency
I heard a quote once from a “larger than life” entrepreneur in the sales space. He said,
“we have the ability to pick our problems. Your problem could be, you're poor and can’t afford food. Your problem could also be, you're so busy you barely have time to eat. Which problem do you want?”
Some people never reach the scaling stage of digital marketing, so be proud of yourself for getting this far. Now it’s time for you to make a critical decision. How do you plan on scaling your marketing agency?