Who is the best digital marketing agency for your small business?

Long ago when I was developing Stridr, a social media aggregator that helped people discover new people/things to follow on social media, I got one of the best pieces of advice from a friend and mentor I had at the time. At the time, I was feeling pretty frazzled being a one-man tech startup. I was getting frustrated at how much there was to do, yet so little time. I was thrown in the deep end on how to manage my time. Here’s an incomplete list of what I was doing:

  • Front-end development
  • Back-end development
  • Dev ops
  • Graphic design
  • Security updates
  • Server optimization
  • Art direction
  • UX Design
  • Bookkeeping
  • Facebook ad management
  • Twitter ad management
  • Pinterest ad management

Compared to what I’m doing now, that list is tiny. But, the amount of time each position needed added up insanely quick! Even so, I’d wager it’s a tiny list compared to most small business owners, including you. But, compared to someone who worked in retail for 10 years, it’s monumental. I couldn’t stop whining to my mentor about how much there was to do.

And, while it was not the answer I wanted to hear, he told me something that really stuck with me. He told me that all the time I am putting into those roles is going to position me at a distinct advantage when it comes time to hire someone to replace myself in those roles. He was right. Knowing all of the ways that I worked in those roles, I knew all the good and bad answers to daily challenges. Now, when my employees or contractors tell me something is not possible, I refer back to my expertise and can push back.

This same experience is critical for your marketing. The cold reality of your digital marketing is that if you’re bootstrapping as much as possible (i.e. hardly any of your revenue is going toward your savings or other long-term financial goals), you need to take the time to learn this stuff yourself. To learn, make mistakes, and find a formula that works. To develop a repeatable process that generates a return on investment. In this sense, the best digital marketing agency for your business is you!

I know, it’s a terrible answer. It’s also the most honest answer you’re going to hear from a digital marketer. The next best thing I can recommend is to hire a digital marketing consultant. They will spend 1 to 2 hours a month with you providing invaluable advice to point you in the right direction, avoid pitfalls, and stop you from making costly mistakes.

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