We all have heard this finance cliche that money never sleeps. Fascinating quote, and it’s true.
Time and again, I keep on collecting evidence for it.
In the year 2019, I decided to buy stocks for the first time. I spoke to my friends and colleagues, watched Warren buffet videos, and attended investor education events for advice.
There were two things which stood:
- Invest in businesses or industries which you understand.
- Think long-term and be consistent with your financial habit.
I was sure that I understand SaaS well. But no SaaS company trade in the Indian stock exchange. So, I decided to trade US stock through this app called Vested.
It starts by giving you $5 to start your investment journey. I invested those $5 in a company called Pinterest. As a newbie, I realized there are serious challenges to trade US stock as an Indian, as there are too many tax and transaction hassles. So, I uninstalled the app within 15 days without putting in any of my own money.
Now, last month when Amazon share traded at an all-time high, the FOMO feeling was back. So, I fired up Vested with an intent to reinvest. However, something unique happened.
Those $5 in 2019 became $15 in 2021, a 200% increase. Yes, the market is full of surprises. However, it’s the perfect example of how to value compounds over time. Your marketing efforts aren’t different.
In this article, we’ll cover how you can effectively manage and outsource a part of your marketing arm, especially if you have a small or no marketing unit. So, let’s begin.
Any startup marketing efforts can be divided into two segments — survival and hygiene.
Survival is everything that keeps you afloat. Activities critical to generate leads, convert customers, or support your revenue stream falls under this segment.
Things essential to operate as a business but don’t contribute to revenue directly fall under hygiene, like branding and PR.
Your business wants these functions to spreads the word, but you can’t convert leads without an interactive experience or a website to show to them.
So, start by identifying what’s survival and what’s hygiene for you?
For example, a beauty salon having a google listing and a few dozen 5-star reviews is enough to survive.
A SaaS product would require a website, a mechanism to collect leads, and nurture/onboarding flow to turn users into customers. Some businesses might even depend on affiliate partners for sales.
To begin, you need to own survival marketing efforts in-house. So, either hire for these roles or try things independently as nobody else understands your business and its value better than you.
So, if you’re surviving on leads through paid marketing campaigns, try to draft campaigns independently. Review it, run it, look at performance data, the visitor behavior on your page, and iterate based on data and feedback.
Next, look for hygiene activities and understand if you or your team is equipped for it or not. Wherever you see either a skill or resource crunch, outsource it.
When I was at Mettl, we outsourced our search marketing and cold calling efforts as we didn’t have resources. While we were writing our content and ad copies, no one could manage Adwords for growth.
By hiring an agency, we learned a lot of things while working with them. This approach is practical, as our entry-level marketing hires become full-scale PPC managers in 6 months.
Next, we outsourced the job of shooting and editing our marketing videos. We worked with freelancers on many projects like product launch videos, live streaming sessions, event promos, and a lot more.
Outsourcing these projects helped with three things:
- We hired the best folks to complete the job, so the overall project delivery was high quality.
- We saved on overall time spent on the job.
- We learned these skills to equip our team better to scale in the future.
After learning the art of outsourcing efforts, let’s now talk about the hook that brought you to this episode and learn how to compound your marketing efforts.
Recently, I attended an event called SolopreneurLive, which talked about creating micro-product. For those who don’t know, a micro-product solves the smallest version of a bigger problem.
For example, if you’re a product marketer, you know it would be super handy to have a launch plan and a checklist. Now, if you’re starting, you might take a few days to nail down these launch details crisply.
However, what if I give you a go-to-market launch plan and the checklist for $5. By spending $5, you didn’t just get a launch template but also save you a lot of time. Sweet deal, right!
That’s how micro-products work. You pack value in your content and use it as a lead or revenue magnet. Podcasts, e-books, curated newsletters, videos are all ways to generate leads as you sleep.
These channels have a long-term value. You have to maintain and multiply it with social proof.
To market your product create hundreds of micro-products and release them in the universe.
Neville Medhora, Owner of Kopy Group, said —
To make this strategy work, pack 70% value and 30% sales. A significant part of your offering needs to deliver value and cement your position as a subject matter expertise.
For this idea to work, you need to showcase yourself as an expert at solving this problem. That’s why Neville advises packing 70% value so that your content reflects that.
Next, you need to use other people/founder’s micro-products and create a lead magnet — things like being a guest at other people’s podcasts or webinars and co-market it. It is a fantastic way to build a long-term lead engine that can run on auto-pilot with minimal maintenance.
Now that you know how to build high-value assets in stealth mode. Let’s talk about how to assign budgets to these activities.
The simplest way is to quantify your efforts. Say if you’re the only marketer in your team, and if you were the person doing this job, how much time would it take you to complete the job?
Now, calculate your hourly rate and put a dollar value on this task.
After that, add a subject matter expert tax to it. The % value of this tax depends on how good you’re at completing this job.
If you’re great at it, don’t outsource it. Save the cost.
If you’re outsourcing this marketing activity to save time, then tax it 15%.
Suppose you’re still learning to get better at this form of marketing. Tax it at 25%.
If you’re terrible at it, then tax it at 50%.
For example, say the task you’re outsourcing is managing your business social media account.
If you’re supposed to do it for a week, you would have spent 4 hours writing captions and launch posts throughout the week. Now, say your hourly rate is $10, and you can do a decent job.
Then, 4 hours X $10 is 40, and 25% subject matter tax makes it $50/week.
Now, these calculations might not be perfect. However, this formula gives you a scale to measure effort Vs. cost you would have spent to complete the job.
Another way is to ask freelancers how much would they charge for it. You’ll see that even a professional freelancer might be charging lower than the value you calculated through this formula.
So, this way you won’t fret about paying more :P
If you see yourself spending more than 50% of your marketing budget on these activities, ensure that you have clear metrics to measure the outcomes from these efforts.
Remember that your investments into hygiene or wild bets shouldn’t be a threat to your survival.