As a child care business owner, you recognize the need to get your message in front of your target market to drive your business forward. But marketing is complicated. It’s a skill. So how do you know when it’s time to hire an outside vendor?
In this article, we’ll explore the options for marketing your child care business, the downsides to DIY, and the benefits of outsourcing your marketing.
Outsourcing Your Marketing vs. DIY: The Great Debate
It’s a normal day at your school. Your cook called in sick, three kids skinned their knees on the playground, there’s a tour scheduled in five minutes, and Lilian’s mom is unhappy and letting your front desk attendant know it. Just another Tuesday!
With all this, is it any wonder you barely have time to think about marketing?
Handling all the marketing for your business while running the business can be overwhelming. But you still may not be ready to outsource your marketing. Outsourcing before you’re ready can cause more harm than good and lead to a lot of wasted money.
We call this the “Frustration Cycle,” and it goes as follows:
- Your need for growth coincides with a marketing vendor entering the picture with a new product or service.
- You buy the product or service out of desperation.
- You’re so busy running your business that you don’t have the time to set the vendor up for success. It’s likely that vendor doesn’t specialize in child care, and doesn’t understand your peak enrollment times.
- You eventually recognize what you’ve spent and compare that to the resulting low return on investment, and then write marketing off as a waste of money.
- Time passes, and the cycle continues.
The truth is, in order to be successful, your marketing vendor should be a business partner — an outsourced desk, so to speak, an extra pair of hands — who is part of your company’s day-to-day operations. At Rose Marketing Solutions, we aim to become partners and team members with the schools and centers we work with. We want to understand you and your business so we can help you reach your goals.
That said, not every business is ready to outsource their marketing. If you aren’t, you’re likely marketing your business in one of the following three ways.
Common Marketing Solutions and Their Downsides
Delegating to an Existing Employee
Many business owners tack social media upkeep onto the job description of an internal employee. Unfortunately, these existing employees usually don’t have a background in marketing. They may not stick to your brand guide, and may not understand the point of each post (to reassure parents they’ve made a good decision, to educate prospects, etc.), leading to an eventual drop in regularity.
Plus, your existing employees already have a job to do!
Taking It On Yourself
Nobody knows your business better than you do. You’re on the front lines every day, living up to your brand image and keeping your business running. Unfortunately, this is the reason self-marketing may not work for business owners, and the downsides that come with delegating marketing to an existing employee apply to you, as well.
Hiring a Full-Time, In-House Marketer
Bringing on a full-time employee with a background in marketing may sound like a perfect solution. Of course, hiring a full-time marketer dramatically increases your cost per lead, and the size of the budget you’re willing to spend on a salary has a huge impact on the caliber of person you’ll hire — hardworking and knowledgeable vs. not so much. Plus, the time you’ll need to dedicate to training and onboarding this new hire may make growing your staff more trouble than it’s worth.
If the above three solutions aren’t working for your business and you’re ready to outsource your marketing, you’re likely displaying these 10 signs.
10 Signs You’re Ready to Outsource Your Marketing
You’re tired, you’re overworked, and marketing is just another burden on your plate that exhausts you. When you’re aware you need more advanced marketing strategies than what you can personally provide and are frustrated by the gaps in your own knowledge, it’s probably time to seek out professional assistance.
Another sign you’re overwhelmed enough to outsource your marketing is if you’re not tracking your leads effectively. If your lead tracking system consists of a spreadsheet, a binder full of handwritten papers, or sticky notes, it’s time to call in some help.
You Aren’t Sure How to Handle Reviews
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: reviews can make or break a business. If you’re aware you’re receiving reviews but aren’t sure how to address them, you’re ready to outsource your marketing.
Your Website Is Outdated
If your site is old, ads just won’t work correctly. When’s the last time you audited your site to see if info is correct? Is your brand crisp and appealing to a younger audience? Have you taken the time to think about how the public perceives you?
All of your online content drives potential customers to your website. It needs to represent your company well. If it’s outdated or isn’t optimized properly, it can cost a lot of money.
You’re Experiencing Growth
Often when a school experiences periods of growth, it will also experience shifts in demographics. If you don’t address these or don’t realize they’ve occurred, you’ll miss out on valuable advertising opportunities. This is something a marketing partner will help you capitalize on.
You’re Willing to Trust Experts
In order to partner with experts, you need to trust them to do their jobs. When you do, you’ll reap the rewards.
You’re Willing to Let Go of Some Control
Another part of trust is letting go of the idea of total control. Many times, before outsourcing, business owners won’t have a good idea of the success of their prior marketing efforts. If you aren’t monitoring your success, why not hand the reins to someone who will?
You’re Eager and Open to Learn
As we’ve said, outsourcing your marketing successfully is a partnership. You must be open to learning and working with your marketing team in order to grow your business.
You Value Communication
Communication is a two-way street. For marketing to be effective, you and your marketer or marketing team must communicate frequently.
You’re Ready for a Long-Term Relationship With a Marketing Team
Marketing is not a one-time project, and it isn’t done in the short term. To be effective, both parties must invest in a long-term relationship and be in constant dialogue. That’s where the magic happens.
You’re Willing to Invest
The decision to invest in marketing is a serious one. When a business owner decides to take the plunge without being strategic in measuring their ROI, things can get hairy fast. Outsourcing your marketing to an experienced team that specializes in your industry is the best way to get the most out of your marketing dollar.
What Life Looks Like When You Outsource Your Marketing
Once you decide outsourcing your marketing is for you, it will change your business forever. At Rose Marketing Solutions, that’s what we aim to do. We’re a trusted partner in long-term relationships with our schools, helping them reach their goals.
If you think you’re ready to outsource your marketing and we might be a good fit for you, reach out. We’ll be glad to chat.
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