Thank you to all the female micro entrepreneurs who took the time to fill in my survey about your online marketing needs and outsourcing regular tasks.
So, without further ado (and in the style of Family Fortunes), here’s what the survey said…
1. Which online marketing tasks cause you the most problems?
(* Multiple choice questions – respondents could choose more than 1 answer)
I wasn’t surprised to see social media up there as one of the top problem areas. It’s a notorious time sucker and it’s easy to waste time if you don’t have a plan. Which channel/s should you use, what should you post, where will you find followers, who should you connect with? There are so many elements to consider – no wonder if causes problems!
Strategy & Planning is a biggie too. It’s essential as it helps you clarify what you want to achieve and how you are going to work towards obtaining it. But if you’re new to online marketing it can be bewildering. You need to familiarise yourself with marketing concepts, decide which area to concentrate on (i.e blogging, social media or SEO) and work out where to find your target market online.
This is borne out by 54% of you feeling you don’t have enough knowledge or expertise to get to grips with online marketing. We have to learn so much when we start a business but doing so can take us away from what we are best at. Don’t fall into the trap of being a jack of all trades but a master of none!
Finding time to work on online marketing was also a problem for 50% of you. I know the feeling! There’s never enough time when you’re running a business and always a ‘to do’ list as long as your arm. To avoid overwhelm I try to prioritise the important stuff and outsource anything that I can.
Attitudes to outsourcing
Only a small proportion of you have already tried outsourcing but those of you have taken the plunge feel that it has saved you a lot of stress and also freed up time. Something we all need!
Your biggest reservation about outsourcing is the cost. I thought the same thing until about six months ago but am now converted and I LOVE it. I wish I’d outsourced sooner. The catalyst was being fed up of being constantly weighed down with busy work – the type of work I should have been passing to somebody in a junior position or in another department, (like you do when you’re employed and working in an office).
Busy work cluttered my brain and meant I could never find time to work ON my business. So, I took tentative steps and found a virtual assistant and slowly starting passing work to her (for both clients and myself – all the admin and time-sucking fiddly jobs). It feels great to just get that work off my desk and know it’s being dealt with by a capable person. The result has been a clearer mind, being more organised and finding a lot more time to work on my business.
And guess what? I’VE INCREASED MY INCOME! By outsourcing some of my client work, I’ve earned income on it without doing the actual work myself. I’ve also freed up time to work on my website, do more planning and marketing. In the last couple of months I’ve picked up 2 new regular clients and earned ten times more than the outsourcing has cost me. Result!
Why did you start your business?
There was a clear result on this one! The majority of female micro-entrepreneurs start their business to gain freedom and be their own boss.
So ask yourself, is it possible to find freedom and build a thriving business when you do everything? Especially when so many of you don’t feel you have the knowledge or time to do justice to your online marketing.
It’s a contradiction – you will never achieve it unless you start outsourcing and trusting other people with your business. Have you ever heard of a successful business woman who did it all completely alone? No, neither have I (and there is a lesson in that).
Thanks once again to everyone who shared their thoughts. What do you think about these results? Illuminating, surprising or just what you expected?