SCORE

This week, we held a series of webinars on getting the most out of contractors for marketing work. 

There were many insightful questions and comments. The following are some of the highlights:

What are some tips on presenting or creating contracts for vendors or employees that you personally know or may be family or friends, how should I approach that?

Great question! Many of us (especially in start-up mode) rely on friends, family and even barter arrangements to conserve cash flow. I have had great success… and awkward failures with these arrangements. Here are some tips to ensure things go well AND your relationship is not damaged:

-Do a small, well-defined trial and build from there
-Keep it professional and in writing with clear deliverables and deadlines
-Define “payment” in terms of dollars or delivery of services

With regards to marketing… when you’re ready to go to the next step of just your typical social media marketing of posting, comments, etc, what would you suggest the campaign upgrade too? Do you have software in mind to help keep track of each campaign effectively?

The following three tools are free and can give you performance metrics so you can track social media performance:

-Facebook Analytics
-Google Analytics
-Hootsuite

If there are multiple ideas that one wants implemented, are you better off using one firm or dividing the projects and using multiple professionals?

It depends on the projects. If the skills are similar (for example you need a blog, newsletter and social media), you can present all the projects and have writers quote for the package – but pay in chunks or phases. This will let the vendor know it is worth his/her time to give a competitive bid and do his/her best work as there will be more to follow.

At the very beginning of a start-up, how do you determine LTV?

Lifetime Customer Value (LTV) is a metric very specific to your business. When starting out you will want to list all your assumptions on frequency and value of sales: first sale, future sales, referrals, etc. For each of these individual numbers you may be able to look at industry averages from industry associations such as purchases per year, visits to store, etc. As you get more customers you can refine these original numbers and work to improve over time.

Can you give some ideas on how to find independent sales reps?

Besides your business owner referral sources, industry associations often have directories of sales reps for hire. Another focused option is to attend trade shows for your target client industry and make contacts.

For online advertising campaigns (like Facebook ads) do you recommend doing it yourself or hiring a SEM specialist?

The great thing about online ads is you can directly measure the return on your investment. Once you know your LCV, you know the limit for the average cost to acquire a new customer via an ad. I have recently seen great results with Janak Mehta at PREasy. His experience allows him to get to more sales and lower costs per sale much more quickly than the do-it-yourself method. And you can test this method for gaining new customers with a relatively modest investment of time and money.

Register for future events at www.score.org/take-workshop.