We're a non-profit niche social networking company serving a minority group. We are have a volunteer working on marketing our pending web social network app, however as CEO, I'm looking forward to hire an expert in web marketing tactics mainly to help make our launch a successful one. The main role of the person is with helping us plan with our marketing strategies as well as helping us implement them. We are very hard pressed with resources, what's the best way to hire one which we can afford, at say a rate of $10/hr or even less. I really do not have trust in freelance websites because of the poor quality I've received from them so far.
I don't even know how to answer this.
Do you know what the difference between McDonalds and the local burger joint that is filing for bankruptcy is?
McDonalds is worth billions of dollars not because of the quality of their food, but because of their marketing.
Marketing is not an expense. A janitor is an expense. Your computer is an expense. Marketing is an INVESTMENT.
Would you shop around for the cheapest heart surgeon? Of course not. Because you would likely end up dead.
Why, then, do you shop around for a marketing expert? Are you ok with your company going bankrupt? Is that worth the small savings to you?
No. Of course not.
Hire someone who is good at marketing. Hire someone who knows what they are doing. Buy yourself a Lamborghini with your profit the first quarter. Get a beach house in hawaii. Grab a yacht.
Or, try to find your business the cheapest heart surgeon you can and then spend the next five years wondering why such a solid business idea failed in the first 6 months.
I'm passionate about this exact topic because all those statistics you read about "70% of businesses failing in two years" are solely because of horrible marketing.
What a great question!
Nonprofits are always hard-pressed with resources - I understand your pain! It's rough when you're doing good work and desperately need the help of qualified marketing professionals...but barely have the funding to bring in a totally unqualified college student...or worse, an intern.
When it comes to looking at freelancers, you're right - it is difficult to decide which ones are qualified, much less trustworthy. And if you go to a site like eLance or Odesk, all too often the quality is low (as you've already experienced) or there is a language barrier that cannot be resolved.
However, your budget isn't quite as bad as it seems. As others have calculated, assuming a 40-hour workweek, you're looking at $400/week, $1600/month.
I'd recommend that you avoid hiring someone on a full-time basis, at least for now, and instead look at how you can make best use of that $1600. It might take a bit of time, but it would be well worth the investment to ensure that you have a solid marketing plan - ultimately if you have a strong marketing plan, that is what will help you with funding development, and may eventually yield enough funding to cover a more qualified employee.
For example, in the first month or two, you could hire an outside marketing consultant for a few hours to work with you to develop a plan. In another month, you might have the consultant train a staff member to implement some of the simpler strategies the consultant has recommended. In another month or two, you could have a new web site built (if that's needed). There are so many ways to wisely utilize the resources you have available that I think it would be better put to use with a good consultant who can guide you and help train your staff in the implementation strategies.
Some consultants may be willing to extend a discount on their regular rates for non-profits, especially if your cause speaks to them personally.
I would be more than happy to talk through some of these options with you and let you know how we can help, if it turns out to be a good fit on both sides.
As the others mentioned, marketing on a tight budget can be very challenging. But I have had success with tighter budgets than yours. Here's what I would consider.
1) Assuming a 40 hour week, you're budgeting $400/week, $1600/month. Rather than bring in a $10/hr level marketer, bring in a higher quality marketer for more pay and less hours. You would be amazed at what an experienced marketer can do in just a handful of hours.
2) Shift your expectations slightly from "strategy and implementing" to only "strategy". For a $50 Clarity call, you can get a strategist to get you started in the right direction. If you build a relationship with the strategist, you can check back in whenever you need the guidance.
3) Look at existing tools that you can leverage to help with implementation. Inbound marketing tools will help you establish a strong presence for relatively less effort. A Clarity expert can point out a few tools based on your requirements.
4) Lean on partner resources as much as you can. Sponsor content on their blogs. Contribute at their conferences. Leverage their existing channels and marketing resources to get your company out to a larger audience. This is one of the most cost effective steps you can take.
5) Find a way to open up more money for marketing in the future. You can have the best product or service in the world, but if no one knows about it, then what's the point?
I know you are looking to bring in a great marketing talent right now, but you might have to scratch and claw your way for a little while. I would strongly recommend getting on a call with a Clarity expert to discuss your requirements in more detail. They will save you a lot of time, money, and frustration in the long run.
If you would like to chat more, I'm here to help! Otherwise, give one of these fine experts who responded a chance.
To be perfectly honest, you're likely going to have a tough time hiring an expert with such limited budget. However, you might consider:
- trying a different freelance site (oDesk & elance are 2 of the more trusted ones) and be strict in vetting the freelancers - read reviews, ask for work samples, etc.
- hiring an intern from a university with a strong marketing program
- consuming the very extensive amount of free online content about marketing strategy, optimization, channel growth, etc. Check out HubSpot's free resources: library.hubspot.com
- putting 1-2 days' worth of that hourly budget toward a Clarity call with an expert who can give you guidance on your marketing strategy
If you'd like to go with the last option, let me know and I'd be happy to hop on a call & help out.
Best of luck!
$10 per hour might be enough for a college sophomore's part-time job. But as soon as that person graduates, they ought to jump ship because they'd never be able to live off of $80 per day -- let alone pay back $120,000 in tuition.
Honestly, that's not enough to hire anybody with relevant experience.
As a non-profit, you *may* qualify for Google grants which gets you $10,000.00 per month in free online advertising in the Google AdWords program. Not to be sniffed at. You may not even be able to spend it all.
If you do qualify, then find someone who can spend that money wisely for you who is interested in your cause and will likely work pro bono, and show you the return it gets you in a defined metric, like donations received or whatever.
If you're really smart about this you'll also get that party to commit to mentor your marketing person as part of the program, so you can take that knowledge in-house as well.
You need to know that what you spend comes back several times over (this is what I do for AdWords clients).
I'd be willing to help get you started and see how it goes if you do qualify for the grant.
I was with you until $10 an hour. In my opinion, you will not be able to find a marketing expert for $10 an hour. You may be able to hire a marketing "expert," but not an actual one.
If your rate was a little more realistic, I'd consider hiring someone who does good marketing but lives in a state with not as high of a cost of living. You can save some money that way, but I don't think you'll be able to find anyone good for $10 per hour.
Freelance services like ours are not always over the top and expensive at all these days. You just have to find the right skilled marketing person to lead the way with some no traditional thinking.
Most social media cmapiagns cost next to nothing in relations to what things cost in the past with marketing actions.
A profeesional Wordpress blog built-out with content management should cost between $400.00 -$800.00 a month including cost of the site. This is all it cost for New Media Marketing Consultant to have you on the first page fist link organic results of all search engines.
If you have any questions please feel free to message me and view my profile for more options..
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I would advise don't look out for an affordable marketing expert, but look out for an expert that provides maximum benefit against the cost. I don't think hiring a freelancer may solve your purpose as marketing isn't just marketing, but much more than sum of its parts.
One way could be initiating discussion with marketing experts (Consultants, Agencies) and seek a proposal. I am assuming when you say "Web Marketing", you actually mean an "Integrated" marketing plan with lucid strategy and execution design.
I believe, platforms like Clarity, LinkedIn are good place to initiate discussion with experts and establish an association. Just make sure the resource is ready to invest enough time and energy to understand the situation (Both internal & external to your organization), and strives to design a strategy suited to your business.
Secondly, you need to be clear within yourself that marketing isn't sales, but an enabler to sales. In our experience working with clients across the globe, this is the basic understanding mistake that people carry in their mind.
Do feel free to reach out to me for any specific information that you may be looking at. Need more Clarity? I'm just a call away.
You do not want cheap marketing -- period. It's better to have someone do the work pro bono (which is not out of the question given that you are a nonprofit) than to be paying $10/hour for someone to help you launch. If they are cutting their rates for you, they are unlikely to be doing their best work. If they charge $10/hour normally, they are probably not very good marketers. A few other people who have answered this question have suggested college interns; this might be a solution for you but I'm not sure how well-versed they would be in the nonprofit world or the subject matter at hand. I would think it might be better to find a college student who's digitally savvy and passionate about your cause rather than one who happens to be majoring in marketing.
Another option is to consider using a site like VolunteerMatch or Catchafire, which are marketplaces for digital professionals looking to put their skills to nonprofit work.
Alternately, one or two Clarity calls with a nonprofit marketing expert might put you on the right track to handling your marketing yourself. I am happy to take a call if you are interested; I'm a marketer who is on multiple nonprofit boards.
For that rate, you could find someone to spend all day on social media. An intern for example. Use them to engage with people and start sharing content related to your business. Gain mindshare.
Other than that, you could use that money for very narrowly targeted ads on a budget.
A full-time marketer, marketing manager, CMO, etc. all are obviously going to cost you a lot more.
However. Let's back up for a moment. Do you know that you need a marketing expert full-time? What led you to this conclusion? Lack of visitors/users? There could be many reasons for that starting with your product market fit all the way down to the details in your website UX, message, branding, etc.
It may turn out that you just need a copywriter on a contract basis to help you with messaging.
It may turn out that you just need to use some ads more effectively.
Even without a full-time marketer, there are many things you can do yourself. There is a wealth of resources out there (GrowthHackers site, Clarity experts, myself included and the others commenting here) that could help you with a small strategy.
There are simple things that you and other employees can do on a regular basis, without too much time/distraction, that could drastically change your circumstances.
I notice people jump to thinking they "need" a full-time marketer right away. That "SEO" or "marketing" is to blame for slow or stalled growth. Startups can't compete with big companies, so why do we insist on trying? You need to switch up your tactics to stand out and compete.
Also, you said launch. What are you waiting on? You must start marketing now. Not after launch. Not after something is "ready" ... Nothing is ever "done" or "ready" btw. Start early. Even if it's simple. I've seen so many CEOs not even like their own company's page on Facebook and follow their own Twitter accounts. Yes, seriously.
I think you have some options, so the most important thing to do is not panic =)
I agree with all of the previous answers and would recommend you spending as much as you possibly can on a marketer.
True marketers care almost obsessively about making sure they can directly tie their efforts to results.
Marketers that confidently ask for a large amount of money do so because they confidently know they will generate a lot more.
Could you please tell me the nature of the social cause?
I, along with a network of other specialists provide marketing expertise to non-profits on a probono basis. I, myself am a marketing strategy expert but have consultants with me that can handle other areas. We dedicate around 50% of our time on probono work so depending on the social cause and our schedule, we may be able to help you.
Please feel free to inbox me.
If you are in Canada there is a program offered by The Canadian Association of Management Consultants (CAMC) and IRAP (Government of Canada agency) that helps small businesses to hire Certified Management Consultants (CMCs). They provide $5,000 in funding (which usually means 30-40 hours of a consultants time as the consultants provide a discounted rate through this program) and there is only a modest ($150?) administration cost to the client. Once you have been approved for the program the CAMC provides you with three consultants to interview and you are free to hire whichever you choose or to request another three choices. The link to the program is here http://www.cmc-canada.ca/provincial_institutes.cfm?Portal_ID=72
I would challenge you to reframe the question. I would lead with needs rather than price. It's a mistake to fit the price to the expert. It is far better to find the expert and adjust the scope to fit your budget. You can prioritize your needs and get the right help. As you grow and have more dollars you can then move through your priority list. I have seen business owners make the mistake of thinking they need help but can only afford to pay X. Those decisions end up being more costly than hiring someone who is good not cheap.
Many of us have loads of information on our website. Use your $10/hour to hire a staffer or intern to read all of the content we have published and apply it to your business.
As others have said, you would be better off applying for a marketer to work pro-bono on your project than asking them to do their job for $10.
You have gotten a lot of good advice. Regarding pro-Bono I just got back from donating an hour to an established charity that has a marketing person.
In my area there is a Meetup form Meetup.com that has an emphasis on Social Media, it meets once or twice a month with all levels from know nothing to expert. A wealth of information and some in that group have also donated services.
I have a membership site that helps those with a limited budget ($97 a month) Set up their foundations. Understanding keywords, setting up a WordPress site, setting up various social media platforms. As a bonus, one day a month I offer access to me, currently that's a 20 minute Skype call where I can answer your specific questions.
Whether you invest time yourself and utilize free resources as some have suggested, or utilize some of the other resources it is vital that you invest in marketing. I would also agree with others, that at $10 per hr you'll basically get an employee who can implement pieces of a plan but not much in the way of strategy or a plan.
First of all, I'm not sure if you can hire marketing experts under $10/hr that's any good. If you know how to pick, you may be able to find the right services. Another approach would be bartering with marketing experts looking for exposure.
What's wrong with the current volunteer anyway?
Also, what does your social network app do? Is it some kind of plugin on top of Facebook for charities?
At the end of the day you will always get what you pay for. When you start off your enterprise with the idea that you're going to try to get everything for free, yet of high-quality you are setting yourself up for failure. Consultants like myself will tell you time and time again that when you pay someone for a service you're not just giving them a stream of revenue you're confirming to them that you're committed to what you're doing and willing to invest in seeing your goals fulfilled. This goes along way in helping the consultant feel like they are doing something that's going to help you move your business or project forward and wasting on a pipe dream.
There's no question that small budgets are major obstacles. Marketing is an essential tool of business success and you must allocate a decent amount of funding to execute a strong marketing strategy. So whether you execute your own marketing strategy or hire a consultant you should be willing to take a minimum of 8-10% of your overall budget for marketing related tasks. If you start off looking for a minimum wage worker to manage a business essential function such as marketing you are positioning your nonprofit for failure because you will never get a seasoned pro for that price.
There are ways for you to have a fantastic marketing strategy on a small budget just make sure you hire a seasoned pro at a desirable fee to design and execute it.
Feel free to call me for some do-it-yourself tips.
Hi! I apologize for any possible bad responses you might have gotten.
My name is Humberto, an expert with both MBA and entrepreneurship experience. Ok, so Marketing in itself is in high demand because technically speaking anyone in business is in marketing. Being a nonprofit you are limited on budget. Consider checking out collaborative workspaces where sometimes they are willing to trade off services for services or exposure. Such as you can include a freelancers web link on your promotional marketing work done by him.
$10/hr is really really low. However marketing is not about hours but about thresholds being completed. A marketer can work one hour and be worth a weeks pay. What you would be better off is offering $400 a week for a period of time to a good marketer/growth hacker even if they work only 1-2 hours a day during the week. This way you'll have more chances in finding someone. Also, don't wait too long to begin your marketing efforts - a big mistake is waiting for product or service or in your case effort to begin a campaign.
Thank you! If you like my advice please follow me here
I love this question!
This is a creative solution for you to try out ;)
1. If you have the capabilities create your own SEO page/landing pages with just the right keywords. Have these landing pages 301 redirect to your own original website (assuming you have one).
2. Embed both a video (per landing/SEO page) and picture of eithe related context or screen shot of video.
3. Leverage Pinterest: their platform is a collection of hand picked topics and that is just what Google uses to rank its findings, if your landing page have good SEO and you pin the pin the images to Pinterest with good descriptions (as it would be searched for) your videos could be thus promoted as Pinterest shows high in google searches.
4. Have these landing pages focused as conversion: goal? Watch one or part of the video and go to YouTube for more or the rest. That way of your goal is monetization you capture views on YouTube and not just landing pages.
5. Have content description exactly as someone would search in your website about the video in mind and link it to YouTube.
This SEO tactic will increase both your websites traffic, but also YouTube views. :)
Tweak or create variations (a/b testing) of the landing pages to find the optimal design/wording/video for each targeted audience per landing/conversion page.
Best of luck! If you like my advice please follow me on Clarity. https://clarity.fm/humbertovalle
My hat is off to you for starting a non-profit. That's never easy, but hopefully it's rewarding.
If I were in your shoes, I'd look for someone with experience with the IndieGoGo crowdfunding platform to donate their time to help you with your launch, and gather some volunteers to write posts, tweets, Instagram pictures, etc. that generate excitement about what you're doing.
I say volunteers instead of $10/hour workers, for the same reason everyone else has said that - because you won't get high level help at that rate.
What you CAN do is pay for a Hootsuite Pro account that allows team members to write and schedule posts that won't go live until someone with more life experience and a better understanding of your brand can review them to make any edits or to delete the ones that don't match your brand identity.
If you really want to go cheap and find people to write the posts, you may find them on Fiverr.com, where you can hire people for specific gigs on an as-needed basis. Again, you'll only want them to post to Hootsuite in a way that can be monitored by a more senior spokesperson.
Take a look at LinkedIn for people who have expressed an interest in volunteering for the keywords that match what your nonprofit hopes to accomplish. They'll be there.
Another way to amplify your message is to join a program like Social Buzz Club, Triberr, or Empire Avenue that will let you add links to be reposted by others in those clubs. Club members pick and choose what they want to send out.
Best of luck to you, and look for those volunteers! They're out there!
Simple answer - Don't think in terms of $10/hour. You will never get anybody even remotely good for that amount. However, think of it in terms as a monthly fee of $2500 or a one-time fee of $25000 to a marketing expert. You can hire someone for the whole project or for a high monthly fee with just a few hours a month. You will get real value this way.
I hope this helps.
Best of Luck,
PS I may assist you as my time permits. Right now I am doing something that I haven't done for many years. I am actively soliciting new select clients due to selling one of my businesses and freeing myself up a little. But as you might expect, I am still very busy. That is how I like it.
I've worked for non-profits many times over, directed non-profits, freelanced through them, and started my own (and been audited multiple times as well) non-profit.
One of the biggest mistakes non-profits make is expecting quality results for free, through volunteers, who, while they may have hearts of gold, don't have the vested interest in an NPO's success that a paid employee does. I can't tell you how many volunteers for different non-profits I've met who are misused, love what they do but feel misunderstood by their Board.
But to address your question directly, if you already have an online presence, you've "jumped the gun." Because the developer you'd work with would have to probably restructure messaging, branding, with blogging, SEO, and everything that goes into successful promotion.
Personally, for $10 per hour, I wouldn't trust results, either, because that person would a) always be looking for a higher-paying position or work to augment that income and need to survive, and not be too excited about doing the work knowing they could go to a local fast food restaurant or day labor facility and make more and possibly get health benefits as well. Freelance sites post people who are desperate for work, and need money to buy food. That's why they accept work for lower-than-professional pay wages. It would be like me paying someone $10 to help promote my business...and then being surprised that we didn't garner satisfactory results. You get what you pay for in most cases. My dentist charges what he's worth, as does my mechanic, my CPA, our lawyer, and so on. Why would a professional work for minimum wage or close to that if they're any good?
I would suggest re-examining why the pay must be so low and expectations higher. If pay must be low, whatever you'd get back at ten bucks per hour would be a blessing. I would petition the Board for respectable, professional level wages, work with a local agency (which would obviously balk at $10 per hour), try to do it myself if necessary, wait until more funds are available and budgeted, or simply wait until more prepared to launch.
We once got a phone call from a local area woman stating she wanted to start her own non-profit helping other non-profits with their internet marketing. Since she herself didn't build sites or program or design, she wanted someone to build their company site with the promise to potentially refer future work. Her budget was $200 total for a professional online presence. She didn't know what SEO was, didn't care, didn't want eCommerce because she saw no need for it, wasn't interested in blogging because it was "too much" work. When we tried to advise her to raise her budget for better quality results she simply hung up. Needless to say, her non-profit never launched successfully.
Give more to get more, expect more in return.
Best of luck to you.
Hi - I just came across this and noticed you wrote this years ago, so I really hope your business is going well!! If you need inexpensive yet expert marketing, design or small business consulting services, please consider my agency, Bloominari. We’ve been helping small business owners like yourself for years and we’d love to help you out. I also provide free project estimates! Just wanted to send you this info in case your sales aren’t exactly as high as you were hoping. Let me know if I can help you in any way and best of luck to you! http://www.bloominari.com/contact/request-project-quote
I just don't think you are even asking the right questions yet.
Are you comfortable with these first? What is the single very clear reason why customers will part with their hard earned cash in exchange for your service or product? What is your uniqueness that defines you within the competitive landscape?
I assume you understand your customers, and how they make decisions, what sources of information they will trust etc? this is not just demograhics but psychographic insights.
now if you have this, when you employ your marketer, you can discuss what your goals are and quantify them. do not abdicate this thinking, this is your start-up! now some forms of marketing are easy to measure in terms of impact. like a TV advert with a call centre number, placed before a certain soap-opera. you can see the increase call rate, measure the change in conversion rate, uptake etc. but lots of marketing is really hard to measure in terms of campaign outcome, (bill boards, and events and merchandizing) so I would suggest two key things.
Firstly, delegate and make him or her accountable for a well defined result over a sufficiently long period of time. Don't be lazy and say something like "$ million revenue in the first 6 months or $ 3 million of sales over 12 months. Instead, you know the your Revenue is actually driven somethig like this: total Nbr Customers x Ave Spend per Customer, but is that good enough? No of course not, instead you will think that total customers is actually broken down over time into Retained Customers - Lost Customers + New Customers and Ave Spend is a function of #of products, frequency of purchase, discounting
Marketing is key to all of these, and the way you incentivise and what you measure will make or break this key phase of your start-up. Measure only new customers, and I promise you you will see compaints being ignored and then existing customers leaving.
Now marketers will sell you a fine story, test this by getting him or her to assume some risk and put some skin in the game. that will keep them honest. reward performance, if they exceed your expectations in a valuable way (you don't want them generating 200 000 calls into your call centre which only has 10 people now do you?) then reward this with a nice variable component. a decent clever marketing person is worth their weight in gold, and will leap at the opportunity. unfortunately there are very few truly good marketers out there. think carefully of whereand how tio actually find good marketers (not your mother's best friend's daughter, not some dumb-ass recruiting agency, .....ha!!)
I have had my battles in this space, and it took me a while as an engineer to realise nowadays, many of the world’s problems are still seen as problems of reality alone, when in fact, if we understand that value has a component of intangibility, the major component of the problem is that of perception.
tell me how is it that a bottle of "spring water", intinsically no better than the water i get out of my tap at home, can sell for more than the equivalent cost of the same volume of gasoline? marketing brilliance!
check out my website where I have lots of free stuff on this. all free for you to use. call me if you need.
I always hire a marketer (even freelance or part time) first, not last. A common failure in businesses is to think marketing is advertising. Marketing is many things, including if you even have a space you should bother trying to move into. Advertising is about telling the market what you do and why they should care, but a marketer will write that script.
You will get nothing for $10 an hour that will motivate anyone, including yourself. You should save this money. If your budget for the "pilot" is so low, your budget for the airplane will be nothing. As mentioned above, marketing is an investment that will drive your success or failure. Depending on your location you may find it lower cost (Boise versus Manhattan) but cost should not be your driver, it should be quality of output to reach your audience. As an interim thought, however, given you are non-profit, you may reach out to local universities for interns in marketing that will experiment with you as you experiment with them. Because you are non-profit, they may get some credits for the effort but you need to be aware they will produce based on their experience not that of a high quality "expert" marketer.
Well, "expert" and $10 per hour simply don't go together. You don't need me to tell you that; but, since it's in your post...let's just make sure that we're comparing apples to apples.
Further, you want to be budgeting realistically for the project itself so that an hourly rate is not the focal point. That seems, for whatever reason, to be what’s most daunting to you. For example, many of my baseline projects fall in the $6,000 to $10,000 range.
Would you rather have an expert spend 30 hours to do what you need the right way and get you up and running in a few weeks, or use a $10/hour rate person to struggle around for 600 hours...battle the rework and/or issues of starting over from scratch...and lose all of that time in between as well?
We're talking about value. You're looking at only the price.
Fear seems to be the prevailing theme in your message. We all have been burned. You have a lot on your shoulders, and want to avoid that happening at this juncture. Of course, I understand.
If trust is really the main issue, any true and time-tested expert can provide testimonials and references as proof so that you know what you're getting. Because, in fairness, NPOs have money too. All operations and businesses have budgets, and need to be careful how they spend...not just nonprofits.
I work with NPOs and NGOs all over the world, in addition to my for-profit clients. I built a new business unit for the Red Cross in Chicago at an earlier stage of my career, and have worked with smaller nonprofits consistently through the years. I know them from the inside out.
There are always more donors, grants, and fundraising opportunities: perhaps even one in conjunction with the launch. Experience pays...use it.
For your Launch Plan, enlist someone who can help you do it right. You won't get a second chance.
Regardless of which direction you take, you MUST have a strong, effective website as your main point of presence. Obviously, this needs to be live before you start Launch Promotions.
Function is one thing → form (which grabs interest, prevents churn, and hopes to gain engagement, traction & conversion) is another. That occurs a with clear Brand Identity (far more than just a name & logo: http://strategygbd.co/brand-identity/).
Read that article, and this one >>> Conversions: Your 8-Second Secret (https://www.alignable.com/insights/conversions-your-8-second-secret). Then, let’s communicate further.
Oh, here's an extra Small Business Week perk: FREE blueprint to Boost Conversions with your STICKY Website! It's a super easy to digest & implement template designed specifically for quick use, big impact & effective results. → http://peakprofits.ontrapages.com/FreeBlueprint
Wishing you success! Let me know how it goes...
First rule of Marketing a Non-Profit;
The only thing you can say to volunteers is "Thank You!"
Find your organizations Champion and have them contact radio stations, SBA, seminars, Kiwanis, Chamber of Commerce and speak.
- 100 Year Goal; What will your organization be after you are gone
- Mantra; 3-4 words that are the core of your business
- Unique Selling Proposition / USP
Then once you have these completed, all for Free, then you can entice groups/people, to help fund your causes (ie Kiwanis donates a fund raiser to support your marketing for the year)
- Luckiest Entrepreneur
I know what you mean about freelance websites. It's challenging to find creative people for low compensation.
A college-level marketing intern would be my first shot for your needs. Perhaps reach out to volunteer networks to see who might be available. Maybe you can source someone through a corporate sponsor.
If you can find young talent, or an experienced person just starting out in their own business, they might be willing to help. Good luck!
This is an old question, but the answers are valuable to many today. Platforms such as Clarity have enabled many - startups and established companies alike - to get the best possible experts. Experts that they had no access to before; both location, cost and way of working would make it very hard to set up successful collaboration.
If your budget is very tight, then create (if you don't have it already) a company profile, prepare a list of questions, identify areas where you think I can help you best, share this information with me beforehand and schedule a 15-minute phone call with me.
I will prepare myself and during the call, we will go through concrete ideas, strategies and their execution in such a way that you can implement it now, with your current staff. It will be an eye opener for you and it will give you results. You will take your staff above and beyond what you thoughts they were capable of doing. Then, take it from there.
That's my promise! Will you schedule a call?
Ali M's advise is right on. Given you're a start-up, therefore, an entrepreneur, I add: YOU are the most "affordable marketing expert" your start-up can hire! In addition to that realization:
- How much marketing investment (that includes the overhead) can you afford in your 5-year business plan? Add 10% and go for it.
- Do you have a top marketing strategist on your advisory board? It's likely to be the best value for money you will be able to get.
Some affordable marketing options may be with your local college - one with an MBA program. Talk to some professors and see if you company can be a project the class works on and provides you some ideas. It won't be expert - but it will be free.
If you cannot afford it - do you have time to study it?
Get clear on what you need - if you need overall strategy I am sure that there are plenty of people on this site that you can get 30 minutes to bounce some ideas off of..
If you need technical work completed - again maybe a paid internship. My son was paid $10/hour - but needed to be told what to do...
You have to pay people for their experience, not necessarily for their time! Perhaps hiring actively by vetting prospective consultants to ensure quality and credibility is best. Just like hiring an employee, the consultant has to be the right match for your needs. Review your expectations in advance with them. I would love to discuss this further with you if you would like support figuring out how to build your team as you decide what to outsource, etc. Organizational management is my thing! :-)