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.
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 =)