As a startup founder, your time is incredibly limited. You’ve got to juggle working on your product, customer service, hiring, and the day-to-day admin of running a company. The more you can outsource your workload, the more time you can spend on important things like building a great company.
So why not outsource your marketing? Here are five things you can do today to outsource marketing for your website and increase sales.
1. Blogger Relations
In order for people to buy your product, they need to know about it. How are they going to find out? You need to tell them.
The fastest way to get the word out there is to leverage blogs in your field. They’ve already got a large audience of people who are in your target demographic.
For Tweaky.com, we’re looking to find small business bloggers — ones that might act as a useful tool for small business owners who need to make small changes to their websites. So I found a virtual personal assistant which could create a list of the top 50 small business bloggers, grab their contact information, write about their area of expertise (marketing, sales, etc) and to rank them by their Alexa rank.
I could then email them details about my website with valid reasons why they should blog about me (but that’s a post for another time).
- Total time: 2 hours
- Total cost: $30
- Outcome: Hundreds of qualified leads
2. Content Generation
A relatively easy way to get traffic to your site is to create high-value blog posts about things your target customers care about. For Tweaky, that would be articles about how to optimise your website or how to fix particular problems on the web that affect small business owners.
But writing content takes time, especially if it’s going to be the kind of great, shareable content that people care about.
There are a number of services you can use to outsource blog posts to, but my favourite is to use Darren Rowse’s Problogger Job Boards. The amount of quality blog writers on that job board is insane.
Post a listing asking for a particular type of content and you will be inundated with awesome bloggers in no time at all.
- Total time: 10 hours
- Total cost: $100
- Outcome: 10 great blog posts
3. Website Translation
This one might feel out of place on this list, but stay with me. We noticed that we had a large audience coming to us from Indonesia and Japan — two markets with in excess of 400 million people between them. That’s a lot of customers!
However, the conversion rates on traffic from these sites was terrible. Like, less than 1% terrible.
To make these customers feel more at home with our website (and increase conversions) we’re using Gengo.com to translate our site into Indonesian to see how this affects our conversion rates. We’re also using it to translate blogger outreach communications to increase conversions — definitely money well spent.
- Total time: 6 hours
- Total cost: $50
- Outcome: Incredibly high reply rates on email campaigns to targeted bloggers.
4. Website Optimization
There are always a bunch of ways you can make small changes to your website to increase sales; everything from adding social sharing functionality to your site to fixing a cross-browser compatibility issue.
One simple example is to set up a fixed header at the top of your home page that stays with the user as they scroll down the page. This is the perfect place to put an email subscription bar — and from the tests I’ve done this can increase email subscriptions by up to 400%. That’s a lot of emails!
When you’re flat out running a website you don’t have time for these small issues that pop up and you certainly don’t have the cash to hire an agency.
Tweaky.com is a marketplace for website customisation where you can get small changes made to your website. Tweaky manages the process of producing your project scope and selecting the right developer for your project. At this point I should definitely let you know that I’m one of the co-founders at Tweaky.com!
- Total time: 24 hours
- Total cost: $25
- Outcome: An email subscription bar to drive conversions
5. Burger Delivery
They say an army marches on its stomach and it’s no different for a startup. Getting food delivered to the office is a relatively small expense when you’ve got hundreds of new customers hitting your website at once.
Burger To Me delivers the ridiculously good In-n-out burgers to anywhere in San Francisco. It’s powered by micro-tasking service Task Rabbit who can help to deliver just about anything to you and handle all sorts of odd chores from waiting in line for the new iPhone to couriering event invites around town.
- Total time: 30 minutes
- Total cost: $20
- Outcome: A delicious burger
So how do you know when something is worthwhile outsourcing?
My personal scale is simple: if I need to spend more than a couple of hours thinking about how I can get the job done it’s worth at least outsourcing some research into how to do it. And then it comes down to how much I really need that job done.
At the end of the day I want to be focusing on building my product, and not sweating over the small stuff.