Tired of a revolving door of marketing assistants? Tired of lackluster results from your digital agencies, advertising salespeople, and vendors? Want help, but frustrated with the recruiting process? Looking to hire a marketing director, a manager, or a leader, but afraid of the price tag and the risk of making the wrong decision?
Whether you are in the Solopreneur Stage, the Managerial Stage, or the Growth Stage of your business, you’ll have different marketing needs at different times. In this free guide, I’ll show you exactly how to How To Find And Recruit The RIGHT Kind Of Marketing Help For Your Growth Business.
The 3 (Simplified) Stages of Small Business and What Marketing Help is Needed
Each of these stages has its own distinct challenges, needs, and marketing strategies. So it makes sense that the types of people you hire for your team are going to be different at each stage. Let’s take a deeper look at what we mean by “the right type of person.”
- Solopreneur Stage: The right fit for this stage is someone who is willing to wear multiple hats, is self-motivated, and has an entrepreneurial spirit. They should have some technical expertise but also know how to get things done. This person will most likely be hired on as a contract employee or through an agency if they have the specialized skill-set sought after (e.g., copywriting).
- Managerial Stage: As your company grows and becomes more complex, you’ll need to bring on people who can help delegate tasks and have great organizational skills. You also want someone with intermediate technical expertise who can manage teams or projects, create processes and systems, establish company culture, etc. While it’s still important to find someone with an entrepreneurial spirit—someone who won’t mind jumping in wherever needed—it’s also increasingly essential that they are able to work independently without needing constant direction from leadership.
- Growth Stage: By this point in your business growth journey it’s extremely important that all new hires have advanced real-world experience (which is more important than degrees or certifications) related to their field of expertise. They should be able to implement new technology into marketing campaigns without having any hiccups along the way (or being able to solve them quickly). The goal here is that you can hand off entire projects or categories of work knowing full well that you will not need to oversee every single step in order for it to get done efficiently and effectively by competent professionals
Attention Home Services Contractor Business Owners:
How To Find And Recruit The RIGHT Kind Of Marketing Help For Your Growth Business
The Solopreneur Stage
At this stage, you are the business. You are the only person in the company. You do everything yourself. You wear many hats: salesperson, marketing director, operations manager, tech support, and janitor (figuratively speaking).
Your budget is limited to whatever you bring in and need to survive on. You work long hours with no expectation of a paycheck for yourself at the end of it all—and if there is some left over after that, you have to decide when it can be set aside for other things besides day-to-day expenses.
You have no formal training in running a business—you have experience from your past careers and maybe even an MBA—but, even then, essentially you’re learning as you go along, making it up as you go along. While that may get results in itself, there’s always room for improvement, and that comes in being able to recognize what needs improvement so changes can be made accordingly.
The Managerial Stage
As you’ve probably heard before, as a manager, you are no longer the expert in your field. Your job is now to recruit people who are experts in their fields. So how do you get these experts on your team? And once you have them, how do you make sure they’re hitting their goals?
First and foremost: even if you’re not an expert anymore, it’s still important to be able to communicate what kind of expertise you need from a marketing hire. The best managers can clearly explain what problems they want this new hire to solve for them. If you can’t communicate that as a manager, your new employee won’t know where to start and will likely fail in their role.
The second half of being a manager is learning how to delegate tasks effectively. That’s easier said than done! Some managers think this means telling people exactly what they want them to do—but while that might work well with some employees, it’s often counterproductive for the type of talent we’re talking about here (experts). Experts don’t want or need someone micromanaging them! They want autonomy. They want freedom within certain constraints; clear goals and expectations, but no instructions on exactly how they should accomplish those goals every step of the way. It’s also important that managers give feedback and provide encouragement along the way; expert workers don’t just need room to experiment but also support from managers who believe in their abilities (and who have shown trust by giving them some autonomy).
The Growth Stage
At this phase of growth, you’ve hit your stride and are generating consistent and predictable revenue. You have at least a part-time marketing manager, marketing technician or assistant, and probably already have a digital marketing agency to execute marketing tasks.
Your marketing manager can’t keep up with the initiatives you want to execute (or they can, but it still requires you to manage, oversee, strategize and tell them what to do), but there’s not enough work to hire a full-time CMO (or you don’t want to spend the typical $250,000 per year, plus bonus structure, incentives, benefits, etc.).
Instead, you’re ready to hire a fractional CMO who can come in and provide strategic leadership on an as-needed basis.
What is a Fractional CMO?
Let’s define “fractional CMO” because most people think of a CMO as the head of marketing and sales (and all revenue generation), which is true, but is still a limited view.
A fractional CMO is someone who works with the CEO or Owner-operator to shape the growth strategy for the business and then help execute it. The best way to understand this concept is to compare it to hiring a part-time marketing director or outsourced marketing expert – it’s similar in many ways and serves a very similar function. For instance:
- A fractional CMO should be engaged at least on a monthly or quarterly basis for planning purposes
- A fractional CMO does not need to be involved on an operational basis (i.e., daily), but he/she should be available when needed
- A fractional CMO will often take ownership over specific initiatives (e.g., creating/improving a marketing plan, budget, strategize sales collateral, branding and a new website)
Finding a Fractional CMO
Hire the right person.
It won’t be easy to find a good fractional CMO that understands your business niche. It’s not like they’re handing out pamphlets on street corners or waving flags at you as you drive by. There are some on LinkedIn, but each has a totally different set of skills, specialties, and experiences. Therefore, there are several things to look for when hiring:
- Trust – This is obvious but important. A fractional CMO will have control over your marketing strategy and budget and will likely be making an impact on your company every day. He or she should be trustworthy and able to communicate effectively with you and other members of your team throughout the process.
- Experience – Your fractional CMO should have experience working with companies in similar stages as yours. If he or she has never worked for a startup, early-stage company, etc., then he/she might not know what it’s like from day to day. Also, make sure that their marketing experience aligns with what needs to be done in your particular business vertical in order for them to succeed immediately. If they haven’t worked with your niche before, they should have the flexibility to adapt to it, and a demonstrable confidence.
Hire the right marketing help for your growing business
If you’re the CEO, president, or owner of a growing business you’ll have unique challenges and needs that need to be met. Hiring a fractional CMO is one way to do it. But regardless of whether or not you hire a full-time Chief Marketing Officer, or choose to use a fractional or outsourced one, it’s important to remember to keep your eyes open for potential candidates and keep the lines of communication open with your current team so they can be on the lookout for the right fit as well.