I was the Head of Marketing for a hot Bay Area startup, making well over six figures, when one day I woke up and, coldly, unceremoniously quit. I’ll spare you the details, but suffice to say I was miserable. Fast-forward and I spent 3.5 glorious years as a full-time freelance marketer. Sure, it’s not all unicorns or rainbows: there is no fixed salary or benefits, there are distractions everywhere, and it gets lonely being a one-person show. But, for me, the benefits far outweigh the cons:
A flexible schedule. I worked when it was best suited for my schedule. I no longer felt the pressure to put in long hours to be noticed.
Good money. Even though I was working about 12 hours less a week, I still pulled in the same salary.
Work with cool companies. Knowing my niche and target market helped me land projectest with several high-growth SaaS companies.
The power to say no. If a prospect or a project didn’t sit well with me, I confidently turned down the work.
Learn new things. Running a business is an entirely new learning curve. I learned about business operations and learned about sales and selling, not to mention I learned a great deal about myself.
If you’re looking for a career change and are considering freelance marketing, I’ve compiled 21 things I’ve learned throughout my freelancing journey to help others navigate the peaks and valleys.
There are many reasons business professionals and marketers want to publish content on a company website. It has a direct correlation with stellar SEO. It’s great for increasing brand awareness as a thought leader. It even works for nurturing leads through the sales funnel. And the list goes on.
While the benefits of content marketing are likely not new knowledge to you, there is one problem. You have very little time and even fewer resources to create quality content. That’s why marketers should not feel inauthentic when outsourcing blog posts, eBooks, and other content offers to a ghostwriter.
Hiring a ghostwriter is a great alternative when you are short on time and skill to write the content in-house. Use these four tips to get the most out of your partnership. Plus, I’ll share a free content brief template that encourages successful collaborations.
Marketers, be warned! Instilling a design brief process can make or break a design project.
I recently learned this the hard way after burning through a couple of thousand dollars on a design asset that was not at all usable. Twice. The first mishap I chalked up to working with a “bad designer” via an online marketplace. But after making the same mistake again, I realized successful designs require clear, defined instructions from the start.
With this realization, my design brief template was born. I now use it with my designers for EVERY project. It is the best asset for properly articulating the intricate details that take a concept to a final product. Learn from my mistakes, especially when working with designers on a third-party marketplace. The design brief template I share below will help overcome any communication barriers.
We’ve prepared this step-by-step SaaS conversion funnel template for you to use when building out your first conversion funnel. It includes all the critical steps involved, plus several potential SaaS metrics to use in your funnel. Find the free template here.
SaaS customers walk through different stages on the way to becoming a paying customer. Therefore, every organization must be interested in how their content, branding, and other outreach efforts affect the bottom-line – revenue.
Studying and optimizing your SaaS conversion funnel is the weapon that most companies fail to take advantage of. The conversion funnel should not be just a marketing initiative, a tucked-away dashboard in Salesforce, or a closed-door executive discussion. Au contraire, almost everyone, from product development to customer service, should be aware of how their role affects the company-wide goal – to acquire, convert, and retain more customers.
COVID-19 has caused many organizations to transition to a remote workplace for the unforeseeable future. As a result, employees have had to make several adjustments from their typical in-person working environments. Perhaps the most significant change is how teammates connect (or the lack thereof) over digital communication platforms, like Slack.
This shift has impacted more than just standard weekly team meetings, but more so the natural side conversations that happen in the hallways, by the espresso machine, over lunch, or at a company happy hour. Remote workplaces have made it extremely challenging to create these off-the-cusp discussions that bring a fun element to the traditional office environment.
So, is it possible to make Slack the new “water cooler”? I like to believe so. In the post, I’ll share five ways you and your team can keep the informal but important discussions alive and kicking.
Not all websites are created equal. If your company has a robust content management system with dedicated marketers, designers, and front-end developers to run it, you’re fortunate (I’m jealous!). For most startups, their websites are hardcoded, resources are shared, and processes are often fragmented and driven initially by non-marketers. This leaves crucial elements like your open graph and SEO meta tags as an afterthought and, at times, wholly forgotten.
When you have business leaders asking for leads, and a sales team that is hungry to bring in revenue, it’s time to reverse engineer your marketing funnel. Put a plan in place that highlights both leads AND revenue.
Repurposing content update: Since the original publication we’ve updated this blog with more ideas for repurposing content. We will continue to share new ideas and examples with you.
How long does it take you to create a piece of content? And I’m not talking about your run-of the-mill, 300-word blog post. I mean content with purpose and substance.
Full transparency here: This blog post took me about 10 hours from brainstorm to distribution. For a small little marketing shop like Marketing 261, that’s a big chunk of time spent.
If you’re anything like us, you probably lack the resources to regularly spend this much time producing content. And, you also want more from the content you’ve already spent hours creating.
That’s where repurposing content comes in. It’s using your existing material to your advantage AND breathing new life into the content you’ve left on your website to collect cobwebs.
By reimagining, reworking, and reformatting your existing content, you can produce fresh pieces without starting from scratch each time. Here’s how content marketing pro, Benji Hyam, is repurposing content at Grow & Convert:
I once launched an inbound marketing campaign that increased lead generation by 2,000%. With that kind of result, you would think I was popping open the Champagne and celebrating, right? Well, not exactly. In fact, if I could go back, I’d do it all differently.
There’s a point of diminishing returns when it comes to productivity apps and I’m pretty sure you’d hit it way before you download the 115th one.
Why You Probably Don’t Need 115 Productivity Apps
Here’s my beef with lists like these and other people swearing by certain apps that claim to help you kick your work day into gear: you can’t tell someone how they should manage their work. Not without knowing what type of person they are, how they work best, and what their motivation to do good work is.
If you’re a visual person, like me, you might find the app-less route helpful. Below is a step by step system to which I attribute my relentless craving to get things done.
Is marketing automation necessary for your startup?
I once spent $30K on a marketing automation solution that was completely unnecessary.
It wasn’t my finest moment. So much so that I want to share share with other marketers—especially startups—because it was an expensive lesson that I don’t want others to repeat.
Now, before you get the idea that I’m a spendthrift, let me explain. It was in the early days of my marketing career, I was the marketing head for a startup and bound and determined to launch the business better and faster than anyone else could envision.
I had had previous experience with marketing automation at another company and naturally thought this small company could benefit from it too. I just thought it was something all companies needed.
But let me share the three problems with this thinking:
From brainstorming to writing the first draft to design, edits, and publication, there are a lot of hands involved in getting an article blog-ready.
I don’t know about you, but by the time we’ve hit each of these steps (and run it up the flagpole each time), there’s anywhere from 3-4+ different people involved in getting it all done right.
That’s a lot of collaboration. So what’s a content marker to do? Use an editorial calendar—or actually, something we think is even better—a system. It’s a clear and organized funnel that blog posts travel through from brainstorm to publish. And we do it all with project management tool Trello.
Today’s marketing involves creating relevance for your brand, building awareness of your product or service, developing compelling validation for your solution, and taking the right mitigating actions along the path to purchase. All with limited resources and sometimes with tiny, non existing budgets.
Marketing AMA: Ask Me Anything
We believe this entire process can be made more effective and does not have to be as daunting as it seems. Our AMA sessions are formed to help CEOs and marketing leads recall that marketing retains its simple, uncomplicated foundations if it’s backed by:
a well defined strategy
an organized & attainable plan
By targeting your marketing efforts around these three interdependent drivers, we’ll help you focus your marketing initiatives so they all lead to measurable business growth.