While it can be difficult to let go, many of the best leaders, business owners, and entrepreneurs grew their businesses by delegating and outsourcing as much work as possible. Time management and finding cost-effective business solutions, however, can be a full-time job all on its own. Thankfully, there are many readily available options.

Why Should You Outsource Your Marketing?

Marketing has gone digital, and utilizing it properly requires a specialized skill set. Your organization may not have someone with the know-how to make digital marketing work for you. Your organization may not have the bandwidth to properly invest the time and energy into digital marketing. Even if the company CEO can write great blogs or the office manager knows how to manage social media, that’s probably not the most effective use of their time. Furthermore, when individuals with multiple responsibilities are handling marketing, when an urgent matter arises in another facet of your business, marketing efforts may take a back seat or get abandoned altogether. This stopping and starting of marketing campaigns can sink even the most well-conceived strategies and make it difficult to assess whether a campaign is even working.

What is the Best Way to Outsource Your Marketing?

Here are a few steps to help you determine the best way to outsource your organization’s marketing.

1. Honestly assess your company’s marketing needs. It is one thing to have a few marketing campaigns that have stalled or could use some optimization; it’s another to have no ongoing digital marketing campaign at all. If you need someone to pick up your abandoned marketing efforts and optimize them, you’ll want to look for somebody with experience executing marketing campaigns. If you’ve never marketed your business or brand online, you’ll want a marketing strategist to plot a course and figure out where you should be focusing your efforts. If you’re completely unsure of what marketing projects can potentially be utilized and delegated to a marketing assistant, here is a list of some examples to get you started.

2. Decide how you will measure success. Every business wants their marketing efforts to positively impact the bottom line, but you need to set intermediate goals that determine whether your marketing campaign is working. These goals also force you to think through how the marketing campaign is going to work, step-by-step. A good way to do this is to work backwards from making a sale and figure out how that sale is made:

Increase Leads: If your business typically makes sales only after a sales call or email contact with a prospective client, this is usually what you want to focus on.

Increase Web Traffic: If you’re trying to increase sales derived from your company’s website, you’ll typically want to increase the number of people visiting your site.

Increase Conversion Rate: Alternatively, you may have a lot of people visiting your website, but only a small percentage who become a lead or make a purchase. The focus of your campaign may be to increase the quality of your existing web traffic.

Increase Awareness: You might want to get your name out to more people on the web. You’ll likely want to track where you rank in online searches for key terms and potentially impressions on social media, blogs, published articles, and other places you or your brand has a web presence. Use these tips to set quantifiable goals for a pre-determined timeline. As the project moves forward, you’ll want to reassess these goals to ensure they still align with your marketing strategy’s overall goal.

3. Standardize your workflow with your marketing assistant(s). Working with a virtual assistant, no matter which tasks you have outsourced to them, requires you to invest some time initially to make sure you have workflow procedures in place. This includes deciding on how and when you will communicate with your marketing assistant. You may want to set up a regular weekly or bi-monthly call to touch base on strategy, brainstorming, and potential issues that arise. Elaborate on how you’d like your assistant to reach you. Is email, a phone call, or texting the best way for them to get a hold of you? Let your virtual marketing assistant know how you plan on reaching out to them as well. Consider how you’d like documents, ideas, content, data, and other materials shared between you, your marketing assistant, and the rest of your team. Make sure everyone who needs access has it. You’ll also want to develop reporting procedures. Decide how you’d like results reported to you and in which form. Set regular calls to discuss results along the way.

Outsourcing and delegating work is an investment in your business’ future, and it isn’t just reserved for large corporations. Small businesses, startup founders, and independent entrepreneurs are taking full advantage of it too. Even if your business is your “baby” or a labor of love, letting go of the compulsion to control or oversee every aspect of it will ultimately help you reach your goals.