Should you have an email list? I hope you answered this question with a big YES! Of course you need an email list.
An email list is a collection of emails your business has gathered from visitors who wish to receive information, freebies, updates, discounts, etc. from you. They have agreed to be on your list through an opt-in. You can place your opt-in landing page link on your social media pages, and you should definitely have it on your website.
Email lists are critical because email marketing is the best way to connect with customers — even over social media. You’re six times more likely to get click-throughs by emails rather than social media posts. It is 40 times more effective than social media when it comes to gaining new clients.
Ways to build your email list:
- Use Call-to-Action “Subscribe” buttons on every landing page of your website
- Create surveys that pop-up while a user is browsing your site
- Include pop up or slide-in images on your landing pages
- Recruit followers from your social media accounts
Read more about how to grow your email list.
Email allows you to engage your audience in a personalized and creative way. Your emails show your customers that you understand their problem and have a solution for it.
Why you need an email list
- On social media, you are working in branded territory. Don’t abandon your social media, but always keep in mind you are on rented grounds. When you own your own website and communicate with your audience via email, you hold the power.
- It’s easy to update your audience at once
- Email is the best way to share a new message with your audience. Any changes to your company, products, or services can be shared quickly and easily with everyone on your email list.
- Email subscribers are more likely to purchase
- A person’s email inbox is, well, personal. When someone allows you to send them emails it is because they want to hear from you. They are far more likely to purchase from you as they develop trust for your business through your email communications.
Read more about what email marketing is and why you need it.
Put simply, you definitely should have an email list. Be patient with yourself and the process because email marketing is a marathon, not a sprint.
We have 9 Steps to follow for sending your first marketing email.
Once you have gone through the building stage and started sending out email funnels, you will see for yourself the many benefits of having and utilizing an email list.
A company needs people to help it run properly aside from the business owners. An owner might decide to hire employees or work with independent contractors. There are benefits to using both employees and independent contractors.
What is the Difference?
There are differences in how employees and contractors work and how they get paid. The basic differences are:
- Employee: Your company will withhold income tax, Social Security, and Medicare from wages paid to your employees. Your business must also make FICA tax payments. Employees are normally paid hourly, salary or commission.
- Independent Contractor: Your company will not withhold federal or state income taxes for independent contractors. Your business is not required to make payments for FICA taxes. Independent contractors must pay their own income taxes, along with income tax on earnings.
If you are wondering which one is better, true answer is both. There are reasons to use independent contractors and great benefits to working with employees.
Pro and Cons – Employees
There are pros and cons to hiring and managing an employee within your company including:
- Paying an employee, a salary or hourly wage, is often less expensive because there is job security.
- It is easier to assign tasks when you already have employees with the skills to complete them.
- Employees often take pride in their full-time work because it is a large part of their life, so they put the needs of your company high on their priority list unlike a contractor.
- Since you spend more time with your employees it’s easier to get to know them and trust them with your business needs.
- There is a lower turnover rate for employees so they get to know the ins and outs of your company and can help you grow.
- You must supply the equipment and materials your employee uses to complete their work such as phones, computers, software.
- Full time employees expect benefits such as health care, paid time off, sick days, raises and bonuses.
- There is payroll paperwork and HR requirements that take legal knowledge as to not break any rules.
- You must consistently provide an employee with work and pay even when business slows down and your company isn’t making as much money.
- Employees require training and don’t always come fully equipped with the skills to complete the tasks you need done.
Pro and Cons – Independent Contractors
Although every company needs employees there are also benefits to expanding your team through independent contractors such as:
- Your company can save money because you don’t have to provide any benefits to independent contractors such as health insurance or PTO.
- It is easier to end your relationship with a contractor than it is with an employee. If business slows down you have more freedom in ending the business relationship.
- You can hire a contractor with specialized skills that are specific to the task at hand if you do not have an employee with those skills.
- Contractors don’t require much training since most independent contractors have a specific skill set and have years of experience.
- No need to complete any legal paperwork for contractors, in most cases.
- They don’t have a sense of company loyalty and will not help promote your brand.
- There are no fixed rates so pricing can vary depending on the project, so it isn’t as easy to budget for as an employee salary.
- You don’t have as much control over how a task is done.
- There are higher turnover rates on contractors than there is with employees.
- You cannot determine a contractor’s work hours unlike an employee.
Why You Should Use Both
There are pros and cons to both employees and independent contractors. While you may personally feel one is better than the other there are reasons both are important in building your company. For example, if you have 20-40 hours of work that needs to be done that varies in projects and tasks then it might be easier to have an employee to assure you have someone on the clock full-time/part-time. If you have a specialized project that takes less than 20 hours per week, it is beneficial to use an independent contractor and is important to know when to outsource.
Your company should be built with a healthy mix of both employees and contractors depending on your current business needs. You can use the pros and cons from above to determine which type of worker makes more sense for the project at hand.
I know it can be tough navigating the waters of Marketing and that’s why I have created my Monthly Success Guide just for you!
What is your experience with hiring an employee vs hiring an independent contractor? Leave a comment below!
Outsourcing is a common practice in all aspects of life because one person can only do so much and only has so many hours in the day. As a homeowner you outsource tasks such as unclogging the toilet, fixing the garage door and deep cleaning the household. As a parent you outsource your child’s education to the local school, and you outsource childcare to babysitters when you have errands to run or you just need a break. Well, business is the same. You can’t do all of it yourself and you shouldn’t have to.
Outsourcing Business Needs
Business outsourcing is “the practice of having certain job functions done outside a company instead of having an in-house department or employee handle them; functions can be outsourced to either a company or an individual (freelancing).” Outsourcing has become a major business trend over the last ten years for everything from payroll, accounting, and employee training to social media management, sales and customer service.
There are many simple day-to-day tasks that you might feel silly for outsourcing because you think you should be able to get them done yourself to save money. Or maybe there are bigger tasks that you just don’t trust anyone but yourself to handle. Letting go and trusting someone to help can be difficult but outsourcing is something that helps business owners of companies both big and small boost efficiency and productivity and sharpen focus. If you are wondering if outsourcing is right for you ask yourself these questions.
What does it cost to complete the task in-house?
Cost is important in business so of course you need to weigh your options financially. You might think that it is cheaper to keep tasks in-house but that is not always true. Many companies report that they have saved money by outsourcing certain business needs.
Do you currently have an employee who is trained on that task?
If not, you will need to hire and train someone, put them on the payroll and offer other benefits. Or you can outsource to someone who is already well trained in that area who can complete the project with no need for you to manage them and provide them with office space and supplies.
Do you or your employees have the time?
This should be a simple yes or no. If your employees are overloaded with their current projects, you don’t want to pile on more because that is when tasks fall through the cracks. This doesn’t mean the task should fall on you to complete either. It means you should look into finding someone outside of the company that has the time to get the work done in a way that takes minimal amount of effort on your part.
Is it your company’s expertise?
Now this is an important one. For example, if your company’s expertise is designing and making baby clothing then that is exactly what you should focus on doing. You are the expert in manufacturing high-quality clothes but maybe you aren’t well versed in marketing, brand building or social media ad campaigns. These are the tasks you should outsource. Stick to what you and your employees know how to do and what you are good at.
Taking the little tasks and projects off of your plate that you either don’t have the time for or the expertise for will free up time and mental energy for you to focus on what you are good at. Asking for help doesn’t mean you failed. It means you know your limits and your companies limits and you’re more willing to put the success of your business above your pride. Outsourcing is a growing trend and is the perfect way to meet your company’s goals without overworking yourself and your staff and compromising on quality of work. Ask yourself, what projects or tasks could I outsource today?
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Trust is something that must be earned in every relationship whether it’s family, romance and even business! Consumers are bombarded with hundreds of marketing messages a day through social media, television, the internet, billboards and more. On any given day they might see ads for three companies that are exactly like yours; the same products/services, the same price and the same accessibility. What is going to set your business apart from the others? Our simple suggestion, authenticity!
Authenticity is defined as “not false or copied; genuine; real.” It is to represent, “one’s true nature or beliefs; true to oneself or to the person identified.” It can be scary to show your true self especially in business. People get hung up on presenting perfection, but perfection isn’t real, and your customers know that. You want to create a brand that stands for something, a brand that consumers are proud to support! Read below for a few tips on how to present a genuine brand to your consumers.
The new age of consumers are smart, they can smell a deceitful marketing message from a mile away. Be transparent with the facts about your products and services because your potential customers have a wealth of knowledge at their fingertips (Google). They can easily find the facts, so you want to be the person who provides those facts! Does your vitamin B12 supplement really help people lose weight? Or does it give people the energy they need to make it to the gym? Define the differences so customers know what to expect because if it doesn’t go the way you market your product, they will lose trust in your business.
Connect with Customers
Use your social media as a tool to connect with people not just make a sale. Be someone that consumers can relate to. Show the ins and outs of day to day business and not just the good stuff. Show the not so glamorous side of things. Be honest when mistakes are made and share the story of what you learned from these mistakes. It’s pretty simple, just be a human that other humans can connect with. They will gain trust in you and that is what creates returning customers and customer referrals.
Share Brand Values
We’re not saying to get all political on your consumers (that’s a no-no) but you should have brand values and do things that enforce those values. For example, a brand value might be treating children with respect and speaking out against child abuse. Share petitions that help create harsher punishments for those who harm children. Run a campaign or start a Go Fund Me to help local children. Donate a portion of proceeds to back up the cause. Show consumers that you don’t just stand for a value, but you are going to put your money where your mouth is and make a change!
Authenticity should be your guiding compass in business in order to gain the trust of consumers. Never force something in your personal life or in your business practices that doesn’t feel genuine because people will sense that and pull away. Own up to it when you make a mistake and give your customers a sincere apology. They will appreciate it, and this will make them comfortable continuing a relationship with your business because they know that if a mistake is made, you will go out of your way to make it right.
Authentic marketing is the key to success in today’s world. By following these rules your following, your customer base and your business will grow from there. We know that creating an authentic brand is easier said than done that is why we are here to help you navigate the tough decisions and to create a brand that you and your customers can be proud of. If you want to keep up with the latest marketing trends be sure to join our email list to stay up to date and be the first to know when we send out our latest tips and tricks!