Most of us don’t have time to really learn what is needed to rock the digital marketing space today. Sure, you could snag some books on SEO or email marketing or even WordPress but is that the best use of your time?

Think about what you spend money on as a business. I would bet the majority is on people. People are great, you can see them, talk to them, work together every day. Until the robots take over, we can all enjoy a job as people are fairly critical to business today.

What if you carved out budget for one more ‘person’ to join your team? Except this person is actually a team of people. This person costs the same or less as your lowest paid salaried employee, yet brings the value of multiple people to the table.

Seriously, think about that for a minute.

Consider this starter budget:

  • Design. Spend $750/month for someone to update designs on your site, create images for blog posts, create headers or call-to-actions for your e-newsletters, create social media brand imagery, whatever you need. Freelance designers love consistent gigs and you will get a ton of great work for that.
  • Website. You’ve launched your site, but now what? If you’re using WordPress, who is going to manage the plugin updates or the hosting? What if you want to add a new landing page or form? What if you have some rockin’ idea that you want to try out? What if something breaks? Spend $1,000/mo and keep your money-maker running smoothly and awesomely.
  • Content. Producing blog posts, tweets, web pages, e-newletters, white papers, e-books are all great ideas and are critical to digital marketing success, but who has the time? And are you a writer? We could all use some polish/help so keep somebody on call to grow with you. This writer/editor will help set things like: voice, tone, theme. They guide and control grammar. If anything they help keep good content flowing in. They need some time to ramp up, but this person on your team will be invaluable to you. $1,000/mo.
  • SEO. Trust me, you don’t want to try and mess with this in-house. Spend the money. Most SEO efforts take 6-9 months to see growth, but then you start to dominate. $750/mo.
  • PPC. Adwords is your friend when you’re a small business especially. Spend as much as you can. Even if you start with $1,000/mo you will see the benefits within the first month as those leads come in.
  • Social. This one is tricky. Your in-house people know your business the best and anyone can ‘do social’ now, but when you bring in a professional, you will gain a much deeper value to your business objectives. This person working in concert with your content/SEO/PPC people will exponentially earn their value. Budget $500/mo at first.

If you’re keeping score we’re at $5,000/mo. Yes, there are a TON of variables that could take this price up or down, but think about that median value for a minute. For what you would pay an employee roughly $40k (factoring in taxes, benefits, costs) a year you could have an entire team of 6 people working on your digital marketing each month. Sure, they are “out-sourced” or even freelance, but with virtual working getting better each day, it’s totally doable and a great way to jump in to the deep end without a lot of overhead impact.

This type of work relationship will become more and more common as the years roll on. I know of groups now who have this partner model in place right now (email me and we can chat more about it!)

Put it on your budget radar. If it’s not in this years budget, earmark one ‘person’ in 2015 for this. Within weeks you’ll see a massive difference.

Am I forgetting anyone in the budget?


With over a decade of experience, I have managed online marketing for a wide range of industries including biotech, high-tech, financial, higher education, non-profit, manufacturing, hardware providers, and startups. My specialty is helping business make the right turn with their online efforts focusing on lead generation and analytics.

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