The clients we work with at The Word Lab are all small businesses, not-for-profits and community-minded initiatives. This means they’re all budget-conscious and need to spend their precious dollars in the places that will make the biggest difference.
Here’s how we advise them to utilise communications and marketing consultant support for maximum impact on a minimal budget.
Start with a clear strategy
Communications and marketing strategy is a specialist skill. If you don’t have an overarching strategy for communicating with the people that matter to your business, this is a great place to put your marketing spend. A strategy will give you a road-map for all your PR, communications and marketing activities, and ensure you are putting your energy into actions that will support you to achieve your goals.
Once a strategy is in place, seeking consultant support to create a communications and marketing action plan for your next quarter is a good use of time, spend and skills. Together you can map out every little task and who will action it - in-house, consultant, designer, printer and so on. With a clear action plan for each quarter, you’ll remain focused and ensure your business is putting your new strategy into practice.
Ensure you own your tools
As professional communicators, there are tools we use to create action plans, design social media graphics, update websites, send out e-newsletters and more. Making sure that you have ownership over your tools is important. You should have a login with full admin rights, giving you the freedom to use your tools in-house or seek the support of any consultant at any time.
We regularly find out that clients don’t have full access to their websites and other tools, meaning they have to invest more money each time they want a simple update made to their site, or a blog we have written together put up. Full access saves double handling of marketing tasks and will save you money.
Invest in coaching
Before using your communications and marketing tools, it’s important that you have the training behind them. Identifying a member of your team that will be responsible for e-newsletters and training them up in the use of MailChimp is just one example of how you can bring a task in-house over time and save yourself money over the longer term.
At The Word Lab, we regularly work alongside businesses to train them up in their own marketing tools so that they can complete their day-to-day communications and marketing in-house. From Facebook, to MailChimp, to identifying stories to pitch to local media – there are many ways that we can help your team to up-skill and achieve more within your budget.
Move towards background support
Now you’ve got the plan, the tools and the training, you can take more ownership of your communications and marketing tasks and seek consultant support when you need a second pair of eyes.
When you’re confident to move into this phase, you may just ask your consultant to plan with you quarterly, to proof your marketing material before it is sent out and to support you with more specialist one-off tasks, such as website content updates, event promotion via the media and so on.
Our aim is to make communications and marketing sustainable and that often means working with businesses until we almost completely do ourselves out of a job.
By working with an expert, you can enhance your communications and marketing in-house, on a tight budget and maintain a sustainable approach, which will reap you rewards over the long-term.
Want to move towards planned and sustainable communications, PR and marketing? Get in touch – it’s our thing!