Business owners and entrepreneurs have a plethora of options today when it comes to choosing a marketing partner. Should they go with the highly skilled one-man team or the digital agency with the team approach?
Unlike the days of “Mad Men,” the one-man operation has grown exponentially. “By 2020, a separate study estimates that more than 40 percent of the American workforce, or 60 million people, will be independent workers – freelancers, contractors, and temporary employees,” reports Fast Company.
You can wager a high number of those people work – or will work – in the digital marketing space, identifying as an SEO specialist, freelance content marketer or web developer. With more options than ever on where and how to spend your marketing dollars, consider a simple question first: Should we go with an agency, like Mainstreethost, or a solo operation?
Both sides offer unique benefits, and there are drawbacks as well. Differentiating the two will most likely come down to what your goals are, what service level you are willing to participate in, and what type of business you operate.
Mainstreethost has operated as an agency for 19 years and now employs more than 150 people to serve clients across the country and internationally. During that span, we have learned a lot, and we know some of the unique benefits we can offer versus the self-employed operator.
Right at the top of the list of questions, concerns and considerations for most companies is the budget. Regardless of the size of your operation, you probably have considerations about how much you need to spend – or are willing to spend – to be successful and see some return on investment (ROI).
This is where we can offer some more flexibility. Payment plans, credit cards and different billing options allow businesses to feel comfortable with the decision to go with an agency. We are adaptive with our pricing as well and can scale our solutions to meet your needs and your budget. We have room to tweak profit margins, and sometimes even provide certain services at a loss to show our customers how paying for our service will provide a greater benefit in the end. As a small business or one man operation, the cash flow might be a high priority in order to keep things moving along and remain profitable. Their flexibility on budgeting might be more rigorous.
How long is a project going to take? When both you and your marketing agency are in lockstep, with everything running smoothly, projects can flow along seamlessly and on time. However, when one party has to pause a project or is unable to hold up their end, delays – and sometimes added costs – are thrown into the mix. One benefit of being such a large digital marketing firm is that we have the ability to add people to a specific task or project to ensure it is completed within a reasonable timeframe. If something is behind schedule, we add people to pick up the slack or get things back on track. On the other side, we can also scale down our team. This is a good solution if your needs change or your campaign efforts decrease seasonally. Working with us, many clients get to a streamlined place and develop a good rapport with our employees, allowing us to do work on your behalf that aligns with your needs in less time as our relationship grows.
At Mainstreethost, just about every type of client has worked with us. We joke around there isn’t an industry or business we haven’t seen before, but that really is the truth. From unique dog breeders to holistic healers, industrial sheet metal fabricators to lawyers, we’ve seen it all – and that’s a good thing! We know we can help any type of client, large or small, regardless of what industry, niche or geographical area they reside in. If there is something we don’t know, we have enough people here to creatively look for a solution to the problem, and we’re never afraid to pick up the phone or send off an email to you to help us shore up any shortcomings in our knowledge to help your organization succeed. While some boutique firms or freelancers may turn down a client because of the trials it presents, we confidently will accept the challenge.
Roadblocks on Projects/Brainstorming
Speaking of creative solutions, sometimes roadblocks happen, and projects or tasks might come to a temporary standstill. Maybe the strategies that have worked in the past are no longer viable. Perhaps Google has released a new algorithm update, and you are not quite sure how this will affect your website’s position within SERPs and your online presence. The benefit of an agency like ours is the ability to bring in multiple people to find an answer. If one person is unsure, maybe another has the confidence to figure it out. You’ve heard the phrase, “two heads are better than one.” What about 15 heads or 30 heads? With experts in nearly every aspect of digital marketing – from social media and copywriting to optimization and web design – we’ve got a team of knowledgeable professionals who can put their expertise to work to deliver the best results for you.
No Outside Distractions
Working at an agency and within an office setting means we benefit from a lack of outside distractions when it comes to getting work done. Sure, there is workplace drama, politics and an annoying coworker who won’t stop talking, but compared to the multiple distractions found at home, the coffee shop or even a temporary workspace, our office’s professional setting is a place for production. Working in the office allows us to focus on one thing – the work in front of us. You get the attention you deserve at every step in your marketing process, because that’s what we’re here to do and that’s what you pay for!
Moving Parts Are Not an Issue
Digital marketing encompasses a lot of different moving parts, services and areas of expertise. Most of the time, it all needs to work in conjunction to make sure things are moving along smoothly toward the same end-goal. At an agency like Mainstreethost, everything is done in house. Search engine optimization experts work with web designers, who work with content writers and social media coordinators, all under one roof. Oftentimes a one-man operation or small firm will specialize in one of these aspects and work with a partner firm to handle their own shortcomings. With us, there’s no problem – we can handle every aspect of your marketing approach, and we’ve found that when done together at the same time in the same place, we can work and communicate much more effectively to meet our clients’ needs. There is no lost time or effort waiting on someone else who may or may not be on the same page.
People to Double Check the Work
Santa famously makes his list and checks it twice, but there’s no doubt you know – or have been – that child whose message got missed by the jolly elf. That’s because mistakes get made, and while everyone who works in marketing believes they do great work, it never hurts to have someone there to double check it. Everyone is capable of making a mistake from time to time, and with something as intricate and detailed as SEO, content marketing and HTML coding – all of which is also constantly evolving – having people who can review work and make sure no major mistakes are made is an immense benefit. At Mainstreethost, we have people from other departments or coworkers on our different teams who look over our work to make sure it meets our high standards and, most importantly, your expectations. This not only allows for a more cohesive effort, but also opens up greater possibilities for improvement.
Finally, one of the major benefits of working with an established agency is the stability a client receives. We aren’t going anywhere! Mainstreethost has been around for nearly two decades, and we have been through trials and tribulations before. In fact, we’re older than YouTube and almost as old as Google itself! If we lose a major client, we won’t have to worry about laying off anyone or shutting our doors. We can – and have – adjusted our approach and our efforts as the web has evolved with one constant end goal in mind – you, our customers. Your success is our success, so let’s succeed together.