As master of your startup, you have some particular bit of expertise in an area that will power your fortunes for years to come. That specialty does not necessarily have to be tech related as many assume when the subject of startups are mentioned.

We think of someone in their twenties or early thirties wearing a hoody and flip-flops to an office space three times more expensive than your house. But it could also refer to doctors, lawyers, freelance writers, massage therapists, and just about anyone else who’s name is on the front of the paycheck instead of just the back.

What they all have in common is a desperate need for marketing expertise. Another thing that links entrepreneurs is the need to maximize cost efficiency. They won’t hesitate to spend $400 on a desk chair, but will balk at hiring professional services. So they often do it themselves, things they would be better off hiring an expert to do.

They take marketing into their own hands rather than consulting with a social media management and marketing company.

Unless your specialty is digital marketing, there are a number of reasons you will want to bring on an expert in the field. And there are a number of ways to do it. Here are a few of the things you should know before making costly marketing decisions:

Lead Generation Strategies

You need to know something about various lead generation strategies, even the ones you don’t need right now. For starters, you don’t know which ones you don’t need unless you know a little about all of them. There are plenty of strategies that don’t make sense for a startup that make perfect sense for a more established and growing business.

It is less about the best strategy, and more about the strategy that is best for you at this stage of your business.

That requires a knowledge of marketing that is both nuanced and subtle. PPC can get you lots of clicks. But are those clicks valuable in the long run? Or do they just bring unprofitable traffic to your website?

Google is most definitely the dominant search engine. But there are plenty of people who prefer to use anything but Google. That type of person just may be your target audience. So just how diversified should your search strategy be?


What is your real return on investment? That is a much harder question than you might think. Advertisers struggle with this every day. They don’t really know how many people saw the ad. And display ads are much harder to calculate.

Even if you get a million impressions, how much is an impression worth in the long run? Your ad may have sparked someone’s interest in the product category. But upon more research, they decide to go with a competitor.

Ads are not a public service. They are not just about informing the public about products and services. Ads are about generating interest in a product or service, and converting that interest into payment. That is not just an ad; it is a process. Managing that process so that you maximize return on investment is the stuff of professional marketers.


How well do you know social? Many of today’s online tools for startups are closely related to the social aspects of marketing. It goes much deeper than email and text message followups. It is about the entire social graph of a customer as an influencer.

It is also about becoming a part of the conversation, wherever the conversation is taking place. If it is happening on Facebook, Twitter, or in comment sections, you want to be a part of it. Getting to that point requires the dedication and skillset of a social media expert. If you are not that person, you need to hire one.

So how well do you know digital lead generation, advertising ROI, and social media marketing? If you consider yourself an expert in these areas, feel free to invest more money in desk chairs. Otherwise, consider less expensive office furniture. A marketing expert is standing by.