There are a number of occasions in which you might find yourself asking, “Do I just need to hire someone else for this?” The answer to that question is a little more complicated than you might think.
First, you need to ask yourself if you can honestly afford an external team. Do not hire an external team if you (a) can’t afford them or (b) aren’t ready for them. Point A is pretty obvious, so I won’t go into that here. However, I will discuss Point B, since a lot of businesses and entrepreneurs have no idea if they’re really ready for a team or not.
You hire an external marketing team when your product, distribution, goals and funds are all in the right place for success.
Let’s say you own a food product that you truly believe in and want to get some really awesome media production behind ASAP. The first thing you have to ask yourself is: is my product even ready to go to market?
If the answer is no, stop. You’re not ready.
If it’s yes, then the next question is whether or not you’ve already got a means of distribution in place. If we launch an ad for your business or promote a post highlighting the awesomeness of your beef jerky, for example, and people click on the ad or visit your profile in hopes of buying the jerky, finding out more, following you, or going to your website directly to buy, then you had better have a means for purchase and distribution set up for our traffic. Otherwise, you are wasting your time, our time, and more importantly, your future customers’ time.
Don’t be a time-waster. You hire a team when you have a handle on your business, not when you need someone else to handle your business for you.
An external marketing team consists of a production team outside your own business that thinks outside the box of your company culture.
Contracted teams are exciting for business owners because they have no affiliation with the company and aren’t yet steeped in company culture, catch-phrases, ideation, etc. Big Business could do with a lot more outside thinkers that are in touch with youth culture, anti-ageism, diversity growth and new marketing trends, than those heavily inundated with the day-to-day operations of their company team.
In this scenario, it’s no wonder why businesses choose to hire an external team for their content production, art direction, and even mass implementation, but let’s break it down into smaller chunks in case you’re on the fence about whether or not your business meets the appropriate ‘why’ criteria.
You might need to bring on an external team if:
-Your current team is thinking too inside the box about your business or product.
-You don’t have a current team to begin with and have a product either ready for sale or can be ready within 2-6 weeks.
-You realize that you have a large project, event, or group of campaigns to produce and there just aren’t enough hands on deck.
-You’ve got an avant-garde idea on the table that you’d stake your career on, but you also don’t want to stake your career on it. An external team can take some of the pressure off from above because yes, you can always point your finger outside the company. (This isn’t our favorite reason, but we stand behind the work we produce, so we get it.)
-You’re internal team is based somewhere other than the location you have in mind for a big campaign and you need consultants and/or a full roster of folks that can bring the vision to life in the place you want to utilize.
Now, there is another ‘why’ that is important for several reasons. If you find yourself drawn to a specific style for a project and know that your team is not equipped to replicate that style, you should hire external artists or teams that produce that style regularly.
Important to note here: if you want to work with an artist or team known for a particular style, but want them to do it in a completely different way than what they’re known for, save your money. Sometimes people aren’t a great fit. It’s not personal; it really is just business!
But let’s say that you’ve hired an external team because you know that they can produce the style of work you are looking for in your next campaign, sales page, editorial, etc. There are ways in which this can go right and ways it can go very wrong.
The right way usually begins with a fair amount of pre-production, collaboration, innovation, and great execution. Spontaneity is best utilize in the constructs of heavy planning. This is how you get something incredible that has taken months of work to look totally organic. Playfulness in structure; it’s the building block of great art.
There are ways for things to go very wrong, however, in this situation as well. Let’s say that you spot an artist on Instagram and you love what they’re doing.
The wrong business move to make is to take their original ideas and pass them along to your marketing or art dept. for replication.
You NEVER want to copy an original artist’s work. That’s bad PR, it shows a lack of integrity on your part, and that artist can and should come for you.
The only time when it is okay to do something similar to another artist’s work is when you have a collection of images that are alike in some way - a mood board - and you are using that as inspiration for your own original content creation. You should never simply copy and paste art. It looks phony and staged every time, and frankly, we don’t play well with businesses that ask us to use this method. It always falls short of the original content we make for them in the end, so why bother messing with a good thing, guys? Let’s not screw over artists in the name of capitalism, yes? Yes.
If you’re still wondering whether or not you should hire an external team, do your research! Nobody has ever come to harm from a little extra research, but a lot of people harm themselves by doing zilch. Just look at the last election!
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