6 Services You Probably Haven’t Heard of That Can Help You Grow Your Small Business

Juggling Your Marketing TasksSometimes, being a small business owner can make you feel like you need to do everything yourself.  It can feel like a juggling act and if you have too many balls in the air it might be time to think about getting a little help.

When it comes to marketing, there are 3 key areas where we see small business owners frequently struggle to find help; design, writing, and website development.  If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed when it comes to running your business and pulling off the marketing that you know you need to do, it might be time to get some assistance.

For any of these marketing tasks you can either hire a local person or company, or you can turn to the web.  There are trade-offs to both approaches (cost, accountability, speed, etc.), so you need to determine what is right for you, but the important thing is to know that resources are available.

We’ve put together a list of 6 websites you should consider when looking for talent in the design, writing, or website development space.

 

Design Services – Logo Design, Web Page Design, Brochures, Postcards, Business Cards, etc.

99 designs – If you’re looking to get some design work done, 99designs.com is a great place to get help rapidly for a low price.  You submit a project and potentially hundreds of people will actually create designs for you to choose from.  You select the one that you like the most and only pay for that design.  To give you an idea of pricing, logo designs start at $299.  Things to watch out for: if you bid too low you may not get many designers and language barriers can be a problem if a lot of back and forth is needed when it comes to tweaking the design.

crowdSPRING – crowdSPRING uses the same process as 99 Designs and is fairly comparable in general.  As with 99 designs you don’t pay until you are satisfied with a final product and it is common to have some back and forth requests for modifications.  To give you an idea of pricing, logo designs start at $269.  Keep in mind the same potential pitfalls that you can run into with 99 designs.

Writing Services – Blog Posts, Social Media Posts, Whitepapers, Email Newsletters, Press Releases

Textbroker.com – Having trouble writing those blog posts that you know you need to get done?  Signup for textbroker.com, submit a project outline along with the quality of the writer that you would like and frequently you can have a post done for you within hours.  You can have anything you like written (blog post, email newsletter, whitepaper, etc.) and you will pay by the word.  It costs anywhere from $0.012 – $0.067 per word depending upon the quality of the writer, making a blog post somewhere around $50 for the highest quality writing.

Scripted.com – Scripted started as a screenwriting company, but quickly decided to branch out because they found that lots of businesses need help with their writing.  You can choose writers based on specialties such as Art & Design, Law & Legal, or Sports & Fitness.  Outline the type of project you want done (blog post, press release, social media post, etc.) and you will have your content within five days (or 3 days if you are willing to pay a small premium).  A standard blog post (300-500 words) at Scripted costs $49 and you can also sign up for packages where they will deliver a predefined set of content every month for a fixed monthly fee.

Websites – Not comfortable programming your own website or doing the updates?  There is help available.

Elance – Elance is one of the oldest online marketplaces for finding freelancers.  They started in 1999 and they can be used to find a range of freelancers from designers to web developers to accountants.  You can browse for freelancers by category, or you can perform a specific search (i.e WordPress developers).  You will then be able to browse through a large list of contractors and view mini-resumes that include information about how many projects they have completed on Elance, how they are rated, and how much they charge per hour.  You can either contact these people directly or you can post a job to see who comes to you.  Once you find someone you can either pay per hour or set a fixed price for a job.  Elance takes 6.75%-8.75% of what you pay to the contractor (this is already built into the rates that you see).

The bottom line is that if you don’t know anyone who can help you with your website, this is a potential avenue for you to pursue.  It might take you time to find the right person, but once you do it can be a very economical way to get a website built.

oDesk – oDesk is not quite as old as Elance, but claims to now be larger and faster growing than Elance.  Elance and oDesk are both remarkably similar to one another and while there are many articles published on the small differences between the two services, for the typical small business owner this won’t mean too much.  oDesk does charge slightly more (10%) than Elance, but that doesn’t seem to have had a significant impact on the product that gets delivered.

The bidding/searching/payment systems are all almost the same for both sites.  If you are looking to get some web design work done, either oDesk or Elance should be fine as an option.

 

So there you have it; 6 services that you can use to help you grow your small business marketing efforts.  There is no need to feel alone when it comes to marketing your small business.  Whether you contract with a local provider, or turn to a person you have never met overseas, there are people who are ready, willing, and able to help you take your business to the next level.

And as always, if you need some help figuring out how to put all the pieces together, give us a call at ThriveHive and we’d be happy to help.

Image Credit: puthoOr photOgraphy

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