When it comes to marketing, I always say:

Business owners are not marketers. Many business owners do the work of marketers to put on the market and sell their own things, but this is not the main thing they need to do for their business.

They don’t feel prepared to create their own marketing plan.

(And I guess they feel they can’t afford to hire someone to create a personalized marketing plan for them. That’s not true, but I think it happens often!) They suggest that marketing agencies cost tens of thousands of euros for a campaign that may or may not work, so they never thought it was for them.


I fully understand your hesitation to invest in something that does not have a guaranteed return on investment.

When I talk to someone who wants to sell me something for my own business, one of the first accounts I make in mind is: What is the potential return on this investment? I want to know how many sales I’m going to need to pay off.

But even when this account comes up with a positive result for me – that the investment will pay off quickly or with just a few sales on my part – that doesn’t mean there’s a guaranteed return on investment.

In fact, in my experience, very few things in the business come with a guaranteed return on investment. If you spend money on a new website design, the hope is certainly that it will pay off by bringing you new customers – but that’s not guaranteed at all.

And personally, I say that there can be no guarantee and guaranteed return on investment in marketing services, because there are so many processes outside of marketing and sales that affect them and are beyond our control.

Here’s a great example: We recently worked on a startup with one company, wrote all their content to launch, and made relevant plans and automations, but weren’t responsible for their Facebook ad campaign. The company failed to meet its enrollment targets for this startup – and part of the reason was that the company that ran their ads on Facebook had not achieved their goals.

The fact that the ad campaign did not deliver the traffic we needed to achieve enrollment goals was completely out of our control …

So, yes: my answer to the first question is that every part of sales and marketing is gambling. Even when companies put the pieces of the puzzle together in a way that is converted into customers today, it may not work again tomorrow. There’s no guarantee.


Well, now that we’ve broken the misconception that there are any guarantees in marketing, does that mean hiring a marketing expert is a bad investment?


Marketing strategy and consultation, as well as expert copywriting, is still a very good investment for many companies – even if we can’t provide them with a guarantee.

As for that startup I talked about above – it’s true that they didn’t meet their enrollment goal. It is true, however, that they had their most profitable start so far. They doubled their earnings from their previous launch. And although they spent not a small amount to create their content and campaign, their investment amounted to less than 3% of their total startup revenue. Looks like a pretty good investment in my opinion!


So how do you know if hiring a marketing consultant, content strategist or copywriter is a good investment for your business?

If someone doing expensive advice needs only one new customer to cover the costs, this seems like an obviously good investment. If a company that produces or sells products has to sell a thousand gadgets at 3.50 each, it could be something that needs more consideration and so on … But things aren’t always that obvious and easy.

  • The other thing to consider is the cost of your time and the cost of continuing to try to do it yourself.

For example, I spoke to a lady a few weeks ago who told me that it took her 7 hours to write a post on her blog. We had to ask her, are they worth seven hours of her time more than she would have paid us to write the blog post? As it turned out, her hourly rate for one hour of her time cost her more than what she would pay for a blog post, so it was definitely worth it to her! Todd Herman and others talk about things like outsourcing tasks for “$5” and “$10.” (Apparently, the blog post is more than $10! But her metaphor suits her.)

  • There are also costs to the anxiety and stress you can put on when you start coming up with your own marketing plan.

It’s much harder to value, but if you have a partner who is an expert in content marketing in your team and can remove some of that stress, then obviously there’s also a price. What would be the benefit of eliminating this stress for you in your business? What would it cost you to have someone else looking at the details every week so that you could focus on the bigger picture, on passing on your talent, on being CEO (instead of everything else)?

Only you can determine whether removing these types of activities from your to-do list has monetary value for your business equal to – or above and beyond – what you would pay us to do it for you.

But the point is that with a guarantee or not, it makes sense to hire an expert.