When my husband and I moved into our house, one entire wall of our living room was covered, floor to ceiling, in mirrors. It was ugly, and it had to go.
And boy, did we try. In thick jackets and heavy canvas gloves, with protective eyewear and an array of tools, we tried to get those mirrors off the wall. It didn’t happen; after days of trying, we conceded defeat and hired someone.
The company that removed those mirrors did so more efficiently and in far less time than it would have ever taken us. The cost was well worth the savings in time and frustration, and the realization that paying a professional is often the right choice has saved us huge headaches over the years.
As young homeowners, our resources were limited — and valuable. Many schools find themselves in the same resource allocation conundrum. You want to be smart with your budget, which means doing as many things as possible by yourself. Yet your time is also limited, and often best spent elsewhere.
In the world of content marketing, where the DIY approach often seems doable, the hands-on approach can be enticing.
But it is not always the best solution, and what starts looking like a time- and budget-saving task can quickly get you in over your head, leading to a school marketing initiative that stalls out or completely flops thanks to its less-than-ideal outcome.
How do you know when a content marketing project is something your school marketing team can tackle, and when it requires reinforcements? Ask yourself these three questions:
This skill doesn’t have to be part of their official job description, but it should be a skill that is at a professional level and has been proven elsewhere. In other words, if your marketing manager took one graphic design class in college, that does not qualify her to design your new Facebook ad. Just like having a few tools didn’t qualify me to remove that giant mirror. Turns out, they weren’t the right tools.
Think about time in terms of hours, as well as days, weeks or months it will take to complete the task. Can you afford to dedicate someone to the project for the time it will take to complete, or would it be better to outsource it and have your team focus elsewhere?
Schools approach this differently— some prefer to outsource the big, more overwhelming projects, while others prefer to outsource smaller projects. Either approach can work. Consider if you’d like to fill your calendars with an array of bite-sized tasks, or one major to-do.
With a strategy and guidelines in place, you might feel confident letting someone on your team take on smaller tasks, especially those that you can review and refine as time goes on (for example, crafting social media posts), while the more substantial tasks (like re-writing your website) might be better assigned to outside help.
Conversely, if your team has the necessary skills and time, and the project is especially important, you might choose to keep a major project in house so you have as much control over it as possible. You should also consider this project alongside all the others you have in the works. Is anything else happening that you want to be certain your own team is available for?
Answer each question honestly and you’ll make a decision that makes the best use of your time, resources and budget.
If you’re looking for a partner in school storytelling, schedule a discovery call with us today.