Well, there's no one solution fits all here as it depends on your particular circumstances, your needs, your available budget and your aims and goals.
Here's a summary of the main points that I think you should consider:
Hiring a Freelance New Business Developer
1. Cost Effective - Typically charge less than agencies or in-house staff.
2. Expertise - There are specialist freelancers for the creative, digital and marcoms industry (like me!) or freelancers that provide a more specific service such as lead generation only, email prospecting or contract and tendering support,etc.
3. Flexibility - Usually much more flexible and adaptable in terms of days and hours required.
1. Limited capacity - Freelancers have limited availability so scaling up would be a challenge and it may not always be possible to quickly increase days and hours when they're fully booked.
2. Tools & resources - Likely to have less tech add-ons, huge databases and other tools they can plug into.
3. Relying on one person - If they're ill or require a pause for a period of time there's no one else in place to cover.
Hiring a New Business Agency
1. Expertise - There are specialist agencies for the creative, digital and marcoms industry who will understand where to look for suitable opportunities.
2. Tools & resources - More likely to have access to tech add-ons, databases and other tools they can plug into.
3. Scalability - Capacity to scale up or down depending on your requirements and budget.
1. Costly - Agencies are usually expensive as they have greater overhead costs plus salaries and other expenses for multiple staff to cover.
2. Communications & personnel changes - Where there are a number of people involved, who may also change from time to time, there maybe communication challenges.
3. Attention & priority - Agencies are more likely to have numerous clients so may not provide the same level of attentiveness as other options.
Hiring someone in-house
1. Dedication - An employee will be fully focused on your business only so over time they can develop quite in-depth knowledge.
2. Control - You will have direct day-to-day control over an employee and their work activities.
3. Teamwork - If they are office or studio based they will have more face-to-face opportunity to easily discuss work or collaborate more closely with other members of staff.
1. Higher Overhead Costs - Hiring and retaining staff can be expensive especially for smaller agencies as you have to factor in studio or office space, equipment, benefits and other expenses.
2. Scalability - Increasing the size of your team can take time and be expensive which may not be feasible for short term requirements.
3. Training & commitment - You may need to invest in training and development if there are gaps in their knowledge and capabilities.
If it's flexibility, cost effectiveness, specialism and expertise in your area, then a freelance New Business Developer is a more suitable alternative especially for smaller agencies - just call or email me!
But if volume and scalability are important, a New Business agency is likely to be a better but expensive solution as they will have the capacity to have a number of people working on your account.
Or if you require one person dedicated full-time on site to your agency only and have direct daily control over their work, then an in-house person is the best option.
It may be a combination of these options is an effective solution e.g. hiring a freelancer to support an in-house person or team.
So there you have it. Each option has it’s fors and againsts. Hope that helps your decision process. Do get in touch if you'd like to discuss.
Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Wonderful Prosperous New Year! 🎄🎁🥳
The emails I'm going to refer to here are for individual bespoke email approaches - not volume automated HTML email marketing campaigns.
Emailing prospects has been around now for about 20 years and is viewed by some as a bit old school compared with using social media platforms such as LinkedIn for business approaches.
Is one method better than the other? Well both channels have their strengths that should be a part of a New Business Developer's toolkit. How effective each method is will depend on factors such as e.g. the service you are providing, your particular target market, the level and function of the contact you're trying to reach as well as you're writing and communication skills (very important).
A bespoke email or LinkedIn message might suit some while others may bristle, so you do need to understand and carefully consider your methods of introduction.
Main Advantage of Introducing via eMail
Better Personalisation & Branding - So you get more flexibility with message appearance. You can add company logos, images, formatting e.g. font, bold, colour, etc to help produce a more aesthetic and visually pleasing message. I think it gives a more human touch and feel as well as a more individual professional branded look.
Main Advantage of Introducing Via LinkedIn Messages or Inmail
No Spam Filter - You can go directly into a connections LinkedIn inbox or by-pass a connection request if you purchase LinkedIn Inmail. Having mutual connections that really do know and can vouch for you may help to increase your chances of a response.
My Conclusion - A Combined Approach is a Much More Effective Strategy
There's no silver bullet so to overlook one method for another is bound to decrease your chances of engagement and therefore limit how many new business opportunities you can generate.
To optimise your efforts a strategy including both bespoke emails and LinkedIn is surely a better plan. So experiment, refine, test and adapt your approach.
With lock-down easing, businesses stirring and reopening over the next few weeks, more confidence will gradually return for decision makers to restart projects and think about future plans.
So it's important that your prospects are aware and reminded of your services. Leaving it until when the economy has returned to near pre-shutdown levels (which is unlikely for a number of sectors this year) will probably place you behind the uplift and a real risk of struggling to withstand this severe contraction.
Whatever your offering is you will need to prove that you can provide or add value, so marketing materials need to be focused on getting that point across as well as demonstrating your fantastic capabilities.
Impacts on Business
As a return to norm will be gradual and incremental for different sectors your new business strategy will require a more nuanced approach. Some sectors are going to be operating in survival mode only for the next few months, whilst only a lesser number will be in a place to think of growth and investment plans.
However, with the massive amount and speed of money printing going on (really digital money creation), along with various business stimulus schemes and Rishi Sunak's vow to do 'whatever it takes' to reinvigorate the economy and stimulate an increase in demand, a business recovery will be sooner rather than later. Fingers and toes crossed this situation will be as short lived as possible.
I think we're already in a recession, which means less opportunities about, so you'll need to put greater efforts into finding new work. Inevitably recessions will impact businesses of all shapes and sizes leading to mergers, consolidations and sadly liquidations.
Often in these scenarios existing agencies may be ditched and a new, fresh approach agency brought in. Purchasing teams and internal marketing departments may also face a shake up of personnel - which may again trigger an opening for a new agency approach.
If you can get through this tough time, you may even benefit from the possibility of reduced competition about for a while. As an economic recovery takes off, there maybe a bigger slice of the pie to be had.
When best to reach out?
Really you need to reach out before not just after recovery. I'm pretty sure at least some of your competitors will be upping their prospecting game. Do you really want to let them to get ahead of you? Doubt it.
Doing nothing is far riskier than allocating some time prospecting.
So what are you waiting for? Just get on with it.
And if you'd like outside support, get in touch.