How to Expand Your Digital Offerings without Hiring More Staff
Hear ye, Hear ye all photographers, copywriters, graphic artists, web developers, programmers, mobile app builders, system architects, sound engineers, videographers, sales professionals and every flavour variant of internet freelancer and all things digital; this article is especially for you. Specific times of the year are more plentiful than others. Every now and then, you get a client that follows all of your suggestions and purchases all of the services that you recommend and pays on time. There are also times when you follow the advice of well-meaning mentors who suggest you always say YES to every opportunity and work out ‘how’ later. Determining ‘how’ later It is not always the most practical option and can damage professional relationships when things do not go as planned.
Hire, Outsource or Refer
If you hire digital talent, there is the immediate overhead without ROI. New assets have to learn internal processes before they can be functional. There is also the circumstance of HR practices missing critical elements that uncover the asset is not a match after being hired. Additional resources have to be spent to start the hiring cycle again.
Outsourcing, especially offshore outsourcing, introduces additional unknowns with quality and trust. Can the asset consistently deliver the quality necessary for the tasks and can they be trusted when you have never met them to maintain your intellectual property?
Referring your clients or prospects to another organisation releases you of all control of their nurturing. Yet, how they are treated reflects back on you.
The answer to these situations is the same as, how long is a piece of string. The projects are mounting and there is no time for indecision. Whatever solution you go with, is the one that you will have to go downstream with. Fortunately, there is another way.
Digital Service Wholesalers or white label digital providers are organisations that augment your own services by extending and deepening your offerings. They do this by operating in the background. Your customers have no idea their projects are being executed by an army of technicians with multiple qualifications.
The top tier white label digital organisations have partnerships with Facebook, Linkedin, Google and the like. They are usually process driven and offer global support regardless of what country you are in. They are also able to deliver with western media standards in turn around times that are in days instead of months. Higher performing wholesale digital agencies also offer best practices for cultivating your digital agency so your business grows. The way it works is by offering copywriting, CRO, graphics, PPC, SEO, social media, web design, VAs, dedicated resources and hybrids on all the above. The best wholesalers have virtual assets that are fully vested in their processes. Further savings is available due to leveraging geographic market arbitrage.
You access your services via a portal. Some providers have a monthly membership or administrative fee on top of the services and others put the administration into the services price so that you get portal access for free. In many instances, the wholesale service price is between 66 – 70% lower than market rates, which means your agency is able to remain profitable whilst improving the quality of services to your customers.
What to Check
While this is not exhaustive, you will want to check the following before registering with a service provider:
- Where are their assets;
- What are their qualifications;
- How is IP safeguarded;
- How is support delivered;
- Is 24/7 support available;
- How is support accessed;
- Do you get an account manager;
- What is the process to follow if there is an issue?
- What case studies are available;
- Is there an example of work delivered;
- Is there a free trial;
- Is there an NDA;
- Can I leverage the wholesaler’s industry partnerships;
Selecting a wholesale digital service provider can be similar to learning to swim. All the research and classroom time in preparation to swim will never be as valuable as jumping into the deep end. It is the same with a wholesale digital services provider. The best way to know if it will work for you is to use the services with your customers. Look at the reporting, automation, the ease in which it takes to create a project and any other criteria are important for your job.
One of the many gifts in having a wholesale digital services account is being able to extend your service offering. If you are a marketing professional, you are then able to become a full service digital agency by implementing the marketing plan you create for your clients. It is a preferred scenario because your customer already has the rapport with you and has spent money with you. Being able to continue deepens the relationship.
Always consult with your wholesale provider on the best way to stack services for your business. They will have the best idea on how and why to do it since they are already in contact with several digital agencies similar to yours.
To find out if a wholesale arrangement is right for your agency, contact me for a complimentary short chat.