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You Can’t Market Effectively Without a Marketing Strategy

“I wish that I’d hired you, first.”

Those are words that my friend and Marketing Strategist, Kristi Micthell, is familiar with.

Kristi is one of those people who knows people.

If you need a referral for almost anything business-related, I’d bet a lot of money that Kristi has someone in her network to hook you up with.

So, it’s little wonder that her clients often wish they would have worked with a Marketing Strategist like her before they outsourced anything else.  

When Kristi and I had this conversation, I thought it was probably relatable for many online service providers and it made me explore this line of thought. 

What order should you outsource in?

I’ll tell you right now – it usually isn’t a copywriter you need first. In fact, I’ve had to send many business owners to someone else before we could work together.

Not because I’m some sort of sadist who wants to make it impossible to get hired. 

Though that thought has crossed my mind a time or two when I’ve turned down good money and advised someone they aren’t ready to hire a copywriter, yet. 

It’s because, if you jump to outsourcing certain things too quickly, you’re going to end up disappointed with the waste of time, effort, and yes – money – that it turned out to be.

So where do you start?

I interviewed Kristi to get her thoughts, as a Marketing Strategist, and she was kind enough to share some incredible insights: (I’ve added my own thoughts in italics as well.)

Q: What do you want someone to know BEFORE they work with a Marketing Strategist?

Kristi Mitchell, Marketing Strategist: They need to be clear on their business fundamentals – who they serve, what their offers are, and what makes them different/unique. If they don’t have these things figured out, I typically refer them to a business strategist or branding expert first. This is very similar to what needs to be in place before working with a copywriter. If you don’t have those fundamentals in place, your copy won’t work for you the way you expect it to.

KM: They also need to have at least some marketing efforts in place – a website and social media presence (even if it’s sporadic) are usually necessary so we have something to build on. Many clients will also have some email marketing up and running already but some do not.

Q: At what stage would a business owner most benefit from your services?

KM: My signature offer, the Marketing Success Roadmap, is geared toward established service-based solopreneurs who have been running their business for at least a few years and they’re ready to take it to the next level. They want to grow but they’re not sure how their marketing can get them there. They have a website, they’re on social media, and usually, they’re doing at least some email marketing but it all feels a little haphazard and needs more strategy and structure. I also work as a fractional CMO with established small business owners who may or may not have any marketing efforts going. I help them get everything built for an organic marketing strategy which usually includes a website, SEO, social media, email marketing, content strategy, and reputation management. I bring in marketing specialists to execute various things like copywriting, graphic design, social media, website development, etc. All of this provides a solid foundation from which they can grow and do more paid advertising (if needed) to amplify our organic efforts. Likewise, most of my offers are geared toward more established business owners. Mainly because most new business owners are happy to DIY their own copy efforts, whether out of a desire for the experience or a budget necessity.

Q: How does a business owner benefit from working with you?

KM: They gain clarity and peace of mind. Typically they’ve been doing a lot of things themselves and it just gets to a point of feeling confusing or overwhelming/frustrating, and they have no idea how any of it is really working (or not) to drive more business.  When they work with me, they have a very clear strategy and action plan of what needs to get done and when. I also help them figure out what other contractors they may need to help support their execution of various marketing tactics. This is exactly why so many clients wished they hired Kristi first. She guides, facilitates, and puts you in touch with other experts, in the order you need them!

Q: Do business owners have to work with you before they move on to other services?

KM: Working with me will save entrepreneurs money in the long run.  We build a solid organic foundation so that you can attract and convert your ideal audience through non-paid content marketing efforts like blogging, SEO, and social media. Sometimes people think they need to spend money on advertising before they have really built a solid organic foundation first. I always caution against this approach! In reality, you can usually find better quality leads by building up an effective blog, keyword, and social media strategy, rather than doing paid advertisements on FB and IG. I’m not saying that all paid ads are bad but you need to do your due diligence in establishing a solid foundation before you go and pay for advertising to amplify those efforts. I’ve never seen anything good come out of skipping to paid ads without a solid organic presence in place, first. 

Q: What happens when a business owner skips the marketing strategy step?

KM: Sometimes solopreneurs and small business owners go out and hire marketing specialists like a social media expert to grow their Instagram following or a VA to help with some of their content writing, and they may feel like they made strides in their marketing efforts. But without an overarching strategy, these investments can end up being wasted if there are other gaps that prevent them from being successful. Because I take a holistic approach and analyze all areas of your marketing, I will tell you what areas you really need to invest more in for your marketing efforts and where you don’t need to.

Q: Can you share an example of how you’ve helped a coach or consultant who’s worked with you?

KM: I recently worked with a corporate trainer, facilitator, and coach who had taken some time off from her business after having children. Once she made the commitment to jump back into her business, she wanted to do it the “right way” and knew she needed a marketing strategy. I dug into her analytics to see what social posts were performing the best for her, helped her develop a solid content strategy for social media and her blog, and ultimately recommended that she invest in a completely new website. Her website was old, outdated, and did not showcase her expertise at all. At the end of the day, she could do all the marketing in the world but if she didn’t have a professional-looking website that would convert leads, it wouldn’t matter. She told me that she had a feeling she may need a new website and felt a big sense of relief that I gave her that clarity and direction on what needed to happen next. I provided her with names and contact information for website providers that worked in the platform she wanted to stay on, and she found someone that was a good fit to work with. We also worked together to develop a lead magnet, email drip campaign, and email newsletter template that would be sustainable for her to send out every month with new content. Now she has a complete marketing strategy! She knows how she is getting in front of new people, has systems in place to get people on her email list, and nurtures them through her email marketing and social media content. Her marketing runs like a well-oiled machine now and she has more time to focus on the work that she really loves! Strategize your outsourcing It’s stories like that last one that give me confidence in recommending Kristi to anyone who needs to show their marketing strategy some love. And, like Kristi, I want my clients to have the right business foundation in place before they outsource anything else. So, if I turn you down for a copywriting project, please understand that it’s because I value your time, effort, and investment, just as much as you do!

A big thank you to Kristi Mitchell for her insights on this post.

You can connect with her at

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