Many small businesses choose to handle the majority of their digital work on their own in order to cut costs, but this can prove difficult and expensive down the line, and often misses the mark when it comes to results. Hiring a digital consultant is something of a milestone for any business, because as your business grows, your digital footprint should as well. With growth comes complexity, and unless you’re in the digital business, that complexity can take you away from what your business was intended to be. This is where digital consultants come in handy.

Rather than having to worry about scaling your website, updating content, posting to social media, handling security updates and more, you should use your time to develop relationships with new and existing customers. To take care of your business’ digital assets, you can hire an affordable digital consultant.

What is a digital consultant? What Do They Do?

A digital consultant is a professional web-guru responsible for maintaining your website and other aspects of your digital presence and can usually help you develop and improve your business’ digital marketing strategy. In short: they save you time and money by simplifying the process of growing and managing the digital aspects of your business.

But why hire a digital consultant when there’s so many resources out that promising to help you build your own website? The fact is: a seasoned pro can make a huge difference for your business’ online presence, and will get the job done faster and easier than a less-experienced developer can.

When you have a small business to operate, every penny counts, so it’s understandable that in hiring a digital consultation you want to make a return on that investment, and you want to know what you’re paying for. The truth is: you’re paying for an expert in all things web. The fact is: a seasoned pro can make a huge difference for your business’ online presence, and will get the job done faster and easier than a less-experienced developer can.

What tasks can you delegate to a digital consultant?

Lots of things, really. But here’s a list of 10 reasons why many people hire a digital consultant to manage their digital footprint.

1. Manage your website’s content

A webmaster can create a website that is enjoyable and easy for people to use, and know the patterns and methods that make that possible. If people have a hard time using your site, you will end up losing customers. Better yet: webmasters will be able to assess your traffic and suggest changes to your website that will help it grow over time. An investment in a webmaster is, in that case, and investment in your small business’ digital assets. Keeping the door to growth as open as possible is only going to be a good thing.

2. Improve your business’ search engine optimization (SEO)

SEO is a strange beast. It takes a lot of reporting and analysis, and time to develop. It’s one of those jobs that never really ends. Are you using the right keywords? Do I need to care about Bing? And, everyone’s favourite question: how do I get my website to the top of search results?

Full truth: a digital consultant won’t be able to promise they can get you to the top. They can, however, make sure your website has the best ranking possible, and has the right strategy in place to keep it that way.

3. Create digital sales funnels

So you’ve got a website, and a social media. Maybe you are even to running promotions with paid ads. How do you know if they are working? What if you know they aren’t, but aren’t sure how to fix it?

Creating and managing digital sales funnels is a bit of a science. You can’t just post and add and expect the dollars to come rolling in. You have to put yourself in your user’s seat. Give them a reason to go with you through the whole sale process. Inviting, nurturing, and fulfillment are all parts of the job. Doing that job well is the hard part.

4. Develop a social media strategy

Digital fun fact: there are way too many social media platforms. Your business is probably on at least one of them. Is it the right one? Should you be on more? Which ones? All of them? 10 of them? How do I know if they are working?

The fact is, your business probably only need to be on a maximum of 3 or 4, if even that. But each is different, and has its own set of distinct tools and way of working with businesses. Managing each platform is like managing a completely different storefront. Customers will use it as a point of contact, and they will expect a quick response.

Add to this the commitment of having to post to each network regularly and you’ve got a major time vortex on your hands. Working with a digital consultant to manage your social media doesn’t just help iron out your strategy. It keeps you out of the vortex.

5. Coordinate digital campaigns

Most digital footprints have a lot of … toes. There’s the website, the social media channels, the email newsletter, and the list can (and often does) go on. Getting all these pieces working together is essential for success. Having a digital consultant on hand that is conversant in the requirements of each platform is important for making sure you have a good strategy in place for your campaigns.

6. Set up automation tools

This is easily my favourite aspect of digital consulting. There are so many wonderful tools out there that can help smooth out workflows, and I honestly feel like most of them are basically the best thing any business of any size can do to help tame the multi-headed beast that comes of running any business, digital or otherwise.

Looking at a business’ structures and finding ways to smooth it out with a concise set of tools is where a good digital consultant really shines, and where a business owner can really benefit from their services outside the province of simply managing their websites.

7. Monitor for security, updates, and outages

Sometimes, things break. This is true of teapots as much as it is for websites. When a teapot breaks, though, it doesn’t tend to interrupt your ability to reach your customers. Making sure your website is up and running, in good health, and isn’t likely to succumb to attack, is one of the least appreciated and most essential aspects of business that a digital consultant can take on. They can’t prevent attacks or downtime, but they can certainly minimize their likelihood and impact.

8. Keep you abreast of marketing trends and opportunities

Did you see Tik Tok coming? Probably not. Should you have? Maybe.

Since they tend to spend many hours of their day knee-deep on the internet, digital consultants are often the first to know about, if not adopt, new technologies and methodologies, and new platforms. They’ll be able to comment on whether or not your business should be paying attention to particular trends, and will be able to point out opportunities those trends represent.

9. Help you make sense of it all

Even if you’re doing everything right, knowing you’re doing it right is a difficult task. As with everything else, there’s a thousand tools to help you assess and analyse your digital presence, and those thousand tools each can supply you with a thousand data points. Understanding which ones are relevant and which ones you can act on is as important as knowing which ones you can ignore.

Having someone on hand to help you make sense of all the data and put it to good use is almost as important as having someone around to help you take care of all the leg work. Which leads me to what is, for many small business owners and entrepreneurs, the biggest benefit having a digital consultant can give.

10. Save you time and energy

You should be focusing on what your business is about. Unless you’re a digital consultant, that is likely not your website’s bounce rate.

In short, a digital consultant ensures that your digital presence is functioning well so that your business can move forward with more conversions, customers and sales, and you can keep an eye on what you got into your business to begin with. Because let’s face it: no one ever opened a restaurant or took up photography so they could win at social media.

So, let’s sum it all up, shall we?

What you generate in traffic and sales can quickly offset the cost of a digital consultant. What you save in peace of mind is arguably priceless.

Pretty simple, right?

But wait! What if I’m not ready to hire a digital consultant?

As important and game-changing as hiring a digital consultant may be, maybe you’re not ready yet. That’s 100% okay.

Maybe you don’t have the budget for a full build or an ongoing contract. Maybe you have the time, maybe you have the desire. But do you have the resources to learn effectively and efficiently? We all know there’s a thousand ways to learn on the internet. But where do you start?

If this sounds like you, don’t fret. Getting started in the digital sphere is a lot like any other high-impact sport: start with a guide. Get your feet wet and see what you’re really up against. Ask an expert for advice, or find a mentor in your network that can point you in the right direction.

And even in these cases, hiring a digital consultant to show you the ropes is still a viable option. Establishing even an ad hoc relationship with a pro you trust is still a good idea. Then, if/when the time comes that you feel you are ready for the next step, you’ll have an easier time finding someone you trust.

Ready to learn more about what a digital consultant can do for you? Contact Dowswell Digital today to get started.