Why you shouldn’t trust bargain sushi

When I was starting off my career, I was working as an intern. Just like everyone else in my position, I was broke. Sushi was a rare treat, so when I saw sushi on sale, I was delighted at the instant savings. What could go wrong? Only hours later, in the throes of Salmonella, did I fully realize my mistake. Not only was this extremely painful, but I missed three days of work, and the hospital bills ended up costing me a lot more than the savings of those few dollars.

So why am I writing this? Well, I hope that my readers would have the good sense to not buy sushi on sale (trust me), but moreso, I wanted to use this example to discuss the importance of not getting a bargain freelancer, specifically when it comes to marketing.

Negative Implications for Email

If you’re hiring a freelancer or marketing agency to run your marketing automation or email campaigns, you better really trust them. The CAN-SPAM act was put in place to ensure that no one is being marketed to who did not opt in, and that your messages are not misleading. According to the FTC CAN-SPAM Act Compliance Guide, “Each separate email in violation of the law is subject to penalties of up to $40,654, and more than one person may be held responsible for violations.”

More likely than this, if you are marketing irrelevant, unhelpful, or overly-salesy emails to the wrong people at the wrong time, you will hurt your own deliverability. Sending a sales email to a lead that’s qualified but may not be ready to buy yet will likely lead to them unsubscribing. This means that you can legally never send them a marketing email again, unless they ask to be added back into your list. This is a very common way to lose really good leads that needed more time to be nurtured.

Lastly, we have the most common and most severe long-term implication. If too many people report your emails as spam, you will be greylisted. Meaning that your email deliverability will be harmed to all future leads, even if they opt in. This sends your email straight into their junk folder, or it may never get delivered at all. This can’t be fixed easily since it’s directly related to your IP Address. In the worst case scenarios, you’ll need to gut and replace your servers, not just the Marketing Automation System or email address you’re sending through.

Negative Implications for Social

In a previous post, I wrote about the Facebook Algorithm and how to best take advantage of it. In this previous post, I focused on the positive impact good, relevant posts have when shared with the right audience. On the other side of the coin are the negative implications.

If you’re marketing to an audience that does not see relevance in your Facebook ad or boosted post, or if they simply don’t like it, you can hurt the future of your Facebook page. If someone elects to hide the ad, or selects “don’t show me ads like this anymore” you are negatively dinged 100 points. Think about it this way: a like is 1 point, a comment is 3, and a share is 6, so losing 100 points negates 100 likes, 33 comments, or 16 shares. That’s a lot to recover from. Not only does it hurt the reach of that one ad, but it will hurt your future organic posts as well.

Not as great of a deal as you may think

In addition to an inexperienced freelancer having long-term negative effects on your business, this may not save you as much money upfront as you may think.

Many freelancers charge by the hour. For many budget conscious clients, a lower hourly rate may seem like a great deal. The issue here is that not all freelancers are built equal. These low-rate hourly freelancers, in addition to having all of the power to harm your business, may actually end up costing more upfront since they may not be able to work as efficiently, and the hours will add up, harming your bottom line and leaving you with results that aren’t as good for the same cost as an experienced freelancer. Instead of looking at hourly rates, I recommend asking them to scope out a project to help you in your cost comparison.

Some Final Thoughts

Your company is your baby, and you should put it in the right hands. What may seem like a good deal upfront could hurt you in the future, so make sure that your decision-making process is not on price alone, because trust me, it will cost you in the future.

I’ll end with one of my favorite quotes:

“A man who stops advertising to save money is like a man who stops a clock to save time” -Henry Ford

Take care of your business, and take care of yourself. I’m telling you, that discount sushi is a bad idea.