What Is Your Time Really Worth?
Why it’s a good idea to hire out your marketing and design work.
Your time is valuable, and it can’t be saved for later use. If you spend weeks racking your brain to shake out a good logo, even though you’re more of a math and science type, you’ve lost hundreds of hours you could have spent with your family, enjoying your hobbies, or building your business. Those hours aren’t coming back, no matter how hard you work or how nice you are.
Don’t treat yourself like a free source of labor. If you were a professional electrician or esthetician, how much would you charge? Now, think of how many hours it took you to design the image that went with your last social media post? It took you longer to complete than you care to admit, right? Did it even look good? You don’t have to answer that.
Let’s do some math. Say you’re a technician who charges $70 per hour to fix people’s computers. Maybe you have no eye for art and design. But you’re smart, so how hard could it be? Dozens of free software sites, such as Canva, let you design things yourself. Your goal is to create one Facebook post that people will share to generate some interest for your company. Great idea!
You sit down at your computer, create a new account at your free design site, run through a half hour of video tutorials, scroll through 500 free-use stock images, choose and re-choose six different fonts, and about two hours later, you have an image that looks nothing like you originally imagined. Worse, it’s so covered in text, you can’t understand the message or see the image clearly.
Now you post it to Facebook. You get 10 Likes from your closest friends—and no Shares. So, you decide to pay to Boost the Post. About 50 dollars and an hour of your time later, you have 10,000 impressions—and no leads.
If we take your hourly rate of $70 and add up your time spent plus the cost of the paid boost, it looks like this:
$70/hr X 3 hours = $210 + $50 spent on boost = $260.
Would that time have been better spent ridding a customer’s computer of a trojan virus? We’ll never know.
I’m not saying every instance will turn out this way. With enough time and experience, you can run your own social media campaigns. However, is it beneficial to spend time learning a skill unrelated to your trade? Maybe. Only you know that. It’s always fun and gratifying to solve your own problems. Or maybe your time is better spent learning Ajax programming or attending cybersecurity conferences to keep yourself marketable. Again, only you can make that decision.
I’m not trying to convince you that you can’t learn design concepts. I would never even suggest that. You absolutely can learn the principles of good design and how to implement them. It might take a few years, though. (Let me know if you need some guidance.)
Even if you don’t complete these types of self-marketing projects at work, you are still taking time away from something else to complete them.
Instead, I’m writing this to help you think about time in a different way. Even if you don’t complete these types of self-marketing projects at work, you are still taking time away from something else to complete them. Why pull even more hours out of this ever-dwindling bank called “personal time.” (How often is that personal time spent on yourself? Just asking.)
If you’re like most business owners, especially if you’re just starting a new business, you’re getting pulled in so many directions at once. It is alright—prudent, even—to consider funding some contracted marketing work.
If I were to help you with the above project, I could have created four different posts and boosted them with the same budget and in less than half the time. Those four posts would have been about different topics, designed to be visually appealing, and written to promote action. The posts would be optimized for Shareability and Likeability. Ultimately, you would gain a deeper penetration into your target audience and cast a broader net to draw potential customers into your business.