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Affordable Marketing On a Budget

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Welcome back to the Branding Through Books podcast. In today’s episode, I’ll be talking all about my secret weapon for getting ahead with business marketing on a budget. All right, so you went into business to make money in the way you make money in business is to be seen. If people don’t know about your business, how can you make any sales?

For most people, being seen in business involves marketing; this is social media, ads, email marketing, Facebook lives, etc. If you’re like most small business owners, you’re doing everything on your own and just don’t have the time to dedicate to marketing because you’re busy doing client work.

When I started my business way back in 2014, I did all the things and kept myself spinning, trying to do everything that running a business involves. If I could go back to my younger entrepreneur days. I tell myself to hire someone else to handle the marketing aspect, so I can focus on making money.

There’s no way you can dedicate time to making CEO decisions when you’re worried about what to post on Instagram every day. Sounds great. But yes, there is a challenge when you’re first starting now, and you don’t have that much of a budget. So, how do you do it? Fortunately, there’s a solution that I’ve tapped into, and I’m going to share it with you guys.

That solution is Acadium. So Acadium is a platform that allows you to find remote marketing talent on any budget. It’s a great service for busy entrepreneurs who may have a smaller budget for marketing help. Acadium has a pool of apprentices that are looking to start careers in digital marketing and gain real-world experience. The biggest advantage over other marketing platforms like Upwork or Fiverr is that you also get better quality work for a lower fee when you use Acadium.

So, let me tell you how this works. First, you sign up to be a mentor with Acadium. They’ll do a brief interview with you, and you get matched with an apprentice. At that point, you can decide whether or not you want to go with the quarterly membership or if you want to go for a yearly membership. Both options are super, super, super affordable. So what you get with each apprentice, you get 120 hours blocked over a three-month period. So that means you get to work with this person for a whole three months. All that is asked in exchange from you is mentorship. And so, with me, that is in the form of me having a weekly Zoom call with my apprentice or me actually answering questions over slack while having them do other things for me.

So I want to kind of get into the pros of using a platform like Acadium versus you going to Fiverr and piecemealing together your marketing plan, as far as, you know, putting together graphics, having someone do your website, having someone put together a lead magnet, having somebody do social media, all that stuff that you can find on Fiverr, you can get done with Acadium with your own dedicated apprentice for three months at a time. So you have consistency. Plus, this works really well on their resume that they had a mentor, works really good for you because you are providing a mentorship role, and you can use that in the future as a reference or a referral or a testimonial. The list goes on and on how beneficial this relationship is for the both of you.

So I’m going to go on to the pros and cons of using Acadium. So the pros, who we have really flexible pricing options, like I said, Acadium allows for quarterly memberships as well as annual memberships, depending on your business needs. The annual pricing right now offers the best value since you’ll be able to have two apprentices working with you at the same time. This is unreal, two apprentices working for you at the same time, over the course of a year for less than $2,000 per year. Yes, you heard me right, less than $2,000 per year for two people to work with you. At any given time, over the course of a year.

Matching services is the next thing, Acadium matches you with apprentices that are looking for experience in the type of marketing you need. Way back when Acadium used to be GenM, and I also worked with them when they were GenM, and how it worked. It was a platform, and you actually had to find your own apprentice. And it worked for a little bit for me, but then it started to get harder and harder because the pool seemed to get smaller, and I couldn’t find anybody that had my specific needs for what I needed, you know, done in my business. So when they revamped and they rebranded, they decided to take the matching upon themselves, which I think is great. In my opinion.

Next would be time-saving. Save valuable hours on your marketing tasks by delegating them to someone else. So delegate them to your apprentice. So as an example, some of the things that I’ve had my apprentices do over the years, I’ve had them work on social media, I’ve had them set up my Facebook pages, my latest apprentices working on my Pinterest. So I have them doing all kinds of things, and there’s so many things that they can actually do to help you grow your business while you are making the CEO decisions. Another pro is that you’re giving back. You have the opportunity to help someone else who is changing careers by being a mentor while working with them.

Another thing is that Acadium has great support. There’s great support from the Acadium team. They check in regularly and ask for feedback regarding the apprentices and vice versa. So they’re going to ask the apprentices about you, and they’re going to ask you about the apprentices and how they are progressing.

Training. So this is more from the apprentice side, but they do provide all their apprentices what training materials. So they’re not deer in the headlights new when they start to work with you.

Variety. Like I say, you can get help in a variety of marketing tasks. So this includes email copywriting, websites, funnels, social media, paid advertising marketing analytics, the list goes on and on what you can use your apprentice for.

Lastly is the matching. I briefly went over this earlier, but like I said, I was a mentor with Acadium when they were GenM many years ago, and I didn’t like having to find my own match. Now they take it upon themselves and it works out great.

I do have a few cons, though. So this wouldn’t be a great comparison of anything if I just listed all the pros but the cons. So the duration, you can only work with an apprentice for 10 hours per week for 12 weeks or 90 days. This can be a con if you don’t have a system in place to onboard a new team member every quarter, and it’s also a con when you find an apprentice you really like to work with, and you have to be matched with a new one once their time is done. So this has happened to me occasionally, where I’ve really clicked with somebody as an apprentice, and I was very, very sad to see them go at the end of the three months.

Another con is the location. So while all apprentices do work remotely, you may have to change some things around in your own schedule if your apprentice works on the other side of the world. You can speak with the Acadium team to see if you can get somebody closer and match with somebody in a specific geographical location. But, if you are working with somebody across the world, you have to take into consideration when you’re actually going to be able to speak to them for your mentorship duties.

Lastly is the video chat. So Acadium has a platform where you can actually video chat with applicants and apprentices, but I’ve had trouble getting the video chat to work on Acadium. For me, maybe. I’m not that tech-savvy, but for me, it’s okay. Because I can easily chat with them on Zoom, so that’s not really a big con for me. So once again, Acadium, according to their website and their tagline, their tagline is for business owners to mentor emerging talent and grow your business affordably. It’s an easy-to-use platform that allows you to sign up. Like I said, after a brief interview, match with an apprentice and start an apprenticeship while you mentor them along the way for three months at a time. So, I 100% recommend this platform for small business owners.

In my opinion. If you’re looking for marketing help for your business on a budget and enjoy mentoring others, Acadium is a great platform. I’ve been on the platform for years now and thoroughly enjoy mentorship and the help I get with marketing tasks for my business. In addition to the great pricing at Acadium gets a pretty sweet referral deal for mentors. I highly recommend this service. You can’t go wrong with having a dedicated apprentice for three months at a time to check off your marketing tasks.

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Links mentioned in this episode:

https://bit.ly/nacholementor

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