Last night I was having dinner with a long-time friend. He and I met when he first came to work in the sales department of a local television station where I was employed as an account executive. We’ve been close friends ever since.

It was not unusual for us to hash out creative ideas and strategies for clients then – or now. We both share a love of advertising and marketing that has endured for more than 30 years. He continues to work in media sales and has also established himself as a professional artist. I’ve taken the entrepreneurial route and started an agency that focuses on digital marketing strategies. And yet, at dinner we were still “talking shop,” much to my husband’s chagrin.

It’s January, so I’ve been recapping the success of 2018 for my clients. I’m pretty geeked about some of the stories and was sharing them with my friend. He isn’t as digitally savvy as I am, but he listened and asked questions with interest. Asking for clarification on how much time I spent producing work that mattered for my clients, his expression changed. He was surprised to learn that some of our projects were for as little as two hours a month while many more are in the five to ten hours a month.

“I have clients who seem to run out of time because they have so many aspects of their business to manage and just don’t work on their marketing like they should,” he said. “So, what you do is provide an hourly-rate service to become their marketing department. You are the marketing expert they can’t afford to hire!”

There’s the light bulb moment! He gets it!

We contract our expertise to small and medium-size companies who value comprehensive, well-executed digital marketing strategies. Many of these companies can’t afford a full-time marketing person, much less a fully-staffed marketing department. We become a part of the company’s team and work with them on specific projects. Considering the costs of wages and benefits of hiring experts as employees, our services appeal to those who value expertise but don’t want to increase their payroll.

This isn’t a new concept. Ad agencies have been around forever. He and I have both worked with and for ad agencies. What stood out was the idea that I could work for someone for as little as two hours a month and make an impact.

What about you? Is this a light bulb moment?

Are you devoting the time and expertise needed to successfully market your business? What might happen if you hired an expert? What if that expense became an investment that freed you up to grow your company into the kind of company you always imagined?

Do the possibilities excite you? Maybe we should talk.