There’s a lot an entrepreneur can do to start and maintain their business. You probably know what I’m talking about if you’re reading this. (Why else would you be on a marketing blog?!)
You can have the idea, create the business plan, and bring your vision to life. You can hire support staff to help you get off the ground level. You can make funny TikToks to put your brand in front of the right people.
But when it comes to scaling your company, you can’t do it alone. Or perhaps we should say you shouldn’t do it alone. Because chances are, you’re not a marketer. And it’s going to cost you more money to pretend you are (and deal with all of the costly mistakes) than it will to simply hire people who know what they’re doing to help you in the first place.
Allow me to introduce you to the fractional CMO, your part-time marketing solution with full-time results.
I will tell you everything you need to know about how a fractional CMO with decades of experience growing other brands can help you confidently scale. The responsibilities of a fractional CMO are many; however, the fractional CMO team at SizzleForce firmly believes that every fractional CMO should ensure:
- your brand message is clear and consistent
- your customer acquisition and retention strategies are effective
- and you’re working with an agile marketing strategy built with frameworks that are proven to turn marketing expenses into money you can deposit at the bank
Then, I’ll tell you how to hire a fractional CMO with an entire marketing implementation team to help you scale your company for less than the cost of one mid-level marketing manager.
Here’s a quick rundown of what we’re covering:
- What is a fractional CMO
- When you should hire a fractional CMO
- The role and responsibilities of a fractional CMO
- How much fractional CMO services costs
- Where to start your part-time CMO search
- How to hire a fractional CMO with an entire marketing implementation team for less than the cost of one mid-level marketing manager
Are you ready? Let’s get started.
What is a Fractional CMO?
A fractional CMO is exactly what it sounds like it is.
It’s an experienced marketing strategist who works alongside businesses each month for a set amount of time.
Essentially, the fractional CMO dedicates a fraction of the time a full-time Chief Marketing Officer would spend exclusively marketing one company. As a result, the fractional CMO receives a fraction of the pay in return.
You typically find mid-sized businesses with revenues between $2 million to $10 million working with fractional CMOS. They’re way past the DIY marketing phase and the “let’s hobble a team of independent contractors together on Upwork and hope they can work as one unified team” season of growth. However, since they’re scaling, they have a big vision. They need an experienced marketing leader who can strategize a marketing plan to lead them to their destination in the shortest amount of time possible. At the same time, they need to keep an eye on their budget. In the early stages of scaling, most companies don’t have the financial resources to hire a full-time marketing executive. The marketing team needed to implement the strategy the CMO creates (which will easily cost you over $500,000 annually.)
Enter the solution: the fractional CMO, a.k.a., the unicorn you’ve prayed for.
One perk of hiring a fractional CMO is getting employee-level loyalty without paying a full salary + benefits and bonuses. In addition, your company’s success reflects well on your fractional CMO, just like their strategic insights and ability to lead an execution team benefit your overall business goals.
When do I need to hire a Fractional CMO?
If you’re reading this in the middle of the night because your business went viral and you Googled “how to hire a marketing team,” stop what you’re doing. Send us an email. You needed a fractional CMO like yesterday.
But if you’re in the beginning stages of scaling your company, it’s a great time to begin your search for a fractional CMO.
If I’ve learned anything in more than two decades as a marketing expert, it’s that quick fixes don’t work. Signing up for one-size-fits-all solutions–like syndicated media blasts and newsletters–won’t produce the results you want.
A fractional CMO knows how to help you scale your company using proven growth strategies. In addition, they know how to make a marketing strategy unique to your business, your goals, and, most importantly, your customer.
What does a Fractional CMO do?
A fractional CMO develops marketing strategies that align with your company’s overall goals. They position you to:
- grow brand awareness and visibility
- build your list (you do know the money is in the list, right?)
- nurture your audience
- maximize your sales opportunities
- magnetically attract social proof
- and create a community of raving fans.
Because this, my friends, is the magic that makes predictable revenue.
Hiring a fractional CMO is a cost-effective investment in your long-term growth when you’re not ready to invite more people into your full-time C-suite.
Here’s what a fractional CMO will often do for a client:
- Develop short-term and long-term marketing strategies
- Create or enhance your buyer persona for marketing objectives
- Coordinate campaign design from creative to copy and everything in-between
- Establish content marketing objectives and KPIs
- Elevate your social media presence with a tailored strategy
- Monitor data and metrics to make real-time adjustments for optimal success
- Lead a marketing team
- Solve marketing problems as they arise (and spoiler alert—they will arise. It’s part of growing.)
Pro tip: Most fractional CMOs don’t offer execution or implementation in their contracts. They simply hand over a marketing strategy that you have to put to work.
But we like to do things differently here at SizzleForce.
With SizzleForce’s Fractional CMO service, you get a fractional CMO, of course, but you also get access to an entire marketing implementation team for less than the cost of hiring one full-time, mid-level marketing manager. And we’re not talking about a cookie-cutter system. Instead, we custom-build your implementation team to suit your unique needs and challenges.
Need someone to manage your social media? Check. Need someone to build out your funnels? Check. Need someone to get you booked on the perfect podcasts? Check. Our team consists of seasoned professionals who do it right the first time.
Do you feel like you have to choose between hiring a marketing strategist or people who can do the actual day-to-day work? Nope, you don’t. With us, you can have both.
This leads me to…
How much do Fractional CMO services cost?
As with any service you outsource for your business, fractional CMO hourly rates vary by business needs. However, before getting caught up in the sticker price, consider the value of having access to a marketing leader to your overall business strategy.
Like attorneys, most fractional CMOS charge per hour; let’s say you hired one for $500 per hour, and they work for 10 hours a month on your business. That’s $5,000 a month or $60,000 a year.
For quick reference, the average salary of a full-time CMO in the United States in 2022 is $252,000, according to Salary.com. Add in bonuses and benefits, and you’re looking at around $408,000 annually.
That doesn’t include office space, equipment, or subscriptions they need to do their job well. It also doesn’t include your strategist‘s implementation team to execute the vision. Because, no, your CMO is not the right person to develop your website or create your Instagram reels. That’s what the implementation team does. And yes, you need one if you’re ever going to get your marketing strategy to create cash that you can deposit into the bank.
I know what you’re thinking, “Stephanie, what will I really get out of 10 hours a month?”
You’d be surprised. Given the fact that any fractional CMO worth their salt will have at least 20 years of real-world, in-the-trenches experience, you’re working with people who know how to get stuff done. They’re not googling “how to build a social media strategy” or “how to create a funnel.” They’ve done it successfully for years. And they’re bringing that experience and speed to the table just for you.
Where do I find a Fractional CMO?
My favorite way to find part-time CMOs is to reach deep into the network of vetted marketing experts I’ve been building since 1995. Unfortunately, you may not have that, so let me help you. Call me. Let’s talk about your needs, and I’ll let you know if we can help.
Of course, it’s simply good business to do your due diligence and talk with more than one provider. I suggest asking your trusted colleagues and peers for referrals.
If you don’t know anyone who has hired a fractional C-suite position before, I recommend searching on LinkedIn or Google.
Use relevant keywords to your industry along with phrases like “outsourced CMO,” “fractional chief marketing officer,” “part-time marketing agency,” or “outsourced marketing team,” to name a few.
Before you begin your search, brainstorm a list of requirements your new collaborator should have. Decide if you’re willing to work with someone who might be a great culture fit with your company but doesn’t have much experience in your specific industry. Know if you want to meet with this partner in person or if it’s okay to have a completely remote working relationship.
Finding a fractional CMO is easy once you know what you need and want from the partnership.
If you know what you’re looking for in a fractional CMO, you might find that SizzleForce is a great fit for you. Our fractional CMO and marketing implementation services include strategic planning, copywriting, content creation, social media management, branding and website development. Schedule a free consultation call today to see how we can get you where you want to go in your business today.