What is a Fractional Executive?
A Fractional Executive is a part-time external worker that brings a depth of knowledge in a specific field to benefit your company. Fractional Executives offer a dedicated, unbiased partnership with benefits over alternative options. Many businesses thirst for direction when it comes to certain specialist services, so you look for viable alternatives while weighing your cost/budget and time commitment variables.
Most of my clients already use an external bookkeeper/CFO/finance and IT service. In the same sense, they hire RJL Web Marketing for their web marketing services.
The Benefits of Fractional Executives
- Proactive expertise that isn’t commonly found with freelancers
- Delegating appropriate tasks to appropriate skillsets
- Decrease your payroll and overhead
- Less costly than an agency and firm
However, to the credit of alternative options, DIY, freelancers, employees, and larger firms all have benefits in their own right that speak to certain companies. In that same sense, Fractional Executives appeal to certain companies as well. It depends on where your company is right now, and how you see yourself growing into the future.
Compared to a Freelancer
The primary difference between a freelancer and Fractional Executive is the dynamic of the relationship. While “fractional hiring” is similar to hiring a freelancer or contractor, Fractional Executives are seldom project-based.
- Freelancer: hourly, awaits projects as your needs arrive
- Fractional Executive: retained services (part-time) based on their subject matter expertise
Fractional hiring is expanding to include professionals with niche, advanced, or technical knowledge. Today, many companies use fractional hiring to fill skill gaps. You can also refer to it as “fluid agency.”
Compared to a Full-time Hire
Fractional Executives remove aspects that you typically incur with an employee:
- Workspace, workspace equipment, uniforms
- Payroll, payroll taxes
- Insurance, benefits
- 401k, profit-sharing, perhaps bonuses
Lastly, there’s the dynamic of the relationship. It’s your job to keep an employee busy for 40+ hours. This dynamic flips. You bring Fractional Executives to the table to direct, consult, and advise you.
The Right People with the Right Skillsets
Sometimes, organizations don’t have enough people or the capacity to accomplish everything, which is why they outsource. Either the organization chart just isn’t full enough (yet) or there’s no need for a 40-hour employee in that role. Owners can be put in uncomfortable positions of delegating skilled tasks to employees that aren’t appropriate to fulfill that specialized duty.
- Delegating inappropriate tasks to employees can lead to performance decay (or churn).
- Delegating inappropriate tasks costs you money later to hire someone to clean up the mess.
A Fractional Executive solves these critical issues.
How Much Does a Full-Time Marketing Executive Cost?
When you weigh the cost of a full-time, on-staff, marketing executive, it’s an easy decision. To their credit, these professionals would probably manage a wider range of tasks that I otherwise don’t “sell” – (i.e social media).
Wisconsin Annual Mean Wages
- $130,420 – Marketing Managers
- $128,920 – Advertising and Promotions Managers
- $77,190 – Computer Occupations, All Other
- $64,550 – Web Developers and Digital Interface Designers
- $61,450 – Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists
- $50,910 – Graphic Designers
Data is from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Last updated May 2020. Check out the above national data or check out your state specifically.
How Much Does a Marketing Agency or Firm Cost?
This question can’t be answered with an average number. It could range from $2,500 to $12,000 per month. Different agencies offer different specialties under one roof. You’re paying for that overhead, workforce, and size, but they appeal to companies that need a wider range of services.
What Does a Fractional Executive in Digital Marketing Do for You?
They direct the development and growth of your website, search engine optimization, and online presence. As your company grows, your website should grow and evolve too. A Fractional Executive in digital marketing may include some combination of:
- Development and evolution of website(s)
- The customer experience (visual and functionality optimization)
- Search engine optimization tools and methodologies (SEO)
- Paid search and display campaigns (PPC)
- Content and search engine marketing (SEM)
- Online reputation & listing management
- Email marketing, list management
RJL Web Marketing empowers your company by building, managing, and evolving your inbound and web marketing strategies. I dive a bit deeper into this in Doing Business with RJL Web Marketing.