I know that to find leads in my business start up you have to blog, create webinars, SEO, PR, social networking and just do good rich content that can be easily found. So with no budget to do the right thing I was thinking of getting a student on a stage or intership who is a stand out in their class and savvy enough to make this happen.. Am I headed down the wrong road here?
If these are the type of things I need the person to do then am I looking for a product marketing person, an Internet marketing person, content writer, PR??? What's a good job decription?
I would look at getting leads as an investment in your business.
If you have been operating long enough to know what your conversion rates are, you can do the maths. eg. If I spend $1000 on marketing, I will make $2000. Then it is an easy decision - find the money and outsource it to someone who knows what they are doing and can work within your budget.
If you are still proving your business model, then I think it's important to do the marketing work yourself and hone your skills, for several reasons:
So I would get hold of some good books or blogs or other resources and get on the learning curve. It will make you a better entrepreneur.
(And I must add, that I am talking to myself here too. I am on precisely the same markteting learning curve in my business!!)
One thing I can tell you about my experience is with students is that they are very similiar to employees in that they have a lot of opportunities to do grunt work. I had a summer intern for 2 years until he got a better offer (making less money) with National Instruments. Since I was small and they were big, I lost him.
If you can find a student who isn't sought after already, there is probably a reason.
In my case, the only reason I got the intern I did was because of a friend. Without that, I wouldn't have had a single student working for me that was worth it.
Also remember that when you take on a student, you need to plan to teach. The reason they are willing to work for nothing is because they most likely know nothing. So you will have to teach them. If you are already at your limit time-wise, you might find this more of a burden than a help.
I would say in 3 cases out of 4, students are not the right choice if you really need work done. If you are in a philanthropical mood, you might consider it to help a kid out, but other than that it is generally a bad idea.
Stacey, from my experience students are:
It is also hard to find a person with good writing. I have had a student employee that I hired to do copyrighting. The only thing that I did instead of getting work done is fixing errors in his texts. In that case it was probably better to do things by myself.
Maybe you try to dissect the whole 'lead generation' job to seo, PR, blog, social, etc. and select tasks that you can complete yourself and tasks that you can outsource easily?
It is a lot easier to find a SEO guy that is affordable for your startup, than to assign the big and important task of lead generation to an unexperienced person.