Marketing costs money. It requires time and energy. Not many entrepreneurs have time or money to spare. So many of them convince themselves that they really don’t need to market their businesses. The reasons are many:
- “Advertising provides us really good ROI, no point in changing what works” But if it was really working you wouldn’t be reading this
- “We spend about $60K in trade shows and industry publication and it works”. $60k invested in another activity might work better
- “No time.” You’re already spending time marketing, but you may not be doing the right stuff.
- “Can’t afford it” - You can’t afford not to!
Well, it’s time to realize that by NOT marketing your business you are doing yourself in. There are both direct and indirect costs of not marketing your business, and they will get you in the end. There are the obvious sales lost to your competition. They were found on the first page of a Google search, you weren’t. Guess who is going to get a call? One of their exisitng clients forwarded an invitation to a webcast they received from, guess who? Not you.
The bummer for you is that you didn’t know you lost these sales because you didn’t even know about the opportunity. If this continues (not knowing about business opportunities) there will be a steady decline in the growth of your sales, and therefore the growth of your business. The problem is that both of things, while a direct results of not marketing your business, are also very hard to quantify. You can track sales that were lost if you were in the running, had deliver a proposal, or quoted a price. If you didn’t – how do you know that there was a missed opportunity? By not marketing – you are keeping yourself and yor business out of the running altogether.
The more indirect cost of not marketing is the loss of leverage. For anyone in “professional services” (consultants, coaches, lawyers, accountants, dentists, etc.) if you’re not marketing to your existing clients, you are losing two valuable assets. First, these clients are easy opportunities foryour competition tomarket to. They don’t hear from you but they get all kinds of stuff from the other guys and think “why not check them out?” Second, your existing clients are the best source of free marketing you could possibly want. Who better to sing your praises to their friends & colleague that a satisfied customer who can share something about you – a white paper, article or a link to your blog. It costs a lot more to market to a new client than to maintain a relationship with an existing one.
Now, let’s talk about how much it really costs. Here are a couple of scenarios for you to consider:
- Website – using WordPress or a similar platform, you can setup a website or blog for free. There are thousands of templates and widgets that help you customize the look and add tons of functionality without knowing any programming at all. The possibilities are endless and the HELP and Support forums are great!
- Video introduction – using the web cam in your computer you can create a 20 second introduction of yourself and your business. Post it to your website and upload it to YouTube.
- Email campaign – using your existing email account, send an email to all of your business contacts pointing them to your new website.
- Write an article using material you already have and post it to ezinearticles.com (the top article distribution network)
- Write a blog entry each week – it doesn’t have to be long, but it has to be valuable, or funny or worth passing along to a friend (bonus points if it is all three!)
Get Some Help
- Website – you can find a great web designer/developer for about $65 per hour. With a simple site of about 5 pages it should take them about 10 hours to get the site up and running ($650)
- Video introduction – there are online services that will create a video for you using your material, still photos, etc. Purchasing the video is about $80 or you can have them host it for $19 per month. ($80)
- Email campaign – an email marketing platform will make creating and delivering email campaigns, your newsletter or other communications so much easier. At the beginning go for one with a flat fee or one that allows you to pay-as-you-go ($200/month)
- Total = $930 – so now the idea that you can’t afford it is also off the table.
With a little work and some creative ideas there is no excuse for not marketing your business.