Monday, October 15, 2007

low-cost marketing techniques - part three

This post is part of a series, based on a talk I gave on the subject of inexpensive marketing techniques to the Toronto Chapter of Professional Organizers in Canada.

How do I market myself as a professional organizer? How do I market my professional organizing business?

3) How much should I spend on marketing?

We all realize that we need to spend money on our marketing efforts, but for those who are starting their businesses, or who go through regular periods of "feast and famine," parting with precious funds can be challenging.

There is no magic number for how much you should spend to market your business, but if your business is new (one to two years old), it would not be unreasonable to spend an amount that is equal to 20-30% of your net income. A mature business might be able to get away with spending only 10% on marketing.

If money is tight, keep in mind that there is generally an inverse relationship between the amount of money you spend on marketing and the amount of time you need to spend on marketing. That is, if you won't or can't spend money, you will probably need to spend a lot of your own time and effort marketing your business. The most inexpensive marketing techniques often require the most amount of time.

A) How much income do you make (or would you like to make) in a year?

B) What is 25% of the above?

C) How many person-hours is that, based on you current hourly fee?

Suggested online search: "how much should I spend on marketing?"

Read two online articles on this subject here and here.

ACTION ITEM: Commit to spending 25% of your income - either in the form of dollars or person-hours - on marketing. Book the person-hours into your schedule regularly.

If you find that you really can't afford some of the marketing services (such as graphic design or web design) that you feel you need to grow your business right now, consider the possibility of bartering your services for those of another professional who provides those services.

You can set up these relationships yourself, or use a website such as favorville.com to connect with the services you need. (Thanks for that tip, Jeannette!)

ACTION ITEM: Approach at least one professional about the possibility of bartering for marketing services.

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