Marketing Stack and Budget for IT Business Owners
Before I get into tip 2 here, I will be the first to admit I’ve never had a marketing budget. Since 2007, I have paid for many marketing and advertisements, I usually see something and review, then buy if I feel it’s something worth trying. If you want to read more, I have another blog about starting a computer repair business here https://callthatgirl.biz/how-to-start-a-computer-repair-business The marketing blog is #9 in the series.
Most of the marketing that I have found that worked for me was good old fashioned hard work and while hard work is free, you have to be consistent and always keep it going, no matter what you find what works. If that is going to networking meetings and events, then you have to keep doing that and do it well. For some others, doing online is what works or some find referrals their number one way to get new clients. You Need to figure out your “marketing stack” and I’ll discuss that in tip 2.
- What is your marketing stack?
- What is working?
- What do you love to do?
- What do you hate to do?
In the last blog, I asked you to make a list of all the marketing you have done and review the results. If have not been tracking, I mentioned now is the time to start asking clients. I also told you what I do for marketing, not everything but pretty much everything. What works for me is pretty much is the blogging first, then the rest.
Got your marketing stack ready? Now review it and while you’re reviewing it, look at your wins/losses and then look at it much deeper. What did you love? Did you love paying someone for results? Or did you love that you did it yourself? Money makes everyone love marketing so this is a key for moving forward. If you love paying for the help, the rest of the blogs might be good for you to show your marketing person if you want them to learn a bit more. If you love doing it yourself, I will be now be all yours. I have 15 or so more of these blogs created just for you.
Before I discuss the loving part of marketing, let’s review the marketing I hate doing. I really hate doing newsletters but I do them. I have tried to hire it out but found that I was never happy with the people doing it. I think because I’m really finicky. Last winter, I actually emailed all of my people and said I was done with newsletters. Then in June, there was a huge Outlook issue and I felt I had to get back into newsletters and it sparked a lot in me, so while I still hate “doing the newsletter” I’m still happy with the opens and continued marketing there. I pay $1020 a year for my plan with Constant Contact or $85 a month. I have right now about 4900 people on the lists (I have 2, clients and technicians).
I also hate paying for ads on websites, but I have done it and will probably continue to do it, not sure why as the results are usually nothing special. I have paid $300 for a month on a top ranked site and got 6 clicks in a week. No kidding. I paid almost $1000 for a year (it is a good deal) for a spot on another website and I get again, just a few clicks. I consider that just flat out “marketing” so you never know, one person might click it and be the next thing you were not expecting. Kinda like gambling right? Yep. I was contacted by ChannelPro Network in August to work with them on their online magazine. The publisher was on my newsletter list. I started newsletters in June. If I had given up, he probably would not have contacted me. See how this works? Working with ChannelPro opens many doors for me in the future, a “channel” for me to get content to people and that’s important as I do so many things.
Finally, I really hate doing webinars, but the funny thing is that I love creating the content, doing all the marketing but almost always feel disappointed if people don’t sign up. Usually after I get all the fun parts done, I am in a state of “I can’t believe I now to have to do the webinar” and then when it happens, I love doing it and when it’s over, I’m happy that folks learned a lot. I love it more when I actually charge for it (Some I do free and some I charge for).
I can’t say that there is anything I really hate so much that I don’t want to do. At this point, I avoid many things instead of doing it and hating it. I avoid sales hustlers on Facebook. I avoid watching their sales videos, their hype, their “hey I’m good looking so listen to me hype”. I see it all the time and I’m not falling for it!
To close this part 2, figure out what you love to do. Is talking your thing? Or typing/writing your thing? What if neither is your thing and you’re just a good old fashioned extremely talented nerd who loves owning a business? You are probably the type of person that does need to hire it out then. Most of the free marketing involves talking or writing, as least from my experience. Here is my list again, all “communication type marketing”. This is where you need to consider a budget.
- Blogging, Newsletters, Social media, SEO blogging, Error blogging, YouTube, Podcasting
Here is what I have heard about a marketing budget, take 20% of your gross and that should be your budget. WOW? Really? If I was to charge myself time for all the free work I did, it would probably be billable at more than 20% of my annual gross. I do a lot to keep my machine going! Take 20% of your gross and see how much that is, divide by 52 weeks and that’s your “budget” each week to get more clients. Since you don’t want to do free, you can look at that as paid advertising, hiring a sales person, doing ads on TV or Radio, things that don’t take your time up and don’t require you to create the content. Plenty of folks out there that will help you.
Next week I will get started about blogging and that folks, is the key to the rest of the series. If you have a website that does not have a blog attached, you can get a free one from www.wordpress.com and you can follow along. In time you can move your website and merge the blogs in time.
For new folks, you can read tip #1 below. Enjoy!
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