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In our quest to be an “honest broker” in the marketing world, we talk to a lot of people who simply want to effectively reach people they can serve. In case you don’t want to read further, here’s the short answer: the way to efficiently build your business online or offline is with authenticity and time.

You will need to invest some money, but getting results does not mean you must spend a lot of money.

It’s about taking the time to share your value through the channels and with the methods that will appeal to the people you are set up to serve. This approach is effective because in the long-run the costs align with the results.

Too often people spend too much or not enough to get the results they want from marketing, which is sales or donations.

The reason they spend too much or not enough is because they don’t know how to place a proper value on the service for three reasons. 1 – they’ve been scammed or evaluate something based on a bad experience. For example, some people don’t want to use email marketing because they get a lot of junk email and hit delete themselves. 2 – they’ve been told they need to get a website, use social media, run an ad, etc. but have no way of knowing the scope and cost of using these tools to achieve a realistic return. 3 – they operate on a very thin margin and fear wasting valuable resources.They opt out.

Let’s look at some business type examples to explain how to approach the right investment of time and money.

  1. Initially, does your business require a high level of trust or is price everything?

High trust entry: physicians, financial planners/brokers, Realtors, caregivers

You’ll use social media, print and digital ads, a website, brochures to legitimize referrals and/or to make a good impression so people will give you a chance to talk with them.

Low price entry: carpet cleaners, lawn care, website building, oil change, plumber

You’ll use social media, print and digital ads, a website, brochures to get a lot of people to call or come to your location. It’s a number game. Once people see how good you are, they’ll come back and even pay more. But, initially, they need to feel you are a “good deal.”

2. Do you want to sell a product or service via a website or do you want to build validity with a website so people will contact you?

If you want to sell something online, you’ll need E-commerce (a shopping cart). You’ll need to use the web to attract customers from all over the country, perhaps the world.

If you want people to learn about what you do on a website and contact you, you do not need a shopping cart. You can spend less money on your digital assets, but you still must provide a quality online presence.

No matter what category you fit into above, there are several steps you should take:

  1. Ask around or search online for someone that lives near you who understands marketing and branding. Most will give you a free consult. We do. Call 336-596-7514. Prepare a list of questions. Get second opinions. Research what “experts” tell you for validity.
  2. Set a budget for marketing over the course of a year and divide it up over quarters. If you can only justify spending $1,000 or less, start with a website.
  3. Get a decent website that fits your type of business. Don’t depend on free web builders unless you are really tech-savvy. An entry-level, basic website built by someone who knows what they are doing will cost at least $800.
  4. Open social media accounts that fit your business. Most should consider FaceBook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. Only post respectful, helpful images and information.
  5. Create an account with an email platform such as Constant Contact or Mail Chimp. Create email lists and add to them regularly. Stay in touch with clients and potential clients in a meaningful way. Don’t do to them what you dislike from other emailers. Send valuable information consistently to help people remember and respect you.

Business in a free market means we all serve each other and as a result, we all earn a living.

If I can provide value to my clients by helping them develop effective marketing and branding strategies and tools, they succeed. In turn, they recommend me. There’s a beneficial cycle for everyone.

Contact me today for help building your business. Marketing is a critical part of sales. We are here to help. 336-596-7514.