In the world of mindful marketing, the idea of scarcity needs to be thrown out the window. I say this because I hear so many solopreneurs tell me they don’t have the money to market. What they are really saying is that I’m afraid that marketing won’t work for me and I don’t want to take a risk. Yet, when we spring clean our business budget, we can start to make an intentional shift from fear to faith in a solid strategic marketing plan.
Here are some tips to think about when auditing your marketing budget:
SET A BUDGET
Do you have a marketing budget? Do you have a very specific dollar amount that you are paying to a marketing strategist, marketing coach, social media manager, brand photographer, or any other type of marketing? If not, this is where you need to begin. Create a game plan and assemble a team to help you market effectively. You need experts in this space to create a strategic plan for your business to grow. This budget should include a mix of traditional and digital strategies — including your paid spend.
EARMARK MONEY FOR GRATITUDE
Where are you spending your money when you put it back in your business? Is it worth it? For instance, I love sending my coaching clients gifts from time-to-time. It’s worth the investment to me because it’s a nice reminder that they are valued. These funds are budgeted as marketing expenses because they naturally share it on their social media which in turn works as a promotion for my business. Over the years, I’ve found that budgeting for thoughtful thank you gifts is a great investment for my business and it feels good too! Think beyond the traditional ROI calculations and how you can create a larger impact and make people feel good about your brand.
Do you have a marketing budget for ads? Do you allocate monthly dollars to spend on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest or LinkedIn ads? If you do but you aren’t getting a return on your ad dollars, chances are that you need help figuring out an effective ad cycle. The whole point in ads is to create ROI—if your ads aren’t doing that you may be spending your money boosting the wrong posts. Promoting posts here and there, every now and then, will not save you money in the long run. You’ll spend smarter if you hire a professional to train you on how to run ads the right way. Or, you can simply hire someone to create and promote your ads for you instead. Ads work, and they work well if you know how to use them.
IF YOU DON’T USE IT, LOSE IT!
If you’re paying for email services (like MailChimp or Constant Contact), graphics packages or photo editing software that isn’t getting used regularly—it’s time to cancel. You may also want to look at the software and apps you currently use and look into some alternatives. Do some market research, ask others in your field what they use. You may find a less expensive option that offers more features. Technology is always changing and often improving and spending an hour or so doing some research to investigate new tools can be an hour well spent.
CREATE A SPENDING BLUEPRINT
One of the most useful tools I use in my business is an income spreadsheet. Each month, I know how many clients I have, when their contracts end, and which clients I may need to “replace” at any given time. This shows me exactly when I need to do my biggest advertising pushes (to line up clarity calls to gain new clients). When my schedule is full, I can slow my spending and prepare for those seasons when I need to lean into my marketing. This spreadsheet is a great tool to pinpoint how I should spend, when I should spend, and what methods or strategies I should invest in.
By doing a spring audit of your marketing monies, you can serve your clients and your business better. You can shift from the fear of scarcity to the confidence that comes with a well-thought-out plan. You can market your business and your services in a way that will maximize your return on investment, and you’ll be sure to have the people and the knowledge in place to help you meet your goals.
Do you complete a regular audit of your marketing? Share with me in the comments what you do regularly to measure against business growth and success.