Free vs Paid Advertising
Today, I want to talk about advertising. Now, we all want our blog to go viral, our hoards of valuable clients to find our services without us having to spend a penny on advertising, but unfortunately, that’s not likely to happen. So here’s what I recommend to get your business marketing going on a budget.
You can totally grow your business without paid advertising; I even teach a whole module on this in my Become Your Own Boss course, so it’s definitely an option. But there are plenty of ideas out there, so I want to just run through them with you today and help you come up with the right strategy for you.
The thing is, when you don’t pay for advertising, it’s a bit of a slower route. You’re doing all that manual effort yourself, so with paid advertising you’re basically paying to automate the process and free up a load of your time – like any other form of outsourcing.
First up, you could do a load of online and offline networking: networking events, Facebook groups, all the rest of it. And if you do the right thing, you’ll grow your community by a handful of people a day.
It’s a slow route, but it is free. So if you really are struggling, that’s one option for you. Of course, if you go to a networking event, there’s going to be the cost of the ticket, etc. etc., It’s not the first thing that I recommend, but it’s available to you if you want it.
Second, you could run a telesummit. So you could get a bunch of experts together, you can interview them, you can have them promote to their lists, and some of those people will sign up and they’ll join your list as well. So that is a free option, and again there’s quite a bit of your time in terms of organising this event, running the interviews, etc., so I’d probably give it at least a month or two months of time. But you could grow your list by a couple of thousand people if you did it properly – so that’s an option for you as well.
Third, you could totally ignore creating your own community and just go purely with affiliate marketing, which basically means that other people promote your course or your programme to their list, and then you pay them a sales commission. And the sales commission is anything from 10-50%, depending on the exact structure of the course, etc., but 50% for online courses is normally about right.
It’s not something that I would recommend on its own because you’re not creating your own community. You’re not creating your own brand and your own foundation for your business. You’re relying on somebody else’s business to make you money. People always say your money is in your list, and it is really true. This is a quick way to get going, but I wouldn’t rely on this strategy alone.
Fourth, you could pay for your traffic. “Traffic” is people that see your ad, and then some of them sign up and some of them don’t. So you could pay Facebook or a platform similar to them (Linkedin, Google ads, all the rest of it), to show your advert to potential clients.
You can target them, you can say that you just want to work with women, or a certain age, or a certain location, or certain interests, and they can target down who it is that you want to focus on.
And for that you can expect to pay around £2 or $2 per lead, so if you think about the fact that normally 1% of your people buy, that’s pretty much a $200 per sale cost. So if you really want to actually create about 4 sales a month, you would want to spend about $800 on ads.
Now, the thing with this is, you can actually pay that the first month, and then maybe it takes a couple of months, but you don’t need to be paying that every single month from your own bank account in the sense that your business can actually start self-funding its ads.
So if you think about a little bit of maths for a sec, let’s say we put $400 into ads, and we got two clients at $2000 - that’s $4000 back that month, for a cost of $400. And then the next month, we could put $800 into ads and get four clients, and that would be $8000. And then we can reinvest $1600 to get 8 clients, which is $16,000. So you’ve earned $28,000 and you’ve spent $2,800 on ads, but you’ve only actually spent $400 from your own money before the business started self-funding and paying for itself and was profitable as well.
That is called boot-strapping your business: that is literally investing a little bit of money at the beginning, and then your business taking off, and just slowly building and building organically of it’s own accord. So that is a really, really good option as well.
So what I would love to know is, if you are starting a business, or if you’re thinking of doing one, what advertising strategies have you tried? What have you read about? What are you interested in? Leave a comment below and let’s chat about it. I’ll speak to you soon!
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