When I work with creatives on their business, one of the biggest questions I get is “Where should I spend my dollars when it comes to marketing? I’m on a tight budget.” Well, I’m glad you asked because there are so many great options.
MARKETING ON A BUDGET
Marketing your business today looks so much different than 10 or even 5 years ago. Social media and your online presence are the face of your business. The internet gives you access to a much larger audience than you could ever reach in person at a relatively minimal cost. The possibilities are endless, but you need to have an attack plan to get the most out of your money and time with the biggest impact.
DON’T SPREAD YOURSELF TOO THIN
When you try to be present and make an impact on every social media platform out there, while also maintaining a blog, website, clients, home life and your sanity, it can be a little overwhelming. My recommendation – choose the 2 social media platforms your target audience is on the most and focus your energy there. Pinterest and Instagram were my choices because that’s where most of my ideal clients were spending their time. Digging deep with 2 social media platforms and creating a beautiful web presence is much more manageable than spreading your time and dollars thinly across many platforms and online marketing ideas. Concentrate on just a few for a bigger impact.
WHAT’S MOST EFFECTIVE
Now that you have permission to narrow your focus, evaluate where you will see the most return on your time and money. Where does your ideal client hang out online the most? If they aren’t on Instagram, don’t spend your time there. Tackle a different platform like Facebook, Twitter or SnapChat. What do they want to see and read on your website/blog? If your clients/potential clients want to feel connected to you, share personal stories on your blog. If they want to see examples of your work, make sure that’s cleanly displayed on your website.
MY MOST EFFECTIVE COMBO
For my business, I started seeing most of my clients finding me on Instagram (where I show more of my personality and a little less of the accounting firm side of things), so I dialed into that channel. By far my MOST EFFECTIVE online marketing strategy was focusing on my website and blog. I worked really hard to ensure that I have fresh articles on my blog and they relate to my ideal client.
Google has been such a powerful tool for my business. Approximately 70% of my ideal clients find me online by searching for terms like “Accountant for Creatives” or “CPA for Creative Entrepreneurs”. Understanding how to target my clients by using SEO was the best time and money I ever spent. Once your clients find you online, make sure your website/blog are sending the right message and telling the story of why they should work with you – why are you different, how are you going to take care of them, why can’t they live without your services.
Everyone’s sweet spot looks different so do some research to explore what’s going to be best for your business. Make a priority list of what’s most important to you for your online marketing efforts. It took awhile to find my sweet spot, so take the time to really dive into where and what your ideal client wants to see from you. Then spend the time and money on what’s most effective.
MAKE A BUDGET
Now that you’ve determined what is going to be most effective for your business, you can make a budget that doesn’t break the bank! How much money do you want to set aside for the items on your list? What’s most important? If you already have a Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, website, and blog, but they aren’t converting viewers into clients – why not? Is there a class or expert you’d like to work with to improve that?
- Instagram – Aside from an occasional promoted post for a webinar or my Be Your Own CFO course I utilize this tool most of the year without a dedicated budget. I budget $250 every year for promoted posts on Instagram.
- Pinterest – I set aside approximately $50 every month to promote specific pins and for tools to help with distribution like Tailwind. I utilize Tailwind to ensure that I’m posting at the most optimal times my clients are online, only boosting posts that I want to make sure are reaching my audience.
- Website/blog – Aside from the domain name and hosting I thankfully do not have many expenses in this category. I leave this side of the business to the pro (my husband).
- Event Speaking – Since starting my own firm I’ve been very fortunate to have the opportunity to speak at several conferences. This has been a game changer for the growth and marketing of my business. I’ve been able to position myself as an expert in the industry and meet in-person with potential and exiting clients all within an affordable budget. My speaking/travel fee assist me in getting to the conference in the most economical way. The only outstanding costs that I have are goodie bags and giveaways for the attendees, and any meals I have during travel.
Download the Budget Friendly Marketing for Creative Entrepreneurs
I’ve created a free worksheet to help you determine the best use of your marketing dollars. Complete the information below to download the worksheet.
This combination has been the best fit for my business and extremely budget friendly. The power of social media and your online presence can be your most effective, budget friendly marketing tool for attracting your ideal client if done correctly. The key to budget friendly marketing is having a plan and sticking to it.