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4 Steps to Calculating Your Marketing Budget

4 Steps to Calculating Your Marketing BudgetBy Dawn Berryman

How much do you spend on marketing? How do you decide what is the right amount? When do you set your budget and how flexible is it? Marketing spending shouldn’t be an afterthought. It should be a well thought out investment; planning not only how many dollars to spend but where.

First, let’s consider what is all involved when we talk about marketing costs. It isn’t just advertising; there is a lot more involved. Are you having items printed, like postcards or banners? Are you buying promotional items to giveaway, like pens or notepads? Are you paying affiliates to market your products? Do you have a graphic designer that you contract with? All of these items are going toward your marketing budget and shouldn’t be overlooked.

We’ve all heard the old adage that you have to ‘spend money to make money.’ So, what are some basic parameters that you can set for yourself when determining how much you should actually spend? It’s a delicate balance, especially for new business owners.

Here are some tips that I’ve found helpful.

1. Think of your marketing budget as an investment.

Ideally, the money you invest here should be paid back to you and bring even more income with it. If you’re new to the game and not basing your spending on previous years’ sales, then also consider it a (more…)

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6 Reasons Why YOU Should Create an eBook

6 Reasons Why YOU Should Create an eBookBy Anneke Steenkamp

The past few weeks I’ve been assisting a client in the editing and proofing phase of creating his eBook. Although eBooks have been around for ages, I’ve never really considered writing my own. For some reason I’m still seeing myself as a ‘beginner’ when in fact I’ve advanced quite a bit in the past few months. That’s the other great thing about eBooks; you don’t need to be ‘somebody’ to create a novel. Self-publication is open to anyone with an idea.

Now that I’ve been working on someone’s else’s content I’ve realized that we all have a story to tell, or knowledge to share in our own unique ways. An eBook is a way to make these snippets of information more permanent and structured. Think of it as just an extended blog post.

Apart from learning about the content and structure, I’ve also been doing some reading on what makes a good eBook and how you should go about approaching the project.

But in this article I want us to explore the reasons why it’s a good idea:

Expand Your Audience:

Make use of an eBook as a part of your marketing strategy. It’s quite a trend in the marketing field to create eBooks and give them away for free. This will help grow your audience and readership and indirectly create traffic back to your website, product or blog. (more…)

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Where to Focus Your Marketing Energy

Where to Focus Your Marketing EnergyBy Dawn Berryman

Do you subscribe to the notion of the New Year, New You? Do you make New Year’s Resolutions each year? Do you stick to them or do you lose sight of them after a few short weeks? Do you look at the New Year in business the same or differently than you do in your personal life?

I love the New Year, the blank slate and all the opportunity it affords. Each year, I make a list of goals and aspirations rather than an actual resolution. I do this personally and professionally. It helps to hold me accountable and gives me focus for the upcoming months. Just like my marketing plan, these goals are fluid and can change as circumstances and situations evolve.

Like any type of marketing planning, it’s important that goals are tangible and measurable. Setting your sights on realistic, attainable benchmarks can help build momentum and confidence. Here are some areas you can consider when looking at your year ahead. There’s always room for improvement, but you can’t do everything all at once. It’s best to choose a couple key areas to focus on and build from there.

Where will you put your focus this year?

1. Your Blog.

If you don’t have a blog for your business you should. It is one of the best ways to build SEO and attract new customers. (more…)

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5 Quick Tips for Promoting Your Self-Published Book Through Social Media

Quick Tips for Promoting Your Self-published BookBy Angie Nelson

Self-published authors will never have the same access to resources and level of exposure as traditional publishing houses. If you’re going to publish on your own, you have no choice but to do most of the promoting yourself or hire an experienced virtual marketing assistant. Promoting your self-published book or e-Book takes a lot of hard work and patience.

But if there’s anything that can make things easier, it’s social media. Featured below are five quick self-promotion tips for the independent author. 

Connect with other authors.

No self-published author can ever stand on his or her own. It doesn’t matter how good your book is, if you don’t make friends, nobody is ever going to hear about it. Connecting with other authors is just as important as connecting with your fans. Other authors want to be recognized just as much as you. This means, that they’re very much willing to promote your book if it means that one day you’ll return the favor.

Social media is a gathering place for authors and aspiring authors everywhere. Join a writing community on Facebook. Build a network. You’d be surprised how many new things you can learn from your fellow authors. A writing community exposes you to more audiences and better avenues for self-promotion. Author Marketing Club is also an invaluable resource.  (more…)

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Start Your Year Off Right: Plan Your Marketing for the Year in One Day

Whether you love to market your business or not, putting systems in place so your marketing is done in a consistent and effortless manner ensures it happens – even when you are super busy or just don’t feel like it! Here's how to create your own marketing system!By Kelly Robbins, MA

Most of us didn’t start our business so we could do marketing all day. We started our business because we knew we could help people in one way or another.

However, most of us quickly learned that our business isn’t going anywhere without marketing. When we do market our business, we are ultimately able to help more people. And we can ultimately make more money!

Intuitively we know that marketing is a good thing to do, we just don’t want to do it. I find this truth to be universal for ALL entrepreneurs. The easiest and best way to turn marketing into a pleasant event is to create automated systems and processes, so the marketing happens even if you don’t feel like doing it.

Let’s talk about creating marketing systems in a little more detail. Fundamentally, understanding this process is the key to generating more income and increasing the size of your business.

When I talk about marketing systems I’m talking about taking action using a planned, ordered procedure. A marketing system is a methodical and fairly automated way to communicate with clients and prospects. The goal of implementing a “systemized marketing procedure” is to create a disciplined and organized approach to marketing. (more…)

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