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There’s one solid instance when you truly don’t need a marketing budget: you don’t want to stay in business. You see, business and life are a lot like trying to run up the down escalator (which I totally don’t recommend, by the way – there are much better ways to get a good workout in!). You’re either moving forward or you’re going backwards. Even staying in place requires a good bit of forward movement.

So, yeah. You only need a marketing budget if you want to stay in business.

imageHMJWHIRLYour marketing budget doesn’t have to break the bank.

There are ways to make a small budget successful, though. The biggest way to do so is to use your time to network and ask for referrals. Sure, you’re not spending money – just time. But I can promise you that with a consistent commitment of merely 15 minutes per day networking, you can build an impressive network of connections, leads, and clients. 15 minutes a day won’t break the bank but it will help you build your business exponentially.

How big should your marketing budget be?1cf3cb867fd248539f5ff027c9aabcdc

Based on the numbers I’ve seen, your business’s marketing budget should be about 3% of your total revenue. That’s still not a ton of money, which makes it less scary.

Think of it this way: if you’re clearing a few hundred thousand dollars in sales each year, do you really want to invest in a Super Bowl ad? Of course not. That’s way beyond your budget! On the other hand, would investing in a few Facebook and LinkedIn ads each year be beneficial? You can bet your bottom dollar it is!

What other things should I invest my marketing money in?

While ads are fantastic, there’s something else that’s far more effective: email marketing. Building up your in-house email list should be a *huge* priority. There are free email clients out there that work well (MailChimp works great), but I’m a huge fan of Aweber. That’s a paid service, but for $20 a month, I can set up an automated system to help me build my business, build a sales funnel, and create conversions. Plus, they do a ton of the tracking and analysis for me. As long as I can read English, I can understand their reports. Oh, and to build your email list I’d also invest in an irresistible offer: some valuable item that your target audience will want to download. By offering it for free, you’ll be able to build up your email list fast.

What kinds of offers would your audience eat up? What kind of offer would YOU love to see? Comment below or connect with us on LinkedIn and let us know.

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