You Need a Budget—Step 4

Go Social Experts, located in Eau Claire, WI, offers social media management strategies for Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms.

As we work through what it takes to be successful with online marketing, we are half way through what it takes. You can read the complete list here.

Budget: I know what you’re thinking. Isn’t online marketing supposed to be free?

No, it’s not. It is low cost, but it’s not free.

You know the old saying, “There is no free lunch.” It’s true online as well as off-line.

Some of the costs you’ll have are:

  • Website hosting
  • Mailing service (Mailchimp, Constant Contact, Aweber)
  • Time for you or a staff member
  • Facebook ads

These are the basic costs you will have when you get started. Like I said, they don’t add up to much at first.

Why do you need these services?

Website hosting is a basic. Every business needs at least a small website to be the hub of its presence. If you want people to find your phone number, address, and other contact information, this is where you provide it.

Next, you can’t send large amounts of emails from your inbox. Services such as Mailchimp let you send hundreds to thousands of e-mails inexpensively.

You may need a budget to attract people to your e-mail sign up list. Your list should be growing steadily.

With that in mind, you’ll need to develop something to give to people to convince them to sign up for your e-mail list.

When it comes to time, many owners don’t put an adequate value on their time, but time does have a value. You have a limited amount of time, and you need to be sure you’re doing the most valuable work.

Regarding Facebook ads, you may wonder why you can’t just post and have Facebook expose your content for free to everyone who follows you. You can—and Facebook will show it to some people who follow you. But to grow faster and obtain more exposure takes a budget.

The budget for Facebook can be as small as $30 a month, but you need to have some money available to work with.

As you see success with these programs, your budget needs to grow, so you can continue to reach more people.

When you’re marketing online, you need to look at each marketing activity as an investment, and then measure the results you’re getting.

If your systems are working well and you’re achieving $2–$4 or more back for every dollar you put in, how many dollars do you want to put in?

Every businessperson wants to keep costs low. At times, this can cause us to miss major opportunities.

Relying on free search and free social media posts for traffic to our websites limits our ability to grow.

We need to take this “free” traffic as a bonus and work to grow our businesses using other, more predictable ways to reach new customers.

I read this quote years ago in an article by Perry Marshall: “If your business relies on free traffic to be successful, you don’t have a business.”

Plan to be successful by having a budget for your online marketing.

Have a great week.

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