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Leveraging Your Marketing Investment

By: Robert Middleton

Robert Middleton, of Action Plan Marketing in Palo Alto, Calif., has helped hundreds of professional service businesses attract new clients and get paid what they're worth.

His website is a resource for marketing professional services. Visit it at Action Plan Marketing.

In meeting with a client today, I was sharing about my new "Client Magnet Marketing Clinics." I told her that the Clinics served several purposes: One, they were an income source; two, they were a free value-added service for my long-term clients; third, they provided inexpensive initial exposure to my work for those who might be interested in other services; and fourth, they helped me develop material for my book.

This hadn't been a completely conscious move on my part. But looking at the marketing I've done over the years I realized that, like most small business owners, I liked to stretch my marketing dollar. I saw that I instinctively leveraged my marketing investment by accomplishing several things with each marketing strategy I implemented.

Most people don't look at marketing as an investment but as an expense. Not only is it an investment, it's an investment that can get very substantial returns if you do it right. Here's a few ideas for leveraging your marketing investment.
  1. Write Articles. One article can be used in many ways. You can put it on your web site, send it by e-mail, have it printed in a newsletter, have another web site publish it, add it to your marketing materials, offer it as a give-away at a talk, include it as a bonus with another service, and compile it with other articles and then sell it.

    Get the idea? And this is just from one good article! Have you written an article lately? And the great thing about all of these is that they cost very little and don't take a lot of time.

  2. Network Yourself. Most people think of networking as going to a professional association once a month. And they wonder why it doesn't help their business much! You can leverage your investment in that professional group by: volunteering to be on a committee, mailing a letter to members and asking if they'd like to receive your newsletter, taking notes of each monthly presentation and sharing them with clients, and making it a point to meet at least one other member for lunch once a month.

    Active participation is how you leverage yourself with a professional association. You want to budget your time wisely but again, it can pay huge dividends.

  3. Give talks. You can get yourself booked for talks that reach your target audience and hope it turns into business someday or you can do a little extra to increase the impact of your message: Make sure your handouts contain valuable information that would be hard to throw away, offer a free newsletter or Ezine at the end of the talk, collect cards for a drawing, mail to all those who gave you their card and give them a copy of a free report. 
All of the above accomplish one thing - they give you increased exposure and credibility for little extra energy or money. And remember, if you're a knowledge business, your services can go for a pretty hefty price. You don't need to get lots of response to succeed. If one person turns into a client as a result of an article, networking or talk, it could mean tens of thousands of dollars to you.

Start looking at your marketing as an investment and try to see how that investment can be leveraged to the absolute maximum.

© Copyright 2000, Robert Middleton

Other Articles by Robert Middleton

The author assumes full responsibility for the contents of this article and retains all of its property rights. MarcommWise publishes it here with the permission of the author. MarcomWise assumes no responsibility for the article's contents.


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