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Marketing Mondays: The Danger of Penny Pinching Your Marketing

By Michael Zipursky

Two consultants left their consulting firm at the same time to open their own business.

One decided not to spend money on marketing. Rather he chose the free route. He kept very busy doing everything that he could to ‘get his name’ out there.

The other consultant decided to spend $1000 on some targeted marketing. He created his ideal list of clients. Put together a campaign to go after them and then proceeded to spend his money on reaching them.

The first consultant didn’t spend any money. He got a lot done, unfortunately, just getting things done isn’t enough. Making money and landing consulting clients is what counts.

The first consultant didn’t spend any money. He got a lot done, unfortunately, just getting things done isn’t enough. Making money and landing consulting clients is what counts.

The second consultant spent $850 on his campaign and landed 2 clients. Each one worth over $15,000 to him. Not a bad return on investment.

The self-employed (consultants, freelancers, independent professionals) are often a conservative bunch. They like to keep busy and do whatever they can to NOT have to spend money on their own marketing.

The saying “it takes money to make money” isn’t always true. Yet, it frequently is.

I don’t advocate spending money on 20 different things in a shotgun approach to land clients. That’s a waste. But spending money on your education, improving your skills, and on your own marketing in a targeted and direct way is often the best investment you can make.

Don’t skimp. Invest in yourself.


8 thoughts on “Marketing Mondays: The Danger of Penny Pinching Your Marketing

  1. Islam says:

    I was spending alot of money for uneffective marketing
    I didn’t make a breakeven for this expenses
    It was a huge loss

    Few days ago, I started to redirect the marketing efforts inside my company.
    I was inspired by you and your Mondays.

    Thanks Michael

    • Thanks for the comment Islam, glad to see you’re finding these posts helpful.

  2. William says:

    Very poignant post for this time of year… well for anytime really, but the Winter season seems to bring out “penny-pinching” more than other times.

    William S. Dickinson

    • Yes, that’s why it is so important to market even more than usual in the winter – your competition goes into hiding.

      Good luck!

  3. William and Sasha – thanks for the comments! You’re both right, winter is the time that many ‘hibernate’ – which leaves a great opportunity for those that don’t 🙂

  4. Amita Vikram Pratap says:

    Thank you Micjeal. I have been a silent reader of your articles so far and they have been very inspiring. I live in India, can you guide me how can i get to learn directly from you

  5. Tammy Endlish says:

    I too marketed initially by sending a personal letter of introduction and a short brochure to about 100 industries in my area. Many came back as undeliverable, and many did not result in follow-up however about 10% resulted in my client base which I still serve today (8 years later). Some of the larger companies who use larger consulting firms or have in-house support didn’t need me but passed my info on to others who wound up being my clients. I have done very little marketing since as I receive new clients now based on referrals and repeat business but when I am ready/able to expand I will stick with what works! Thank you for the steady stream of great advice!

  6. Anonymous says:

    There is absolute truth to the old saying, “it takes money to make money”. Now, throwing money at a misguided marketing campaign is wasted. But, you can make a little money go a long way if you use the formula “90% elbow grease + 10% money”. There is no magic bullet…

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