As a coach or consultant, you know you need marketing, and have quickly realized that the word ‘marketing’ by itself is confusing, let alone getting a straight answer on how much should be spent on marketing and where to spend it. Welcome to the thrilling world of marketing, where creativity meets strategy, and the fierce competition to earn your business never ceases. As you venture into this wild realm, we want to help you answer the question, “How much of my budget should I spend on marketing?”
We are going to do our best to answer that question and further, how to spend it, in this article. Warning— there is NOT a one-size-fits-all answer. But, we’ll be as straightforward as possible.
Finding Your Marketing Sweet Spot
Determining the right marketing budget requires a balance between ambition and caution. Your level of risk tolerance will drive where you land. Deloitte reports that the average B2B company will spend 13.9% of their budget on marketing in 2023. That’s up 3.9% from the previous two years.
As a general rule, we typically recommend spending 10% to hold steady with your business and up to 20% for aggressive growth.
While we start by recommending a percentage of your revenue, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. Consider these factors:
Your Business Stage
If you’re a fresh-faced coach or consultant seeking to carve out space for yourself in the overcrowded market, be prepared to invest a higher percentage of your budget in marketing efforts. Established gurus, on the other hand, can get away with allocating a smaller chunk, as their brand recognition and client referrals already lay a solid foundation.
Research your industry’s marketing benchmarks, but don’t be a sheep blindly following the flock. As we said earlier, the industry average in 2023 is 13.9%. You should stand out by investing in innovative and unconventional strategies that align with your brand’s personality.
Your Growth Goals
Crank up the volume on your marketing spend if your aim is rapid expansion and conquest of new markets. Remember – you have to spend money to make money. Of course, you should tread lightly if you’re content with a slow and steady approach.
Effective marketing often involves trial and error. Leave room in your budget to test different channels and strategies. Failures may happen, but they’ll pave the way for successes.
Marketing isn’t black and white. You can’t just flip a switch and the business pours in. If it were that easy, we wouldn’t need this article. Listen to your marketing gurus and know that not everything is going to produce the same results.
Where to Channel Your Marketing Moolah
Now that we’ve got a rough estimate for your marketing budget, the next big question arises: where should the coins land? Here’s a breakdown of essential marketing channels to consider.
In the beginning, your brand presence (logo, colors, tone of voice) is what you are known for. As you develop and deliver your content, your brand presence is just the visual indicator that you are going to share something they want to pay attention to. Keep it simple and clean. Invest in a pro to help you get this right!
It’s the foundation of all your marketing and you need to get this done well. Invest in a StoryBrand Guide to help you nail your messaging. NOTE: Messaging isn’t like a logo – it’s not set-it-and-forget-it. It’s a lot of trial and error and tweaking to get it right and keep it there.
Your digital presence is the epicenter of your brand. Allocate a chunk of your budget to create a visually appealing, user-friendly, and SEO-optimized website. Once that investment is made, make sure you are investing in upkeep. Keep your website healthy and up-to-date. And, it’s can be really helpful to have a pro tracking your stats and tweaking content to drive performance.
Content is King (and Queen!)
Invest in high-quality content creation. Blog posts, videos, podcasts, and guides will captivate your audience and showcase your expertise. Besides the obvious – sales – there are several other reasons you want to keep your content fresh.
- It drives traffic to your website. Even when that traffic doesn’t convert, it tells Google that you are legit and increases your ranking in search results.
- It reminds your followers (social, email) what you are known for.
- It establishes you as a thought leader.
Engage with your audience, share your content, and build a community of loyal followers. For B2B marketing, paid advertising on platforms like Linkedin can also work wonders. It’s not cheap but it is a huge asset in developing lead generation and building a pipeline.
Don’t underestimate the power of an engaging email campaign. Build a subscriber list and regularly feeding your audience with valuable content. Plus, when you pay close attention to those open and click rates, you can learn what it takes to hack your content for the purpose of results!
Attend events, conferences, and webinars to connect with potential clients and collaborators. Invest in your personal brand and make sure you leave a lasting impression.
We can’t stress this enough — outbound marketing alone will not get you to your greatest potential. How you show up online and in person is a game changer. Pair your marketing with YOU and you have a winning combination.
Testimonials and Reviews
You may want to allocate resources to gather testimonials and positive reviews from satisfied clients. They serve as potent social proof to win over new prospects.
Consider pay-per-click (PPC) advertising if you’re aiming for rapid visibility and lead generation. Be smart with your targeting to get the most bang for your buck.