How do you decide what works?
- Make decisions over a period of time. Because it may take a few interactions to make an impression, running one Facebook ad once (or even for a few days) and saying it does not work is not a fair assessment. Running this ad for 30 days while also testing it against a second and third version of the ad will give you a much more accurate read of what is effective.
- Consider the investment. An absolute look at the number of clients an effort brings is not the measurement you want. You want to know the ROI. What is your return on your investment? Let’s say you spending $2,000 on a table at a show that your niche will be attending. You can also layer in your prep time and out of pocket material costs (which diminish with repetition). You probably need one new client to break even. Is this effective? Well, let’s say it brings in $4,000. You make direct profit plus you build your database since people filled out cards to sign up for a freemium at the show. These leads carry a certain inherent value if you have strong relationship marketing efforts in place. You also have the brand impressions on everyone else who interacts with you which may be the launch point of their awareness of you.
- Compare for relative ROI. Knowing an effort is “profitable” is not enough. Pressed for time and maybe money you have to compare the return from each effort to other channels’ ROI. Are there other channels that are equally as effective but that you enjoy doing more or are less labor-intensive? If there are, and you have enough volume coming in, you have an easy NO for next time around when the show calls you to purchase a table. Perhaps hosting webinars will provide the same results or your social media marketing campaigns will pay off with a higher ROI.
The more effective, tested marketing initiatives you have out in the world the more your marketing goes into autopilot. You do not worry about one specific test you are undertaking because you know that at any minute a call could come in from one of the other 15 things you are doing. It is actually quite exciting because you lose that fear of where the next client will come from and may actually be surprised by what works for you!