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  • Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours.  I don’t know about you, but 2017 has just flown by.  They seem to get faster with each passing year.

    As 2017 comes to a close, I would like to reflect on the year and look to 2018.  The end of 2017 marks 2 1/2 years since I started my marketing business.  It is a challenge.  One that I expected and was aware of and something I know every local, small business owner experiences daily, whether the business is new or has been in business for years.  

    This year has been challenging for me, to stay positive with all the negativity.  It’s on the news, in Hollywood, in sports, etc.  I am not going to get in to the politics.  My only comment is, we all have different thoughts and opinions on everything that is going on.  That is okay.  That is what makes America the greatest Country in the world.  What is not great is all of a sudden the dialog between people has ended.  If you don’t agree with someone it becomes a “who can scream at the other the loudest” match.  Instead of listening for a common ground.  Sure, you may not find common ground, so then agree to disagree and move on.

    In my industry, Marketing (i.e. web design, logo design, social media) it is very cut throat.  More so than I anticipated.  It doesn’t come from the competition.  Although, I’m sure it is very cut throat in the worldwide advertising agencies. 

    What makes my industry difficult, along with other industries that don’t have a tangible product to sell, is convincing my prospective clients that what I do is worth what I charge.  As I have stated in a previous blog, when people pay for something they want to feel it, see it, taste it, and get instant gratification from it.  Yet, in marketing for a lot of it you are paying for a service.  It is not like you are getting a new set of tires, or enjoying a relaxing massage.  You are paying for an intangible thing, whether it’s a new site, a reworked website, monitoring social media feeds, writing blogs, etc.  It is a service.  If done right and with thought and purpose it takes time, creativity, and talent.  Things that are difficult to quantify.  

    It is difficult to get people to realize that.  Most feel that marketing, whatever the service, cost way to much, or that they can do it themselves.  Yes, there are those who take advantage and price gouge.  That happens in every industry.  But, if a marketing plan is done right and tailored to ones business it takes time, creativity, and hard work.  Sure one can go on websites like Fiverr, or 99 cent designs or some other website and get cheap service done.  Who is doing it and where are they located?  If your request is outside the “packaged box” then the cost goes up considerably and you really don’t have no options for changes.  I know, I have tried those services.  You get what you pay for.  

    Marketing is one of those industries that has to show their client that they are worth what they charge and then hope that client sees the value in it.   It’s funny, we will pay $5 for a $1 cup of coffee, but we balk over paying for someones talents.  

    So my challenge in 2018 is to get clients to understand that my talents are worth what I’m charging and that yes they maybe a lot more than what you can find else where, but it is what I can bring to the table and really listen to the needs of my clients and not fit them into a “cheap box.” 

    What are you going to do to get your business noticed in 2018? Are you going to set aside a budget to revamp your website, keep it updated?  How are you going to keep your brand in the front of your clients or potential clients?  Who’s going to keep on top of your Social Media, newsletters, blogs, signage? 

    Remember, just because you can’t see it, feel it, taste or enjoy it, doesn’t mean it isn’t worth paying for.  Meet with several marketing businesses and then pick the one that is right for you and your business.  The one who listens to your needs and wants.  

    I wish you all a very prosperous 2018. 

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    Geoff Cummings is President | Founder of On the Level Marketing & Consulting, LLC. Successfully helping businesses with all their marketing needs by branding their businesses and keeping marketing simple and straightforward.

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