I ask my marketing clients a lot of questions as we work together, because I believe there’s no such thing as one-size-fits-all marketing and I need to fully understand your business to make recommendations.
I can all but guarantee that the question that will raise a client’s stress level the most is, “What’s your financial goal?”
There are numerous, complex reasons their posture stiffens and they start to fidget.
First is we’re taught that talking about money is off limits. It’s rude to ask what someone makes and tacky to talk about your own income.
Like your accountant isn’t just being nosy asking for your financials, I need to know what you hope to earn so we can build a plan to get you there. If you aren’t making as much as you’d like, your three basic choices are sell more, charge more or spend less. Your marketing plan needs to reflect whatever you pursue.
Still, even when I reassure people that it’s confidential and that they don’t have to get specific, it can just be a general range, they still hem and haw.
Almost without exception, we ultimately come to confession time, when they sheepishly admit they don’t have a financial goal.
Depending on the size of the business, they might have a budget so they know they can make rent and payroll, but it’s based on what they made last year, not what they want to make. Self employed people are often looser than that, making their spending decisions based on what’s in the checkbook right now.
I get it. If you say out loud that you want to make $100,000 or $1 million or whatever your aspiration is, you risk not reaching it.
Maybe it’s less scary to just work hard and see what happens?
But not declaring it, even if it’s only to yourself, means operating without important information that can help you prioritize your actions. If you want to land three $25,000 sales a month, the way you market yourself might look really different than making three $5,000 sales a month or 3,000 $25 sales.
So let’s do some back of the envelope math for a self-employed person.