New Directions – on consulting and business

I’ve been considering what to do with this site / blog and it occurred to me that I really should start writing more marketing strategy / tactics post.  General how-to’s as they come to me.  Frankly, I’m not sure if I want / have time to do consulting work at the moment since the other businesses are doing so well.

So let’s talk about consulting.

Consulting by it’s nature is a matter of selling your time and expertise for money.  Generally speaking, the more time and the higher expertise you have, the higher that you can charge.

What’s a good rate? Good question.  Accountants and lawyers generally charge between $80 – 200 per hour depending on their seniority and the like.

Marketing consultants generally range from $50 – 200 from my experience, with most clustering around the $80 – 120 dollar mark.   Generally this is because we do not have a professional association that you have to join to be accredited (thus increasing competition), and there is as such not as strenuous legal obligations.

What many people forget is that you are generally not just paying for the time that a consultant is working on your project, you’re paying for his overhead, his marketing and downtime.  Much like with plumbers, consultants have to cover the cost somewhere – and thus the higher per diem.

Since my downtime  / networking time these days is non-existent, I really can’t expect too many customers to start popping in.  And frankly, I’m not sure I want them too.

For now at least, I think I’ll be focusing more on marketing topics in general, than actually looking for work.  I’m busy enough as it is, and it’ll be good to just do some post about marketing to remind myself about the important aspects that I forget.

Short term vs long term

There’s always a push between short-term marketing and long-term marketing tactics that any company faces. Some short-term tactics can be very, very effective – but impact a company’s overall long-term growth.

A good pair of examples are spam and pop-up advertising. Both forms, in the short-term can be extremely effective at generating revenue in the short. However, in the long-term the company faces problems with their reputation and building trust.

On the other hand, many good long-term tactics require a lot of time to develop. SEO and word-of-mouth marketing are some of the most effective forms of marketing possible – but both require a large amount of time. In the meantime, you aren’t generating much revenue.

A good marketing plan takes into account both short-term and long-term tactics in development. Planned carefully, short-term tactics can be the foundation of your plan – like certain Pharmaceutical companies have shown.