What's your marketing budget?

A colleague asked me this morning what my marketing budget was for the Offbeat Empire. I was completely stumped.

"…My marketing budget?" What is this, amateur hour?

"Like, what percentage of your monthly budget goes toward social media optimization, or search engine ads, or content marketing?"

"OH!" I said. "You mean my salary. I do all the marketing for my business. I don't pay for search engine ads, I do all my own social media work, and I let the content market itself."

Wait, is my monthly salary really my business's marketing budget?

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Show-don't-tell marketing: how to share your business story with integrity

I spent over a decade in the corporate marketing trenches before I founded the Offbeat Empire. If I learned anything from my time with Microsoft, Amazon, and The Seattle Times, it's this: the best marketing is just about telling a story. Really, all you're trying to do is share stories that potential clients might be interested in and might see themselves in… all with the hopes that those potential clients will themselves become a part of the story.

As a writer, however, I know that it's all about SHOWING (not telling) your stories. Don't just TELL people about your business's new products or values — SHOW them.

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Offbeatdride: How to turn marketing fails into awesome human moments

I spent over ten years in the trenches of corporate marketing, so I have a lot of fist-bumping love for the creatives who find themselves paying the bills with public relations, marketing, and other sales work. That said, maybe having worked in marketing makes me even less patient with marketing mistakes. I'm like a former waiter, who's both prone to tipping 40% because I remember so clearly the challenges of doing that work… but who's also extra critical because, look: I know what it's like, and it's not that hard.

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Attention business owners: don't force people to use the phone

Because most of my readers are Millennials, and most Millennials hate talking on the freaking phone. (At 37, I'm firmly a member of Gen X, but even *I* hate talking on the freaking phone!) If you want to talk to us on the phone before buying an ad, then chances are you want to talk to potential clients on the phone to sell them your services… and chances are our readers aren't going to want to talk to you, and they're not going to become one of your clients, and nobody wins. It's just not a good fit.