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Taking Inventory

Posted by Deidre Rienzo on

Welcome to Week 24 of my adventure of following the Start Up Version of the Grow Your Business Marketing Plan + Calendar.  In my posts, I talk about my voyage down the road of self-employment as a virtual marketing assistant, my achievements and roadblocks along the way, and I include a weekly recap at the end.

We received a comment from a reader who was enjoying the stories of our marketing adventures, but wanted to know—are we getting any results?  How are things different this year than last year?

Since it’s about halfway through the year, it’s a good time for a reality check. So, let’s take a look at some results I’ve experienced—and differences between then (last year at this time) and now (since Jan 09 when I started following the plan).

Working Schedule

Then:  Sleeping too late (until 10 or 11), working (on days I felt like it) from kitchen table or couch
Now:  Dressed, awake at 8:30, working from office daily

Online Presence

Then:  No website
Now:  Website plus weekly blog post on Marketing Mix, profile (and routine networking) on Biznik, and reading online articles/posts.

Target Market

Then:  None
Now:  Web designers (for my website copywriting services… ps. I write keyword rich, compelling website text and pay a referral fee to referring designers!) and self-employed creative professionals (for my VMA services).  I have a list of prospects that I’m adding to regularly using Google search, Biznik, LinkenIn, and referrals.

Word of Mouth Referrals

Then: 3
Now: 9

Clients from the Web

Then: None
Now: 1

Web Hits

Then: 25 visits per month                            
Now: 100+ visits per month

Inquiries from Web

Then: None                       
Now: At least 20 since January

And now, what you’ve all been waiting for…


I compared how much I made during the past 6 months over the same period last year—and it’s almost exactly the same.  Before you say, “Well this marketing thing isn’t working at all,” I should tell you that during those 6 months I had a $2k per month retainer from my previous employer (which seemed like free money).  That retainer ended at this time last year.

Sure, I would have liked to tell you that I’m rolling in the dough as compared to last year, but I’m proud that this year, I’ve made up that 2k per month in actual work that I’ve acquired.   And if I can keep it up, this year will definitely be ahead of last.

As for my lofty goal of tripling my income this year—well, it will be much harder than I thought.  But in my opinion, there’s nothing wrong with a lofty goal.

Overall, I notice an increase in my marketing awareness, focus, and confidence, which I think is a major benefit of following this plan.  It keeps me accountable and invested.  This is what will keep me going (and growing).  And if you need help following this plan, Ilise has a group starting Tuesday, June 23rd. Email her about it.

If you haven’t been following the plan (and Colleen and I are motivating you to do so), Marketing Mentor has a new Start Anytime Calendar coming out next week—so watch for that!

Week 24 Recap:  I’m more aware than ever that I’m in control here, and I will get out what I put in. I’m back on the phone introducing myself, and I’m kicking the calling up another notch because I believe it works, and now I’m on a mission to prove it.

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