Q: Can I do most marketing tasks myself?
A: We encourage clients to do as much personal, face-to-face marketing as they can; but also understand that not everyone feels comfortable shining the spotlight on themselves. It can be helpful to have a consultant or coach work alongside you to nudge and encourage or submit press releases & talk about your business in the community. Patti’s personal philosophy is that nearly any task can be handled by people if they have the time and desire…with enough time and desire you can learn to do anything! If those two items are limited its best to partner with someone who can help so you stay focused on tasks you enjoy.
Q: How do you work with clients that have a limited marketing budget?
A: One of the first things we can do together is develop a plan/task list for completing projects you would like help with. We will then systematically work through the plan based on your budget…understandably, someone with a $600+/month budget will move through the same tasks faster than someone with a $300/month budget. We work hard to be respectful of client’s budgets and keep them informed of suggested changes along the way (mainly related to ‘task creep’). Sometimes a client will set a budget based on initial goals then when we get started they ask us to take care of other projects without thinking too much about how the extra work will impact their budget. We’re totally happy to help clients with as many tasks as they need help with, we just ask that they understand the budget, or project completion dates, may need to be adjusted.
Q: Are you one of those marketing people who has to have things done your way or not at all?
A: This question actually makes us chuckle a bit. We would more accurately describe PR Consulting’s style as ‘making suggestions and subtly nudging along with encouragement, ideas and support’. You, after all, know your unique business the best. You know what methods have worked in the past and what has not. We can bring in fresh ideas or even tweak current efforts to increase their success rate. Working together will definitely be more of a teamwork relationship.
Q: How much will it cost to build a basic website for my business?
A: Basic websites, put together with WordPress themes/templates, start at $1,000 and go up from there based on overall goal of the site, the number of pages desired and whether content is readily available (logo, brochure, old website). We can absolutely work together to develop content if starting from scratch. There are monthly and annual fees associated with having a website — domain name rental (your website address) should cost less than $20/year. Monthly hosting fees (paying a vendor to store your website on the internet) vary per host. I’ve seen those fees anywhere between $6-$30/month depending on whether you need email hosting as well. If you are looking for a more customized website (unique navigation tabs, non-traditional layouts, specialized functionality) we can help with that, too. Website design prices typically start at $2,000 and can go up to $10,000+, not including content development or hosting fees.
Q: Our marketing efforts are not working any more, can you help?
A: You bet. We would first identify your target audience and then chat about unique methods to reach them. Maybe its time to focus on social media instead of sending a direct mail flier or maybe its just a matter of tweaking the content on your website to add keywords for SEO purposes. Sometimes businesses just keep doing what they have always done because they don’t know what else to do, even if the method has not been effective. Evaluating existing marketing methods for effectiveness can save time and money that can be reinvested in new ways.
Q: Can you help our business win local Reader’s Choice awards?
A: PR Consulting has definitely helped Whatcom County clients receive recognition through local awards programs. Our clients have won Bellingham and Lynden Reader’s Choice awards. They have also received awards in The Best of the Northwest and have been finalists for Whatcom County Professional Business Woman of the Year and Start-Up Business of the Year. Building a company’s brand and reputation in the community takes time, its not an instant gratification project.