Archives for August 2013

The true cost of marketing

Steve Mills - Marketing AdvisorSo often I hear people telling me that they can’t afford to do a particular form of’ marketing.

For example, you may say that you can’t afford to do search engine optimisation, Google PPC Advertising, exhibiting at an event, or attending a marketing training workshop.  But the truth is that you can’t afford not to do it – if it works.

Let’s say you invest £100 in PPC Advertising and every time you do this it creates £1,000 worth of business.  How often would you want to do this?  Just once?  Or, would you rather do it on a daily basis.  Would you also rather invest £10,000 per month, so you get £100,000 of business….and so on.

So the real truth is, that you can’t afford to continue wasting your money on ineffective marketing.

Here lies the problem – MOST MARKETING DOES NOT WORK!

Let’s have a look at how most small businesses undertake their marketing:

  1. They have never been trained
  2. They don’t have a marketing plan
  3. They get some advice from someone who tells them that they should do ‘x’.  They do it once, then it does not work. Consequently, they complain that ‘x’ does not work in our industry!
  4. They often get advice from someone who is not up to date with modern marketing methods
  5. They sometimes stop doing whatever it was that they were doing and they go and find the next thing that does not work
  6. They become disillusioned about marketing and stop wasting money. They then either go bankrupt, or they survive, relying upon referral, and repeat business
  7. The marketing that they agreed to do, does not get done, or only half of it does
  8. In short, they waste a significant amount of their marketing budget.

So what is the answer to the huge problem that small businesses have with marketing?

  1. Get trained.  Marketing is one of the most important skills required to run a small business
  2. Produce a plan for your marketing, even if it is a ‘one page’ plan
  3. Take a look at what you are doing in terms of your marketing and improve it, then improve it again
  4. Start to measure what is working and what is not
  5. Test the use of additional marketing income streams and build a multiple approach to marketing.  There is never one way of undertaking your marketing
  6. Identify what you can do to market your business for free using ‘marketing without money’ strategies
  7. Stop utilising the traditional marketing approaches that no longer work and start embracing the future, by becoming effective at internet marketing.

In short, if you are serious about growing your business, then you MUST devote TIME AND MONEY into your marketing, or more specifically into lead generation.

So what are you going to do?  You can:

  1. Do nothing and watch your business struggle to survive for the next ten years, or go bust in 5 years like 80% of businesses do
  2. Get yourself booked onto my Prudent Marketing Academy.  My goal would be to help you to double your business in three years.  Here is a link – Marketing Training
  3. Write a marketing plan for your business
  4. Be prepared for the fact that you won’t get it right the first time and that being determined will see you through
  5. Find someone with the skills to help you.  Make sure you hire the best, remembering that you often get what you pay for.

 So what is the true cost of marketing?

The true cost of effective marketing is the money you are losing, by not doing it.  What do I mean?

  1. If you are a one person business and you are not using LinkedIn properly, then you are wasting at least £50,000 per year in lost business.  This figure can be 10 times more, if you are a larger business
  2. If you don’t understand how to use the internet and people are searching on Google for what you do, but they are finding your competitors, then you are losing even more money!
  3. If you are not using e-mail marketing to keep in touch with your clients and prospects, then you are again losing out.
  4. If you are marketing yourself in ways that are not working, then you are not only wasting the money you are spending, but more importably you are losing out on a significant amount of un tapped income, that you could be cashing in on!
  5. If your website has little traffic and does not convert traffic into leads, then your are missing out on at least 25% of your true income potential

I get told so many times – “I like your ideas on marketing Steve and in particular I love the idea of ‘Prudent Marketing’, but I can’t afford it at a monthly fee at the moment.  So, I will wait until I can afford it and then I will get back in touch”.

Do you know the truth? I rarely hear from these people ever again.

To be honest, the monthly fee is totally irrelevant, compared to the increase in profit you will make on the programme.  You need to do whatever it takes to join ‘The Prudent Marketing Academy.  You need to take action and if you want my help, then I am sure I can help you.  I have been helping businesses to market themselves prudently for over 20 years and throughout that time, I have consistently helped businesses to grow between 20% and 150% per year.

Need mare leads? Autumn Marketing training programme

Autumn 2013 training programme
Welcome to my Autumn 2013, Prudent Marketing Programme of lead generation Workshops.  If you are serious about growing your business and what you are doing is not working, then you need to take a look at this…

Learn how to win new clients on LinkedInworkshop, or webinar

LinkedIn logo.jpg

Many of my clients have won over £100,000 worth of business on LinkedIn and I am going to show you how!  The fact is most business owners are on LinkedIn, but they don’t understand how to use it effectively. In this one day workshop, you will learn 44 strategies to grow your business, using LinkedIn. If you need to create leads, but you don’t want to invest money, then LinkedIn is a very powerful tool.

You need to attend this workshop if you want to win more business. My LinkedIn workshop often creates a 10% to 35% increase in sales. For further details go to:

LinkedIn workshop Training

Linkedin Webinar Programme

Social Media Masterclass – 16th October

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This is a one day workshop with Frank Furness International Speaker on Technology, Sales and Social Media, along with myself, Steve Mills.

Frank has had over 3 million visits to his YouTube videos and he is going to show you how he did it. I am an expert in LinkedIn and I am going to show you how to create at least a 10% increase in your business using LinkedIn marketing.

Together, we will show you how to use YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Blogging and a whole host of other Social Media, together with some of the latest technology to create an abundance of leads.

Why should you attend this workshop? The answer to that is simple. You are going to learn how to make more money, more easily and for no financial investment. For further details go to:

Social Media Masterclass


Internet Marketing bootcamp – 9th October

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If you are like most small business owners, then you have a website that creates very little business. You don’t have a blog and you know very little about Search Engine Optimisation, On-line Marketing, Google PPC, or how to use it.  In addition, you don’t have enough time in the day to address social media properly.

If this is you, then you need to click this link –


E-mail Marketing – 19th September


Without a doubt one of the biggest opportunities for small businesses is having an effective e-mail marketing system.  So, why not spend the day with me learning how I create 40% of your income from e-mail marketing.  By the end of the day; you will have you everything in place and be ready to move your business forward in 2013, and beyond.

For more details go to the:


If you want to book one of the above workshops, simply click on any of the above links, or call 0118 930 5700.

If you have any questions,
or you need help with creating and converting leads, call either myself, or one of my team on 0118 930 5700. 

Steve Mills appearing on BBC Radio Berkshire

BBC RadioGreat news! Steve will be a special guest on the Tony Blackburn/Anne Diamond show on BBC Radio Berkshire on Friday 9th September at 11am!  He is on for an hours and will be discussing:

  • The close links between sport and business
  • How hard it is to run a successful small business
  • Why businesses need to be Prudent
  • How to use LinkedIn to grow a business.

Referral marketing system – The best form of marketing on the planet

Steve Mills - Marketing AdvisorThe Four Step Referral Guide

I hold various marketing seminars across the UK, and I always ask delegates where they spend the most of their marketing budgets. The answers are usually similar: advertising, or direct mail. I then ask where most of their clients come from, and the response is often the same: word of mouth. Indeed, many of the companies that work with us tell us that most of their business comes from word of mouth. This poses a big question for small businesses: how do you make more money? How do you reach a greater number of customers?

The options are, of course, various. They can include advertising, direct mail, telesales, host beneficiary relationships, etc. But one of the most effective ways of marketing is referral. Why? It is one of the easiest, least expensive and most productive ways of winning new business.

The third question I ask during my seminars always holds a shocking response for me. I ask my delegates who in the room has a systematised referral process in place in their business. The truth is that the vast majority of businesses at my seminars don’t have any way of pro-actively winning referrals, let alone a strategy for doing it.

The Five Step System

There is a simple four-step system which can be carried out to create a systematised referral process for their business. The easy-to-follow steps help businesses to pro-actively gain referrals, and as a result, achieve greater profits and grow as a business.

1. Ensure everyone in your organisation is aware of the power of referrals.

Start by ensuring that everyone in your business reads this article. Discuss the implications of it for your business’ needs and make certain that everyone understands why referrals are so important for success and growth.

2. Work out how many referrals you could get from your customers.

Let’s talk numbers. If you have 2,000 customers, 200 of them may give you one referral, and 20 of the referrals might result in a sale. Work out the average unit of sale is (for this purpose, let’s say it is £1,000), and you can very easily work out how much potential you have for growing your business through referral.

2,000 clients = 200 referrals

200 referrals = 20 sales

20 sales = £20,000 profit

Bear in mind that these are just average figures. Some clients might refer five customers, and the referral could result in 10 sales. One client might place a bulk order, whilst another might spend below the average unit of sale.

It is simple, when using this system, to calculate how much a winning referral system might be worth to a business. The cost and risk are absolutely minimal; it doesn’t cost anything to ask a customer for a referral, and the only risk involved is that they will say no!

3. The referral form.

Design a simple form which makes it easy for people to give you all the information they may need to follow up a referral. Create one online and a paper copy to give people as much chance to refer as possible. You could even try one of my favourite tactics – hold a competition prize draw into which ever completed referral form is entered. Offer a free service or discounted product as the prize, and watch the referrals roll in.

3. The gathering script

Many business owners and sales staff can find it difficult to work the idea of a referral into conversation with their clients. One of the best ways to do so is to have a script that you can work to. Here is an example of a common script, which has been proven to work across many industries and businesses.

How long have you been in business?

An easy question to begin with; this will help the client to relax and feel comfortable talking about themselves.

So I suppose in that time, you have probably met a lot of other business people, haven’t you?

Notice the words ‘haven’t you’ at the end. This is called a ‘yes tag’, because it encourages the client to say ‘yes’.

From what you have said during our meeting, you are very pleased with the service we have provided for you. Is that correct?

Again, a ‘yes tag’ encourages a positive answer.

Like most businesses we tend to get lots of our customers through word of mouth, and as you stated, we have increased your profit over the past [insert time frame] by around [insert figure]. I was wondering who you know who would also benefit greatly from our services?

Note the words ‘who you know’, rather than asking whether the client does know anyone. This encourages them to offer up names, rather than simply saying they don’t know anyone.

May I ask your advice?

People love being asked for advice; this question will almost always merit a ‘yes’.

Which of the ones you’re thinking of would you advise me to contact first so that they can benefit from our services in the same way as you?

This helps to rule out time-wasters and encourages the client to think of the people who would really benefit, rather than just offering up potential names.

So that it is easier for them to take my call, it’s okay to use your name, isn’t it?

This is a key question. Unless you can use their name when you follow up, you don’t really have a referral – merely a cold lead. Notice how the question makes it easier to get permission by explaining the benefit to their contact of using their name as a referee. Also, notice the ‘yes tag’ at the end of the question. Everything about this script is positive and pro-active, leaving little room for clients to refuse.

4. Keep accurate records.

The key factor in any marketing activity is knowing what works and what doesn’t. It’s those who keep records that break records!

I wish you every success in following these easy steps and winning referrals. If I can be any help to you in your marketing, or you think you may have a referral for me, get in touch.

For more information about Steve Mills, the Prudent Marketer, and to discover some of his personal marketing tips, visit

About Steve Mills

Steve Mills helps clients to create more leads. Over the past 17 years, Steve has built a reputation for helping businesses to market themselves using his ‘Marketing without Money Formula’. Never one to take unnecessary risks for himself or his client, Steve is now known as The Prudent Marketer.

Steve established his reputation by training thousands of business people in how to market themselves without a budget. He has spoken to audiences all over the world and authored three highly successful marketing books as well as writing articles for many leading business magazines. He is the founder of The LinkedIn Training Academy which provides training, coaching and mentoring, through video, audio, workshops and webinars.

Making your business outstanding – Business growth advice

Steve Mills - Marketing AdvisorLet’s face it – times are tough, and this essentially means that ‘the pie’ is getting smaller. The question now, for many small businesses, is how they can hold onto their current market share and make improvements in order to maintain their turnover and profitability.

The knee-jerk response for many business owners has been to make cut backs. However, cutting back spells disaster – many businesses will cut back and cut back until there is nothing left, and they only have the bare bones of their business remaining. The suggestion is not that businesses should continue to waste money throughout the financial crisis; far from it, in fact. Conducting a cost analysis exercise on a monthly basis is a very useful exercise.

We have a different approach, and we are helping our clients to get on board. We call it ‘becoming outstanding’. This doesn’t necessarily mean having the best, most expensive promotional materials, advertising, offices or equipment. We switch around the word ‘outstanding’ to make it more a case of ‘standing out’. What we can do in our customer service, the sales training we provide, our recruitment process, the way we network, the strategies we create and the services we offer, to stand out? This then extends to our clients, whom we encourage to broaden their minds and consider how they, too, can become ‘outstanding’. How can you make your business stand out? What can you do that no one else does?

Steve Mills, The Prudent Marketer believes that business should constantly be self-assessing to see how they can become better. “All businesses, large and small, should take a look at themselves and see how they can become better at selling, more caring towards their customers, faster at fulfilling orders and better overall. In order to combat the financial instability which is sweeping the globe, businesses need to look at what they can do to become truly outstanding.”

For more information about Steve Mills, the Prudent Marketer, and to discover some of his personal marketing tips, visit

Free webinar – Why most marketing does not work

Marketing ConsultantJust a reminder that I am holding a free webinar tomorrow evening at 8pm.

Here’s what I am going to cover:

1. Why most marketing advice does not work

2. Why using typical marketing strategies is no longer enough

3. How to use the six steps of Prudent Marketing

4. How to overcome one of the biggest problems most businesses face – creating more leads

5. Using simple ‘Marketing without Money strategies to grow your business

You can sign up for free at

You’ll also find more details at:

Getting traffic by blogging…

My blog just hit 11,000 views in six months.  So I should be up toward 30,000 for the year.  That is more than most small businesses get to their website.  In fact, it is far more!  I say that not to impress you, but to impress upon you that if you are not blogging on, then you are losing money and missing out on lots of traffic!

Marketing Advice – Turning knowledge into action

Marketing Consultant‘The knowledge which got you where you are may not get you to where you want to go.’

What do I mean by this? Put simply, if you want to improve your business, your sales, your marketing and your income, knowledge, information and education are your most valuable assets.

However, you must be careful of voiding your learning without putting it into action. Knowledge on its own its completely useless; learning without action is a waste of time, money and effort. It is the application of learned knowledge and skills that really makes the difference. One of the difference between those who struggle financially and those who have found great wealth is often that the latter take action towards their goals on an ongoing basis.

The learning process is only worthwhile if you use what you have learned to improve your business. Ask yourself the following:

  • What was the last business book you read?
  • How many business books do you read per year?
  • How many sales courses have you attended this year?
  • What is your knowledge of blogging, online marketing and social media?
  • Which successful businesses and businesspeople have you studied?

If the answers to all of these questions have opened your eyes, it is time to take action.

Quotes To Live By:

“Knowledge is not the secret of success. Most people know what to do, but they don’t do what they know.”

– Anthony Robbins, renowned personal coach and self-help author.

“Success comes down to taking the necessary action.”

– Donald Trump, business magnate, investor, author and President of The Trump Organization.

For more information about Steve Mills, the Prudent Marketer, and to discover some of his personal marketing tips, visit

About Steve Mills

Steve Mills helps clients to create more leads. Over the past 17 years, Steve has built a reputation for helping businesses to market themselves using his ‘Marketing without Money Formula’. Never one to take unnecessary risks for himself or his client, Steve is now known as The Prudent Marketer.

Steve established his reputation by training thousands of business people in how to market themselves without a budget. He has spoken to audiences all over the world and authored three highly successful marketing books as well as writing articles for many leading business magazines. He is the founder of The LinkedIn Training Academy which provides training, coaching and mentoring, through video, audio, workshops and webinars.


Free webinar | What is Prudent Marketing

Marketing coachI keep being asked all the time – What is Prudent Marketing?

Well, I am going to tell a group of 100 interested people like you, exactly what it is all about during my free webinar at 8pm on Thursday 22nd August at 8pm to  I am also going to explain how to:

1. Use the six step Prudent Marketing System (it took me 20 years to develop)

2. Create more leads and make more money, both on and off-line

3. Use simple ‘Marketing without Money strategies to grow your business

You can sign up for free at –

This is a free introductory webinar.  During the webinar I will discuss how to win more business using Prudent Marketing Strategies and Systems.  I am very excited about this webinar and I really hope that you can make it!

To book your place, simply click on the link –

Title: What is Prudent Marketing?
Date: Thursday, August 22, 2013
Time: 8:00 PM – 9:00 PM BST

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.

System Requirements
PC-based attendees
Required: Windows® 7, Vista, XP or 2003 Server
Mac®-based attendees
Required: Mac OS® X 10.6 or newer
Mobile attendees
Required: iPhone®, iPad®, AndroidTM phone or Android tablet
Space is limited.

Reserve your Webinar seat now at:

Can’t make the webinar, but interested in Prudent Marketing?  Click here –

The best e-mail marketing system on the planet

Want to know what the best email marketing system on the planet is?  Take a look at this –

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