Marketing is more than promoting yourself. Marketing comes to play in many parts of your organisation, especially for the self-employed and small businesses. What we do matters, everywhere. And when we do it wrong, it will have an impact too.

An example from one of my own mistakes: A while ago I had a big marketingproject for a client. I loved doing the project. It was fun. Somewhere along the way of writing the quote me and the others working on the project thought it would be fun to do a quick movie too. So we calculated in a few hours and described an easy to-do-movie. But of course, nothing is ever easy.

The movie that was supposed to be a small extra turned into something a whole lot bigger. Nothing wrong with that of course. But I wasn’t all too clear towards my client that the movie was growing from something extra into a project on its own. I didn’t tell him outright that it was costing me loads more hours than projected in the quote.  However, when making the invoice, I did put a few extra hours in the final price. Not all of them, but still a few extra hours where calculated as ‘extra work’.

He got, of course, a bit upset. Why was the project suddenly more expensive? Where did the extra work come from? Why hadn’t I told him?

Great points. He was right.

It is very important to be clear before sending the invoice that there is extra work. And then, only if totally necessary, you put it in the invoice. Otherwise it is your own fault for just calculating wrong.

So, you might ask, what has this to do with marketing? Well, just about everything!

How you decide to handle those extra hours and the communication to your client is marketing. When you handle this right, he will be impressed and let others know you are to be trusted and great at what you do.

So don’t just calculate (some of) the hours as I did. But don’t just take the loss without letting the client know it is a lot more work than expected either.

Let the client know this or that was not in the original quote. Let him know you are putting in loads more hours. But leave it at that. If the quality of the end project is great you will have a great ambassador for life.

What mistake did you make that wasn’t all too great marketing for your business? And what did you learn from it?

**Cover image from FreeImages**