Hey hey! Here's one to get you all thinking. I've been thinking about how much money, energy and time I've spent in the last couple of years on my website, social media and email marketing - and I'm starting to wonder if it was all worth it. While online marketing often seems very affordable compared to other forms of marketing, if I were to put a monetary value on all the hours I've spent on designing, writing content, tweaking, SEO, replying to website enquiries etc., and then add that to the actual money I've spent on outside services, and then factor in the money I could have earned if was working on billable stuff instead - the cost is a lot more than it seems. Many, many times more than what I've spent on print marketing over the same period - and far more than I would have spent if I realised the cost earlier. If I were an online retailer this would be fine, but in a business like mine, if I were to pick up one quality client per month, I would have far more work than I need. The majority of my quality clients come through word of mouth and I believe that's by far the best form of marketing there is, so why haven't I focused my money, energy and time on encouraging my existing, happy clients to spread the word? Because the business world has been hammering me with things like, "You need to build an online presence", "you need to get to the top of Google", "why don't you have a twitter account?", "print marketing is dead", etc. While I don't deny that online marketing can be a very powerful tool for business, I'm starting to think that maybe some of us may be putting too many eggs in that basket, not realising what it's costing us, and neglecting some other very rewarding forms of marketing.