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How Much Sales & Marketing Do You *Really* Need to Do In Your Business? (The Answer May Surprise You)

One of the most common things I hear from online entrepreneurs is:

If only I knew what to do, I’d do it!

In this post, I want to address this question, and show you what you need to do at your current stage of business, so that you can make the impact that you’re here to make… without spinning your wheels wasting time.

Whenever I meet an entrepreneur who isn’t getting the clients or customers that they want, the reason is always clear.

There’s nothing wrong with their business idea. And there’s nothing wrong with them. Nine times out of ten, they’re simply not talking to enough people.

Just like you need food and water to survive, your business needs sales and marketing — and probably more than you think.

So how do you know how much sales and marketing your business needs to survive?

The answer may surprise you.

The most successful entrepreneurs I know spend 30-50% of their time doing marketing and sales activities. Yes, you heard me right. 30-50%.

ymw-mtm2-160514-001Now, this doesn’t mean spending 30-50% of your time on Facebook. It means spending 30-50% of your time doing focused marketing & sales activities that are appropriate to your current stage of business development.

Here are the 4 stages of business development:

  • STAGE 1: “Blue Sky” (0-$20K revenue)
  • STAGE 2: “Call Me” ($20K-$250K revenue)
  • STAGE 3: “List Build” ($100K-$1MM revenue)
  • STAGE 4:  “Authority” ($500K and up revenue)

(BTW: if you haven’t heard me talk about the stages of business development before, then I highly recommend you register now for the webinar I’m doing on December 29th to make sure you’re doing the right things at the right times to send your business into orbit. See below for how to register for that.)

So let me give you an example of doing the right kind of marketing at the right time in your business. The kind of marketing that will actually get you clients, customers and results.

The Blue Sky Stage of Business Development

How to know if you’re in “Blue Sky”:

  • You’re just getting started & the sky’s the limit!
  • Maybe you’re making a little money. Maybe you’re not.  Your revenue is between $0 – $20K
  • You may have an idea or message but you’re not crystal clear on what it is yet
  • You haven’t yet figured out exactly how to bring in a consistent revenue

If this is you, then it’s critical to spend a at least 30-40% of your time talking to people 1-on-1 about what you’re doing and what you’re offering, and actively selling your service or product.  Speaking your message to people face to face, and asking for the sale is the only way to know if you’re on the right track.

During “Blue Sky”, the best way to get clear on your idea is to talk to people early and often to see how they react to what you’re saying, and begin to market and sell your offers and get real world experience working with customers and clients.

Unfortunately, too many “Blue Sky”-stage people want to avoid investing the time to actually talk to real people and hone their message, and spend 80-90% of their time on non-revenue generation activities such as getting business cards, creating a website, building a list and a social media following, or a membership site, etc.. etc..

The fact is that you don’t need any of that.

In fact, I always tell my students:

“Before you can make money while you sleep, you have to be able to make money while you’re awake.”

Make sense? Any light bulbs going off yet?

Once you’ve nailed your message, then you’ll automatically move to the next stage of business development which is the best time to begin to  scale your marketing and sales to more and more people.

If you’re reading this blog post, I’m guessing that you’re not doing enough sales and marketing…

So, here’s one simple exercise you can do right now to make sure you’re spending your time in the right places:

  1. Calculate the total number of hours you currently (or would like to) spend on your business each week. (Whether that’s 10, 20 or 40.)
  2. Calculate how much of that time you should spend on marketing and how much of that time you should spend on sales.
  3. Download the time-tracking app Toggle ( and begin to track how much of your time each week you’re actually spending on sales and marketing.
  4. Register below for my webinar on December 29th to find out how you can best spend those sales and marketing hours, and when you attend I’ll give you the entire 4 Stages of Business Development handout below, that will show you every activity to do in each of the four stages of your business.



Love it? Hate it? Let me know...

  1. Beverly Avatar

    I think we all know people who promote their business constantly. They are the ones that people avoid in social settings because if you get cornered by them, they try to sell you their product or service. How do you talk to lots of people, but not become one of those?

    1. Marisa Murgatroyd Avatar
      Marisa Murgatroyd

      Great question Beverly. A lot of people hold themselves back from marketing or selling because they don’t want to be one of “those people.” The truth is that if you’re asking that question, you’ll never be one of those people. If you lead from a place of being of service and providing value, then marketing and sales can feel like a gift. My last post was about how to reframe the way you think about marketing. You may want to check it out:

  2. Gina Hiatt Avatar
    Gina Hiatt

    I love these 4 stages, Marisa. This idea really helps me when I’m coaching others. You are brilliant!

    1. Marisa Murgatroyd Avatar
      Marisa Murgatroyd

      Thanks Gina! I’m so glad this helped you… 🙂

  3. Saleh Alarbe Avatar
    Saleh Alarbe

    Marisa ;I LOVE YOU indeed

    1. Marisa Murgatroyd Avatar
      Marisa Murgatroyd

      Thank you Saleh! <3 you back...

  4. Tania Farries Avatar
    Tania Farries

    Looking forward to your webinar!!! How do you register for it please? ?

    1. Marisa Murgatroyd Avatar
      Marisa Murgatroyd

      Tania! I did the webinar in December and don’t have a replay available anymore. That said, I do this webinar every few months so if you’re on my list watch out for it… 🙂

  5. Ahmed Avatar

    Hi Marisa,
    You’re really awesome! You’re a very dynamic and resourceful person. Many thanks.
    Wish you success,

    1. Marisa Murgatroyd Avatar
      Marisa Murgatroyd

      Thanks Ahmed! If you see that in me, you must have those qualities in you too!

  6. hussien ahmed Avatar
    hussien ahmed

    Very useful and interesting.

    1. Marisa Murgatroyd Avatar
      Marisa Murgatroyd


  7. Elden Avatar

    There is no link for a Dec 29th webinar. I believe it was for Dec 29th 2017

    1. Marisa Murgatroyd Avatar
      Marisa Murgatroyd

      Hi Elden, this is an older blog post so that webinar has passed, but here’s the link to another one you can join to discover the business you’re truly meant to build and how to share it with the world!

  8. Gabriely Wambura Avatar
    Gabriely Wambura

    Marisa is a smart woman. I have to think about which application works best for me. But I have never been involved in working in the incumbent office. I now learn better with Marisa step and step forward. Thank you very much, Marisa.

    Sincerely, Gabriely Wambura

  9. Denise Avatar

    Is there a way to watch a replay of the webinar.

    1. Shannon Goodell Avatar
      Shannon Goodell

      There isn’t for this webinar but the good news is that Marisa has a live workshop TODAY at 1pm PT/4pm ET. You’ll learn how to solve the “What Do I Do Know?” Problem… Forever so you can grow and scale your business to new heights. Save your spot here:

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