I was asked to teach a writing class via a note sent to me from one of my newsletter readers. After teaching the class and being complimented on my speaking abilities, I was given three leads on three book projects. Now some often suggest that a weekly newsletter unless it produces direct sales has no value. My three prospects later suggest the opposite.
One of my biggest challenges with business owners and authors is getting them to understand it's long-term opportunities you hope to attract from marketing activities. I've done the newsletter for eight years now. I write it weekly. Have I ever had someone say, "Hey! I read your newsletter let's do business." No. It doesn't work like a cash register - ka-ching sales!
Marketing and keeping your brand in front of prospective business is about long-term exposure and visibility. It's about creating brand familiarity and recognition. It's also about building long-term relationships with prospects. My newsletter is designed to do nothing more than keep my brand in front of clients and prospects. When it produces an invitation to teach a class or speak or even questions about business then it has worked. Expectations that my newsletter will generate direct sales is a misdirected idea about it.
Marketing and promotion is about opening doors of opportunities. When business owners quit looking at something with the idea of producing direct sales, they will be infinitely happier with their results. That I was able to have an opportunity to speak and thus attract three prospects is the value. Closing the sales on the prospects is the gravy. But without opportunities there would be no prospects and without prospects that would be no gravy.
But at the end of the business day the final answer about your marketing activities' value is simple: stop doing what you're doing and see what happens!