Free marketing channels, like social media, SEO and "networking" are a bit like weightlifting on the moon. There's no resistance...so you don't build any real muscle.
The drive to free channels makes you sloppy. There's no skin in the game.
And while I love "FREE" just as much as the next guy, it doesn't sharpen your sword like having your money on the line.
One reason why you see paid online ads and direct mail create big, fast to scale businesses, is the money.
Both media allow you to start with small money...but still require money. Test, tweak, improve, DISCOVER WHAT WORKS.
And when you discover it...let the marketing profits cash flow your growth.
Free doesn't force you to learn quickly...or at all. But all that "free" marketing will cost you dearly in the long run.
P.S. My friend Dov Gordon's webinar "How to Be Noticed, Be Valued and Be Paid by the Clients You Want Most" was a hit yesterday. He's made the recording available and you can get it here.