Congratulations. You’ve made the jump from employee to entrepreneur. It’s not an easy step. The unknown of trying to make your mortgage payments is a scary prospect. Will there be enough clients? Will they like your product? Will you make enough money?
At the end of the day you’ve taken a step that most people dream about whether good or bad. That’s something you can hang your hat on. Now, the question is, can you hang your coat there too? Do you have what it takes to propel you forward? What’s your plan?
What is your plan? Everyone knows that if you build it, they will come, right? You don’t need a plan.
I don’t want to rain on your parade, but the chances of your company making it in today’s world in general are about 50/50 and without a marketing plan, that number plummets. Your plan doesn’t have to be too complex, but it certainly does have to consider who your audience is and how you convert them to clients.
The online e-commerce site Salesforce says it takes between 6 and 8 touches to convert a lead.* With traditional marketing, this can become very expensive. Fortunately for marketers today, another trend is that consumers are beginning to educate themselves before the purchase conversation.
The solution is a holistic approach to your marketing called Inbound marketing.
Inbound marketing is about naturally drawing your perfect audience to you through the targeted use of blogs, podcasts, eBooks, video, newsletters, whitepapers, SEO, physical products, and social media marketing. According to Impactbound, as many as 80% of business decisions makers prefer to learn brand information via articles rather than ads. In fact, the Marketing Insiders Group says that the chance of someone clicking on your banner ad is 0.04%. That’s 4 in 1000.
Inbound methodology is about engaging with the right customer so you spend your efforts speaking to an audience already in the middle of their purchase conversation.
One of the best inbound marketing theories was established by Hubspot, the industry leading inbound marketing company. They suggest that you must draw your audience through four stages: Attract, Convert, Close, Delight.
Inbound methodology is about engaging with the right customer so you spend your efforts speaking to an already engaged audience. No longer will you have to spend money throwing ads out like you were fishing in the ocean.
The short game – Google Ads and Facebook ads
Establishing an advertising campaign predicated on your message is easy. Making sure it resonates with your audience takes time. Eventually however you will come to understand audience behavior and you will draw clients in with ads so you have those early wins.
The long game – Education
To truly understand where your audience is in the funnel you have to start with data. Ask. Ask everyone, whether they are your clients or not. What do you need?
Only after you understand where your audience is can you begin to communicate to them on their level. As Salesforce indicated, you can’t assume that every client is ready for a purchase conversation every time you see them. With inbound marketing, you can capitalize on that need to educate themselves before they buy. You can educate through the use of social media and blogging. You bring them closer with every touch until they come to trust you and look to you for advice.
When you understand what your audience is looking for then you can start asking them whether they would use your product. Will your product fill their need?
Inbound marketing is about taking several paths simultaneously to the same destination. You use many forms of online marketing to speak to a segmented audience. Each small change in your message will resonate with a different sector of your audience so over time you draw more and more through your funnel to achieve your true goal: profitability.
What Is Your First Step?
Find out where your audience is and what they’re talking about: Facebook, forums, or even the corner coffee shop. Get out there and ask them what they need? Don’t fall into the trap thinking that if you build they will come; they won’t. You have to invite them in. Make sure your business is part of the 50% that succeeds.
That’s what this Meetup is all about. We’re looking to empower other marketers and entrepreneurs of all skill levels with practical strategies to execute and succeed with their own campaign goals. We want to help you, help yourselves. Through this collaboration, we hope to build a community of marketers that can provide insight into their own unique successes.