Category Archives: Inbound Marketing

5 Reasons You Should Never Write Another Word on Your Site

  1. You Don’t Really Have The Time -Business owners, managers, and even marketers generally do too much. If you are doing your accounting, serving customers, prospecting customers, managing leads, working on products, training employees, managing an office or storefront, working on your website design, connecting on social media, attempting to have a personal and family life outside of the business, and working on your marketing, why do you think your content will be good? Great content takes significant time to write, especially if you are not as practiced as a professional blogger. If you don’t have the time to write, stop and find someone else.
  2. Your Business Is Dry as Dirt – Have you ever watched Mike Rowe do his dirty jobs series? People love watching him because he takes dirt and makes it interesting. And manure. And toilets. There are many businesses out there that are just hard to market, and that’s OK. Now, you may run a janitorial company and have a great sense of humor and the art of marketing; you are a good fit for writing your own blogs. But, if you really don’t understand how to make the intricacies of your day job pop out for the average reader, relax. There is someone else who would love the opportunity to make your cup of dirt interesting.
  3. You Don’t Read Regularly – Now, I do know that you may be able to replace blogging with podcasting or video publishing, but the written word still drives much of the internet. Not only that, but the most tech savvy young people are reading more than older generations, according to Forbes. If you want to reach search engines or a younger market, you need to have written words on your site. If you don’t read, how do you know what to write for your audience? 
  4. You Don’t Speak The Language – This should go without saying, but I run into blogs all the time by people who either outsource to non-native English speakers or are non-native speakers. While this may work great if you are speaking to people with a similar grasp of the language, you cannot communicate to your audience if you do not speak their language. Tambìen, hablo Español no bueno. Necessito much mas practica por escribar mas de Español en mi blog. If you couldn’t get that, I said (poorly), “Also, I do not speak Spanish well. I need much more practice to write more Spanish on my blog.” See, it goes both ways: if you want to write marketing materials for your business online, learn the language.
  5. You Really Don’t Want To – I don’t know the reasons you may not want to craft your own content that engages, delights, and converts your customers, but you do. If you do not want to write content on your site, stop! There is too much to do in life and business to spend your time

So, if you are a business owner and your blogging efforts are half-hearted or way outside your comfort zone, there is hope for you! For more information on growing your business through content, marketing and more, please click the follow button below!

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7 Great Apps for Managing Marketing

If you look at any Google search for business marketing apps, you will see a long list of the newest and greatest, as well as different tools that have nothing to do with fulfilling your needs as a small business owner.

business apps   Google Search

Many of these apps are designed for large departments and enterprise level businesses who need to manage their marketing content on multiple social media channels, who need to manage servers and other hardware, and who have a regular budget for marketing technology.

The following 5 apps are useful for creating content, marketing content, and managing your business marketing online. The great news is they all come with free versions!

Buffer – Small business owners do not have time to be on Facebook all the time. I am building a content and inbound marketing business using social media as a primary marketing channel, and I don’t have time to be on social media all the time. Buffer is a way to get your business in front of your potential customers when they are online, without being there yourself. It is, basically, a post-scheduling app. Use this app to manage multiple accounts in their pro version, and use their photo sharing and editing software (Pablo) to get more bang for your proverbial buck.

Pop-Up Ally – I am just moving my pop-up management from SumoMe to Pop-Up-Ally on WordPress. This pop-up manager is designed to give you complete control over how prospects on your website are turned into leads. You can easily set the pop-up to only come up as they are leaving your site, when they have scrolled to the end of your post, or some other event-based pop-up. There is a free plug-in on WordPress if you do not want to upgrade immediately.

Hootsuite – Hootsuite is the app for managing social media profiles, and the first 3 are free. While Hootsuite has some automation features similar to Buffer, it is geared towards active participation in multiple social media platforms, while Buffer is geared towards setting up automatic updates of your social media profiles.

Canva – Canva is a great resource for finding and sharing photos to social media platforms, within posts, and on other online resources. Since memes drive the internet, any business marketing online needs a great photo editing platform that is integrated online.

Awesome Screenshot – Awesome screenshot is for creating photos that are instructional in nature. You can take any screenshot on your computer and edit it with highlights, pop-out comments, and in-photo texts.

Screen Cast Omatic – This is an essential tool for creating instructional videos, recording webcasts on your desktop and more.

17Hats – Although there are many CRMs out there, 17Hats is designed specifically for small business owners who need to manage more than marketing in their business software. CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management software and it is one type of the many business management systems available to streamline business processes, track communication and finances, and generally make life less hectic for busy business owners.

These are 7 apps that I have used for managing various aspects of marketing online, and I hope that you will be able to use them to benefit your business marketing ventures in the near future!

Please leave a comment below about any apps you use for marketing or sales.

 

 

Closing Deals By Providing Value

In inbound marketing, your goal is by providing value to your leads throughout the sales process, you lead them to the close and  to become brand advocates. Through your content, you provide them enough information to qualify themselves, understand your services, and make a need-based decision. For legacy salespeople (which I have been in multiple businesses and industries), the goal of any presentation is to “Always Be Closing.” This means that you are always trying to provide incentives, motivation, and tricks to get people to sign the contract.

close through providing value

I heard one sales trainer once say that you should drop your pen so that when the lead picks it up you can just hand them the document and say  “Sign here.” The trainer was joking, I hope.

Inbound Marketing’s Alternative

In inbound marketing, the goal is to provide enough information and value to your prospective clients that they will be able to make an accurate decision and move forward with your service/product without high-pressure or hype. I recently put this into practice in offering a first session free for specific tutoring situations as a valuable service that also gives me and my students a chance to discover if we are a good fit. When it comes to teaching, a good fit is the highest value add you can offer.

A Sample Proposal

Sounds like your boys could really use some help building success in their schooling! As a fanatic reader (I just read an 800 page novel for fun in 3 days), a professional writer, and tutor, I understand the need to connect with children to help them learn to love our written language. Because of that necessary connection, I offer my first reading/writing session free to determine if my style of teaching and relating works with my students’ style of learning.

As you see in this proposal, I am proposing to offer an hour of my time teaching students in order to establish a fit.

No Gimmicks, No Hype

In giving value-laden information, you need to take care to avoid hype and gimmicks in order to get the sale. When I go and meet with a client, I will not always ask for the next session (because sometimes I know the tutoring won’t work). But, a client may not want to go forward with me, and that is OK. Whether you are creating content for someone, providing a service like teaching, or making a virtual or physical product, it is important to provide enough value that they can see the benefit of your service and qualify their own sale.

When I go to a free session, I provide the same service as I do at a paid session. Because, once I sit down with a student, my goal is to see them succeed, not to get a long-term working relationship. In tutoring, long-term relationships are the goal, as they are in writing and many other service industries.

We must remember what makes us excited and passionate about our work. Whether it comes to my writing or my tutoring, my passion is to see others succeed through the work I do.

This is the value of inbound marketing: you can always succeed if you help others meet their goals, and with enough value, your clients will close themselves. Rather than using pressure to succeed, keep providing value to your leads and give them the opportunity to join you in the journey.