The trending style of marketing today is called “inbound marketing”, where you make yourself valuable and interesting enough to your clients that they come to you, as opposed to traditional methods like google advertising that pushed yourself in front of other people.
The key approach is to create content that “delights your customer”, to quote Hubspot, who have a great online course on the subject. Put yourself in your client’s shoes and ask yourself “What do they care about most? How can I help alleviate their pain or give them pleasure?”
Then create that kind of content for them.
Creating helpful content for people accomplishes three things:
Inbound Marketing is the new form of SEO, one that optimizes for the human experiences, not for Google’s bots. It is no longer possible to mechanically optimize sites by just following a technical formula or creating a mass of backlinks.
Here are some specific steps to take to start Inbound Marketing:
1. Create your content.
This is usually blog posts, but it also helps to create free PDF reports (like this one) which you send people in exchange for their email or a Facebook like.
A good place to find writers is elance.com– keep in mind that it is better to pay a bit more per article, remember, there are no shortcuts here. Keep your posts entertaining, concise, and easy to read.
Another great place to create all sorts of great content is through a site called Fiverr.com, where you can find everything from video spokesperson to graphic artists to writers to bring your ideas to fruition.
Post your content to your blog, and make sure it has a Call to Action at the bottom, which asks your video to do the next thing you want them to do– contact you, read another post, give you their email, etc.
A great book on creating a niche for yourself is called Blue Ocean Strategy, which speaks about leaving the “shark infested waters of your existing market” and sailing into “undisputed waters” by creating completely new markets.
Now that your content has been posted, it’s time to “seed” it. This means posting it to other sites where people will read it- nobody will be running to your site in the beginning.
Here is a blog post I wrote about effectively sharing your content, I particularly recommend StumbleUpon, which shows your content with people who are already interested in it.
To automate your posting process, there are two helpful links I recommend – IFTTT, which automatically performs actions that you set beforehand, and Buffer, which shares content at preset times to multiple social networks with just one click.
3. Send out an email
Marketing to your existing customers delivers a far greater return on your investment (ROI) than any other type of marketing. Keep in touch with your past clients and potential leads with regularly scheduled email updates.
However, instead of just speaking about yourself, send them a link to your useful, entertaining content – this is guaranteed to be the most popular part of your blog.
Instead of just sending emails from your regular email account, it is highly recommended to send one from a business emailing account like Mailchimp – which has a free account option.
This type of account has a couple of benefits:
I hope these three steps were helpful, feel free to send emails and questions you may have to firstname.lastname@example.org
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