I was having a business check-in and accountability call the other day with a client who is part of our coaching program for consultants.
As we were chatting away the term “inbound marketing” came up.
But remember with inbound marketing you’re mostly creating your content so it’s less expensive or even “free”
The client who I’ll call Jake (to protect his privacy) was excited, as he had just finished attending a small seminar. It was on how to write and structure blog posts for his new blog and website which we recently designed, developed, and launched for him as part of our “websites for consultants” program.
I mentioned to Jake that I thought blogging was a great idea for him and that it could be a solid part of his overall Inbound Marketing strategy. He interrupted me for a second to explain further, as he didn’t know what I meant by that term.
Now Jake’s a smart guy so if he didn’t know what it meant I thought others might not either. So today I want to introduce this important and relatively new marketing concept (Been around since 2008) to all of you all so you can start using it to grow your consulting businesses as well, sound good?
What Is Inbound Marketing?
As Wikipedia puts it “Inbound marketing is promoting a company through blogs, podcasts, video, eBooks, enewsletters, whitepapers, SEO, physical products, social media marketing, and other forms of content marketing which serve to attract customers.”
Below is a diagram (via BIGSHOT Inbound) that explains the concept in a visual format
In a nutshell inbound marketing is the strategy of creating and publishing various types of valuable and useful content related to your expertise that is targeted at potential customers and people that are already searching for that information on the Internet.
It’s the complete opposite of the older style of marketing that is also known to some as “outbound marketing”. This is where you put out information to the masses (like a TV or Newspaper AD) and hope that some of the people that see your message will be the right fit and respond.
There’s a Cambridge based company called HubSpot who are on the forefront of Inbound Marketing and they put together this chart below to show some clear examples of both inbound (permission) and outbound (interruption) marketing methods:
Is Outbound Marketing Bad?
The answer to that is no and I’ll explain why. TV ads, cold calling, direct mail, online advertising and other forms of outbound marketing still definitely have their place in an overall marketing strategy. If you know what you’re doing they can be very effective and profitable as well.
But remember with inbound marketing you’re mostly creating your content so it’s less expensive or even “free” (see below chart by Kiss Metrics).
Also, remember that your ideal clients are already out there looking for what you’re publishing – You’re not chasing and annoying them. By doing this you start getting found more often and you become the expert in their eyes when they do find you.
Over time this will generate more traffic to your website and/or social media pages and if the process is designed correctly this traffic will turn into more leads, prospects, and eventually more sales, we all want that right?
Example of Inbound Marketing in Action
Here at ConsultingSuccess.com Michael and I have been successfully using this style of marketing to build connections, bring in leads, and land new clients for many years now.
Our strategy is simple and I’d like to share it with you today (not to brag, but to simply illustrate something that works really well for us).
All you need to get started is a website with a blog (which you should definitely have by now), and a list of topics that you want to start writing about.
Essentially it comes down to us consistently producing and publishing a large amount of quality information on the topics of consulting and how to grow a successful consulting business.
This content comes in the form of videos, blog articles (we’ve published almost 1000 of them at this point!), free mini-courses, audio interviews, webinars, and much more.
As we continue to author this content people like yourselves who are searching for information about consulting and how to take their consultancy to the next level, end up finding our website and then learn about our brand, products, and coaching programs.
Of course this takes lots of time, work, and patience but it does pay off as you keep working on it.
Now take a second to think about, and maybe make a list of the kind of content you can see yourself producing for the consulting niche that you are in? What kind of information are your ideal clients searching for and in need of?
Sounds Amazing, But Where Should I Start?
If you’re sold on this concept so far the next thing people usually ask is where to start. That’s a great question and I often say to begin by writing useful blog posts based on your business and consulting expertise.
This is a simple strategy and it’s free (Assuming you’re the one writing the blog posts and you’re not hiring someone to write for you). All you need to get started is a website with a blog (which you should definitely have by now), and a list of topics that you want to start writing about. That’s it just start pushing your knowledge out there, people are looking for you, I promise!
Wrapping It Up
As you can probably imagine there’s much more to inbound marketing and the whole strategy and creation of your inbound plan.
Today I simply wanted to introduce the concept to you and in future articles I’ll in dig in much deeper if you’d like? (Tell me in the comments below?)
Also, If you’re looking for specific help with inbound marketing, your overall design and brand identity and also setting up a custom consulting website and blog please do get in touch with me here as we run a website design and identity program specifically for consultants like you.
Wishing you all a successful day and chat more soon!
This article was written by Sam Zipursky who is the branding and design director of ConsultingSuccess.com. He heads up our Professional Websites for Consultants program and is an expert in design, internet business, and brand strategy.