LESSON 2: INSIGHTS AND GETTING FOUND

Getting Found

My company has used technology to leverage marketing efforts since 1996.  Today that translates to Inbound Marketing.

An easy way to explain Inbound Marketing is to say that it’s rather like playing the childhood game of Hide and Seek, except that instead of hiding, you do everything you possibly can to GET FOUND.

If you were playing Hide and Seek and wanted to get found, you might wear vibrant, vivid colors.  Hide in plain sight.  Or give your hiding place away by talking from behind a tree about the good things that could happen if they find you!  The Inbound Marketing version of Hide and Seek is taking the actions that will help you to GET FOUND on your web site, on LinkedIn, on your blog, on Facebook and Twitter.

With that in mind, I discussed with my client the many different ways to GET FOUND.  Her response was that she doesn’t want to do “all that marketing stuff” – she’s very good at cold calling and could do that on a regular basis instead.

And yet, and yet – the meeting turned out to be a surprise for me!  She’d hired someone to do a one-shot Search Engine Optimization of her website.  Now, first of all, anyone who thinks that technology in general and Google in particular are going to stagnate after her SEO is completed should look at the history of the last few years.

Out of curiosity, I posted a question on LinkedIn, asking experts on inbound marketing and SEO to weigh in on the issues of whether a one-shot SEO effort is a legitimate strategy.  The comments were consistent — SEO is not a destination but a journey and can be a successful one-shot only if the client takes over responsibility once the vendor is gone.

The comment that made the most sense to me came from Billy MacDonald, Inbound Marketing Consultant at HubSpot, who said (some years ago):

Hi!

An estimate is 25% of how you rank is based on on-page SEO (how well you tell search engines the content on that page) and 75% is how much authority you have for that page (number and quality of inbound links going back to that page).

The best way to acquire inbound links is to create remarkable content. Most SEO companies will not be producing content for you. You need to produce new content regularly to acquire these valuable inbound links, so SEO never ends. You’ll also want to be adjusting your on-page SEO and specific keyword for each page based on the results you get from traffic to each page.

My advice would be to develop a strong content creation strategy and stick to it. One of the more effective ways to do this is be active in blogging.”

So why didn’t I ask her this simple question:  “If you’d rather do cold calls and you don’t believe that getting found is important, why are you going to spend money on an SEO project?”.

Lesson learned:  Don’t let surprise stop you from sharing what you know, even if it seems to be too late.   You never know if expert advice might be remembered and appreciated on another day.

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LESSON 1: TRANSPARENCY – CLEAR AS GLASS

Transparency

Had a meeting last week with an existing client, hoping to develop a pro-active plan for Inbound Marketing activities.

I intended to begin the meeting by letting my client know that I am opening a new location. An Internet-based business allows me to work from just about any place, but I still wanted to show respect by telling her in person.  Painful surprise — she already knew because someone else told her.

It was only when I spoke with my Sales Coach later that the full impact of that exchange became clear to me.  (I’m very good at Marketing but years of Word of Mouth business allowed me to learn about Sales very late in the game.)  Anyway, his response to this story was that my client might think I was deliberately trying to hide something from her.  “I would never do that,” I groaned.  “But,” says my Sales Coach, “She may not have believed that.  So what’s the lesson?”

The lesson is that everything I do should be transparent – clear as glass – to my clients.  If something changes, I should be on the phone, letting them know immediately.  Whether it’s taking on staff or adding a new location or anything that might affect my ability to serve them well, they have a right to be the first to know.

Lesson learned:  Be transparent!