Vision, Taking Action, Inbound Marketing, and Page One
Over the past few months I have had the pleasure of working with several business people who all have one thing in common, a vision of their future! As many of you reading this already know, vision without implementation, without correct and focused action is useless. Knowing you want to reach a destination may get the ball rolling but without a plan of action, a map, all the vision is the world won’t even get you out of the driveway!
Interestingly, and sadly, many people have also lost their vision. The vision that once drove them daily, got them out of bed in the morning excited to great another day, has taken a back seat to the mundane, day-to-day struggle just to stay afloat in this economy.
And that is, as noted above, extremely sad!
In today’s advertising and marketing world, with its rapid transition from the old media, outbound approach to marketing, to new media, inbound marketing, many businesses simply do not have the time or the knowledge to implement the strategies necessary to stay current with the latest trends…much less get their face (i.e., their brand and their message) in front of as many prospective clients as possible.
The market has changed and what was once an outbound, market driven economy is now a consumer driven, search-based world.
Googling has become a verb. The buyer is now taking an active role in the process, seeking out merchandise, services, etc. It is no longer enough, if it ever really was, to stick your business’s name in front of enough people, knowing they will come. “If you build it, they will come” just doesn’t cut it any more.
In the current marketplace, it is necessary to:
- Be where prospective clients are searching for your services or merchandise
- Capture their attention
- Provide a reason for them to continue to focus on your message
- Provide them with an incentive so you can capture their contact information
- Build a relationship with that individual until they are ready to make a purchasing decision
- Continue to build a relationship after the transaction in order to create an ongoing relationship with your clients and hence increase your business’s overall profitability
Once you understand the dynamics of new media, inbound marketing, how do you apply the model to your business, whether a practice, a retail establishment, or service-based business?
The fact is, unless you want to spend several hours a day, for at least a year or two, educating yourself, you can’t. In today’s world, you simply can’t do it alone.
The world has changed and, if you want your business or practice to survive and flourish, you must change with it.
Change is never easy, we all resist change. Change is indeed frightening for many and the inertia we all feel is, at times, overwhelimg. Inertia is a powerful force in nature, and in business; and, once set in our ways, it is a difficult task to consider a new approach, something that may be intimidating, something we are not familiar (read: comfortable) with…but is essential if you are to survive and prosper.
Understand this, regardless of whether we are physicians or plumbers, accountants or exterminators, attornies or landscapers, woodworkers or photographers, we are all salesmen; and, we are all marketing a product. Be it ourselves or a specific product, we are all selling something!
Don’t like the idea of being a salesman?
Get over it! We are all marketing a product, a service…ourselves!
If you want to sell yourself, and, in the end, that is what we are doing, regardless of your business or profession, you must be where the buyers are and you must provide enough of a reason for the buyer to pick you out of a myraid of choices available to them.
With 360,000 competing web pages for the keyword phrase “how to stop sciatica,” how do you get to page one? For any keyword phrase that pays?
By pays, I mean a keyword phrase people are searching for. By people searching, I mean your target audience, people searching for what you offer, be it a product or service; and, people ready, willing, and able to make a buying decision.
Because, and this is key, if you aren’t on page one, do you really think you have a shot?
Do you think people seek you out if you are on page 8 or 10? Or even on page 2, 3 or 4?
I talked to a new client the other day and he stated, rather emphatically as a matter of fact, that he never searched beyond page one! This is the rule, not the exception.
You have to be on the first page of Google, Yahoo, Bing, and yes, even Ask, for all the keywords important to your marketing message, if you are going to prosper in the consumer-driven, search-oriented world.
If you want to get the attention of your target marketing, your target audience, in today’s new media, inbound marketing world?
You must be where your prospective clients are actively searching, and that means you need to focus your message on yourtarget audience and on the keywords they are searching for…and more!
Now, most individuals, even most Internet marketing professionals, and even a few inbound marketing consultants, particularly those heavy into search engine optimization (SEO), will tell you that you can get to page one in one of two ways:
- You can pay an incredible sum of money each and every month to be on page one via pay-per-click advertsing (PPC).
- Or you can earn your way onto page one “organically” by way of SEO, meaning by way of links and longevity, and only after a long period of time, usually a year to a year and a half, and only after expending a lot of money to do so.
I call that a lose-lose!
Again, for most individuals and businesses to get to page one there are only two ways, pay a ton of money or spend a lot of time and money (i.e., SEO).
For every <em>day</em> you are not on page one, it is costing you a lot of money!
Because you aren’t where people (read: your target market) are searching for your products and services!
Millions and millions of people access the Internet daily from their computers and from other mobile devices; and, more are joining them every day. If you think you can survive with a weekly newspaper ad, an occasional radio spot, and a yellow pages listing?
Those days are long gone!
In today’s search-based, consumer-driven economy, you must be where the action is!
The action is on page one of the various search engines, Google getting the lion’s share.
The action is also in social media.
Your business or practice needs to have an Internet presence, an Internet image if you will, throughout social media. The various facets of Web 2.0 (social media, blogging, etc.), including a central hub (blog instead of just a static website), and pages on Facebook and Twitter, are crucial to your business’s long term viability, and profitability.
Additionally, you must aggressively build an image as an authority, an expert in your niche or specialty.
While building The Ultimate Internet Image, you must build a relationship with current and future clients, patients, and customers. Relationship marketing is not just a catchy phrase, it is a reality and it should be at the foundation of all you do, your entire focus should be relationship-based. We will discuss relationship marketing at length in a subsequent blog post.
Significantly, if social media has demonstrated anything, it is that people are ravenous for social connection, a relationship.
Provide it and win!
Once again, more on this in an upcoming post.
Ultimately, the transition from outbound advertising to an inbound approach to client acquisition does not have to be painful. In fact, the transition can be an exciting, exhilaratingly profitable experience, one that can and often does transform the way you do business…long term!
Inertia is a negative force, one counter-productive to success in business, any business; and in life, any life!
The Ultimate Internet Image specializes in assisting brick and mortar business owners make the transition to a highly effective, focused, inbound marketing strategy, one guaranteed to enhance lead production, sales, and overall profitability.
Inertia is powerful, what we do is more-so!
Contact us today for a no cost, inbound marketing consultation, as well as an overall competitive analysis.
Director of Marketing