When searching for images portraying “business giving” I was amazed by what I saw. No actual giving – only selling! This so well illustrates the challenge businesses face and explains the resistance many have to “give to get marketing”.
It seems completely counter-intuitive to give away what you have worked so hard to acquire – yet it is what people have come to expect. And if you don’t give it to them, someone else will. So, instead of a dry business image with an exchange of money for goods, I settled on a hunky guy holding a gift. Isn’t that more appealing, anyway? Let’s see how we call all be that hunky guy who is making somebody’s day with his thoughtfulness (good looks 100% optional!).
“Give to Get,” “Youtility,” “Inbound Marketing,” “Content Marketing” – all different words to describe the same thing – marketing that is so great that people would pay for it. So, why not make them pay for it? Isn’t it counter productive to give away your hard-earned knowledge when what you really need is to be paid for it? For an in-depth discussion of what Inbound Marketing is, right from the mouths of the experts, head on over to the article, “What is Inbound Marketing?”
Why Would People Hire Me If I’m Giving Away My Knowledge?
There is really nothing a person with a “DIY” mindset can’t already find online. So, if you think that hoarding your know-how is going to somehow force people to hire you to get what they want, you’ve got another think coming! Instead, give people what they want, on the platform they want it. When they get in too deep, they’ll be looking for that tutorial that got them started and calling whoever it is who obviously knows more than they for help. Don’t you want that to be YOU? Also, they may share your information with friends and business associates who are not at all inclined to try to do it themselves – and those people might come to you right away.
Inbound Marketing Doesn’t Mean You Don’t Have to Give it ALL Away
Promoting a book? Give a free chapter, or a webinar with a sneak peak. But keep some of the good stuff back for your customers. Sharing a “how-to” blog post or ebook? Provide the basics and tell them how to get more (call me, hire me :)).
You Really Should Be Getting Something in Return – Here’s How
Your hard work is worth something! So, you should be getting something (this is “give to GET” after all) from people who are enjoying your useful content. To that end, make sure you are collecting leads for your efforts. When you publish an ebook, ask for a little information in exchange. This could be as simple as asking for a name and email address. Then use that data to keep in touch with the people who are interested in your useful information.
Go beyond collecting one giant email list, though. Segment your lists. If someone downloads, “Ten things to know before you apply for a mortgage loan” they may not be interested in your ebook on preparing a home for sale. So, put them in a “home buyers” list and send information designed to appeal to them. We use HubSpot’s software to collect and nurture leads based on their expressed interests. It even allows us to collect new information each time they fill out a form (using smart fields, it doesn’t ask for information more than once), so over time and as their interest continues, we learn more and more about them.
Your Salespeople Will Thank You
When you effectively generate, segment and nurture good leads, your salespeople will be more effective. They’ll go in to each call with the information they need to make a good impression. They’ll know more about each lead and prospect than they would had the prospect called in after seeing a newspaper ad, meaning they’ll already be further down in the sales funnel. In fact inbound leads are already closer to make a decision than other types of leads, having already determined what they need and having expressed an interest in your services.
Your turn! Have you implemented inbound marketing techniques for your business? Is it working for you?
- What is Inbound Marketing? (scalablesocialmedia.com)
- Inbound Marketing and Social Media Outsourcing – Six Signs That You’re Not Ready (scalablesocialmedia.com)
- What is HubSpot? (scalablesocialmedia.com)
- 6 Inbound Marketing Metrics to Help You Succeed (blogs.salesforce.com)
- What Is Inbound Marketing, & Why Is It Important For Lawyers & Law Firms? (myrlandmarketing.com)
- What Inbound Marketing Means for Sales People (shoretelsky.com)
- Inbound Marketing: An Infographic (business2community.com)