What is inbound marketing?
The simplest way to think about it is: using digital means to invert the traditional marketing process. Instead of cold-calling potential customers and clients, placing advertising in popular media, and doing a lot of labor-intensive and expensive boots-on-the-ground tasks that may or may not be worth it, businesses and professional consultants use online tools to bring the customers to them.
This is a new concept because such an arrangement is really only available in the digital space. That said, it is remarkably available in that space, if you know how to do it. Working with search engines, social media, marketing collateral, keywords, and other online tools available to everybody allow digital marketers to put themselves in a position where their messages can be found, and followed back to the source, by those looking for it. It is more efficient, more targeted, and potentially far more lucrative. In a very short time, relatively speaking, inbound marketing has completely changed the way businesses big and small, personalities popular and unknown, seek clients and customers.
And the best part is, again, literally anybody can utilize inbound marketing concepts once they know what they are and how they work. Many different tools are available to help the cause, but each individual person’s inbound strategy is going to be unique, because each individual person’s approach to it will be unique.
There are some points of emphasis, of course, and widely-accepted protocols to follow. Whether you’re a seasoned life coach looking to ramp up your digital footprint, or a total novice who wants to hit the ground running, here are some things to think about as regards your inbound marketing approach:
1. Develop a Strategy, and Know Where You Are In It
Do the research, familiarize yourself with the tools of the trade, and develop a strategy that utilizes your personal talents and strengths. Put that plan in place, and STICK TO IT! Mark your progress, make note of benchmarks hit, and understand where in your strategy you are at any given moment. That way, you’ll always know what’s coming next.
2. What Are You Saying? Where Are You Saying It?
Your overall marketing message—your branded personality, if you will—should resonate with the potential clients and customers you're hoping will find it. Keep a close eye on what you’re saying in your marketing content, and where you’re publishing these messages. Know where your potential clients are, and be there, too.
3. Keep Your House In Order and Be Ready to Convert
There’s nothing worse than a potential client being ready to do business before you are. Don't get going on your inbound plan until you're absolutely ready to make it count. Opportunities to convert will not be super-plentiful when you’re first starting out; when one presents itself, you cannot let it pass you by. Happy customers are loyal customers, and word of mouth spreads quickly online.
4. Repurposing Old Content Adds Life and Value
Your inbound marketing plan should be multi-faceted and content-heavy. That means you’ll be making a lot of different pieces of content. A good way to not overwhelm yourself comes with repurposing content among a few different venues. For instance, if you include an anecdote in a video, write it up for your blog, too. Break up bigger pieces into component posts, or combine smaller related posts into bigger pieces of content. Use what you’ve got, and use it often!
5. Make Note of What Works, and What Doesn’t
You’ve got to keep track of your efforts. That means noting where you’re posting content, where you’re engaging with people, and where the most people are finding your message. A wide variety of analytical tools will track your posts and inbound traffic: use this data to refine your messaging, re-direct your efforts, and amplify what works while stripping away what doesn’t.
There’s no magic involved with inbound marketing. Develop a strategy that optimizes your talents in the service of bringing new customers and clients to your life coaching business. You know what you want to do, and you know how you want to do it. Now’s the time to get to work, and for the people who are looking for your help to finally be able to find it.