An Entreprofessional is someone with a touch of entrepreneurship in a professional services industry.
As an expert, for sure, you might be accustomed to the day-to-day grind in a traditional office setting. Wait behind your desk. Prepare for the next appointment. Talk with clients and prospective clients whenever an appointment gets scheduled. For many, it has been a relatively passive enterprise the past few years. If you have engaged in a more proactive approach to your business growth, maybe you’ve some marketing to gather new leads or at least let people know that you’re in business and accepting new clients. Maybe you’ve even posted an ad in a newspaper or magazine or two. Maybe you’ve invested in flyers, posters, or even a billboard (that’s amazing by the way). As Michael Scott has said multiple times on the hit comedy TV series, The Office: “Real business is done on paper.”
The reality is, however, that technology and evolving societal norms have pushed a much more efficient and effective method for business growth to the forefront. No matter how much we enjoy watching Michael Scott’s antics on TV, the truth of the matter is that Digital Marketing is just so much more impactful. At least when it is done right.
There are two main channels of digital marketing – Outbound Marketing and Inbound Marketing. Both channels should be explored and each have a place in a successful business’s arsenal.
Outbound Marketing vs. Inbound Marketing
We’ve mentioned “ads” previously, and it’s one of the most popular methods of marketing employed by businesses of all shapes and sizes. Running an ad, though, is sometimes referred to as interruption marketing. Just think about that phrase for a moment. You don’t need to Google the phrase to understand what we are talking about. The purpose of this type of marketing is literally to interrupt whatever the prospect might be doing at any given moment when they are exposed to your “Outbound” Marketing. It is in this moment of interruption that you are attempting to capture an audience’s attention and motivate them to action, such as reaching out to you for an appointment or to gather additional information. Unfortunately, according to data gathered by Moz.com, ads are responsible for less than 10% of all clicks that occur on the web. Admit it. When you are watching a YouTube video, you count the seconds waiting for those sometimes annoying pop-up video ads to finish so that you can get back to watching whatever it was that brought you to YouTube in the first place.
Now that’s about the gist of what Outbound Marketing is. “Inbound” Marketing, on the other hand, is often the more preferred method of cultivating an audience and ultimately converting them into interested prospects. With Inbound Marketing, you let people discover what you offer through organic searches, which leads to the consumption of your content. Eventually, a robust, well-thought-out Inbound Marketing strategy will lead your target audience to opt-in for more content and ultimately to raise their hands for your services. Taking a look at that same data collected by Moz.com: Inbound Marketing content is responsible for over 90% of the clicks that occur on the web.
The leads generated from Inbound Marketing will always be the correct ones with the content made specifically for those audience members.
Notable Inbound Marketing Strategies
So, how do you put Inbound Marketing to work? Here are the five Inbound Marketing strategies for you to consider:
1. Content Creation
If social media and websites are the bread, the content you’re going to create is your butter. As an expert in your field, you should have a plethora of content that you can develop, or already have developed. Like this article, the content that you should be publishing should be informative or entertaining. Hopefully, a bit of both. Quality of the content should be your focus along with its usefulness. How new the information is will also be of importance. We might be speaking on broad terms here, but to be frank, this is where the challenge comes in. You’re the best person to develop relevant content that will resonate with your audience and be relayed in your voice. We don’t necessary mean that literally, but it should be written and/or produced in a tone that is genuine to you and your brand. Once you figure it out, one piece of quality content can put you on the digital map.
Examples of content you can create are:
- Blogs articles;
- Long-form content like case studies;
- Social media posts;
- Vlogs or video series; and/or
The Strategy: Create a content calendar.
Even though you maybe an expert regarding your specific field, these particular content creation ideas might be new to you. Above all else, it is consistency of content creation which matters most. Create a proper content creation calendar to follow and be sure to stick to it. It can become much easier the more you do it and the benefits make the effort worthwhile in the long run.
If you don’t have any time to learn how to create this content on your own, you can always hire another professional who specializes in content creation.
2. Social Media Sites
No one can deny that social media has taken over the world, and that was the case even before the recent pandemic decided to come and visit. As an entreprofessional, you are likely very familiar with social media and it’s a safe bet that you already have a profile on one of the social media platforms that exist today. If you’re living under a rock and still don’t have a social media account for your business, what are you waiting for? No ... seriously, what are you waiting for? Send us a message and let us know.
The real issue facing most entreprofessionals is trying to decide which social media platforms are the most efficient and effective at cultivating an audience for their business and which are best at ultimately converting that audience into interested prospects. Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to provide on this query. However, by partnering with a knowledgeable digital marketing agency, you can learn the PROs and CONs of each of the platforms and select the ones that might work best for you.
The Strategy: Interact with your audience.
The whole point of social media is interaction with your audience. The purpose of posting content on social media is to create organic engagement opportunities with your target audience and prospects. By posting quality content consistently on your social media profiles, you will have the opportunity to gain a following. You keep those audience members and prospects by engaging with them regularly as well. Creating a good post is one thing but compound the effectiveness of such posts by developing a great relationship with your audience and prospects.
3. Websites and Landing Pages
Having a dedicated website is not just an “online brag;” it has a larger purpose. You can’t control what people see and do on social media. But once you funnel them to your website, you can steer them in the direction of the content that you have in your arsenal, and eventually offer them your services. A website is your kingdom where you have control and it should be your end goal in posting on social media.
Your website, however, is more like a virtual brochure than it is a customized piece of correspondence with an audience member. How can you accomplish the customization that can set you apart? By using landing pages of course. These are one page sites used in tandem with your overall web and digital marketing strategy. They are much more targeted with regard to the content they house and are much more customized to a very specific segment of your target audience.
The Strategy: A call to action.
Your website and/or landing page should have a good layout and be compatible on all devices including desktop computers and smartphones. The design is the first half of your strategy, and the other half is driving the visitor to consume the content your site houses. If you think about the whole journey, from the consistency of your quality content being posted to driving traffic to customized lead capture landing page, the end goal, of course, is for visitors to raise their hands to take advantage of the services you offer.
Whew! What a journey we have taken in this short article, right? We’re just really scratching the surface. Inbound marketing is fueled by your creativity and effort. Don’t waste any more time. Get started today!
If you would like to learn more about Inbound Marketing and how Vimagery helps Entreprofessionals like you to leverage this and other amazing marketing strategies, click here to see if you qualify for a Vimagery Strategy Session. Together, we can help you to gain an unfair advantage regarding your efforts to cultivate, convert, and close new clients in the weeks and months ahead.