Inbound Marketing: The New Personal Development for Entrepreneurs
The late business philosopher Jim Rohn, famously said, “you get paid for the value you bring to the marketplace and not the time you spend in it”. In other words, “make yourself more valuable to the marketplace” and you do that by working harder on improving yourself than you do working on the job”. Working hard on the job is admirable; however, “working a job can make you a living but, working harder on yourself will make you a fortune”. “This is why personal development plays a vital role in your success as indicated by the fact, it is a lifelong process. It's a way for people to assess their skills and qualities, consider their aims in life and set goals in order to realise and maximise their potential”. In life you are on a timeline to accomplish certain goals and tasks; otherwise, you are guilty of a wasted life. Clearly, nothing to be proud nor brag about.
As an entrepreneur/marketer you are constantly working on improving yourself to better your skills and abilities to attract new customers and more importantly, bring value to both them and the marketplace. This is why Inbound Marketing is the logical extension of the process of becoming a better and improved marketer. Just as it says, “inbound marketing”, which refers to “marketing activities that bring visitors in rather than marketers having to go out to get prospect’s attention”.
So, you want to become a better and constantly improving marketer then, Inbound Marketing is the perfect solution for you. Like anything in life success starts with identifying and correcting personal deficits and then, developing, implementing and executing the needed skills and/or abilities to overcome the challenges that lead to your placement as a dead dealer in the MLM Cemetery. Clearly, you don’t get paid, if your marketing skills are as effective as watching paint dry. Now, the Free Market determines the value you bring regardless of who you are and based more on what you have become. In fact, being highly educated as indicated by having a PH.D., doesn't a gaurantee a high paying salary. Remember America and other Westernised nations are capitalists and payment is based on value and not necessarily on the number of certifications you achieved. Yes, the P.H.D., in English and Bachelors in IT are both examples of education but, which one has greater potential for future business success? Think like an investor and do your research to determine the best return on your time, money and other resources for your benefit and that of your customers. This is what inbound marketing is about.
Now, marketing is basically about promoting and selling the value of product and/or service to a desired target market. So, different people have different personalities and an effective marketer must constantly master and improve his/her skill set to put money into his/her pocket. When you think about master marketers like: Mark Victor Hansen, Cory Rudl, Frank Kern, Mary Kay Ash, Steve Jobs and many others, they all worked on themselves incessantly to become the perfect ambassador of their product/service. It was clear the aforementioned entrepreneurs trusted no one else but, themselves to represent their product. So, are you the best representative of your product/service? If yes, why and if not, why not? Want as many eyeballs on your product/service then, earn the right to occupy your customer’s time.
Effective marketers are not one trick pony, today's customers are highly intelligent and have already researched the product/service they desire and closing the deal means being customer-centered. Just, ask any lady of easy virtue (yeah, I mean a prostitute) because they are masters of inbound marketing and personal development when you consider the skill set needed to draw in customers who are willing to pay for what they perceive to be value. Consider the fact, “inbound marketing earns the attention of customers, makes the company easy to be found and draws customers to the website by producing interesting content”. Now, you heard of Bill Gate’s famous quote, Content is King; however, quality content is what sells because it provides a solution to a problem. How much money will companies spend on content that solves a problem versus content that is interesting but, fails to stop the financial hemorrhaging of compnay funds? Indeed, personal development is the seed for effective marketing; otherwise, like an outbound marketer who used old school methods (purchasing leads, safelists, buying ads, etc.,) will generate zero leads and income because the methodology is commensurate to a bloody telemarketer, who provides content that isn’t in alignment with the interest nor needs of their target market. So, much for getting payed, being hired for future jobs and never-mind your professional reputation.
Time to transform your marketing and for today’s current successful marketers the trend began in 2006, when Inbound Marketing, became the proven method most effective for conducting business online. “By aligning your content with your customer’s interests, you naturally attract inbound traffic that you can then, convert, close and delight”.
Let’s examine the four actions needed to be successful in becoming a master of Inbound Marketing:
Attract, it’s about traffic and the right kind of traffic that can be drawn to content that creates mutual benefit.
Convert, turning your potential customer into a lead is the goal and offering them something of value will be key to your success.
Close, the process of the sale being achieved in a mutually exclusive manner benefitting all parties involved.
Delight, it’s about being customer-centered regardless of the stage of your users because it’s about providing them quality content.
To better understand and visualize the complete Inbound Marketing methodology please examine Hubspot.
Content creation or more accurately, quality content is the gospel for effective online marketing because effective communication with today's customers requires engagement with quality not quantity. If, you want success in this relatively new method marketing then, recognise that "poor thinking habits keep you poor" and you need to "stand guard at the door of your mind".
Lastly, the professionals who engage in creating quality content often share about their favoriate content marketing tools that make their task so much easier and I also, have taken the liberty of sharing that information with my fellow marketers as indciated by the following:
Ubersuggest, a keyword suggestion software program
Audacity, a free open source multilingual audio editor and recorder software program.
Zemanta, a content creation platform with multiple apps and tools for your blogging enjoyment
SocialMention, is social analysis platform that enables you to learn what others say about a company and it's brand
Social Search Engine Topsy, this tool indexes every keyword and phrase within the soscial web in real time
Canva, a free image editing priogram that makes manipulation and edting of your images easy
PicMonkey, another image editing program but easier and with more font features
Screen Capture By Google, there are a ton of screen capture tools out there, but I like the simplicity of Google’s Screen Capture plug-in for Chrome… possibly because I’m a Chrome junkie, so it’s always right there when I need it. You can capture selections, visible content, or the entire page and choose JPEG or PNG output.
Another tool I’ve used in the past that worked well is Jing, which allows you to markup your screenshots and also records to video. Snagit is a premium option from the same developers, with far greater capabilities and a pricetag of $49.95 (if you’re looking for a more versatile screen capture tool).
Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member