I don’t know if this blog post is going to be as popular as our other posts, but I am constantly searching for a peaceful balance in my life, a Zen state.
It occurred to me today that inbound marketing strives for the same peaceful balance between the collection of marketing tactics designed to drive visitors to your website, convert those visitors into leads and then help your sales team close those leads.
The urban dictionary describes Zen as a total state of focus that incorporates a total togetherness of body and mind. Zen is a way of being. It’s when the balance reaches its Zen state or “perfect togetherness” that the inbound marketing tactics achieve maximum results for the time and money invested in the program.
Here are some tips for achieving Zen in your own inbound marketing program.
Define your future state – You have to know where you're going if you want to get there. Confucius is quoted as saying, “even the longest journey starts with just one step.” What do you want to get from your inbound marketing effort? How will you know when you get there? But most importantly, what are all the specific steps required to get you to your goals? This is all part of the planning process and it has to be done before you start working on your website, emails, social media or other marketing tactics.
Knowing how much is too much – How many times a week do you have to blog? Or update your LinkedIn page? How much content do you need? Most of these questions get answered during the planning stage, but the rest comes from analytics. What actions are driving results? Do you need more of them? Or have you reached a good balance? Rely on experts in the beginning. Most of them have done inbound marketing before and draw on past experiences. Over time your own efforts will be unique to your business and should give you better insights into knowing how much is enough to drive results.
Listen to your world – Your customers, prospects, partners, employees and other stakeholders have a perspective that you need to be dialed into. They are consumers and they know how they make purchase decisions. Listen to what they are saying and take action accordingly. If you involve them in the process of creating your inbound marketing content, you will find this to be a significant shortcut. For example, what types of webinars would they be most likely to attend? What blog topics get them excited? What videos would they be interested in watching? This is valuable feedback.
Follow the principles – Your company has principles that determine who you work with, who you hire and who you partner with. Make sure you stick to those principles once you start marketing your business more aggressively. You might have to sift through some prospects that aren’t perfect for your business, plan on how to deal with them positively even if they aren’t right for your business.
Create your own balance – Finding your own personal balance is important. Do you want to do all the work yourself? Do you want other employees to help? Do you want an inbound marketing firm to partner with so you learn from and work with someone who has done it before? Finding this balance is important to your own peace of mind.
Sometimes reflecting on what we’ve done over the past year is valuable toward moving us forward. Our world moves very quickly and our accomplishments are often brushed over in the pursuit of the next big thing. Over the next few days, take a moment to bask in your successes and learn from your failures. What worked last year might not work next year. With a little adjustment what didn’t work last year, might work better next year.
Start Today Tip – There are ways for every business to embrace inbound marketing and add it to their current marketing activities. Look at your business with a different set of glasses and plan on adding one or two inbound marketing tactics to your effort in 2013. The very simple addition of one piece of educational content on your website with a dedicated landing page and lead nurturing effort will produce results. Give it time and be patient...chant if it makes you feel better but a more peaceful marketing effort is on its way.
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