Think Like A Trainer For Improved Results From Inbound Marketing
We talk to clients a lot about what it’s like to work with us during an inbound marketing engagement. The reality of learning inbound or working with an inbound agency is so similar to the experience of training with a fitness expert that the metaphor is too perfect not to discuss it.
Most of us have been to a gym or fitness center. Most of us have, at one point or another, attempted to work out regularly – some to lose weight, and others to gain strength or to rehab from an injury. Almost everyone can relate to the experience.
Here’s why it fits so beautifully with inbound ...
Most of the business owners, CEOs and executives whom we work with come to us because they have a specific issue or challenge. Their business is not growing fast enough. Their business doesn’t have enough leads to support the expected growth. They’re not able to effectively close the leads they do have. They’re not able to attract the right leads to their business. Some of these might sound familiar to you.
You Have A Goal
People don't start working out unless they have an issue or challenge. More specifically, they have a goal they’re working toward. They want to lose 20 pounds by Christmas, or they want to look better for the bikini season. Perhaps they want to be able to run a marathon. Regardless, they have a specific goal in mind.
Businesses that start inbound engagements also have objectives. They need to increase lead gen by 20%. They need to improve close rates from 20% to 50%. They want to get 10,000 visitors to their website. Just like personal fitness trainers create the perfect programs to get their clients to their training goals, you want to create a custom program to get your business to its goals.
This strategic thinking is the most misunderstood phase of the inbound effort, so a lot of people skip it entirely. They jump right into tactics, expecting to reach their goals sooner. Just like when you skip the workout warm-up, you might get injured if you don’t get started properly.
Don’t skip the strategy and planning phase. And, don’t shortcut it, thinking that personas are all you need. Here’s a more detailed article on creating a comprehensive inbound marketing strategy.
You’re Doing Something You’ve Never Done Before
Do you remember how you felt when you stepped into a fitness center for the first time? Were you overwhelmed, intimidated, fearful, embarrassed? These feeling are normal when you're doing something you’ve never done before. To help with those challenges, your personal trainer is there to walk you through the entire process. After a few sessions with them, your feelings go away. Then, you’re working out, feeling good and seeing results.
You might have similar feelings with your inbound program. You’ve never done it before. You may not know everything you need to do or exactly how to implement some of the inbound tactics. Now, think about doing the same work with an inbound expert at your side. They tell you what to do and when to do it. They help you as you try doing some of the tactics on your own. They alert you to the potential mistakes you’re making, and they limit the chances of running into trouble.
Working With An Expert Improves Results
You start working out on your own, and you’re using the machines, weights and equipment. But, you’ve never done it before, so you probably aren't doing it perfectly. You might not set the machine up properly or use the right lifting techniques. With a trainer, however, you have the help you need to get the most from each exercise, and over time, you get better results, faster.
The same thinking applies to inbound. You can try to figure it out on your own, and you might be able to. But, working with an expert means doing it right the first time. You cut out the learning curve and get better results in less time.
Experts Make Sure You Push Yourself
There are regular routines and rhythms associated with a good workout program. Your body responds to these rhythms, and results are improved. Your personal trainer ensures that you show up on time and stay for the full hour, pushing you to do extra reps and teaching you things you’ve never done before.
You need this for inbound, too. It’s easy to get distracted with general business challenges. Before you know it, weeks have gone by, and you’ve ignored some very important marketing work. To be successful with inbound, you have to stay focused on the work that impacts results.
It’s very helpful to have someone pushing you to keep your commitments, attend your regular meetings, review results, make decisions and approve the tactics that drive new visitors to your website, turn those visitors into leads and help your team close those leads to impact revenue.
Experts Limit Mistakes
Eventually, you want to work out on your own. You shouldn’t need a personal trainer for the rest of your life. Their goal is to make you self-sufficient so that you can continue to make progress on your own, using what you’ve learned to be effective.
Again, you want the same experience as you ramp up with inbound. You want to learn how to avoid mistakes. You want to learn the shortcuts and fast-forwards. You want to be comfortable with generating results and hitting your goals. Finally, you want to take control of your own program when you’re ready.
Inbound marketing and inbound sales don’t have to feel overwhelming and intimidating. You don’t have to ignore the huge benefits of inbound because you don’t know where to start or don’t know how to manage an inbound program. Get help doing it on your own, or hire an inbound agency to be your personal trainer through the process.
Start Today Tip – Your first decision to make: Do you need an inbound personal trainer, or can you do this on your own? If you think you can figure it out on your own, get started today. If you think that having a trainer working alongside you will help you learn, eliminate mistakes, get you results faster and challenge you to think differently, your tip is to start your search for that personal trainer. There are more inbound agencies today than ever before. The challenge isn't simply in finding one, but in finding the right one for you. If you want to start this process, download the e-book below.
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