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During the Go Inbound Marketing Conference, each speaker covered a crucial and niche part of the inbound marketing process. After the lunch break, Marcus Sheridan, a former pool company owner and now inbound marketer, consultant, and speaker, expounded on the idea that our content is what drives our marketing success.
It’s seems elementary, really. Inbound marketing is fundamentally built upon the idea that great content generates more qualified leads. So why is it that everything Marcus said seemed so new to my ears, yet at the same time, common sense? I think that is how business and innovation works. Sometimes the best ideas are the ones right in front of us or on the other side of spectrum the ones we are afraid to implement: fear and risk. Those two words alongside the idea that as inbound marketers, “we are all in a way a bunch of ostriches putting their heads in the sand”. When Marcus said that, I laughed. Not only because of the image that it portrayed of me with my head neck deep in the sand with a bunch of feathers, but the fact that it was insanely true.
So what is it that we fear in our content as inbound marketers and business owners?
Read this post about building content around your story.
Marcus shared that what we fear is our competition. We fear sharing our secrets sauces and recipes for success, but when in fact, those secret tactics should be shared and not hidden. For example, our pricing is one area that businesses love to hide. It is a misnomer to think that sharing your pricing will steer away potential leads. The reality is that it helps filter your sales funnel and makes your business more transparent and trustworthy.
As I sat there I thought––“Wow! That is so true.” The first thing I look for on business websites is their pricing, and when I can’t find it, it makes me back away.
Besides sharing our prices, just simply being open to the possibilities with our content is key to building your lead generation. A new tactic that, once again, is common sense is that we just need to answer our customer’s questions. Don’t hide behind your processes, flaws, or negativity. These are opportunities. For example, Marcus shared that he once wrote a blog post on the negatives of fiberglass pools. He was initially fearful to share that information, but that is what people wanted to know and why we seek Google for the answer. That one post alone generated him many leads and brought his business out of the 2008 recession slum.
Later in his presentation he shared the four areas of content that we should pull from to build our blogs and links as inbound marketers.
1. Cost/Pricing – builds trust and transparency, filters leads
2. Problems – builds trust and transparency
3. VS & Comparisons – we want to know what and who is best.
5. Reviews – shares knowledge and trust, filters leads.
From Marcus Sheridan’s presentation, the most pinnacle point I learned from it all was to not be the “sales guy”. We can all picture this person. Greasy hair, money stuffed into his pockets, probably selling knives over the phone or a lemon on the car lot. We do not want to be him as inbound marketers. If you wouldn’t want to read it, or if you think it sounds cheesy and “sales-y” –– do not publish it. Being a genuine figure whether as owner or as marketer creates trust and allows your business or client to become transparent and relatable. This is done through our content and how we engage with our audience. Answer their questions whether good or bad. Giving answers to the hard questions shows that your company is fearless and confident in who they are, which in turn makes you superior to your competition ridding the fear of them entirely. At the end of the day, they may become jealous of your leads and content, and may even copy some of your tactics, but we all know that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
To learn more about Marcus Sheridan:
Website: The Sales Lion
To learn more about the conference visit: Go Inbound Marketing 2013
Interested in learning more about Inbound Marketing?