As one of the owners of a Hubspot certified inbound marketing partner agency, you can be sure that I’m a confident and passionate advocate for the approach and techniques of inbound marketing.
I definitely believe that the key to building trust with would-be clients and customers comes through telling your story in blogs, offering helpful tips, and simply giving some of your advice away for free.
All of this establishes real thought leadership and builds credibility with your target customers.
But as with anything, this method can go horribly wrong if you make the mistake of believing that, “if a little bit is good, more must be better.”
Here’s what I mean.
As an avid home-cook I’m always hunting down recipes and videos on the Web to keep my dinner table exciting for the whole family.
I’m also into food as nutrition so I look out for web-based health nuts who use a lot of fresh fruits and veggies in their recipes.
Another of my passions is gardening, so I spend time searching keywords on how to successfully grow my own.
And finally, I like esoteric things — Christianity and spirituality, astrology, numerology, that kind of thing.
Well, recently I noticed that several of the sites I had visited in the above areas were using inbound marketing techniques to keep me in touch with their brands, products, and services.
And how could I help but notice this when they were sending me an e-mail a day IF NOT MORE!
It was only for the love of Jesus that I didn’t lose my religion. But boy-oh-boy did these marketers create the opposite of desire in me by bombarding me constantly with their urgent offers and new hooks and constant contact (with apologies to the e-mail service of the same name).
Instead of finding myself intrigued by a business that I had freely chosen to engage with, and to whom on an initial positive encounter I had trustingly provided my e-mail, I instead felt badgered, annoyed, and turned off.
Instead of building my trust over a period of time using decent intervals to cultivate the connection, I came to regard each of about ten different firms (not naming any names) as desperate, cloying, and ultimately, disreputable.
They might not be bad places, and I liked their products and services initially (and I’m pretty picky!), but in the end each of them blew it with me.
Keeping it real
Inbound marketing has the potential to truly build your connections, your leads, and above all, your sales. Automation tools can also help by allowing your business to schedule subsequent outreach with potential clients and customers who’ve found you on the Web.
But behind all that there has to be some insight into people, a sense of appropriateness, and the genuine desire to build authentic business relationships. Without that discretion and the application of some basic human courtesies your inbound marketing efforts risk falling into hucksterism, and that rarely gets you the results you want.
So by all means learn the valuable skills of inbound marketing. And without a doubt apply them for amazing business results!
But pace yourself, and ask yourself some basic questions about How much outreach feels right? And Which style of adding value has meaning in your efforts and which just seems like pushy overkill?
This will make all of the difference in your success because the point is to draw more leads and sales to you through meaningful offers and genuine advice, not push them away with in-your-face pestering.
It’s called being a likable authority after all, not a despised one!
Moderation in all things goes a long way here.
— Lindsay Curren, Creative Director, Curren Media Group