Evolve Old School Offers to Inbound Marketing Content

With so many great platforms for online marketing popping up, you can pretty much find one with just the right functionality to fit your business needs. But you know what? So is everyone else. So how do you rise above the approaching din of everyone having a whiz-bang online marketing platform? Certainly not by sounding like them, or by perpetuating the painful pitches of the marketing of yesteryear.

Here are some suggestions for making the transition from what you are used to into the new realm of online, inbound marketing:

"Free Quote/Complimentary Consultation!" - Can you really find someone who charges people to quote a job? Let me know on that one. At the very least, leave out the "Free" or "Complimentary" from those phrases. Be honest with them, something like "Give us an hour of your time and we'll give a detailed quote that includes..." or "After our meeting, you will receive a 7 page report that covers these areas..."

Higher value for prospects: Offer a free inspection/evaluation/assessment that leaves the prospect with insightful and helpful pages of information. Heck, they should be able to use it as a guide to get other quotes if they want. Oooh, I notice you are starting to bare your teeth…easy Scooby. Yes, you might have those who don't choose you, but that's already the case. Usually it's about price. But when you demonstrate your command of the detail within the report, you are standing above the rest of the crowd in their eyes. You have educated the prospect and when another vendor doesn't have a good answer to a question that you helped the prospect come up with, you get one point. It's about being as helpful as you can be. You have to spend the time to quote the job anyhow, why not wow them with your helpfulness.

"10% off with this card/email!" - Again, leading with price is a non-starter. Everything is negotiable and chances are if a particular job were under competitive bid, you'd take 10% off to meet other vendors if you wanted the work.

Higher value for prospects: I like to add items or service that brings additional value to them. For example, in a management consulting firm, we added "8 hours of phone meeting time" to support the project. This was win/win for us because if a client didn't use it, we incurred no cost, and if they did use it, it only enhanced our trust and engagement with them. Referral bonuses for current clients also have an appeal to some people. Our pest-control company has always done a great job and are reasonably priced, so we recommended them to a friend. When a $50 credit showed up on our next bill, we were thrilled! Now we'll be even keener to recommend this company to friends and neighbors. If you are B2B and this doesn't work for you, offer additional value.

"We are/have the leading...<insert product or industry name>" - If I haven't heard this claim from others, even if you are really good at what you do, it smells of spin. Good ideas stand on there own and don't need any fluffy stuff.

Higher value for prospects: Demonstrate your "leading" qualities by educating the visitors about the problem or opportunity that your solution addresses. If they like what you say/write, they will be more trustful of your company and will probably share what they learned with others. Make sure you have links that allow them to share the articles or video via email and social media. And if you really want the "leading" descriptor, then seek out real awards for your industry and do your best to win accolades from outside sources.

What do you think? How have you changed your marketing approach to get out of your prospects' face and engage them in meaningful conversation? Leave us a comment below!