In meetings with clients and prospects, Mike and I see the fear and anxiety. The new way of marketing is completely different from what they have become accustomed to. Many successful business people feel they have worked hard, learned their business, and finally become an expert in their chosen field only to have all the rules of marketing changed. They might feel like "I used to be so smart and successful, how did I get so dumb, so quick?"
I know this pain. I used to think that I was "wicked smart". As a business owner and direct marketer for the last 22 years, I have lived through this pain myself. The old days of high volume outbound marketing are gone and they are not coming back. Time to get on the next bus, the inbound marketing bus.
People are glued to their laptops and smartphones using things like Yelp, Blogs, Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare. What does all this crazy stuff mean for my business, you ask? Well, used in the right way, it can mean more business.
Yes, it is a new world. Yes, how you communicate with customers is different. No, it is not that bad. There is hope. When my Mom was my age, the color TV was the technological marvel of the day. Cell phones were shoe phones on "Get Smart". If my Mom, who is almost 86 years old can use her cell phone, you can learn inbound marketing. Not to worry. We can do this!
You can participate in the digital world. You must participate or you will go the way of the horse and buggy. The fact remains the same that people buy from people. The difference in this fast-paced world is that people are deflecting the barrage of marketing messages and choosing when they want to listen to you.
Smart businesses communicate on their customer's terms, not theirs. The customer is now in the driver's seat. The internet enables people to check you out and size you up before they talk to you. They Google you before they talk to you and can learn what your other customers are saying about your products or services.
An old salesmen's adage is "See the People, See the People, See the People". This still holds true today, except that the reverse is also now true. The internet has twisted the phrase to become "The People See You, The People See You, The People See You". You must be ready when they come looking for you.
Let the people see you when it is good for them. Tell them about yourself and your business. Inform them about new services, teach them about new products and engage them so they want to come back.
So, get on the Inbound Marketing Bus and enjoy the ride!