It's been a lot of fun for us at Weidert Group to watch the lights go on in our clients' eyes when they realize the potential Inbound Marketing has for their business. Sometimes that light flickers a bit, though, when they begin to understand what a big undertaking it can be to get the process up and running.
Fortunately, we have five surefire ways to help clients about to undertake Inbound Marketing reduce their learning curve.
1. Follow A Plan
It’s easy to want to jump headfirst into Inbound Marketing because of the huge potential it can bring to your business, and we don't want to discourage that. Just don’t let your excitement cause you to take your first step without a plan in place. A practical plan includes these elements:
The plan should start with educating every team member – even those who won't be directly involved in the execution – about Inbound Marketing, its purpose, processes, tools and potential. Develop a timeline that outlines the six primary steps of Inbound Marketing (optimizing your site, creating a blog and other content, promoting content via social media, converting traffic into leads, nurturing those leads, and analyzing and refining your efforts) and familiarize everyone with each and their interdependence. It's important to familiarize everyone with your new approach with a "big picture" view of how Inbound Marketing works and what your company goal is so people feel part of the momentum. Another good way to jumpstart everyone's expertise is to provide an Inbound Marketing Q&A to help resolve some of the most common questions related to Inbound
Outline each person's role (and how all roles are integrated), specific daily and weekly tasks, and an estimate of the time commitment needed to fulfill those responsibilities. Be specific and anticipate questions and pushback – much of this will be new to your people, so as much information as you can give will help make them comfortable and confident about being a part of executing Inbound
The plan should also include an itemization of the metrics you'll be tracking to make each person aware of measures of success and how they can contribute
Spending the time to develop a practical, actionable Inbound Marketing plan is the most important step in speeding your time from novice to expert.
2. Take Small Steps
It isn’t always realistic to think every component of Inbound Marketing can be executed starting Day One – if you try, you'll likely end up discouraged, throw your hands up and go back to doing what you've always done.
Start by doing keyword research and optimizing your site for search. This is a critical step in helping attract your best prospects to your site, even before you pull out the Big Guns: valuable content
Next, implement a blog and regular social media sharing to get comfortable with being a "publisher." Create valuable blog posts (on a strict schedule) and promote them on the social media platforms identified as the most likely to reach your best prospects
Once you've done SEO and started attracting people to your site with your blog content you can begin tackling advanced content creation, email marketing, conversion forms, lead nurturing and subsequent steps in the Inbound Marketing process
3. Do Your Homework
For most companies, getting started with Inbound Marketing is an entirely new experience; like any new subject, it takes some studying and practice before you can consider yourself knowledgeable. Fortunately, there are a lot of self-guided resources available to help your team learn quickly. The HubSpot Academy offers fantastic webinars, articles, videos and forums to walk you through nearly every Inbound Marketing topic and tactic. Weidert Group's own Whole Brain Marketing Blog and our Resources page also provide great education on general Inbound Marketing, blogging, content, social media, SEO, nurturing, funnel management, websites and metrics.
4. Ask for Help
This stuff can be complicated and because of that, there's a generous community built up around HubSpot and Inbound Marketing. Those of us "selling" Inbound and those using it to grow their businesses are typically very willing to share experiences, tips, cautions and other guidance to make sure you avoid some of the pitfalls we did when we first started out. If you're a HubSpot user trying to tackle Inbound on your own, reach out to a Certified HubSpot Partner like Weidert Group – we're happy to answer any questions. Another resource is HubSpot. HubSpot's people are extraordinarily eager and insightful, and their organization is set up to provide quick answers to any questions you have. New HubSpot users are assigned their own trainer, so take advantage of him or her.
5. Get Certified
If you’re doing the work, learning and executing – do the HubSpot "coursework" needed to become Inbound Marketing Certified. It’s kind of like getting your Inbound Marketing degree. Getting certified not only gives your team added confidence and credibility, but the work you put in beforehand will ensure that you're learning the most important aspects of Inbound and are ready to execute like the pro you are!