When someone is ready to do business with you, it’s because they were a fan first. This is true for businesses that depend on relationship, more than transactions, which is increasingly the case today. Marketing is about building relationships. Inbound marketing is a system, approach and rigorous work to build those relationships in a noisy world.
When a new platform hits the scene like Pinterest or Tumblr, the bandwagon often fills up quickly. The early users think that they will get a lot of followers and conversions quickly from setting up a profile and posting. Except for the rare outliers, this is a misguided perception. And tragically, many companies keep pursuing this worthless strategy. Regardless of the failure, they just keep jumping to the next fad.
If being social was the path to success, we would have millions of success stories. However, the real story of how to attract and win customers is different altogether. It is slow, methodical and hard. Here’s what it really entails:
- Passion. There are people that get you and others that relate better to your competition. Your persona is what will matter. What you are passionate about and how you communicate this needs to connect with those that will become part of your audience. They want to connect. They identify with your passion. This may be because they believe in a green environment, simple living or have conservative values. Your mantra needs to be clear, repeatable and resounding.
- Process. What you have to say needs to be published. Platforms have to be built. All the parts have to work together and relate to one another. Content has to be written. This is ongoing process that must be managed and executed rigorously. Over time, those that pay attention recognize your voice and input in their lives. You move from noise to relevance.
- Permission. As your message is allowed to be a part of someone’s inbox and life, then you gain permission. It is delicate. Ask prematurely and it’s like proposing on the first date. The permission you gain comes from credibility over time. Your brand becomes trusted. You earned the right to ask because the value you provided before anything is asked for is reliable and worthwhile.
This is reality today. If you don’t do it and are flitting between what is glamorous and new, then you are only delaying the work in building real assets that will work. It is hard and takes time. But it works.
We have been around a while and have seen other options. We don’t think there are other viable options.
Are you doing the hard work?