This post originally appeared on the Cursive Content Blog, and is republished here with permission.
When I started writing website content back in 2003, business sites were nothing more than glorified online brochures, banner ads were all the rage, and “below the fold” was blasphemous.
The world keeps getting smaller, the Internet keeps growing larger, and staying on top of it all keeps demanding more and more time. No matter how small our business, in some ways we all compete globally. Larger reach means stiffer competition, and so to be successful in business and widen our customer base we must continually pursue new ways to be found, seen, and heard - never mind influential! - in an ever-growing digital marketplace. It’s daunting, but it’s reality, so we work tirelessly to find an in, be the first, get a lead.
Cut throat and cutting edge.
But it was not always this way.
(Hartford, Conn., Oct. 30, 2015) – reSET, the Social Enterprise Trust, (www.SocialEnterpriseTrust.org), whose mission is advancing the social enterprise sector, revealed the winners of its annual Impact Challenge last night at The Society Room of Hartford to a record, sellout crowd of 300.
Modern marketers know that at the end of the day, if sales aren’t happening, neither is business growth. The best marketing in the world only matters if it results in sales. I learned that the hard way and it has become my personal mission to help sales and marketing work together for the benefit of the buyer. The next generation of sales and marketing leadership are focused on their value to the buyer.
People ask some pretty specific questions on Facebook, but why are they using Facebook and not Google?
It's a question that gets asked a lot. You meet someone new at a networking event, and inevitably they ask, "So, what do you do?"
What's the right answer? How do you distill that into something that won't immediately bore your new friend?
Becoming an inbound marketing specialist for 710 Studios over this past year has been an eye-opening experience for me. People are my business- I love being with people, relating, and making connections. How fitting for me to be involved with INBOUND since it's all about the human interaction. Heather and Michael surprised me a few weeks ago with a ticket to be part of the team at #INBOUND15; I was thrilled to be given the opportunity to embrace the INBOUND movement on a higher scale.
What a day! The inspirational story of Malala, a Keynote from Brené Brown, Ph.D. (life changing), one from Dharmesh Shah & Brian Halligan (game changing), sell-out breakout sessions, a Happy Hour and a lot of talking with an amazing community of people.Here's our recap of the exhilarating day including some photos:
The last few months have been like a countdown to Christmas for us at 710 Studios and for many others in the HubSpot community. As I entered the Boston Convention Center, it reminded me of the mornings as a kid walking down the stairs on Christmas morning, each step filled with curiosity, wondering if I had been good enough this year to get any presents.
We are fortunate to have some friends and clients join us, Convention Nation and Pirie Associates. Today was a light day with some partner stuff going on, training classes, and standing room only for the day's opening Keynote - Seth Godin. For those of you who can not make it, here is what we learned from listening to Day 1 at HubSpot's Inbound Marketing Conference:
The smartphone, the internet, and GPS have changed the way we travel. You used to plan a trip by knowing your destination, looking at a map, and charting a course. Some people still do that, but many people now rely on their iPhone or built-in navigation in their car. Get in the car, plug in the address and drive. Most of the time, you will arrive at your destination, no problem. But what happens when something unexpected comes up?
It's amazing how kids can forget a simple thing like washing their hands before they leave the bathroom, but they are able to remember you telling them three years ago that when they turn six we would get them a dog. So this August, we began our search. We knew we wanted to rescue a dog from an animal shelter, which helped narrow down the process. We found a bunch in our area, I was shocked how many shelters there are within a 20-mile radius, but I understand the need. I, of course, did all my research online and quickly followed all of the shelters that had Facebook Company pages. The process didn't take long, we quickly kept seeing beautiful pictures of dogs from the Simon Foundation and because of one particular picture of the most adorable puppy we were compelled to fill out an application.
- How do I create urgency in my client?
- How do I get them to share their real budget?
- How do I get them to introduce me to the ultimate decision maker?
- How do I get them to return my voice mail message?
- How do I follow-up with Inbound Leads?
- How do I get my prospect to write my proposal for me?
- How do I follow-up if someone fills out a form on my website?
- How do I attract people to fill out a form on my website?
I was recently on vacation in Deer Isle, ME. Stonington is the next town over and has a wonderful Lobster Co-Op where you can walk down to the pier with a bag and buy lobsters off the boat.
How can you compare growing your business to a lobsterman trying to catch lobsters?
Every year for six years from 12 years-old through my teens, I attended a week-long overnight soccer camp. SoccerPLUS Goalkeeper School was an elite camp for serious goalkeepers. They brought in some of the best professional and collegiate coaches and players from around the world. As a camper, the staff could walk on water. They were the best players I had ever seen, and they also ran a tight ship. If you wanted to play beyond high school, you would need disciple and dedication, and the staff exuded that with everything they did.
The summer after my freshman year in college, I worked as a staff coach and did so for the next six years. The view from the inside was very different from the view from the outside.
Soccer is a team sport, but the goalkeeper is the one under a microscope if the other team scores. Goalkeeping is a tough position, and you need to be prepared for a variety of situations: rain, a glove ripping, needing an alternate color jersey, water in the goal mouth, sun in your eyes, etc...
One of my mentors growing up preached the big bag theory. Goalkeepers need to carry a big bag to fit all of the equipment they need to be prepared for any situation. At camp, we would do an evening lecture where he would literally bring a big bag and show all of the things he would bring to a game.
I also use the same theory when I go to the race track. I've been instructing at High Performance Driving Schools around the northeast for over 14 years. In that time, I've experienced my fair share of broken parts. Everytime I didn't have the right tool or the right spare part, I added it to my "big bag" list of things to bring for next time.
What about business blogging? Have you ever responded to the same question by email more than once? Should you consider writing it as a blog post? Do you have a "big bag" of blog posts queued up to share with prospects when they ask you a question? Are you prepared to react to customer feedback? To changes in Google's search algorithm? Do you know how often you should blog?
That's what the Hartford HUG event will cover next Wednesday.
I have a draft blog post I've been working on for a few weeks now, but I can't seem to distill my thoughts. I'm trying to write about the balance of Inbound happening online vs. in-person. Some people produce good content online, but when you meet them in person, they are pushy or "salesy". Some people are fantastic in person, but when you look them up online, they don't live up to the expectations or simply don't exist.
I read Seth Godin's blog everyday. Today, he wrote a more eloquant version of what has been swirling around in my head.
A website is just a tool. It only does exactly what it was designed to do.
Blogging, writing, and content creation have been a hot topic lately among my clients, prospects, and peers. I came across an article in April where HubSpot published benchmark blogging data from its 13,500+ customers. The article has great insights on many factors how blogging impacts website visits and leads. The key takeaway for me was that companies that blog 11 or more times per month would get at least 2-3X traffic to their website than those who only publish a handful per month. So statistically speaking, every company should target writing at least 11 blog posts per month, but how the heck is that going to happen?