Inbound Networking - A Smart Solution for Very Small Business Owners
In talking with lots of very small business owners (VSBO), it's very clear you all want a more effective marketing solution. One that attracts more qualified web visitors and converts more qualified leads into customers. "Inbound marketing would be just the ticket," you think.
You're lawyers, CPAs, chiropractors, dentists, personal trainers, property managers, IT consultants, civil engineers, insurance agents, mortgage brokers, general contractors, plumbers, electricians — whatever your business, many of you see marketing as one "big" hat you're forced to wear (along with all the other "big" hats in your closet). Yet, because you're a VSBO, you've got limited time and funds to create the sales results you need.
Most VSBOs rely on word-of-mouth referrals for the bulk of their business. They also admit those referrals aren't enough to grow their business to the level they want or need.
My VSBO friends say they dream of hiring a reputable and reliable marketing services agency to take advantage of the best marketing options and take a big weight off their shoulders. But it's cost-prohibitive ($2,000 or more a month) for a cash-flow strapped firm. And doing inbound marketing themselves just eats up more time out of their already overcommitted lives.
So what's the solution? How can you leverage the power of a marketing agency's expertise to grow your business without going broke? How can you take advantage of the most cost-effective marketing strategies out there, without having to become a full-time marketing guru?
Inbound Networking gives you the best of both worlds — effective marketing at an affordable price without eating up oodles of your valuable time.
What is Inbound Networking?
All businesses engage in some form of networking. Much of that is done "offline", i.e. in the real world at Chamber of Commerce meetings, formal lead groups, industry events, etc. Some of us do it virtually (online) with social networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and private, member-only groups.
Most VSBOs are already doing some form of inbound marketing: a website with a lead capture form, regular monthly email newsletters or email promotion / news blasts, and a business presence on at least one social network.
When the power of inbound marketing is combined with the reach of business networking, you get — inbound networking.
Despite their best efforts and intentions, few VSBOs are able to take advantage of the most powerful strategies for inbound marketing. Strategies such as creating, publishing and sharing a large volume of valuable, relevant, timely or timeless, content that has been SEO'd (search engine optimized). Rarely do VSBOs have the time to religiously create and test landing pages, calls-to-action and premium content such as eBooks, webinars, assessments, etc. or track, monitor and evaluate all the different marketing outlets to determine the highest ROI marketing strategies for their business.
And that's because most VSBOs are going it alone, struggling to make headway in the constantly changing, mad, mad world of online marketing.
Better Results, With Less Work
Instead of going for it all by yourself — imagine being an active member of a content rich website focused on the ideal buyer you're trying to reach. Imagine that the other chosen members of this content rich website have complimentary, non-competing businesses. (Think "power partners" for you BNI and LeTip fans.)
Each of you regularly: contributes content to this website, shares one another's content with your social networks, and cross-promotes each other's products and services.
Think about it: if there are 10 members, each with 100 people in their network, that's 1,000 potential buyers for all of your products and services. And if each of those 1,000 people have at least 10 people in their networks — that's 10,000 potential buyers! That's 9,900 more potential buyers you could reach than if you relied solely on your own resources.
With inbound networking, VSBOs can take advantage of the expert services of an inbound marketing agency that develops and manages a single information-rich website. A top inbound marketing agency would also use a proven inbound marketing methodology, system and tools, helping you attract more qualified prospects and convert more qualified leads into customers for your business — much faster than if you struggled on your own.
This is the power of inbound networking. Better results, faster, with less work.
Excited? We sure are!
Sound like it might be a fit for you? We sure hope so!
At the Inbound Marketing Squad, we're accepting applications for new VSBO member sites focused on:
VSBO Site 1 - New business owners / start-ups
VSBO Site 2 - Health and wellness-conscious consumers
VSBO Site 3 - Young / new families
Other - Tell us about the ideal buyer you'd like to reach with fellow non-competing VSBOs on a content-rich site.