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Inbound & Digital Marketing Blog

How To Get Prospects To Listen To Your Marketing

Posted by Kami Valdez

February 18, 2015

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Do you know your clients? Really know your clients? Do you understand what puts them over the moon and what keeps them up at night? Are you listening? Or are you so busy talking about you, that you know nothing about them?

Here’s the truth. No one cares about you. People are only interested in themselves. The only way to get someone to pay attention to you is if you are talking about what interests them!

Knowing your audience is essential for inbound marketing success. Every individual prospect will be different, but there are things they have in common, and you can use these commonalities to create marketing personas that will make your prospects think you are talking directly to them, about them.

Marketing personas should represent your best clients. They give guidance for molding your future products or services. They help with the decision making process of your marketing strategies. They direct your sales and marketing teams in knowing what to say.

Here's a simple three-step guide to help you create a marketing persona:

  1. Identify your ideal client(s). You need to gather the basic facts about them like: What's the size of their company? What industry are they in? Are they a new startup or an established business? Where are they located? Questions like these will help you define who they are.
  2. Know what they like. Identify the things that they actually buy and use or how they spend their money. Based on these facts, you will know what and if they are willing to pay for your products or services.
  3. Find out their drivers. What desired result are they seeking? What problems do they need to have solved? Knowing the answers to these questions will help you understand the wants and needs of your ideal clients so you can speak their language.

These are just a few basic things to remember when creating your marketing personas. Spend some time getting to know your ideal clients better, and you will discover your best prospects will hang on your every word.

If you need some help creating the perfect marketing persona for your business, download our Precise Prospect Profile Worksheet. Or you can always give us a call.

Tell me, have you developed personas for your company yet? Leave a comment below--I’m all ears…

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Topics: Lead Generation, Small Business Marketing, Inbound Marketing, Content Marketing


LinkedIn Lead Generation - 3 Powerful Sales Ideas for 2015

Posted by Clarke Bishop

January 6, 2015

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In a recent Ask the Expert interview, I discussed three powerful ways to bring sales to your LinkedIn doorstep.  These are three known, but not necessarily well used, techniques that will help bring you more prospects, more sales and more revenue as we move into 2015. 

With over 100 million US users of LinkedIn and more than 330 million users worldwide (current as of Nov 2014) – and with a target of 3 billion, LinkedIn provides a social media framed business tool that is a great way to attract leads. There are three strategies you can use on LinkedIn:

  1. Finding inbound leads.

  2. Using outbound methods.

  3. Engaging through groups.

Finding Inbound Leads

Setting up your profile and waiting for them to find you CAN work, but often doesn’t.  Yet, this is the method most people choose to deploy (and often the only one they ever use.)  For this approach to work at all, you need a well thought out landing page (treat it like a web page) for prospects to find you as a solution to their issues.  You need to know what people are looking for within LinkedIn and how you can position yourself to be found instead of blending in with all your competition.  Using relevant keywords that are exclusive to you is important.  Google yourself and see how you show there – does LinkedIn come up above your Facebook profile?  It should and needs to.

Using Outbound Methods

An outbound approach requires analysis, follow up and planning.  First you need to define who your target is, and what it is you have that they need.  How do you solve their problems?  How do you make their life better/easier?  You can begin by asking for a connection, or you can go another route that I describe in my interview (listen and I’ll share a great door opening strategy – it is an instant ‘warmer upper’ – and worth the listen, I promise!)  LinkedIn has made outbound calling and connecting so much simpler and it is something that I advocate for all my clients.

Through Engagement

Give educational materials to your prospects through the group function of LinkedIn and get them to, you guessed it, engage.  If you can help people ask questions that you can provide excellent answers to, you can also help win their trust and their business.  You become the coveted expert who they will turn to for their answers and most likely, their business will come your way as well.

Be sure to listen to the audio interview to hear my own personal success stories as well as those of my clients. This really works well when you execute it properly.  

Feel like your LinkedIn profile isn't as good as it could be? Click the button below to get a Free LinkedIn Profile Review.

Get Your LinkedIn Review

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Topics: Lead Generation


Top 5 Reasons You Should Be On LinkedIn

Posted by Kami Valdez

December 30, 2014

LinkedIn is the social network where business professionals are spending their time. You can generate leads, build relationships, improve your reputation, gain insights, establish thought leadership, build online communities, and so much more.

5_Reasons_You_Should_Be_On_LinkedIn

In today’s business world, relationships are more important than ever and professional networking has never been as critical and necessary as it is today. Here are a few reasons everyone should be on LinkedIn.

  1. Show others who you are.

A LinkedIn profile shows people who you are, what you know, where you’ve been, what you’ve done, and what you are interested in. Showcase your abilities and let people know why they should hire you or do business with you. A great profile lets others see not only your professional side, but your personality as well.

  1. Get noticed.

To be found, you should be where other professionals are searching for you. That perfect company or perfect client could be looking for someone like you right now on LinkedIn. People change jobs, switch careers, and start new businesses all the time. Being active on LinkedIn will allow opportunities to come directly to you.

  1. Connect with others.

LinkedIn was built for networking. Connect to the people you know from school or through work. You can also discover key people that could help you get your foot in the door or could potentially be great clients.

  1. Share what you know and learn from others.

Join groups with the same interests, where you can share information and discuss ideas. Learn more about your specific niche from renowned people within that industry. Answer questions and demonstrate know-how to build your reputation and help others see you as an expert.

  1. Generate leads.

Connect with prospects on LinkedIn. Research ideal prospects and then nurture the relationship by sharing content. Offer a free e-book or whitepaper and, using a call to action, direct them to download the information giving you a warm lead. Continue to provide them with great information to move them down your sales funnel.

LinkedIn is by far the most important social network for business professionals.It is the platform that is serious about business with people that are passionate about their professions. You need to be on LinkedIn to take full advantage of all it has to offer. So tell me...what’s stopping you from being on LinkedIn?

p.s. Feel like your profile isn't as good as it could be? Click the button below to get a FREE LinkedIn Profile Review.

Get Your LinkedIn Review

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Topics: Social Media


LinkedIn Lead Generation for B2B Sales

Posted by Clarke Bishop

December 1, 2014


Why Use LinkedIn for Sales?

We are working to create some great resources to help sales people and marketers find more leads and get more exposure on LinkedIn.

Please help us by answering the following questions:

Do you use LinkedIn for selling and lead generation?

  • If so, what had you start using LinkedIn? And, what's your biggest current challenge?
  • If not, what's holding you back? 

Please leave a comment below or respond on LinkedIn—whatever's easiest. Any ideas you have are greatly appreciated.

linkedin-lead-generation

New LinkedIn Tools Coming Soon

A lot of new LinkedIn tools are in the works:

  • A book to help you learn how to really prospect and sell on LinkedIn. 

    Not just the "How to build your profile" stuff that everyone has. Real selling for real salespeople!

  • An online learning website that's all about LinkedIn selling. Some courses will be free or very inexpensive.

  • Other information that you request by leaving a comment below.

If you want to stay up to date on our LinkedIn plans, request a LinkedIn Review.

Get Your LinkedIn Review


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Get AdWords Help from Inbound Team

Posted by Clarke Bishop

August 19, 2013

Google Marketing Agencies like Inbound Team have a special type of AdWords account. It's called an MCC (My Client Center) account.

So that we can help you improve your pay per click marketing, please complete these steps.

Login to AdWords, and get your Customer ID. It's a 10-digit number that shows up in the upper right corner when you log into AdWords. Send the number to your Inbound Team account manager.

Get Adwords Help

Once we get your Customer ID, we'll request access to your account.

You will receive an email from Google that contains a link to approve our request. Either click the link or log back in to AdWords.

Go to "My account" > "Account access" in your account and click "Accept invitation." You must be an administrator on the account.

Once you've approved access, we will review your account and let you know how you can improve your paid search marketing results.

You can always turn off our access if we decide not to work together. Doing things this way leave you in complete control, and lets us get the information we need to help you improve your marketing ROI.

 

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Topics: Inbound Marketing, Conversion, Pay-Per-Click


Volusion Access for HubSync Setup

Posted by Clarke Bishop

July 29, 2013

Volusion HubSpot ConnectorHubSync requires that we add some small amounts of javascript code to certain pages. In most cases we add the code to Article 101 (Add To Cart) and Article 130 (Order Finished).

We also require that the lastest HubSpot tracking code be correctly installed in Volusion. 

The final thing we need is API access to retrieve orders and send the data into HubSpot.

Volusion Permissions

Volusion allows you to set very specific permissions, and it's not always clear what each setting does. If anything is missing, we'll have to ask you to add that permission. For convenience, here is the list of permissions we need:

  • Products
  • Customers
  • Orders
  • Articles
  • Import
  • Export
  • File Editor
  • API

Details on each permission are shown below in a table copied directly from Volusion. The permissions we need are highlighted in orange. 

By default, your store has a primary administrator account – known as the Super Admin – which is typically assigned Customer ID #1 within your Customers database table. The Super Admin has access to every portion of your store.

Note that customer accounts can only be granted administrator access by a Super Admin.

Database Tables

Products Ability to view/edit Products, Options, Option Categories, Warehouses, and In-Stock Requests.
Product_Keys Ability to view/edit Product Keys and Product Key Distribution.
Discounts Ability to view/edit Coupons / Discounts.
GiftCards Ability to view/edit Gift Certificates.
Customers Ability to view/edit Customers Accounts (non-Administrator accounts), including customer passwords. This Access Key is also a prerequisite for the following Access Keys: CRM System, Accounts, Administrators, Affiliates,and LoginAsCustomer.
LoginAsCustomer Ability to login as a customer.
Reviews Ability to view/edit Customer Reviews.
Affiliates Ability to view/edit Affiliates (system settings) and Affiliate Stats.
ConfigSetup Ability to view/edit Config Variables, Company, SEO and Product Display Settings.
PaymentMethods Ability to view/edit settings on the Payment page. This Access Key is also a prerequisite for the Credit / Debit Cards Access Key.
Vendors Ability to view/edit Vendors.
POs Ability to view/edit Purchase Orders.
Orders Ability to view/edit Orders, Phone Orders, Recurring Billing, Returns / RMAs andAbandoned/Live Carts. Allows the use of the Point of Sale system. This Access Key is also a prerequisite for the Credit / Debit Cards Access Key.
Credit / Debit Cards Ability to view/complete Credit / Debit Card / eCheck details of an Order. Note that due to PCI/CISP compliance regulations, no administrator will ever have access to view a customer's full credit card number.
Articles Ability to view/edit articles (Site Content) and the Knowledge Base.
Newsletters Ability to view/edit Newsletters.
Categories Ability to view/edit Categories (including subcategories).
Specials Ability to view/edit Nav Menu Promotions.

 

Admin Area Sections

Import Ability to use Data Import tool.
Export Ability to use Data Export tool. This Access Key is also a prerequisite for theAPI Access Key.
AdminHistory Ability to view Admin History table.
File Editor Ability to view/edit Templates, Custom Fields, IP Firewall and File Editor. TheFile Editor give access to change website colors and edit HTML and CSS files. This Access Key is also a prerequisite for the BrandingImages (Logos) Access Key.
Inventory Ability to prepare shipments and receiving at Receiving and view/edit Search Terms.
ShippingMethods Ability to view/edit/test Shipping Methods in Shipping. This Access Key is also a prerequisite for the Locations Access Key.
Locations Ability to view/edit Locations (Edit Countries/States/Provices in Shipping) andCurrency.
Tax Ability to view/edit tax rates and settings in Tax.
ROITracker Ability to view/edit ROI Tracking.
StoreStats Ability to view/generate reports at Reporting and view graphs/statistics on theDashboard.
WebsiteDesign Ability to view/edit styles and settings in Navigation Menu.
BrandingImages Ability to view/edit Logos.
Maintenance Ability to open/close the store and use tools in Maintenance.
Administrators Ability to create/edit Administrators and update Access Keys. Note that having the Access Key of Customers gives you the ability to view theAdministrators table, but you will not have the ability to open or edit any records until this Administrators Access Key is checked.
Volusion Social Ability to post from the Social page.
Deal of the Day Ability to create/edit deals in Deal of the Day.
Social Store Ability to modify settings in Social Store.
CRM Manager Ability to create/edit settings at CRM System.
API Ability to access/use Volusion API tools.
My Rewards Ability to modify settings at MyRewards.
Release Notes Ability to view Release Notes.

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Topics: eCommerce


Tracking Total Number of Orders with HubSync3

Posted by Clarke Bishop

March 19, 2013

Some of you want to track the total number of orders received from each customer. That way you can send special messages or special offers to your best customers.

Order Totals Workflow

  1. Log into HubSpot and go to Contacts -> Workflows.

  2. Click the Create new workflow button, and name the workflow "Completed Purchase HubSync3," or whatever you'd like.

  3. Setup the information to look like the example below.

    The workflow should trigger whenever the form named Completed Purchase (HubSync 3) is submitted.

    When this happens, the total number of orders gets increased by 1.

    You can add more workflow steps if you want. Remember you can only use each form once. HubSync Total Orders
  4. Be sure to click the Save workflow button in the lower right. Also click the button to make the workflow live in the upper right.

  5. VERY IMPORTANT: In the side navigation, click Edit workflow.
    Then, in the next screen, make sure Any time one of the Starting Conditions occurs is selected. Finally, click Save.

    If you forget to do this step, it will only increment the orders once for each contact.

    HubSync3 Workflow Sidebar
    HubSync3 Workflow Settings

That's it! Now the Total Orders will increment with each new order.

I hope you like the changes. Leave a comment to let me know what you think!

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Topics: Lead Generation, Small Business Marketing, Marketing Automation


Cold Calling Versus Inbound Marketing - Are You a Loser?

Posted by Clarke Bishop

March 15, 2013

Telephone selling is still very important. Still, calling a totally cold, unqualified list is harder and less effective than ever. 

Enjoy the video ...

Please leave a comment on how you are using Inbound Marketing to create warmer leads for your outbound salespeople.

 

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Topics: Lead Generation, Small Business Marketing, Sales & CRM


Announcing HubSync 3 eCommerce for HubSpot 3

Posted by Clarke Bishop

March 10, 2013

I am pleased to announce the release of HubSync 3!

We are in the process of updating all our current clients. New customers will be setup on the new version from the start.

HubSync eCommerce integration for HubSpotHubSpot 3  

 

HubSpot 3 was a major upgrade for HubSpot. Contacts, List, and Workflows all got major improvements.

And, HubSpot completely re-worked their software APIs. The changes caused us to re-think how a shopping cart integration should work, and we hope you really like the new version.

As before, HubSync continues to help you optimize marketing ROI for your eCommerce company:

  • Know which sources are converting to sales.
  • Recover sales from abandoned carts
  • Closed-loop eCommerce

At a high level, it still works like it did before. We monitor your shopping cart to detect when visitors are adding items to their shopping carts and when they complete a purchase.

Every few minutes, we analyze the data to see if there is a new events:

  • Completed Purchase - The visitor has put items into their cart, and checked out to complete their purchase
     
  • Abandonded Cart - The visitor added items to their cart, but then did nothing for at least 60 minutes, and never completed their purchase. We know if they are still putting thing into or taking things out of their shopping cart.

 What's New in HubSync 3

The main changes you'll see are in Contacts. We've added a new Property Group called HubSync Information. All of these work just like any other HubSpot contact field.

HubSync3 Contact Fields

For the most part, these fields contain the information from the Last, most recent, order.

The fields are:

  • Last Order ID - The shopping cart order ID for the last order. Use this if you ever want to lookup the order in the cart or cross-reference orders.

  • Cart Customer ID - The customer ID in the shopping cart. Again, it lets you cross-reference contacts.

  • Last Order Date - Date of the last order.

  • Last Order Subtotal - For the last order, the sub-total before taxes or shipping. 

  • Total Orders - A field you can use to track the total number of orders for this contact.  This requires setting up a workflow. I'll tell you how in another blog post.

  • Last Order Category List - (Depends on your specific shopping cart.) Where available, we put the product category list from the last order. Categories are separated by semicolons (;).
     
  • Last Order Items List - A list of the items from the last order separated by semicolons (;).

  • Last Order SKU List - A list of the SKUs for each item in the last order separated by semicolons (;).
     
  • Custom Field List - (Depends on your specific shopping cart.) Where available, we put a list of custom fields from the last order separated by semicolons (;).

Besides this information, we also update other standard contact fields like name, address, city, state, company, etc. All of this is much cleaner for HubSpot 3 than with the old version of our software. 

Those of you who are more advanced in HubSpot 3 may already see ways to use this new information. I'm also going to show you some tricks in future blog articles. 

New Forms

We also added new HubSpot 3 forms to support the new capabilities in HubSync3. 

The old version of HubSync used forms with names like "Completed Purchase." To keep things clearn, all the new conversion look like this: Completed Purchase (HubSync 3).

Some of you may have the new Forms interface. Whether you do or not, it's very important that you not edit these forms or use them for anything other than HubSync.

 

I hope you like the changes. Leave a comment to let me know what you think!

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Topics: Conversion, eCommerce, Marketing Automation


The Most Common Mistakes that Lead to Entrepreneurial Failure

Posted by Devine Mae Loredo

December 16, 2012

Inbound Marketing and Entrepreneurs resized 600There are many factors that lead to the success of a business, such as social changes, financial status, availability of resources and so forth. But the most crucial thing that can affect your business is your personal perspective and attitude towards work.

Bad habits and bad practices will ultimately contribute to a business’ fallout. Running a business is never that easy - it certainly takes a great amount of determination, intense hard work, a lot of time and of course, a persistent attitude. But sometimes, even having all these traits won’t be enough (and bad luck doesn’t have anything to do with that). Nellie Akalp wrote about the common mistakes entrepreneurs do that that affect their business. Here’s a snapshot of some reasons...


1. They Don’t Have a Passion for Running a Business

Passion is usually not in short supply with entrepreneurs; however, this doesn’t mean that all entrepreneurs have a passion for what’s needed. Many times, people have tremendous passion for their product, service or technology but this doesn’t necessarily translate into a passion for managing a company.

2. They Need to Please

Kindness is a wonderful trait and one that we need more in business today. However, a relentless need to please can be detrimental to an entrepreneur. People with this tendency often overextend themselves in the workplace and bend over backwards for others. In short, it’s hard to achieve your own goals when you’re constantly focused on trying to make everyone else in the room happy.

3. They Can’t Work Without a Playbook

When you run your own business, you call the shots.  You’ll need to be confident making decisions on the fly and setting your own course without any instructions. If these aren’t your strengths right now, you’ll need to learn them pretty fast.

4. They Fear Failure

If you’re scared of failing, you’re probably playing it too safe as an entrepreneur. Fear of failure is one of the strongest forces holding people back from their potential. If you fall into this category, you’ve learned that it’s easier to slide along with the status quo than to take that important first step.

5. They’re Overloaded With Busywork

With all of today’s digital distractions, it’s easier than ever to lose control of one’s schedule and goals. Savvy entrepreneurs know how to stay focused on their priorities in the face of these distractions. They understand how to manage and lead their time, rather than simply react to issues and requests as they come in.

To learn what not to do, I encourage you to read the full article, 7 Reasons Some Entrepreneurs Don't Meet Their Potential.

Your business’ success depends on how you, as an entrepreneur, perceive it. There’s an old adage that says, “Love your job so you don’t have to work for the rest of your life”. If you have enough belief and passion for what you do, success can come your way. Be unrelenting in your efforts concerning your business, in order to rise to the occasion.

What about you? Do you have some of these traits too? What did you do about it? Leave a comment and share it to us!

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Topics: Small Business Marketing, Inbound Marketing, Marketing Automation


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