Inbound & Digital Marketing Blog

Clarke Bishop

More Leads ♦ More Sales ♦ More Visibility ♦ More Fun ♦ Marketing & Sales Results
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Stop Changing Buttons — Really Optimize Your Pages

Posted by Clarke Bishop

September 22, 2015

I'm very pleased to have an article in the September 2015 issue of 2Inbound magazine. The issue is all about how to improve your conversion rates, and my article specifically covers all the areas you should consider. 

For now, subscriptions are free, so get your copy right away. My article starts on page 12, but the magazine is full of good ideas.

2Inbound Magazine September

As a summary, below are the seven areas to consider as you start optimizing your pages for better conversion rates.

Read the full 2Inbound article for more details and for Quick Tips on how to improve each area. 


1 - Traffic

Who is visiting your page and where are they coming from? If you have the wrong kind of visitors coming to your page, they are not going to take the desired action. 

2 - Alignment

Alignment means going through the entire flow from search result or ad to landing page to offer to premium content to thank you page.  Ensure that you always deliver on your promise and that you have a consistent message throughout the flow. 

3 - Offer Value

The value of an offer is determined by the buyer and by what they want. You may have spent a lot of time and money creating a beautiful PDF. But, if the buyer thinks it’s off topic or is a bunch of self-promotion, it has no value. Not to them.

4 - Clarity

Is your landing page as clear as possible? Can visitors tell exactly what to do?

Most of us don’t pay close attention when reading websites. We are skimming and just want to get what we want as fast as possible. So, make it easy for visitors. Don’t force people to think.

5 - Anxiety

What might worry your landing page visitors? How can you keep them safe and help them relax?

6 - Distraction & Urgency

What could distract your visitors and stop them from moving forward?

Images can help tell your story. Just watch out for photos that are more interesting than your offer or your copy.

7 - Friction

What might be hard to use or confusing? Friction occurs when the page or form is hard to use.

Long forms look hard to use even if the requested information is simple. Only ask for the information you absolutely must have right now. First name and Email for example. 

There's a lot more, so read the full article, make your pages convert, and get more leads! 


Topics: Lead Generation, Inbound Marketing

Exactly When Did Marketing Stop Working?

Posted by Clarke Bishop

July 24, 2015

Marketing, well at least traditional marketing, stopped working in 2008!

The combination of the 2008 financial crisis and recession, plus the never-ending advances in technology, killed it.

Read on and I'll tell you exactly what happened.

My Marketing's Not Working Why?

Traditional marketing was never easy, but it did work. After all, people do need and want our products and services. Just get their attention and some will buy.  

Buyers used to keep Yellow Page phone books and other print directories handy. Not any more. Yellow Pages started to decline in 2008, and revenues are now just a fraction of early-2000 levels. Buyers have changed and don't do what they used to do.

No worries, prospects just moved to the web to find your business. Except the web changed. Apple launched the first iPhone in mid-2007. And by 2009, smartphone sales really accelerated.  By 2014, smartphone web use surpassed desktops for web searches. Technology changed and buyers don't do what they used to do.

At least prospects still rely on word-of-mouth referrals, right? Only, referrals changed. Social networking usage took off for most adults in 2008 and referrals went along for the ride. Of course, referrals still matter to many companies. But, you need to be on social sites to get great referrals. Buyers have changed and don't do what they used to do.

If you want even more data points:

  • The recession caused many businesses to rush to Google AdWords. Before 2008, you could buy many keyword clicks for 50 cents or less. Now, the same clicks cost $2 or more.

  • Before Google's Panda update in 2011, there were are bunch of SEO tricks that could get you easy traffic. Then Google put the Schemers and Scammers out of business, and they took out easy SEO, too.

  • That beautiful website you bought a couple of years ago still looks great. But, it's not setup for mobile devices and isn't "responsive." Google is now penalizing you for not having a “mobile-friendly” site.

Bottom Line: Buyers have changed and don't do what they used to do. Fast changes in web technology will keep changing the buying process, and you’ve got to keep up.

Buyers Have Changed - You Must Adapt

In many markets, buyers refuse to talk with a salesperson until late in their buying process. It used to be that your salespeople had all the relevant data. Not anymore. There's information on nearly any topic all over the web. Your sales team used to have control of the sales process. Now, the buyers are in charge.

There are a few exceptions, but they are hard to find. One of my business friends runs a waste management business. He's got a fleet of trucks that drive around and collect garbage, so he went looking for some Route Management software to maximize efficiency. The Routing software companies are all on the web, but their websites are bland and there's little information. My friend wanted to buy, but was frustrated. It won't be long before one of these companies discovers that buyers have changed, and they'll dominate their competitors.

What's a CEO to do?

Prospects and customers still crave useful information to help them run their lives and businesses. They want it on their terms and time schedule. Deliver quality education and they'll welcome talking to your salespeople—at least once they are ready for a sales call.

It makes no sense to resist the wave of changed buyers. Give them what they want. Create quality content (Information that's helpful, educational, and easy to read). Then, get the content in front of your prospects and customers.

And don’t forget your current customers. They want access to your knowledge, and they'll appreciate you for helping.

The method for creating and delivering quality content is called Inbound Out marketing. It provides affordable leads for nearly all business-to-business companies and for many consumer-oriented firms.

OK, but how do I get actual leads for my sales people?

Easy. You're being helpful and spreading your knowledge far and wide—prospects are paying attention. Add an offer to your content. To get the offer, prospects must provide their name and email address.

So now you can call and email like crazy? Well, no. The buyers are still in charge. You'll just waste the good will you've created.

Instead, create content and offers that pull prospects down the sales funnel. They won't go any further than they want. They are still in charge. You can't force it. Make them feel safe and add value.

Prospects who are qualified and have the budget will gladly move through your funnel. Even better, your sales team can focus on closing sales instead of prospecting and presenting.

How do I know this will work and will I get a good ROI on my marketing investment?

Digital marketing is very measurable which lets us carefully monitor what’s working and identify opportunities for improvement.

However, focusing on ROI is in some ways the wrong question.

Buyers have changed. If you want to stay in the game, you've got to have an Inbound Out marketing strategy and deliver quality content. Otherwise, your competitors will quickly make you irrelevant.

Digital marketing has become a cost of being in business. Like having phones or office space. When was the last time someone tried to calculate the ROI of office space? No one does because it’s a cost of being in business.

To learn how Inbound Out marketing can work for your company, get a free Lead Boost Review.

Schedule Lead Boost Review

  • Buyers have changed and don't do what they used to do.

  • Fast changes in web technology will continue to impact your business. Make sure you’ve got professionals on your team that can handle all the elements.

  • Inbound Out marketing delivers a framework to help you adjust to always changing buyers and get more good leads.


Topics: Inbound Marketing, Content Marketing

What Should Leads Cost?

Posted by Clarke Bishop

June 9, 2015

What should leads cost?

Lead cost depends on your market and on what your company has in place. There’s no definitive answer. Still, I know you’re looking for some guidance, so let’s consider some scenarios.


Trade Show Lead Cost

For most companies, an online lead costs less than a lead from traditional offline marketing. To see why, let’s look at trade shows for comparison.

I’ve seen estimates that it can cost $10K for each person you bring to a trade show.  An average sales rep makes at least $1,600 per week. Add another $1,500 for travel to the show and entertainment. If you send some senior people, it’s likely the costs are even higher. Then, you’ve got the cost of the booth, booth transportation, collateral materials, and the show itself. $6K per participant seems like a conservative estimate, and the cost may well be closer to $10K.

Let’s say four people go to the show, and your total cost is $24K, and you get 60 leads from your booth. That’s a cost of $400 per lead—before adjusting for the visitors that just wanted a free t-shirt or coffee mug. 

Trade shows can be fun, and there may be other reasons to attend. Still, they have a number of important disadvantages:

  • Many companies fail to follow-up effectively on trade show leads. This is just a waste.

  • Trade shows happen infrequently. What if a prospect needs to buy one month after the show? They’re not going to wait eleven months.

  • Going to a show and coming back can disrupt your business rhythm.

Google AdWords Lead Cost

For digital lead generation, there’s a quick way to estimate the cost. Use Google’s keyword planner. For this scenario, assume you are an accountant looking for more business.

For $9, Google will sell you a click from a person who searched Google for “accountant.” Below is an example of the data you can get directly from Google’s keyword planner.

AdWords Cost Per Lead

It costs $9 to get a person to your website, but will they become a lead? You'll need to invest in a good website page with a good offer. If so, 10% might respond and become leads.

  • 100 clicks x $9 = $900
  • $900 to develop or maintain your offer and website page
  • $500 to manage a simple AdWords campaign

A total of $2,300 for 10 leads, or $230 per lead.

Of course, some of these are fixed or partially fixed costs. So, you might be able to drive down your cost per lead by buying more clicks. 

At least it’s less expensive than our trade show scenario. There was a time you could get inexpensive clicks from Google, but today, more and more companies use Google AdWords. The competition has run up the cost, and it looks like this tactic will continue to get more expensive.

The good thing is that searchers on Google are actively looking for help or a solution to their problems. This means they are very qualified prospects. And Google AdWords can be a very useful way to discover search terms that prospects are using in Google.

Inbound Out Marketing Lead Investment

Trade shows, AdWords, and many other types of traditional marketing and advertising are time-based. You go to a trade show for a week. You run AdWords or other advertising for a month. You can turn these on or off and your results will go up or down.

Inbound Out Marketing is a strategy. You have some ability to adjust the ongoing costs, but you can’t dabble without destroying its effectiveness.

A minimum investment is $6K per month. Depending on your growth goals and situation, you may want to do more inbound marketing, more targeted outreach, or both. In either case, you have to regularly publish useful information that your prospects value.

A good blog post costs $200—more for specialized technical topics. I know, you’ve heard about somebody who bought blog posts off eLance for $20. But were they any good? I’ve tried a lot of these “writers,” and I can confidently tell you that it doesn’t work.

It’s not easy to write well enough to impress your customers. 3 posts per week is a good target. That’s $2,400 per month.

Blog posts will attract readers, but you want leads. Premium content along with a landing page form is what converts readers to leads. Premium content means longer pieces like special reports, infographics, training courses, and videos. For good premium content, typical costs are $2K and up. Plan to create a premium offer every two months, so budget for $1K per month.

You’ll want to do good follow-up with leads and customers, so plan on $1K per month to write and manage the emails.

Add $1K per month for a marketing system like HubSpot. That leaves a few hundred dollars for website maintenance and other special activities in our $6K per month budget.

At 2,000 monthly visitors per month, let’s say 3% of these visitors provide their contact information. You get 60 leads from 2,000 visitors at a cost of $100 per lead.

If you’re starting from scratch, it may take several months to ramp up to 2,000 visitors. This disadvantage is offset by the fact that inbound out marketing builds over time. Each month you’re adding new prospects to your database. As you keep going, expect your monthly visits will grow too.

That's the big benefit of Inbound Out marketing. Keep going and your traffic will keep growing. This drives down your lead investment over time. 


Each of these scenarios depends heavily on your market, your competitors, and what your company already has in place. Still, most companies should consider inbound out marketing. Traditional marketing and advertising is becoming more difficult each year. Don’t risk letting your competitors get the jump on you. It’s both difficult and more expensive to catch up.

Use our Lead Estimator to calculate the expected investment for your specific situation.

Lead Investment Estimator


  • Most companies will lower their cost and improve their positioning by using inbound out marketing.

  • The Internet has changed the buying process forever. If you are not doing inbound out marketing, there’s a big risk your company will be left behind.

  • Lead cost will vary for each market and each company. There is no single answer on what a lead should cost.


Topics: Lead Generation, Inbound Marketing

Where Are All The Good Prospects Hiding?

Posted by Clarke Bishop

June 2, 2015

If only I had more leads, I could really grow this business!Every CEO and Business Owner

Every CEO I know says that good leads are a bottleneck. So, where are all the good prospects hiding?


All hidden prospects are not the same. In fact, there are three types of  evasive prospects, and your marketing approach needs to be different for each type.

Secretive Prospects

Secretive prospects are real buyers. They have a problem or pain and a budget to solve the problem. It’s just that they aren’t ready to engage with a salesperson. Not yet.

In 2012, the Corporate Executive Board (CEB) estimated that “57% of the B2B buying process is complete before a prospect is ready to talk with a salesperson.” Others have different estimates and each market is certainly different. Still, it’s safe to assume that at least 50% and as many as 70% of active buyers are secretive. They are collecting information, filtering providers, and making their initial choices.

Secretive prospects are not open to engaging with your sales team. If you try to call them, they’ll avoid you. They won’t return phone calls and they won’t respond to emails. They’re just not ready.

As a business owner or CEO, you probably don’t like this situation. You’d like to believe that secretive prospects do want to hear from you. If only your sales team would work harder. After all, you have a great product or service that would make the prospect’s world so much better. Why won’t they listen?

Like it or not, here’s the reality. Before the information explosion known as the Internet, you did have a lot more control. You had all the relevant knowledge, and buyers had to come to you. Now, buyers have all the information they want, and they can access it whenever they want—right from their smart phone.

It gets worse. If you don’t connect with secretive prospects early in their buying process, it’s often too late once they come out of the shadows. What can you do?

Inbound Out Marketing

Inbound Out Marketing is the best option to engage early with secretive prospects. It’s inbound marketing combined with targeted outreach.

Secretive prospects want to learn about you on their own terms. So, help them out. Create blog articles, helpful guides, infographics, videos—whatever it takes to help prospects understand their situation and realize you are one of the market leaders. Focus on the prospect’s problems and questions. It’s about them, not about you. They aren’t ready for you. Not yet.

Back in the day, good salespeople used to provide a lot of education in the early part of the sales process. Now, you have to rely on your website to teach prospects about your overall product category and possible solutions. Don’t make the mistake of focusing on your solution too soon. Help prospects learn about their options. They will buy from you unless your company is not a good fit, so don’t worry about telling them too much and losing them.

Targeted outreach is the secret we use to get significantly better results. If you know and can discover your ideal prospects, contact them directly. Find them on LinkedIn or through other social sites and lists.

It’s essential that you have a very clear picture of your ideal prospects. Once you know exactly “who” they are, it gets much easier to find their hiding places. That’s why we developed our Precise Prospect Profile toolkit.

Precise Prospect Profile Kit

Once you’ve identified some ideal prospects, offer helpful information. It’s too early to sell, so don’t. Instead offer to send your special report regarding “Common questions about _____ (Your product category).” Prospects do want helpful information, and they’ll appreciate you for it. They just don’t want sales information, yet.

Your objective is to be a helpful resource and to be positioned as a trusted option once the prospect is ready to buy.

Wannabe Prospects

Wannabe prospects do have a problem—a problem you could solve. They just don't have enough pain or budget.  Wannabe's are earlier in the buying process, but many of them will become buyers, so they are still important targets. Their pain will get worse and they'll allocate budget for their next cycle.

Inbound Out marketing continues to offer a great option. However, the content and information Wannabe's need is different.

Wannabe prospects are higher up (earlier) in the sales funnel. Give them more general content like:

  • 5 trends this year in the _______ industry

  • Top challenges faced by people in the ______ role

  • How a top company solved the ______ problem.
    NOTE: This could be a case study involving your product, focus on the customer and their problem. Don’t make it all about your product.

This is great positioning for your sales team—you get to be the first company on their short list. They see you as helpful and have favorable feelings about your company. All your competitors will be fighting from behind.

Potential Prospects

Potential prospects are similar to your ideal prospects. They are in the right industry and the right jobs. You can expect some of them to become prospects at some point.

Perhaps they already have a solution that’s working or they are pleased with their current provider. Still, what’s working today may not be working next year. You want these prospects to know you.

The prospect’s company may be too small for your solution—at least for now. After they grow, they may be a fit.

You want to know these prospects and have them know you. When they do need you, you’ll already be positioned as an excellent choice. Even better, potential prospects fit your ideal prospect profile. That means they know others in the industry who are good prospects. Some of their friends may be secretive or wannabe prospects. You’ll get referrals from people who aren’t even customers yet. Potential prospects are influencers, so don’t ignore them.

Marketing to potential prospects is much like marketing to wannabe prospects. Create content for the broader industry. They’ll eat it up and love you for it.


  • Buyers now control the buying process. Companies and salespeople have to give up the delusion that they have any control. Instead adjust to this new situation and work to serve buyers.

  • Inbound Out Marketing is the best way to reach hidden prospects that are not ready or willing to engage with a salesperson.

  • There are different kinds of hidden prospects—Secretive, Wannabe, and Potential prospects. All are reachable through Inbound Out Marketing. All that needs to change is the content of your materials to best serve each type of prospect and to deliver the information they want.


Topics: Lead Generation, Inbound Marketing, Content Marketing

What's Wrong With My Website? There Are No Good Leads.

Posted by Clarke Bishop

May 30, 2015

You spent plenty of money and everyone tells you that you have a great website. But, you’re not getting many leads. What’s wrong?

It sickens me to talk with business owners who just spent a lot of money redesigning their website. It looks great, but after a few months, they’re still wondering when the leads will show up.

You decided to jump into digital marketing because you thought it was the future, and wanted a Sales Robot that would work 24/7 and not run up an expense account bill. Cool.

Whats Wrong With My Website

Then, you thought, “The first thing I need is a killer website.” This sounds sensible, but it’s wrong—the first thing you need is a Digital Strategy.

Digital Strategy

If you think about it, every business has it’s own unique market. Sure, you share a category with your competitors, but you work a bit differently. You need a strategy that’s specific to your business and your customers. Don’t fall into the trap of copying tactics from a friend or competitor—They may be wrong for your business.

Key Strategy Questions

Your strategy must answer all these questions:

  • Who is your ideal customer? When you can precisely describe your ideal prospects, you can build your website and all your marketing to appeal to them.

  • What is your market’s buying process? What problems do your ideal prospects think they have? How do they think about their problems and where do they go for solutions? What steps occur in a typical sales process and when would a salesperson get involved?

  • Do you have a remarkable product or service? How do you (or how can you) stand apart from the competition? How is your company positioned?

  • What human and technology assets do you have that could support your digital marketing initiative? Where are you weak or missing key pieces?

  • What are the best digital conduits for attracting your ideal prospects? Are they searching for solutions? What are the triggers that cause them to search?

  • What information do your prospects want at each stage of the buying process? It’s a common mistake to offer first-time visitors an option that only actual buyers would be ready to accept.

  • What’s your implementation plan to align all these elements to achieve your business goals?

  • How will you measure results and make improvements?

With this deep understanding of your market, your website can become a productive sales robot—a robot that’s correctly programmed to grow your business.


Even with a good digital strategy, I still see too many companies that don’t create enough clarity in their website.

  • Muddy message. From your strategy, you know your prospect and what they want. Give it to them! And, invest in well-written, clear web text.

  • Missing differentiation. Why should your ideal prospect buy from you? Don’t make them figure it out. Tell them!

  • Too many product or service options. I know, you’ve got something for everyone. This may be true, but it kills your website.

    Have absolutely no more than three types of prospects and three product or service categories.

    At Inbound Team, our site is for Business Owners or Presidents who want more Leads to grow their business. That’s one prospect and one service.

  • Beautiful but confusing. Beauty is always nice, but make sure everything is readable and it’s clear what visitors can do and should do next. Don’t let creative design get in the way of marketing effectiveness.

  • Missing call-to-action. Make it easy. People are distracted. Give them a clear, compelling call-to-action. They’ll provide their name and email and you just got a lead!


A great website is still not enough. You need visitors. Not just any visitors, but qualified visitors who might buy your products or services.

How can you ensure your website gets qualified visitors?

  • Focus on your prospects. It’s not about you and your business. Keep your pages focused on your story and benefits for the prospect.

  • Blog. For most businesses, there’s no better way to attract visitors than blogging. Write about your prospects and their problems. Add value. Show you care.

  • Premium content. Create interesting special report PDFs, Infographic diagrams, or videos. The purpose is to add even more value and entice your visitor to give you their name and email.

  • Social Publishing. In some markets, prospects actively gather on social websites. Meet them where they are. Publish your content. As long as it’s valuable, everyone will appreciate your contribution.

  • Targeted Outreach. Don’t miss the opportunity to directly target and reach out to prospects. Send them your content or a link to your website. They’ll appreciate you and you can create some micro-rapport.

    A client we worked with sold computer support, but only to attorneys and other specialized professionals. Many visitors came to their website to learn the latest on Microsoft Exchange. Only, almost none of these visitors were qualified or would ever buy.

    Targeted Outreach is ideal for this situation. Connect directly with the prospects who will buy from you.

For clarity on your specific business situation, schedule a Free Lead Boost Review.  

Schedule Lead Boost Review


  • Don’t let a web designer sell you a beautiful website that won’t generate leads. Instead, start with a complete digital strategy. Then, build the website to fit your market.

  • Ensure your site is so clear, a 5-year old could figure it out. Be direct, and show the visitor exactly what to do next.

  • Get qualified visitors to your site. Use blogging and search engines like Google to attract visitors. Or, use Social Publishing and Targeted Outreach. 


Topics: Lead Generation, Inbound Marketing

How To Get Your Marketing To Reach Out For Prospects

Posted by Clarke Bishop

May 19, 2015

Most business people know that buying behavior has changed. Buyers don’t answer their phones and don’t respond to advertising.


Wouldn’t it be nice if your marketing went out and found prospects for you? No searching Google, no worrying about the latest SEO rules, just more leads!

I’m going to show you how this result is possible, and I’ll show you exactly what to do!

Social Publishing

If … It’s a big if. If your prospects gather around social watering holes, social publishing is an excellent way to engage.

Later, I’ll show you an even better way to make your marketing reach out for prospects. Social publishing, though, can be an easy way to find buyers if they are already collected in groups.

People do gather in specific parts of the social landscape. LinkedIn groups, Facebook groups, and online forums can all be excellent places to find prospects. All you have to do is:

  • Find a relevant group.

  • Join the group.

  • Be helpful and collaborative. No Selling.

  • Offer valuable content.

The big mistake is to join a group and start selling. “Hi, I’ve just joined the group. Wanna buy my stuff?” Big problem. Don’t do it. You’ll get thrown out of the group, or worse, tarnish your reputation.

Instead, focus on the people and relationships you can create. Look for ways to be helpful and offer value. Then, make your company’s marketing content available to people in the group. As long as it’s valuable and on-target, prospects will see you and your content as a contribution.

Targeted Outreach

People in online groups are usually curious, interested, and engaged. But many have no budget and are unqualified prospects.  No budget means no sale.

And what if your targets are busy people like CEOs? Are they hanging out on social sites waiting to hear from you, or do they have their heads down working on the business?

I told you there’s an even better way to make your marketing connect with prospects, and here it is—Targeted Outreach.

It used to be that it was hard to find your exact target prospect. That was before 1.5 billion people joined Facebook and 350 million business people joined LinkedIn. Now there is rich data available on the majority of prospects. You just have to know how to efficiently find your prospects and approach them.

Here’s the process we use:

  1. Clarity - Know exactly what’s remarkable about your products and exactly which buyers will receive full value—this understanding is essential. If you don’t have this, you need to step back and nail your strategy. 

  2. Precise Prospect Profile - This is our tool to know all about your ideal customer. It goes far beyond the personas that many inbound agencies recommend, and get’s to real insights about what separates actual buyers from the merely curious.

  3. Targeted List Building From the Precise prospect Profile - You know your ideal customer. Start compiling lists of great prospects. Inputs can include LinkedIn, trade show lists, past customer lists, and purchased lists—any source is fair game. But, these are just names. Filter the names through the Precise Prospect Profile to ensure a focus on only the best prospects. 

    Precise Prospect Profile Kit

  4. Buyer-focused Content - If you already have buyer-focused marketing content, great. Otherwise, find the gaps and create appropriate new materials.

  5. Content Outreach - Send personalized messages to your quality prospects and offer useful content. The objective is to see who responds—They are the likely buyers. 

    Use LinkedIn or Facebook messages, InMail, email, even phone calls—whatever works to reach your prospects. 

  6. Micro-Rapport - Each interaction with a prospect adds rapport. When it’s time to buy, contacts already know and like your company. You just have to move in for the close.

Inbound Out Marketing

Inbound Out Marketing is Inbound Marketing + Targeted Outreach.

I still recommend that you blog, create useful content offers, have a high-conversion website, and structure your marketing around the prospect’s buying process. That’s traditional Inbound Marketing.

Now, though, you see how you can multiply your content by adding Outreach. Whether through Social Publishing or Targeted Outreach, you have a short cut. You don’t have to wait for prospects to search for your solutions. You can be on their short list before they even know they have a need. Now, that’s demand generation!


  • Buyer behavior has changed and it's essential that you adapt.

  • If your prospects are searching for you on Google or gathering on social sites, use Inbound Marketing to engage them.

  • To get better and faster results from your digital marketing, add Targeted Outreach to directly engage your high-quality prospects.

Topics: Lead Generation, Inbound Marketing

LinkedIn Lead Generation - 3 Powerful Sales Ideas for 2015

Posted by Clarke Bishop

January 6, 2015


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


Topics: Lead Generation

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.


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


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.


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.



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

Volusion Access for HubSync Setup

Posted by Clarke Bishop

July 29, 2013


HubSync 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 latest 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.


Topics: eCommerce

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