THE TRUTH ABOUT BUSINESS & ONLINE MARKETING

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Breathe for Jo

Dear Friends,

Its not often that I’d ask you to support something or give your time to a cause that you might not have any link to but I’d appreciate just 5 minutes of your time to read this and the article it links to.

My good friend Jo Smith has two terminal illnesses, pulmonary hypertension and lymphatic cancer. She is thought to be the only person in the world to have both and sadly one stops her from being treated for the other.

A possible breakthrough treatment has been found in Thailand but 30k is needed to send her there. A campaign has been launched by her friend Lacey and the local newspaper in Exeter. You can read the full story in more detail than I could go into here: http://www.exeterexpressandecho.co.uk/Campaign-launched-save-Exeter-mum-Jo-suffering/story-20935307-detail/story.html

Jo is a loving mother of her 3 year old Rudey and has been a close friend of mine since our early twenties. She is a kind person who doesn’t deserve the cards life has dealt her.

I hope this article reaches out to people, raises awareness and possibly even aids the financial support she needs.

Her just giving page can be found here: https://www.justgiving.com/yimby/breatheforjocampaign

Thank you for your time.

Alastair.

—– Please ignore the p.s.’s below this line, they are part of this theme —–

What is Inbound Marketing?

inbound marketing

–Update to Post Mar 2014–

For many years us marketeers have focused on outbound marketing. A one-way message, attempting to buy people’s attention. Think Radio, Think Advertising, Think TV Adverts. With Inbound Marketing the focus switches to ‘earnt’ attention. By providing your prospects with something of value they give you permission to keep marketing to them. For example, giving away tips in a blog article/whitepaper, which your prospect finds via Google is a good form of Inbound Marketing. They like your content, it sounds like you know what you’re talking about, so they subscribe to your blog feed and in turn give you permission to market to them in the future. A powerful way of creating a relationship with someone who was a stranger only minutes before. You’ve ‘earnt’ their attention.

This is the first step.

True inbound companies work on converting these people into customers, taking them on a journey down a sales/marketing funnel (still providing value all the way). This is called lead nurturing. This can consist of email auto-responders; automated emails which keep giving you more information/help/advice, conversion optimisation; different formats for the same pages on a website, tested constantly for the best results and even dynamic content; if I know you’ve downloaded a document before from my site and you’ve given me your name, I might put a personal message for you on my site the next time you return.

The first step to becoming an inbound organisation is to work out your customer personas. You may have two or three for your business depending on audience types/number of products etc. In my business, one of our personas is Bob. Bob is the managing director of a successful business turning over more than a million pounds a year. He has built the business from scratch and is fascinated by marketing. He’s a true salesman and sells his business better than anyone else. Bob is interested in marketing because he recognises that it’s the route to take his business to the next level. He’s an enthusiastic chap who knows what he wants and looks to employ the best people for the job. He doesn’t try and drive people down on price because he appreciates quality. He calls his suppliers partners.

Now when we create marketing material we think of Bob. Would this blog article be of interest to him, would this letter we’re sending out get through his PA? Is this whitepaper going to be something he prints out and takes home to read at night? Your focus on marketing becomes more defined and less time is wasted trying to appeal to all.

As clichéd as it might sound, sharing is caring in this world. Create remarkable content that people want to talk about and tell their friends to check out. This is the way of an inbound organisation, is it the way of your organisation?

If you’re practising Inbound marketing I’d love to hear your stories in the comments. How is it working for you?

p.s. Hat-tip to Hubspot who are the masters of this world and coined the term back in 05/06. Love your work guys.

7 things that changed my life in 2013

wedding

So it’s that time of year again where I look back and reflect on the year just gone. The intention? To reflect, to learn and to take some positivity into 2014. I’m hoping that these points may help/raise some questions/give you ideas too. Ok, so you won’t be getting married to my wife (or at […]

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When the chips are down…

Peter Pope

Yesterday I said my final goodbyes to one of my closest friends, Pete Pope. Pete was only 38 and was taken from us far too early. He was an inspirational guy and one that we can all learn from. If his short life can inspire just one or two people to take action and change […]

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3 Simple Ways to Keep up-to-date with Social Media Changes

social media

A statement I often hear is, ‘you can keep ahead of things because you live in this industry’. In many ways this is true. Things are changing so quickly and I have a great team around me who often pick up the latest changes way before me. However, there are a few quick tips I […]

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Inbound Marketing – A few key takeaways from IMUK13

inbound marketing

Wow – firstly just need to say this is my 100th post! Boom! It makes writing to thin air in the early days seem worthwhile when you hit milestones like this. Thanks to Dave at Optix for pointing this out to me! So last week I attended Inbound Marketing 2013 in London with my digital […]

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Work-life balance – A debate

worklife

Today I have a day off. But what does that mean for a business owner? Is it really a day off, where you completely stop thinking about work or is it a day off in disguise, where you pretend to do other things while secretly thinking about your next big work project or just check […]

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Why is Management Accounting Important?

Management Accounting - Make the right Decisions

I’m lucky enough today to have a guest post from my friend and the management accounting expert to my business, Ben Didier. Rather than spoil the show, I’ll let his post do the talking. Can we afford it? One of the biggest jumps that often shock people when moving from employed work to running a […]

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How to be a great salesman – A few tips I’ve learnt along the way

Making Sales

Sales can be a dirty word to a lot of people. For me, it’s the life blood of any company, after all without sales, you have no work and without work you have no money. SO I’m sorry folks, if you were thinking of starting your own business and thought you could side step this […]

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5 things you might like to consider when starting a website

ponder

1). Firstly a website is just the start of your online presence. So many people rock up to a project thinking about their budget in terms of the capital outlay on their website. They often don’t consider the marketing and comms resource they’re going to need to put into getting it off the ground. The […]

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