A manufacturing client of mine is totally committed to inbound marketing, as am I. Inbound marketing is rooted in a philosophy of giving. The idea is that we provide useful information, insight and resources to prospective customers without having first met them and without asking for anything, except maybe an email address, in return.
The information an inbound marketer provides is called “content” which can be articles, podcasts, videos and other forms of information that can be distributed easily through the internet. Good content is attractive to prospects and enables them to learn about us, our products, our expertise and our offers on their terms and schedules.
The advantage to the prospect is they get to learn without being interrupted. The advantages to the marketer are, first, that content is perpetually available and working online, and second, that when prospects are ready for personal contact, they are already familiar with us and our offers.
By the time we meet, inbound marketing has already converted cold leads into warm leads.
Inbound marketing works. The problems are that creating content is a tremendous amount of work, and building an audience takes time. It can take a year or more of writing and producing content before marketers are rewarded for their efforts.
That’s where the four words come in.
My client was on the phone with his inbound marketing advisor. He had been producing and distributing really good content in the form of articles and podcasts for several months and had built a modest audience of subscribers.
“We need a sponsor,” the advisor said. “Who could we get to distribute our content that is well known in your target market?”
My client quickly named the most influential trade association in his industry.
“It would be great to get those guys. Everybody knows them, and everyone belongs to the association or at least attends their trade shows.”
Then came the four words: “Well, let’s call ‘em.”
“You mean right now?”
“Why not? Have you got a number?”
My client had a number and they called it. The result was that the association agreed to distribute my client’s content to the more than fifty thousand - 50,000!- people in their database in exchange for his promoting an upcoming trade show. That is an astonishing result for four simple words, but it’s not the only one.
Three weeks later, and my client and the consultant were discussing his podcast.
“Who is a well-known thought leader you could interview on your podcast?” asked the consultant.
My client named an internationally known manufacturer, speaker, and author who is widely recognized and respected by his target audience.
“Well, let’s call 'im.”
My client looked up the number of the man’s company on the internet. After several transfers, they had him on the telephone.
“I’m doing a podcast for our industry, and wondering if I could interview you for an episode,” said my client.
“Sure,” the man replied. “Do you want to do it right now?” That interview is done, produced and published.
There is a third example involving the same client and advisor, but this one involves information I can’t disclose in an article. I can say that it involves an opportunity for my client to increase his subscribers by tens of thousands people who are squarely in the middle of his target market.
As you probably suspect, the opportunity began with the words: “Well, let’s call ‘em.”
This article just happens to mention marketing, but that’s not the point. It shows the power of the attitude and determination reflected in four words.
Many of us would have waited in order to be sure we called the right person, or to prepare ourselves with a little “research,” or to wait because “it’s always better to call in the morning,” or to carefully script what we were going to say or whatever other reason we could conjure up.
My client got results by taking immediate action, and so far he is batting 1,000: Three calls with three astonishing results. When we wait to take action, at best an opportunity is delayed, at worst it is lost.
What are the four words that will change your life? Well, let’s do it? Let’s go in now? Let’s ask him today?
In the same spirit, are the four words that could change you life, "My business needs help"? Have you delayed securing the business advisors you need to succeed because you're waiting to be sure you find the right person, because you "can't afford it right now", because its "not the right time", or because you "can take care of things yourself"? Take a look at the Advisor and Mentor Checklist and begin securing each of these roles today.
Whatever the words that help you reach your goals and vision, follow through on them, and watch as you get results. If we want something we have never had, we will have to do something we've never done. Decisiveness can be the game changer for your business and your life.