Article | October 16, 2020
Since Hubspot coined the term “inbound marketing,” every kind of business has been trying to get the coveted inbound lead. And why not? Inbound leads usually buy things more quickly, complain less about price, and renew more often.
As a freelancer, inbound leads are especially valuable. You don’t have a sales team and scaled up marketing efforts - it’s just you and your time. I know this firsthand, because I’ve had a nearly 100% inbound freelance business since day one. My business has been profitable since I started it and increased in revenue each year, all without needing to send cold pitches. In this blog post, I’m detailing the four factors that helped me build my inbound funnel, each one corresponding to a timeless law of freelancing from my book, The 50 Laws of Freelancing.
Step 1: Have a good enough one-liner
I’m a freelance writer for startups and venture capitalists. If you asked me what else I do, I’d tell you that I edit, do content strategy, occasionally work with big corporations and governments, and more. But my “one-liner” when I introduce myself is simply that I am a freelance writer for startups and venture capitalists.
This is the essence of the “good enough” one-liner.
When you introduce yourself, you want to make sure what you say meets two criteria:
1. It’s easy to understand.
2. It’s easy to repeat.
If you want to build an inbound funnel, criterion number two is the most important. If I started all of my introductions with everything I do, people would get confused and understand less. But more importantly, they would repeat it less - or repeat it incorrectly.
The point of a “good enough” one-liner is so that other people talk about you the way you want to be talked about. When you focus on making it easy to understand and easy to repeat, you give people the language you want them to use. This alone has generated lots of clients for me, who reach out and say they heard I did freelance writing, and wonder if I could help them.
Step 2: Try everything and stick with what you like
Freelancers often work remotely, and unfortunately that comes with many pitfalls, particularly around freelancer mental health. Obviously, selling more is a critical element of mental health - making money can not only address anxiety about money but also pay for resources and help if necessary.
The way that I tackle both the pitfalls of remote freelance work and selling more is to try everything but stick with what you like. You try everything because you never know what might work or what you might like. When you only stick with what you like, you’re more likely to engage on a genuine level and more likely to enjoy yourself. Win-win.
In my case, I’ve tried every social media platform I can find, gone to hundreds of events and conferences, and even did a cultural exchange vacation to France to help a family restore their old chateau. If the platforms or experiences didn’t give me clients directly, they provided stories that rounded me out as a human and freelancer, resulting in more sales.
Step 3: Ask for referrals the right way
Asking someone if they will refer business to you is asking for a favor. Even if you pay them a commission, you’re still asking for them to use mental energy to remember your sales pitch then leverage their social capital to send clients your way.
Instead, make them the hero.
Here’s how it works:
Step 1: Instead of asking for referrals, remind them of your easy to repeat one-liner and tell them that if they know anyone facing the challenges you solve, you’d be happy to help.
Step 2: When that person interacts with someone facing a challenge, they can bring you up as a solution to the problem.
Step 3: Introductions you get from that person will be way higher quality because now you’re presented as the solution to a problem, and the person who referred you is the hero who made the introduction. The third person gets their problem solved, you get an inbound client, and your friend gets more social capital for being a problem-solver.
Step 4: Build partnerships
If you are trying to increase your client base without direct sales, then partnerships are a huge way to go. In making them, though, you have to be clear on the value you provide both to the end user (your potential client) and to the partner. In short, you have to make your partner the hero so they open up their network to you.
Here’s an example of what I did: I was working with a venture capitalist on their content, then we talked about a partnership. We agreed on a few pieces of content that I would offer at a discount to any portfolio company that the VC had. In turn, the VC would market me as the solution to any portfolio company needing content.
It was a triple win:
Startups have limited time and resources, but need good content. The partnership meant discounted rates and a high quality writer.
VCs want to solve problems for their portfolio companies. The partnership meant they got an “exclusive” deal for their startups that no one else could get them.
I didn’t want to chase clients. The partnership meant a discounted rate, but I still profited because I didn’t have to invest any time selling those clients.
Remember: freelancing is a business
Too many people assume freelancing is this in-between zone. You’re not an employee, but you’re not a corporation either. The reality is that freelancing is firmly in business territory. That means you have additional administration to work through, but you also have the ability to leverage business frameworks to make you more successful - particularly around building inbound funnels.
Article | October 16, 2020
Customer centricity is a process of knowing your customers’ requirements, perceptions, and demands. Customer centricity means keeping your customer on your utmost priority while creating any promotional activity.
While creating marketing strategies, you can’t ignore your customers as your ultimate goal is to make them happy. So, let’s take a look at some of the most effective strategies to enhance the experience of your customers.
Why Are Customer-centric Strategies Indispensable?
According to CEI Survey, approximately 86% of consumers are enthusiastically ready to pay more for a better customer experience. Therefore, customer-centric strategies are highly advantageous to increase a brand’s identity and delivering positive ROI. It provides a remarkable experience to your target audience and persuades them to promote your products or services.
Keeping your customers on center and making them happy is a time-consuming process that requires perseverance and calculated planning. So, let’s dive deep into how to create successful customer-centric strategies.
Best Ways to Create Successful Customer-centric Strategies
Let’s understand how to enhance customers’ experience. Here are vital steps to create effective customer-centric strategies.
Data Collection of Customers’ Feedback
To run a successful campaign for your brand, you need to communicate with your customers frequently. Therefore, collecting different data through chat, emails, SMS, phone calls, message boards, etc., regarding customers’ feedback will help you provide an incredible experience to your customers and improve your marketing tactics.
Promote UGC (User-generated content)
Once you focus on UGC, it will automatically enhance brand credibility and brand recognition. Customers enthusiastically participate in UGC and share their views. It also boosts social media metrics and helps you do online marketing better.
Introduce Offers and Prizes
Introducing exciting offers and prizes is always helpful. It attracts their attention and convinces them to buy your products or services. However, the best part of introducing offers and prizes is receiving unexpected audiences’ responses. You can offer discounts, prizes on sales and convert your audience into long-term customers on a particular occasion.
Implementation of Content Intelligence
With the help of content intelligence, you can create unique and engaging content. It helps in different marketing purposes such as brand awareness, brand credibility, boosting sales, enhancing customers’ experience, etc. Many marketers believe that content is the crucial part of influencing the target audience. Therefore, content intelligence is a highly advantageous medium to create persuasive, engaging, effective, and relevant content.
Adoption of Advanced Technologies
Without technologies, your marketing efforts are ineffective. Prominent brands constantly evolve their marketing approach with advanced technologies. You can make your marketing efforts fastest, productive, and result-driven by adopting advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, programmatic advertising, machine learning, augmented reality, etc.
Connect with your Audience on Multiple channels
There are different platforms or mediums to connect with the audience, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, email marketing, etc. These platforms will assist in finding a diverse audience, boosting conversion rates, and making you stand out from competitors.
Follow the Statistics
Different leading market research companies conduct profound research to discover valuable and relevant information. By focusing on those researches, you can improve your marketing tactics and understand competitive analysis.
Analyze KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)
KPIs play a crucial role in the growth of an organization. It is about tracking the progress of your marketing efforts in terms of every aspect. KPIs provide detailed information about your team, marketing strategies, sales strategies, products strategies, and much more. It also helps in finding your loopholes and strengthens your marketing efforts. Here are some common marketing KPIs that can help improve your consumers’ experience, such as Customer Acquisition Cost, Customer Lifetime Value, Digital Marketing ROI, Social Media Traffic, etc.
Customers have different queries or problems, and they need instant solutions. Therefore, personalized marketing is the appropriate option to grab their attention by providing the quickest and personalized approach. Resolving your customers’ issues quickly and appropriately increase brand loyalty, engagement and build robust connections with them.
Approaching the target audience with innovative ideas attracts them towards your brand and compels them to know more about it. Owing to audience diversification, it becomes easy to create engaging & appealing content. You can influence them with your creative ideas by providing them value-driven content.
Customer-centric strategies are much more powerful to give your optimistic results. Prominent marketers believe that customer-centric approach is one of the best ways to enhance the Google visibility as it enhances the engagement of the audience.Implementing the above tips about customer-centric strategies can accelerate your growth and gain innumerable business outcomes.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the secret formula for scaling your business?
Defining objectives, keeping customers on center, evaluating KPIs, adopting advanced technologies, and improving the quality of the products consistently help in scaling your business.
What are the top customer-centric marketing tools?
To enhance your customer-centric marketing approach, here are some marketing tools such as Google Marketing Platforms, Hootsuite, PopSurvey, Quintly, etc.
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Article | October 16, 2020
You may not agree with the fact that B2B marketing and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are a match made in heaven. The truth is, Artificial Intelligence as it is today is changing a lot of things in our lives, and B2B marketing is no exception. Artificial intelligence is all about equipping machines or computers with certain algorithms and cognitive ability that enables them to perform tasks that are usually executed with human intelligence. Today, we see manifestations of AI technology already impacting our day to day lives. So many home appliances and children’s toys we see today are already leveraging AI technology. Thus, it doesn’t come as a surprise that AI is poised to change B2B marketing forever.
AI is already being used by B2B marketers to find solutions to the marketing challenges they face daily. Over 80% of B2B marketing executives already agree to the fact that AI will completely transform B2B marketing 5 years from now.
Moreover, a recent survey undertaken by a group of marketers recognized AI as the most likely technology to be utilized by marketing professionals in 2020.
Article | October 16, 2020
Walmart Media Group (WMG) recently announced the launch of Performance Dashboards, a self-serve reporting interface that combines Display and Sponsored Products campaign performance within advertisers’ Ad Centers. This new rollout further positions Walmart as a rival to Amazon in its self-serve advertising business with near-real-time reporting on search and display ads built upon the launch of Walmart Advertising Partners (WPA.) WPA launched in January and is a multi-partner program that granted ad tech and media partners access to the Sponsored Products API for third-party campaign management.