A business man without a face has no mouth to tell you who he is, how to reach him, what times he is available, what services or products he has to offer. His lack of any features and inability to communicate mean that it will be hard to get know him or decide whether you can trust him.

A business in the 21st century without an Internet presence is like that man. How will they know what you can do unless you have the ability to tell them? How will they know what you are like unless you can show them? How will they be able to find you unless you are able to direct them?

Big display ad in the Yellow Pages? Forget about it! Most people won’t cross the room to find the big yellow book in order to search through the arcane categories only to fail to find what they are looking for.

You’re phone number is in the White Pages, right? Surely, your customers can find you there. They can but they won’t! A majority of people now use a Search Engine to find the phone number of the the business that they already do business with, not a phone book!

In fact, half to two-thirds of the searchers who come to a business web site put the name of the business in some form or other into a Search Engine. They didn’t write down the number the last time they called it. They didn’t program it into their phone. Why bother with that when they can find a phone number in a few moments by searching the Internet for it ?

Of course, that assumes that when an existing customer or prospective customer comes looking for you by your name that you have a web site so it can show up and tell them what they want to know. They wanted something, your phone number, your hours, your location, details on your products or services but they didn’t get it! Not from you, anyway. So, if you don’t have a web site, and somebody want to get in touch with you but can’t, what will they do? Maybe they will find it somewhere else. In any event, you already have a strike against you. You’re still operating your business in the last century while most of your customers are living in this one. Think about it. Only a customer with perseverance will succeed in finding you when you’re operating in Internet stealth mode by not having a web site!

You, yourself, probably use Search Engines frequently to get information about businesses that provide products or services that you need. Everybody does…but if you have no web site to tell your story, they won’t find you!

The absence of a web presence in the Internet age is devastating. People are searching on the Internet for exactly what you do! How much are you spending to find new customers? What are you doing to help them find you? So, if you don’t have a web site, you need to get one! Any web site is better than none. Even a crummy web site will allow your existing customer’s to stay in touch with you but why stop there? It’s not very hard to have a good web site that will be found by prospective customers. We’ll be talking about that in a subsequent post.

Bottom line: If you’re like a man without a face, your competitor’s may be attracting your customers away from you and also getting the new customers that you should be getting. It’s time that you start planning to find your voice, tell your story, let them know who you are and why they should give their business to you. Stay tuned. Help is here!

“The cobbler’s kids have no shoes. The painter’s house needs painting.” Too often, that’s true!

The website guy has a web page but there is nothing there! Also true, so it’s high time that I did something about it!

When I began this business, I had no idea that it would grow so rapidly. Strangely, it didn’t happen as a result of Internet “Inbound Marketing” techniques but old fashioned word of mouth. Somebody needed a website for their business, knew about my past experience with Internet marketing, interviewed me and decided that I was the right guy for the job. Well, one thing led to another and I now have more business coming in than I could have possibly imagined just a few months ago. There just hasn’t been any time to share what I know about using the Internet to enhance your business success but I am going to take some time anyway…starting now.

    Basics of Inbound Marketing (stay tuned for the details of each point)

  1. A business without a website is like a man without a face!
  2. Knowing where the goal line is and what it looks like.
  3. You need to build it using a “Content Management System” (CMS).
  4. When it comes to design, it must not suck!
  5. “Content is KING!” Skip all the razzle-dazzle!
  6. You website must be easy to navigate.
  7. You must keep it fresh with new and updated content.
  8. It must be optimized so searchers can find you.
  9. It will take a measure of expertise and a lot of time to make this happen.

OK, that’s not a comprehensive list but it will do for us to get a start. I will expand on these points in upcoming posts which I promise will actually be upcoming on a regular and frequent basis.

The goal of all Internet marketing should be to attract prospects and convert them into customers. Recently, the term “inbound marketing” has become popular to describe the process by which customers find suppliers rather than the other way around. If we’re going to talk about it here at Inbound Marketing Help, we might start by getting our terms straight.

Traditionally, “inbound marketing” has referred to the process of preparing a product for the marketplace by identifying potential customers, matching product features to their needs, determining the best styling, packaging and pricing to attract them and comparing the product to similar offerings by competitors. And, traditionally, “outbound marketing” has referred to the process of presenting the product to the marketplace by a variety of means such as advertising, trade shows, direct mail or email, telemarketing and promotions.

In early 2007, Hubspot appeared on the scene. They observed that traditional outbound marketing resembles finding a needle in a haystack. It’s expensive and, based on typical response rates, remarkably ineffective and often annoying to the very people that it is trying to reach. They proposed an alternate model where the prospective customer finds the supplier via the Internet and identifies themselves to the supplier as being interested in the product, a far less costly and more efficient method where the customer is mostly in control of the process. Hubspot appropriated the phrase “inbound marketing” to describe this process because it stands in sharp contrast to traditional outbound marketing.

See Hubspot’s funny video illustration of the differences between Inbound and Outbound Marketing here.

HubSpot describes their product as “an inbound marketing system to help your small or medium sized business to get found on the Internet by the right prospects and convert more of them into leads and customers. HubSpot inbound marketing helps your company get found by the qualified prospects that are looking for the products or services that you sell in search engines, blogs and the blogosphere, and social media. Once these qualified visitors are on your website, HubSpot helps you convert more of them into leads and paying customers through landing pages, lead intelligence and marketing analytics.”