Hubspot Inbound Marketing Is The Wave of the Future
What is Hubspot inbound marketing?
That’s best explained by an example of outbound marketing: You set up a billboard by a busy street and blast your message out to anyone and everyone who drives by. That’s is outbound marketing. But because so many people drive by who will never be your customer, it’s not a very efficient way to spend your advertising budget.
So inbound marketing is driving people IN to your website and capturing every move they make. You have total awareness of their interests and actions, and can use this information to build relationships. These were people who were already interested in your business or they would have never clicked on your website. So by focusing on these people and building relationships with this much more targeted group, your advertising and marketing efforts are much more likely to result in sales.
Hubspot Inbound Marketing Gives You Access To Your Most Valuable Prospects
Hubspot inbound marketing is a much more efficient use of your money, and Hubspot has built a platform that fully capitalizes on the strengths of inbound marketing for your business. They can host your website for a very reasonable price, giving you access to all their extremely valuable small business marketing tools.
They also provide great content for small business owners. Like this recent blog post: 13 Valuable Skills You Can Teach Yourself for Free
If you’d like to know more about Hubspot, call us.
We can help.
Small Business Training for Small Business Owners
Small business owners need places to go on the Internet where they can learn everything from how to write a marketing plan, to how to crop a photo, to how to write a blog post. And they need this information quickly and simply and for very little cost.
A few years ago this was impossible. But not any more. People who do something for a living are the best possible people you can find to teach you.
In the past, all you could do was go to a university or some other school and take a class. It was very expensive, and it took a lot of time, and you had no idea if your instructor knew what he was talking about, or if the course curriculum was the latest information on a subject.
But today, a side job for many professionals is teaching others the skills they use in their own profession. This is quite revolutionary on many levels, actually. The Internet has given us access to all the best working professionals in almost any field, and small business people can now find them and learn directly from them.
Here are two excellent websites that teach small business skills at very low cost, and they offer many free courses, as well.
Small Business Training Website #1: Udemy.com
Udemy.com has thousands of courses taught by working professionals in any area of small business that you can imagine. There is no monthly fee to belong. You pay “a la cart” – for each course at a time. And they run great sales from time to time where their courses are marked down to as low as $10. They also have hundreds of not-too-shabby-at-all courses for free.
Small Business Training Website #2: SkillShare.com
SkillShare.com is another website where working professionals go to teach others the skills they know. Small business owners and their staffs can go there to learn just about anything you could possibly need to know about running your small business. SkillShare.com has a low monthly fee which might be a good expense for your company. You can share your account with your employees to help them continually improve their skills sets while working for you.
There are other places on the Internet to learn new skills, but these have the widest variety of courses for the lowest cost from the best professionals, in my opinion.
So get started! Go! Go! Go!
6 Things a Marketing Consultant Does For Your Business
A marketing consultant is a strange type of animal to a lot of people, even to many small business owners. Some small business owners are not always sure what a marketing consultant does, or what to do with them, even after they hire them.
1. A Marketing Consultant Sees Your Business Challenges From an Outside Perspective
If the person you have hired to consult on your small business marketing has any actual business experience (which they should), they will understand what you are trying to accomplish. They will understand your market and what other competitors are doing differently than you are. You can use that outside perspective to help you see new opportunities.
2. A Web Marketing Consultant Has Outside Resources and Access to Information That You May Not Have
Sure, the Internet is the great equalizer when it comes to information: We can now all be sprayed in the face with that fire hose equally. Your web marketing consultant can make sure that the time it takes for you to learn the important things about your business is reduced down to an amount that is worth it for you. They can usually find things faster, and know more about the all the varied resources that exist on the Internet. And when it comes to actually working on the Internet and getting things done there? You need help.
3. You Can’t Possibly Do it All Yourself
What is your time worth? Hiring a professional to do marketing projects for you such as building and maintaining your website, writing blog posts, shooting and editing videos and putting them up on the Internet, writing and distributing newsletters and mass emails, all can be done more cost effectively than it ever could if you had to learn how to do these things and then spend the time to do them yourself.
4. The Nature of Small Business Marketing is “Everything All At Once – All The Time”
Running a full time marketing department in your small business is not always feasible. It’s good to have an outside consultant who you can call on from time to time to handle the overflow – and then go away. In fact, even if you have a full time marketing department, it’s good to have an outside marketing guy on a temporary basis to use when your marketing department gets overwhelmed.
5. Sometimes, Special Marketing Projects Are Best Handled By Someone Outside Your Company
Competitor research, experimental projects where you want to test their feasibility without upsetting your existing organizational structure, and other special marketing projects are all best handled by someone outside your company who reports only to you, and to no one else. Sometimes these special projects are the only way for you and your business to get ahead.
6. It’s Good To Shake Things Up Every Once in a While
The world is constantly changing. Your employees can fall into ruts. You and your business can stagnate, and fail to see new opportunities as they arise. A marketing consultant can provide services such as a SWOT Analysis, or a refreshed Business or Marketing Plan that wakes everyone up and re-energizes them on their jobs.
If you’ve never hired one, you may not have seen the rejuvenation and increased income that can result for your business from hiring a seasoned marketing consultant who knows what he is doing.
You can use The Stanfield Agency as your out-sourced marketing agency, or you can simply hire Allen Stanfield as your marketing consultant. We can scale up, or scale down, to your needs.
Recruitment Video: Dental Industry Association
The American Academy for Oral Systemic Health (AAOSH) contacted us to create a recruitment video for them to use to attract new members.
One of the board members at AAOSH had a cell phone with video capabilities with him at a dental industry trade show, and he simply took video of his various colleagues, asking them each what they thought of AAOSH, and how they had personally benefited from being a member.
They sent us the video clips and asked us to make something good out of them There were many different shades of lighting and sound to each clip, and so we took each of the video clips and enhanced their colors and enhanced the sound.
The result is pretty good. And I hear they are recruiting new members with it!
Recruitment Video – We Work With You to Get You Whatever Your Association Needs
If you are a member of an association and need a recruitment video, there really is no more cost-effective way than the way this video was produced. Give us a call and talk to us about low cost ways to get your association promoted on the Internet.
The Stanfield Agency also produces fully professional, fully lighted studio videos with professionally recorded audio, as well.
But when you need to get a good video done with the resources you have available to you right now, it’s always possible to get a good video created that meets your small business or your association’s needs – no matter your budget.
We can work with you.
Marketing Tools for Small Business Owners: Canva.com
Marketing-Guy.com is launching a series of posts that provide free to low cost marketing tools for small business owners that should help you get your business up and being seen on the Internet.
Small business owners often have to go out and fend for themselves, and they need the tools of survival to get that done. Canva is a website that helps you to create graphic elements for your Facebook page, Twitter profile, and other places for your Internet marketing – without needing to become a professional graphic artist or web designer yourself.
Canva has pre-designed layouts and free to very low-cost pictures and other graphic elements that help you look like a pro. It is easy to learn and use. You can get your small business set up on Facebook and Twitter in less than an hour once you get the hang of it.
And to help you to get the hang of it, Udemy.com has a fast, free course that can get you started.
We’ll be profiling Udemy.com in an upcoming post as another great learning tool for small business owners, with lots of free to low cost courses that you can take to improve your skills and understanding in a huge number of areas.
How to Perform a SWOT Analysis
A SWOT Analysis is a structured analysis tool that you can use to identify your business’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.
The purpose of a SWOT Analysis is to plan out – and then to execute – concrete actions to overcome weaknesses and obstacles, and to vanquish the threats your business faces to its survival. [Read more…]
Does Using Encryption Make You a Terrorist?
“I’m not doing anything wrong,’ I often hear people say, ‘I don’t mind if the government can see all my emails and listen to all my phone calls.”
Or they say, “If someone wants to look through all my emails and all my computer files, then I hope they are taking Meth, because my life is pretty boring and it would probably put them to sleep!”
And then they laugh.
Here’s what these people are missing: The same reason we lock our front doors using our house keys, or put our money into a bank account instead of piling it out onto our front lawn, is the same reason we should be encrypting our emails and texts. We should also develop the ability to encrypt the files on our computers and other devices, as well.
In the same way that you are the owner of the property in your home – and you lock your door so that you can control who has access to the things you own – you are also the owner of your digital property. As the owner, you have the right to control who uses your private property, and you should not willingly give up that right if you want to keep it.
Encryption is Like the Envelope You Put on a Letter
Similar to the envelope surrounding a letter you send through the postal system, encryption is a technology which makes digital files and communications difficult for anyone else to read and to copy – anyone other than your intended recipient, that is.
Unless you are using encryption, your digital files, emails, and texts are sent like postcards are sent through the mail – with no envelope surrounding your information. Anyone along that route can read and copy what you say.
That’s right. Would you write your login information to your bank account on to a post card and send it through the mail?
If you email or text a password to a client, business partner, friend or family member, that password can be read and copied anywhere along the route it is taking through the Internet. This is called “clear text”, or “text sent in the clear” and you have to be very aware that this is what you are doing if you are sending any email, text, or file without encrypting it.
So the answer is NO. You are not a criminal, or a spy, or a terrorist, for wanting to encrypt your digital property.
You’re just smarter than too many others these days.
Here are some resources for you to use to learn more about this skill:
Good luck out there!
Should You Hire An SEO Firm or Do It Yourself?
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization!
This is a very good article in Website Magazine about how to decide on this question for your business. [Read more…]
7 Ways to Destroy Your Business With Marketing
Very few people are going to believe this story, but there were plenty of witnesses to what happened who are still alive today.
My very first marketing client was a dentist in the mid-1980’s who practiced in the cornfields of Illinois. We’ll call him “Dr. X”.
Dr. X never did anything “small”. He was a highly decorated Viet Nam war veteran, a Marine in fact, who routinely flew on the most dangerous helicopter missions the Marines were called upon to execute. Dr. X had a habit of running his dental practice in the same way he was trained to run missions for the Marines in Viet Nam.
Dr. X wanted more new patients.
I was a kid in my mid-twenties. I had been a musician who had worked in a drum shop since I was 13 years old, and a drummer in rock-n-roll bands through high school and college. I studied Sociology and Anthropology at university, and, for the first time in my life, I had a fiancee.
Having a fiancee made the demands of life very different for me, and I needed a job.
Dr. X recognized a kind of enthusiasm I had for life that, for some reason, made him believe I was just the guy to get more new patients into his dental practice. He told me not to worry that I had no experience in marketing. He would provide all the resources necessary to make the “Mission” a success.
Dr. X gave me a postcard. He wanted me to modify the postcard for his practice, and to “carpet bomb” it out to as many people in a 20-mile radius that I could find an address for.
At this time in the mid-1980’s, no one had ever seen an advertisement for a dentist in Illinois. It had just become legal for dentists in Illinois to advertise at all, outside of the yellow pages.
And certainly, no one in the cornfields had ever received a coupon in the mail for a free dental examination and X-ray. Everyone was used to paying substantial amounts of money for such services, and the idea that there could be a dentist who would do this for you for free was, well, revolutionary.
Actually, a year earlier, it was illegal.
I’d never been to Viet Nam, but Dr. X’s enthusiasm for the Mission had a kind of “Apocalypse Now” effect on me. I could smell the napalm. And I also knew how to play drums like Keith Moon did for The Who, and like Neil Peart did for Rush, so I felt I knew exactly how to approach this Mission to make it a success.
I’m not going to go into every detail of what happened. I’m going to skip the death threats and the federal investigation (where all parties were cleared), and I’ll just give the statistics.
When I first began marketing for Dr. X, he was bringing in 3 to 5 new patients per month. This is not bad for any single dentist to do on his own – even today. With my efforts and a little tweaking as we went along, I soon began to bring in 30 new patients per month.
Dr. X would swoop down into the marketing operation I had built in the basement of his dental practice and pump his fist, saying, “Great Job! But we’re not even close yet! Go Albaby! Go!!”
Every day, the waiting room filled up with patients who had been waiting for hours. The receptionist began to glare at me in the morning when I came in. The assistants and hygienists had stopped talking to me.
Finally, to handle the growth to his practice, Dr. X had assigned me the task to find a new associate dentist, and so I began screening interviews. We hired two new dentists.
Dr. X continued his enthusiastic urgings for more and more marketing. I studied some of our successful marketing actions over the past few months and came up with some new ideas. I was able to get a front page article in the local newspaper featuring Dr. X, with an exclusive interview and a color picture. Then I was able to get TV crews to show up and shoot stories on the practice featuring all the new and innovative things we were doing there.
I continued to work these marketing efforts every day, to bolster them and to make them even more effective. I continually came up with new ideas and implemented those, as well. I maintained Dr. X at the top of everyone’s mind in his market as THE Go-To Dentist in that area of the cornfields.
Soon, we were getting in 15 new patients per week.
Then 20. Per week.
That’s 80 new dental patients per month. For a three dentist/ 2 hygienist/ dental practice, that is a LOT of production to manage. Still, Dr. X would come down every morning, pump his fist and say, “KEEP GOING ALBABY!! We’re not even close! Go! Go!! GO!!!”
In my defense, I was not a dentist. The new associate dentists were coming to me and saying that they were so busy that it was impossible for them to deliver good dental work, and could I please stop what I was doing to let them catch up? I had no choice but to tell them to please talk to Dr. X.
They were afraid to.
I’m not going to say what the highest number of new patients was per week before the whole operation blew up – no one would believe it.
But I can say that I learned how to destroy a business with marketing.
These are the lessons I learned. Here are 7 ways to destroy your business with marketing:
- Never create a target customer or patient profile, nor let it guide any of your efforts in reaching precisely who you need to become a customer or patient. And – even more important – never identify who you don’t want to be a new customer.
- If your product or service requires highly skilled techniques that take decades of training to learn to deliver, always devalue them with a coupon, and give them away for free.
- Never listen to your staff, or their ideas about what to do to overcome problems, and to become more efficient and successful.
- Do not manage the growth of your practice as it grows. Keep doing everything as before. Growth is disruptive, and learning from that disruption is as important to your business as its growth is. Completely ignore everything about this.
- Never recognize the “temperature” of your market, nor tweak your marketing efforts for long term growth. Forget completely that long term growth is what you are in business for.
- Never stop to contemplate the value of what you have achieved, nor take stock in your successes. Do not value the lessons that can come from these. Completely ignore them and act like they never happened.
- Always focus on NEW CUSTOMERS and NEW PATIENTS. Forget completely that you have an ever-growing existing customer base who knows and loves you, and wants to do business with you again.
I learned a lot more about marketing from my first client than I am letting on here. Just know that there is much more to this story that I am leaving out.
And do not think that Dr. X is a bad guy or even unintelligent – very far from it. In fact, he’s one of the smartest, most dynamic, and most competent people I have ever known, and I am deeply indebted to him for helping me to launch my career in marketing.
The Stanfield Agency