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Getting a business out of startup mode is challenging, especially for a micro business owner. While your budget and staff are flat, your learning curve and the number of tasks are steep. The inbound principles may sound intimidating; however; they are built on sound business practices. These principles help you implement inbound marketing successfully.
What is Inbound Methodology?
The inbound methodology is the process of attracting, engaging, and delighting (keeping) customers. It is the way to build a business since its foundation is trust. But how do you put this framework into practice? There is a set of inbound principles that serve as your compass for becoming a successful inbound organization.
What are Inbound Principles?
Attract, engage, and delight–seems pretty straight-forward, right? While inbound marketing is intuitive and straightforward, execution can overwhelm business owners. The inbound principles guide your inbound implementation. However, why is inbound marketing such a big deal? Here are a few reasons you want to execute an inbound strategy:
- You attract high-quality leads
- People trust you
- You educate and empower your audience
- It attracts quality leads
- It simplifies marketing and sales
What are the 5 Inbound Principles and What Do They Mean?
The five inbound principles, founded on sound business practices. Though they sound formal, you will find they are pretty intuitive.
1. Standardize for consistency
If someone calls your company, three times with the same question and talk to a different person each time, make sure they get the same answer. If you are a solopreneur, you may not see how this is relevant to you; however, it applies to all businesses.
Entrepreneurs evolve as startups to a thriving business over time. It is easy for your website, social media accounts, and branding to become out of sync as your services and brand evolve. Make sure you continually audit your marketing, branding, and internal documentation for consistency.
2. Contextualize for relevance
We are living in an impatient world. Though I work on patience, there is nothing more irritating than someone taking me through the beginning of a story (again) to answer a simple question. Consider all your previous interactions with a customer or a prospect so that your answer is concise and contextually relevant.
3. Optimize for clarity
“How do you prefer to be contacted?” — It’s a question we’ve all answered on intake forms in our doctor’s office. Inbounding includes tailoring information to match the communication channel. Each social media channel specific standards, so craft each message to match the communication mode.
4. Personalize for impact
I made a mistake and sent one of my Airbnb a formal message via the app. I had to deal with an uncomfortable situation and chose to do it in a sanitized way. It did not go over well. Her response — “Why didn’t you just talk to me?” I did everything necessary to repair the mistake, but it changed the relationship.
This principle now resonates more with me. Personalize each conversation based on what you know about the person as well as where they are in the buying process. Personalize messages for each conversation mode (for example, face-to-face meetings, chats, social media posts, or e-newsletters).
5. Empathize for perspective
My Airbnb hiccup could only be corrected by understanding my guest’s perspective (and letting her browbeat me for a while. Remember, you’re dealing with people. The inbound concept is built around caring for and empathizing with people. Consider their emotional state when engaging with them.
Use these principles to help with both your messaging and your decision-making process. As you put your inbound ideas to practice, think of these principles. You will make mistakes as well. Luckily, these principles can help you get back on track.
At Jowanna Daley (a dba of Daley Consulting, LLC), our mission is to empower you through education and coaching. Subscribe to our blog, and we will notify you whenever we post a new blog or send out a newsletter. Sign up today!