I was reading an article on Inbound Marketing Myths by Michael Reynolds on Hubspot this morning that made me realize that some terms marketers use these days might be a little confusing. One of these terms is Inbound Marketing. We’re going to spend a few minutes on it today because I think it is important.
Michael simply defines Inbound Marketing like this:
“Inbound marketing is the holistic practice of earning traffic, turning that traffic into leads, and turning leads into sales.”
Don’t let all this talk of traffic, leads and sales turn you off. I know we haven’t historically used such in-your-face terms in legal marketing, but the practices behind these words are what are important, and definitely have their place in the marketing of your firm and practice.
LET’S BREAK IT DOWN
Holistic is not a new concept in the legal profession. When representing a client, how do you decide what the best course of action is in order to help, protect or defend your client?
Among other things…
- You look at the big picture.
- You look in every corner to find the facts necessary to make an informed decision or recommendation.
- You ask lots of questions so that you don’t miss anything important to the matter.
In other words, you are looking at your client’s situation holistically, meaning you are taking every factor you can find into consideration in order to recommend the best course of action. You are looking at the entire, or the whole, situation in order to make a proper diagnosis.
A holistic practice of marketing is similar. When you market your practice and your firm, you need to take your whole situation into account in order to decide what the best, most efficient, most strategic plan of action is.
WHAT DOES THIS LOOK LIKE?
A holistic approach to marketing your practice means looking at the entire situation before making any decisions.
Among other things, it means we need to look at and answer…
- What are your goals for your firm or practice?
- Who are your target audiences?
- Where do they spend time, both physically and virtually?
- What information are they searching for on a daily basis in order to make good decisions?
- What is happening in their businesses that is on their minds night and day?
- What part of the above can you help with?
- What part can others you know help with?
- What is their decision-making process?
- What information, delivered in order, might be extremely helpful to them?
- When would the delivery of this information be helpful to them?
- What formats can this information be produced in so that our clients and potential clients can consume it in a way that is easiest for them?
- …and so on.
This is a holistic approach to earning leads. They will come when you’ve given them a reason to come, and not a second before.
Earning traffic is next in Michael’s definition of Inbound Marketing above, and it simply means that you have to earn the traffic, or the visitors, to your digital real estate…your website, your blog, your LinkedIn posts, your Facebook Page, your Twitter account, etc. It is rarely true that if you build it, they will just come. You have to help them along a bit.
What you do with your visitors after that is the second half of Hubspot’s definition, which is…
“…turning that traffic into leads, and turning leads into sales.”
We’ll deal with that part next time, okay? For now, I want you to commit to looking at everything you do to market your practice and your firm holistically. It doesn’t matter if you didn’t do a good job of that before now. What does matter is that you have another chance to start planning for growth and service to clients from this much more strategic approach.
I’ll see you here next time to discuss leads and that horrid s word…sales. Don’t worry, we can call it something else if you’d like.
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Enjoy the rest of your day!