Did “inbound marketing” make me a bad marketer?

Out of the many buzzwords I have encountered throughout my career, inbound marketing is one of the few that has proven its legitimacy and has become a central component of my business growth. But I am now becoming more concerned that my success with inbound marketing and subsequent reliance on it, has conditioned me to be weak in other marketing skills that are required to grow my business further.

HubSpot defines inbound marketing as:

The inbound methodology is the strategic method of growing your organization by building meaningful, lasting relationships with consumers, prospects, and customers as opposed to interrupting them with traditional advertising methods. It’s about valuing and empowering these people to reach their goals at any stage in their journey with you.

What is inbound marketing?

In simple terms inbound marketing is just about positioning yourself or your brand in a way that your ideal customers come to you instead of you going to them. It’s the difference between building a visible and solid brand in your industry, versus investing heavily in advertising, outreach, and sales.

When I got started as an independent SEO around 15 years ago inbound marketing seemed like the perfect fit. Prior to that, I was a web developer for small businesses and nonprofits and I repeatedly wasted time and money approaching customers with a sales pitch for a brand new website and failing, and when I did make a sale, the price point was always super low. I spent more time and money trying to convince people that didn’t care about what I was selling, than I did building websites for people that didn’t care enough to pay me what I was worth. But with inbound marketing I haven’t had to do any of that. Because now my ideal customer comes to me wanting what I offer and willing to pay a premium price. In a future blog post I might talk more about how I’ve become successful with inbound marketing. But for now I’d like to address a problem that seems to be getting worse.

Don’t make this mistake with inbound marketing

At this point you might be thinking “Wow, inbound marketing sounds great! What could be the problem?” Well, I will admit, inbound marketing has been phenomenal for my career. However, as I continue to rely on it, I have noticed one big issue that seems to be a roadblock with some of my recent growth opportunities.

And that is…

I don’t know how to really sell what I am offering. For example, my primary consulting product is a in-depth technical SEO audit. This is what almost everyone that comes to me ask about. Because through inbound marketing I have been successful at promoting myself as an expert in technical SEO and audits. Because of this the only folks that typically reach out to me are those that already know they need my level of expertise. They already are convinced they need an SEO audit, they just aren’t sure who to get one from. Therefore through necessity, I have become an expert at selling my SEO audits, but seem to struggle convincing businesses that they need an SEO audit in the first place. I have never been forced to get good at selling SEO audits, or for that matter “selling” anything at all other than myself; all because I’ve never had to.

In the future on this blog, and on LinkedIn, I’m going to blog more about the value of SEO audits, and more generally the SEO process. In the past I’ve never really considered writing about those things because to me they seem so obvious. However, I know that developing my thoughts better around those two things will help immensely with my selling process. So if you’re interested in learning more about my re-education, continue to tune in here for more updates on why SEO audits are vital to successful and higher rankings in the SERPs.

Joe Hall is a SEO consultant, web developer, writer, marketer, and artist that has worked on both the national and local levels around a variety of diverse topics and technologies. Most of his work has been focused on developing the tools needed for small businesses and nonprofits to become empowered on the internet. Describing him self as “web-head”, Joe engages the internet with a passion and desire to bring change and new opportunities to his clients and users.

More Random Advertising


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>