Your Marketing Budget Isn't Going To Fix Your Business (how to fix it)

It’s that time of year. No, not the holidays, budget time. With few exceptions, companies are either making budgets for the coming year or doing mid-year corrections (you do make mid-year corrections, don’t you?) to their marketing and sales budgets. It’s an odd sort of dance. Usually sales goes first, because after all, they are traditionally the group that has to “commit to the number”. So sales makes a forecast based on a lot of assumptions. The sales number is an attempt to commit to the smallest number sales thinks it can get away with so that the big commission accelerators for going above plan kick in sooner. Pretty sneaky.

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Nov 24, 2015 4:32:08 PM

Is Your Online Marketing Like Jell-O or Is It a Tasty Sandwich?

About a week from now, most of us in the United States will be sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner, gathering with our families and loved ones as our dining room tables creak under the weight of roided-up turkeys, cauldrons of stuffing, and dizzying mountains of mashed potatoes tall enough to induce altitude sickness.

I don’t know about you, but personally, my mouth has been watering since Halloween. But while Thanksgiving dinner is great, what I’m really excited for is what comes the day after. No, not the Black Friday doorbusters. Leftovers!

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Nov 19, 2015 12:14:17 PM

Your First Blog Post Ever? Do These 4 Things and You’ll Be Fine

What a relief it was to hit send on your final college essay (or, if you’re old enough, scrunch your final handwritten word at the bottom of the last page of your last little blue book). In that moment, you knew you would never again be judged for the quality of your writing. You had a lifetime ahead of you free from care of grammar and sentence structure. The agonizing hours you spent forcing your jumbled thoughts into well-ordered strings of words were over.

How wrong you were.

After years of writing nothing more complex than a text message, you’ve suddenly found yourself in the role of soon-to-be-published author. How did this happen? Inbound marketing. More specifically, your company’s marketing team and their annoying obsession with getting everyone to contribute to the blog.

So You Have a Blog Post Due...

You’re facing the first blog assignment of your life and whatever writing skills you had, you left far behind you in college with your Frisbees and Dave Matthews posters. How do you cram for this test?

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Nov 17, 2015 8:00:00 AM

How I Boosted Our Blog Subscribers by 600% in 2 Minutes

It happened. One of my clients, The Wellness Institute, had 105 blog subscribers in November of 2014. Now they have 727—and it only took me two minutes of work to make that happen. I’m going to show you how.

Now, this doesn’t mean that you will definitely increase your subscribers by 600%, but this super-simple tactic takes less than two minutes; it’s totally worth it if you gain even 6%. Every little bit counts.

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Nov 12, 2015 6:00:00 PM

What Makes Awesome Content So Awesome? The Best Answer I've Seen So Far

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: To succeed at inbound marketing, you need awesome content. Or maybe you’ve heard it another way. At the Inbound 2015 conference this fall, phrases like “remarkable content,” “killer content,” and even “stellar content” reverberated off the walls of the cavernous Boston Convention and Exhibition Center.

Unfortunately, when you’re staring at a blank Word doc and racking your brain for ways to write content that will actually attract visitors to your business’s website, keep them there, keep them coming back, and eventually get them to buy something, a snappy adjective in front of the word “content” will only get you so far.

What is there to remark on in remarkable content? How does awesome content inspire awe? What, exactly, does killer content kill? And what rocket fuel lifts stellar content into the cosmos?

In other words, how do you know if your content’s any good?

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Nov 10, 2015 7:30:00 AM

How to Write a Blog Post Even When You Don’t Feel Like It

It's a gloomy Saturday here in Boston; 43 and raining, which makes it the perfect day for laundry, heading over to Porter Square for a bowl of ramen, or writing a blog post.

If you’re like me, I already know what you’re thinking: that spicy delicious ramen is a no-brainer, but writing? That sounds like work. And on a Saturday? Forget it!

We all know blogging is important, but it’s often a struggle just to get started. Lucky for you, I’ve fought the fight and learned to come out on top. So today I’d like to share the techniques that not only help me write blog posts consistently, but make the process enjoyable, as well.

Go ahead and grab yourself a nice cup of tea, and let’s get started!

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Nov 5, 2015 3:45:12 PM

The Goldilocks Modern Marketing Budget For Every Business

Marketing and sales have changed. If you’ve been involved in marketing or selling goods and services for 5 or more years you’ve see your world turned upside down.

One of the most dramatic changes is customer sales-contact. In today’s competitive markets, by the time a sales person at your company has had the chance to engage with prospects the prospect already knows exactly what they want: Prospects are increasingly self-educated about products, solutions, pricing and competitors.

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Nov 4, 2015 7:57:13 AM

The Most Valuable Piece of a Buyer Persona: What Triggers a Search?

Buyer insight is the holy grail in marketing. The more we know about our prospects, the more helpful and educational our messaging and content will be to them. When we’re in tune with the wants and needs of our prospects, we can capture their attention. More importantly, over time, we can build trust.

This is why it’s so important as inbound marketers to develop in-depth personas of our buyers. (If you don’t know what a buyer persona is, HubSpot has a very succinct definition: “A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers.”)

There are as many different ways to build a buyer persona as there are inbound marketing agencies—some better than others.

At our agency, through our client engagements over the years, we have learned that no buyer persona is complete without certain very valuable pieces of information. We call them triggers.

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Oct 29, 2015 2:44:40 PM

How Do I Know My Prospect Is Ready To Talk To Sales?

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Oct 22, 2015 3:05:19 PM

New to Inbound Marketing? Your Top 5 Writing Questions Answered in 500 Words

Until you discovered inbound marketing, you probably didn’t think of writing as a skill worth cultivating. It couldn’t help your business or advance your career, so you left writing behind you in college.

Now you know that well-written blog content will attract visitors to your business’s website, gain their trust, and convert them to paying customers. You’re ready to get writing but you have some questions:

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Oct 20, 2015 7:30:00 AM

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