As this is the ninth and final post in the series on Inbound Marketing, it is fitting that it is about creating an inbound marketing system to ensure you remain consistent in your activities. As the final post of the year, it is also good to remind ourselves that success comes in taking little steps rather than setting lofty resolutions that get forgotten by the middle of January.
Now that you have your inbound marketing plan and have established your WordPress website and social media outposts, it’s time to start generating and nurturing leads and turn these prospects into customers.
But how do you incorporate inbound marketing into your daily schedule while still working in your business?
A marketing system enables you to consistently execute your activities and see the results. Without a system, you will find yourself in one of two places:
- Doing nothing because you don’t know where to start;
- Overwhelmed and ineffective because there’s too much to do while still servicing clients.
Create a System that Works for You
As with setting any goals, if you write them down you will be more likely to achieve them. Put your system in writing and make sure that it will work for you. Start simple and expand if you find that you can do more:
- Start with an activity plan for when you will do certain inbound marketing activities – write content, scan RSS feeds to share, post on your Facebook Page, etc.
- Book time in your calendar to make it part of your daily schedule, and stick with it. Your goal is to stay active and visible in order to continue to attract those that may want to form a trusted relationship.
- Be realistic about how much you can invest in time and money on marketing your business. If you only have 30 minutes each morning or at lunchtime, schedule it to do some inbound marketing activity that will benefit your business.
A Sample Inbound Marketing System
My system is probably simpler than you might have expected but like you, I have to balance my time between marketing my business and helping my clients. It works for my business and that’s what counts.
First a couple of recommended tools.
I use Evernote as a way of organizing my inbound marketing activities. I use it to organize content from wherever I am because it works across all of my devices – smartphone, tablet, laptop and desktop – and it syncs to a hosted service so I always have my latest “to do” list or a place to write reminders available to me.
I’ve grown very fond of Buffer. As I find interesting content, Buffer makes it very easy for me to schedule posts to my Facebook Page and Twitter. I can pick and choose which posts make more sense on either platform and set my schedules so that I can space them out. I can’t wait until they support Google+!
Spend a couple hours at the beginning (or end) of each month planning your content for the (next) month. Schedule those hours in your calendar so you won’t forget! I do my planning in Evernote so if I have a few minutes to spare, I can jot down ideas for the coming month.
- Determine topics for blog. Create an editorial calendar that can guide you.
- Write monthly eNewsletter to send to email list.
- Define topics other content uses such as free download to grow your email list.
- Review my rankings in Google for my top keywords – determine changes if necessary
- Schedule the month in advance for times to work on your business!
Schedule your time each week to work on your content. Writing consistently is very difficult for many people so don’t get discouraged! The content plan is the most important thing as that helps you decide what to write. Again, I keep a list of potential topics for blog posts in Evernote.
- Write content for my blog (well almost weekly!) and optimize.
- Review my social media profiles and update as necessary.
- Assess my Google analytics to determine keywords that would benefit from more content (and save in Evernote for my monthly planning exercise).
Figure out a time when you can take care of the daily tasks. I do mine in the morning over coffee and then at lunch. These are times when I take a little break from client work to see what’s happening and stay visible. Does it always work out? Of course not, but most days it does.
- Respond to friend, follow and connect requests.
- Scan various feeds through Buffer’s content inbox for interesting content to schedule posts to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
- Comment on a blog post or two. A comment strategy is a good strategy for building visibility and inbound links.
Having a plan and a schedule will make you more likely to succeed. If you book it in your calendar and treat those appointments as you would those with clients, then you will have a far better chance of staying on course.
What is your inbound marketing system for the upcoming year?