Inbound marketing is all about increasing brand awareness and optimizing your sales funnel to convert more qualified Leads to Customers, and an inbound marketing agency will work with you to define your specific goals and develop a unique strategy to achieve them. That being said, there are some great inbound marketing agencies out there, and then there are some less than great ones. So what makes the difference?
#1 Taking on Any Client Who Wants to Come Onboard
Empower yourself! Agencies have the power to turn away business that’s not the right fit, and you absolutely should. This may go against your entrepreneurial instincts, but it is actually what is best for everyone. Making sure the client is the right fit is crucial because the burden of their success is not entirely on you. Clients who view an agency as an "outsourced vendor” don't get it. Clients who view your agency as a true partner, providing the agency with the answers, images, and feedback they need to succeed are the ones who should be taken on. The client must be invested in the relationship, too!
#2 Not Being Your Own Example
Companies are getting smarter. They Google; they check out your website; they’re looking to see if you walk the walk, not just talk the talk. Your potential customers want to work with an agency that practices what they preach. If you are lacking a solid social media presence, a regularly-updated blog, and some irresistible content to fuel a solid story about how your agency attracts new business through inbound channels, you may just look and feel pretty silly in an upcoming sales pitch. Any inbound marketing agency that says they just don't have to do marketing for themselves is effectively telling their prospects and clients that the services they offer just aren't that important.
#3 Ignoring the Technical Aspect of SEO
Non-effective SEO practices are everywhere, and surprisingly still being used by some “modern” inbound marketing companies. While the content that goes into your marketing is a major part of a successful SEO strategy, it’s not all there is to it. Although plenty of inbound links may help a site rank higher in Google SERPs, the inbound traffic resulting from that visibility won’t do much good if the website’s architecture isn’t optimized to convert visitors into customers. As a marketing agency, you have to address both sides of SEO to make the biggest impact for the client.
#4 Skimping on Buyer Persona Development
Is your new client ready to dive right into inbound marketing? Great! But you can’t just start writing their remarkable content without knowing who you are creating it for. Before any blog posts, eBooks, or whitepages get started, you need to develop their brand’s buyer’s personas. Developing buyer personas is crucial to a proper inbound marketing strategy and definitely shouldn’t be skipped to save time and get a project completed quicker. If you client is pushing you to go faster, make sure you take the time to explain exactly why the creation of these personas is so important.
The good news is, these important buyer personas aren't that difficult to create. You just need to ask the right questions to the right people and present that information in a helpful way so the people in your business can get to know your persona or personas. To learn more about how to create buyer personas, you can download our Inbound Marketing eBook for 8 Questions to Ask When Developing Buyer Personas FREE!