I’ve been in meetings where the team is looking at you like you’re crazy. No advertising, no direct mail, no trade shows, no banner ads—are you nuts Mike? I’ve had people say to me, “but some clients who really need advertising, we’ll still be able to do it for them right?”
No! We’re an inbound agency and we’re going to get good at using inbound tactics to get clients all the leads they need!
That has to be your answer. Once you get your own head around where the world is going and how your agency needs to position itself to take advantage of that shift in thinking, then you need to start (and start soon) to get everyone on the same page.
Here are a couple of ways to get your team to go all in on inbound with you.
Burn Their Boats
When Cortez landed on the beach of the new world, he knew his crew would eventually get homesick and want to return to Spain. So to keep them focused on making the new world their new home, he burned their boats. Bold but effective. You have to do the same.
This is why I’ve encouraged all of you to sell inbound only engagements. If the only work the shop is doing is inbound, then the team is going to have to embrace inbound and get good at it if they want to stay part of the team. If you continually do the other stuff, then there will always be people who say, “I don’t need to learn inbound because we still have this other work.”
Show Them Don’t Tell Them
You’re going to have successes from your inbound engagements. In the beginning they’re going to be small wins, but you have to identify them, celebrate them, reward the team who generated those wins and use those to illustrate that inbound works.
As those wins become more significant, continue to highlight them to your team. Reward and promote the team members who have embraced inbound and who are generating those success stories for you. This gives you a public forum for recognizing those individuals who had faith in you, followed your lead and helped blaze the trail toward inbound.
Tell Them A Consistent Story
If you’re selling everything but telling your team they need to be all in on inbound, you're sending a mixed message. You have to tell the same story to everyone. Prospects need to hear from you that you think outbound is getting less and less efficient every day and they need to be moving more of their marketing budget to inbound and here’s why.
You need to reinforce why you’re so gung ho on inbound. We talk about the changes in buyer behavior weekly at Square 2 Marketing and we’ve been telling this story for years now. Our team hears it, they see how passionate we are about it and they know that they need to be as passionate about it or more. Today we’re screening on it and when we bring in new team members, we’re asking them to tell us why inbound is so important. If they can’t convince us, or they ride the fence, we know we might not have the perfect new team member.
Share Outside Supporting Data
I love it when I find an article, story or video that supports the all in on inbound philosophy. The other day I found a ton of data about the rise in ad blockers on laptops, devices and phones. I actually wrote a blog article about it and shared it with the entire team. Now they see it’s not only me, but other smart people too.
Share Inside Supporting Data
I get it, you don’t have 20 clients with successful inbound marketing engagements. You want to point these as examples. But if you’re good at inbound for your own agency, you won’t have to look far for inside supporting data. We regularly talk about our own inbound program. What’s working, what’s not working well, what we improved and the results that came from that effort.
I am a strong believe that agencies are in a hyper competitive space and if you get your own inbound to work, you actually do know what to do for clients to get their programs to work too. There is absolutely nothing wrong with showing your team how you used inbound to get your own agency leads and pointing to that as a validating point on the potential of inbound.
Going all in on inbound isn’t easy, but I believe it’s the future. Instead of being a website design and development shop, PR agency, or branding firm—now you're an inbound agency who focuses on getting your clients leads, not an agency who creates stuff. This is a major strategic shift that allows you to charge more, be strategic with your clients and sign long term retainers.
Start Today Tip - Making the commitment is the first step. You have to be all in on your own mind if you want your team to go all in. If you’re only half in, your team will know it and they’ll only be half in too. If you’re only half in, your prospects are going to be confused and won’t be all in with you. This is probably one of the most important strategic decisions you're going to make as an agency owner. Once you go all in, you align your messaging, marketing, mission, vision, stories and internal team communications. This focuses your team and over time you’ll see the benefits of going all in.
Agencies 2 Inbound – Helping You Go ALL IN ON Inbound!