I spend a lot of my time talking to other inbound marketing agency owners. I hear things, what’s not working, interesting client stories, delivery experiences and more often than not what’s keeping you up at night.
One of the things I hear most frequently is how inexperienced the clients are when it comes to inbound marketing. Yes, it’s true. Many of the businesses we work with are new to inbound marketing and they don’t have the level of understanding or experiences we (agencies) do.
That makes it even more important for you to build in an educational component to your engagement. Yes, a workshop at the beginning of the engagement is part of it, maybe, but I’m talking about making sure that they’re getting educated every single day.
Here are a few ways to make sure you’re always teaching inbound marketing to your clients.
What, How and Why
Everything you do is going to be foreign to your clients. Take the extra time to explain what you’re doing, how you’re doing it and why you’re doing it. Once you take this approach they’ll be more engaged, trust you more and they’ll be more apt to let you run the tactics the way you know they should be run.
Over communicate. When people are nervous about new experiences they want more information. Make sure you give them all the information they need. That might mean daily status updates in the beginning.
Consider extra communicationin the beginning and then asking your client if you they’d be ok with less frequent communication over time. Now they’re in control, they’re setting the pace and they’re letting you know how much is too much and how much is just the right amount.
Patience In Your Approach
It’s easy to lose your patience. It’s easy to get frustrated when people need to have things explained over and over again. Think about your best teachers. They didn’t get frustrated when you asked question after question. They humbly stayed with you to talk you through, work you through or show you what you needed to know to feel comfortable with the material. A little teacher goes a long way when working with clients on inbound marketing.
Agency Wide Education
Consider building in more formal educational processes within your agency. Perhaps each month you could run a client ONLY workshop that focuses on conversion strategy, social media management, search engine optimization, advanced PPC techniques or how to read the HubSpot dashboard.
These give your clients a chance to get extra help without feeling like they’re bothering you. People like to be educated in a group. Just like in a classroom at school. There’s safety in numbers. Perhaps someone else will ask the question they’re afraid to ask.
In some ways, it might be easier for you to attempt to educate your clients as a group, than one-on-one. A smarter client is usually a happier client and one that stays around longer because you did more than just get their stuff done, you made them a better professional and that’s hard to put a price tag on.
When the telephone was new people had to be taught how to use them. When computers came out people had to be taught how to use them. When the metric system was going to be the standard measurement system, some of us had to be taught it. Today people have to be taught inbound marketing and we’ve all volunteered to be their teachers.
Think about your best teachers. They explained difficult concepts in terms you could understand. They used examples to illustrate their lessons and they had massive amounts of patience as you processed knowledge at your own pace. We could all take a lesson from our best teachers and try a little harder to see inbound from the perspective of our clients.
Start Today Tip – To be successful, you’re going to have to adopt some level of “always be teaching” at your agency. Your engagements are going to need to be filled with educational moments and your sales process needs to be designed entirely to educate, advise and guide your prospects through something they’ve never done before. Once you adjust your thinking to be in alignment with your prospects and clients you’ll start making changes that will result in more clients, happier clients and more people praising inbound marketing.
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