We talk a lot about this concept of Honesty Economy at Hughes & Co. We learned this term at Inbound 2013, a conference hosted by HubSpot (full disclosure, we are a HubSpot partner... and proud of it!) The foundation of good content marketing is, of course, great content. You have to be found by the people that are looking for you.
We Wave Our Freak Flags
The reality of the internet is that most of what we do is relatively private. Questions that we wouldn't ask out loud for fear of sounding silly or unintelligent are what Google is for. Getting real with the people that are looking for exactly the thing that you offer is a huge point of power in the marketplace. Search is phenomenally important to your business, anyone who tells you otherwise is not qualified to consult on your business. Period. You are not going to "win at the internet" without a strong content marketing strategy, and you are the right person to begin the strategizing. We wave our freak flags online, make our embarrassing purchases through digital channels. These companies are great examples: One Wipe Charlies, Hello Flo.
We Are the Most Educated Consumers in History
With the digital revolution in full swing, information is no longer a privilege. We have the answers at our fingertips and faster than ever before, consumers are taking advantage of this power to become experts in relevant topics to their current buying decisions. So educate them. Give them what they are hungry for, be the resource and develop the trust. Do not hesitate, do not forget your role in the equation. You are earning their trust and you will continually work to earn an opportunity for their business. That is the new business sales cycle. Shorten that cycle with a clean, attractive, forward-thinking and content robust web presence that positions you as the expert.
Companies of the Future Are Missing Out
The truth of the matter is that we are on the ground floor of the content marketing boom. It is simply the future of how we will connect. We cast aside the notion of disruptive (traditional) marketing because it doesn't work. People are communicated with far too often to ensure that your efforts will be seen and acknowledged. And even if they are, how do you know that you will ever see a return on those dollars. You can be smarter and more impactful with your money. Being found is the fundamental truth of the future of marketing. Be available when they need you, don't waste your money on them when they don't. More return on your dollar is good business, so start investing your time in making something great happen.
Getting Your Honesty Economy Kick-Started
Take the top ten frequently asked questions about your business and write a blog for each. Then take each of your service or product offerings and write a blog. Then consider why you are in business at all, and write those blogs. How do people actually ask you the questions, make sure that word for word that is represented in your blog. We have noted before that your website should become a sales manager and that each piece of content should be a salesperson that is working hard for you 24/7. It is a smarter way of considering your online presence, and if what you're doing is generating leads and contacts, you need to close the loop.
Shorten Your Sales Cycle
The best part about all of this is that you've already begun the education process with your consumers. They already know what you believe in, why you are so passionate about your business, the answers to the silly questions they would have been afraid to ask and more. They are ready for you. By being honest and up front you begin the trust-building earlier. You take the average consumer and you turn them into an educated consumer, and in doing so you shorten your sales cycle and empower their consumer decision making. When you are honest with people, they will question you. You will seem to good to be true. That says a lot about the state of business today. But when they continue their research and learn that a local provider has been telling them this all along, you will be the first company they call to complete the purchase.
If you think you might want to learn about the Honesty Economy some more, or want to hear about how Hughes & Co. implements this for clients, give us a shout. Our assessment is not a sales call, it is an opportunity for you to learn from us what we do and how we do it. If you are in a position where you need some help we might be your people. The truth is that we turn away more clients than we take, so this is truly an obligation free call. We care, we believe in this and we have benefitted from the shared expertise of others who have taught us the Inbound methodology. We owe the same to some of you.