They say everything changes when you become a parent.
You’ve brought a new human being into the world who will depend on you more and for a longer period of time than you can probably even wrap your brain around.
That bouncing bundle of innocent potentiality you’re staring down at could mature into literally any kind of person over the years, depending largely upon your decisions and indecisions, your strengths and weaknesses, your responsibility or lack thereof.
If you’re lucky, the world suddenly snaps into focus, and your life isn’t just about you anymore. The decisions you’ve made, the paths you’ve taken, where you are in your life, everything, it all suddenly matters. It all suddenly matters because that baby is all that matters
Although it’s not exactly the same moment of import, something similar happens when you finally understand what marketing in this age is about at it’s core.
It’s not about the size of your network or the girth of your ad spend. It’s not about the design of your website, the resolution of your headshots or the strength of your handshake. It’s not even about the quality of your services, your years of experience or the fact that you’re the best at what you do.
Because none of that matters to your clients. What matters is what they need in order to grow, overcome obstacles, succeed and flourish.
No one cares about you, at least not at first, because it’s not about you. It’s about them.
Just like a don’t need parents who put the needs of their own egos ahead of what actually matters, your clients don’t need some hot shot hell bent on proving he or she’s the best in town.
And when what you’re doing with your online presence is no different than what you might put on your billboard, that’s exactly what you come off as. At best, you look like someone who just doesn’t get it.
This cuts to the heart of the difference between the traditional, hamfisted approach of outbound marketing and the open-ended, creative process of inbound marketing.
In the old model, brands would go after the widest demographics possible and attract business by being the loudest, most persistent voices in the room.
Today, those in the know are growing their businesses by attracting smaller audiences of highly qualified potential clients who come to them. And they do this by putting their audience first with engaging, educational content.
Content marketing isn’t about bolting a blog on the side of your website and posting to in a half hearted attempt at attracting search traffic. Using social media isn’t about “leveraging the platform” by becoming a repeating station for every vaguely relevant link or tweet you can find.
These inbound methods are about establishing yourself as a credible resource for high quality content that your target market can really use. It’s about what your audience needs, your potential clients need, in order to grow, succeed and thrive. It’s about them.
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