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Inbound Marketing: A Love Story

the love of inbound marketingPeople who know me understand that I’m not a particularly “mushy” person. I am an engineer, after all. I like numbers and statistics and computers and machines. They far easier to predict and master than humans. In today’s newsletter I wanted to talk about inbound marketing as a labor of love.

This weekend in the U.S., we observe the Labor Day holiday. It seems appropriate to me to take a look at the “work” aspect of inbound marketing.

For the Love of the Work

Inbound marketing requires a lot of hard work. It’s not easy to publish blog posts every week and several ebooks every year. I was chatting with someone at a conference last week and we were talking about content marketing and how much work it is. While it is a lot of work, it is not a chore for me. I don’t face this weekly task with dread. The feedback I receive from my subscribers on a regular basis is the most energizing part of my job and I thrive on it. It means that every week I look forward to the challenge of reaching into the creative well and matching words to ideas.

This is the point in the story when I say, “If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.” We’ve all heard it a million times and I probably just earned a few eye rolls but let me elaborate just a little.

I think it’s important to at the very least enjoy inbound marketing. At its core, inbound marketing is all about offering value before asking for it. This requires authenticity. People need to feel like you’re genuinely offering them something with no strings attached or it doesn’t work. They’ll be suspicious. They’ll hold back. And so if you’re just going through the motions and following a script or a formula, I think people sense that and won’t fully buy in. It doesn’t mean you won’t have some success but it probably means you won’t be able to build a sustainable program.

For the Love of the Customer

If you don’t love the work involved with inbound marketing (the writing, the publishing, the curating, the Tweeting, etc.), I still think there is hope for you. If you love helping people, it can still work for you. Think about fitness training or even raising children. While we’re pushing through the pain of those last few reps or cleaning a diaper at three A.M., there isn’t a lot of love for the process at those particular moments. But we don’t mind putting in the work because we’re dedicated to the results. Our love is focused on the reward of the outcome from those efforts. The endorphin rush after a great workout. The warm smile of a clean and happy baby.

If you love helping your customers (and future customers), it will feed you and sustain you through the work. The drudgery of writing, editing, spell-checking and re-writing your blog articles is washed away by a reader’s expression of gratitude.

I’m fortunate. I love the work itself and also love teaching. I love the challenge of simplifying the complex. I love introducing new ideas to people and hearing stories about how they were able to turn the ideas into success.

I love inbound marketing.

Editor’s Note: The Inbound Marketing Inquirer is a weekly premium article that’s free to view for members. In honor of the Labor Day holiday, I’ve left this open for everyone to read. If you enjoy reading this content, I’d love for you to sign up as an Insider. It’s free and non-spammy and informative.

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