Ashley is a content writer and brand developer. After graduating with a degree in print-journalism, Ashley’s storytelling skills took her from the bizarre world of on-camera acting to the practice courts of NBA basketball players to the virtual meetings of inbound marketers. Today she specializes in building memorable brand voices online, with a focus on the travel & tourism, e-commerce and tech industries.
10... 9... 8... 7...
Good news – after counting down the seconds this New Year's Eve, we will all technically have ONE extra second to contemplate our 2017 resolutions.
You could call the extra second "a gift" from the International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Services. You see, the world's clocks have gotten out of sync with the Earth's rotation.
Whenever this happens (every several hundred years or so) the world's official timekeepers introduce a "leap second" to get things back on track.
Don't speak science geek? Yeah, we don't either.
But we do speak marketing geek, which is why we're contemplating how to improve our personal marketing stats with our extra second.
Wanna Steal Our 2017 Resolutions?
We've given a lot of thought to how we can turbocharge our personal inbound marketing efforts in the coming year.
The funny thing about setting marketing resolutions as a marketing agency?
The whole thing is kinda meta.
Remember that movie Inception? The one where one event happens within another event... That happens within another event... And so on?
Photo via: http://sourcefed.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/inception.jpg
Marketing for a marketing agency, as a marketing agency, feels somewhat like that.
Resolutions for Turbocharging Inbound Marketing Success
At Lean Labs we're constantly collecting data, analyzing results, and trying new marketing techniques on behalf of our clients. We often know exactly what needs to happen to accelerate progress.
Unfortunately, when it comes to implementing those techniques for ourselves, we sometimes fall short.
Which is why our overarching New Year's Resolution for 2017 can be summed up in one sentence:
In this article, we'll be sharing exactly what that looks like so YOU TOO can turbocharge your inbound marketing RESULTS. Let's get started:
Resolution No. 1 – Streamline Workflow Processes
If you want to scale, you have to automate – there is no other option.
The bigger the company, the more documented processes they have in place. The set of documented processes are often referred to as workflows:
Workflow: The sequence of industrial, administrative, or other processes through which a piece of work passes from initiation to completion.
The goal? Reduce a task down to as few steps as possible, while still maintaining efficiency. Theoretically speaking, once that process is documented, any qualified individual should be able to come in, complete the task at hand and achieve the same results.
This type of automation is especially important when it comes to inbound marketing. Why continually reinvent the wheel when you know what works?
Interestingly, this was our resolution for 2016. Why didn't we meet it?
Because we unexpectedly hit our revenue goals for 2017.
Not a bad problem to have ... But we constantly felt like we were playing catch-up.
Without streamlined workflows in place, we spent more time than necessary on several projects. In essence, we were EFFECTIVE, but not EFFICIENT.
In the coming year, we'll be refining workflows across all departments (i.e. team structure, oboarding, inbound, GDD, internal marketing, operations, customer success) in order to scale even further.
Resolution No. 2 – Enhance Team Member Roles
We all have different strengths.
According to Marcus Buckingham, author of Now Discover Your Strengths, a strength is something that makes you feel strong. It's an inherent trait you don't need to learn – you were born with it.
When we use our natural strengths, we feel good; work is easy, enjoyable, and fun. Though individual team members may be perfectly capable of doing many tasks, they should spend the majority of their time doing what they do best.
In 2016, we took beginning steps toward assessing team member personalities using The Predicitve Index.
In 2017, we plan on using the results found through PI's assessments to fine-tune organizational roles even further.
The goal? Ensure the right people working on the right projects.
For example, say your Web developer has a strength in "individualization," or seeing what makes someone unique. Maybe that person should be more involved earlier in the client on-boarding process.
The Bottom-Line: EVERYONE benefits when team members are working in areas that fit their inherent strengths. We'll be looking for creative opportunities to redefine roles in the coming year, strengthening our team and our work.
Resolution No. 3 – Refine Deliverables
Once you've proven proficient in your inbound marketing efforts (i.e. you've nailed your web page copy, you've created the right lead magnets, your emails are getting read), it's time to begin refining your deliverables.
You can begin the process by asking yourself questions like:
- How can we make that eBook be even MORE valuable to our customers?
- How can we make the decision to work with us even EASIER?
- What do they want that we are NOT currently offering?
After collecting a lot of feedback, from both team members and clients, we've got several ideas for making deliverables even better.
Without desirable deliverables, not even THE BEST marketing in THE WORLD can convert prospects into customers.
Resolution No. 4 – Enhance Skills
Finally, our team will continue to focus on professional development in 2017.
While change is an ongoing reality in every industry, it is especially "in your face" when it comes to inbound marketing. New techniques, strategies and philosophies are developing all the time.
As an inbound marketing agency, it's our responsibility to stay on top of the new methods and changes happening within our industry, regardless of busy schedules. From the top of our organization to the very bottom, we are investing in ongoing training.
Our goal? Support EVERY team member in feeling 100 percent confident in their area of expertise, while understanding how that fits into the "big picture."
Keeping New Year's Resolutions Is Easy
Just kidding – we don't know anyone who has ever said keeping a resolution is easy!
In fact, most studies would say once you call a GOAL a RESOLUTION you're basically doomed.
But we've learned a few tips over the years:
1. Keep your resolutions focused.
2. Set benchmarks to track success.
3. Put accountability systems in place.
We'll be holding ourselves to the above list, and hope you've found some inspiration through our resolutions for 2017.
The reality is anyone can put together an inbound marketing plan.
The question is...
How many organizations actually have the systems in place to see it through?
Have some killer resolutions you want to share? We'd love to hear what you've got in mind for your company in 2017 - comment below!
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