By: Zeanique L. Barber February 15, 2018
To Inbound Market or Outbound Market? That, is the Question: 3 Options To Consider For Your Salesforce Digital Marketing
Your outreach and marketing journey approach can make all the difference when landing your next consulting role. What’s best for you may not work for the next consultant but below are 3 surefire, tried and true approaches to utilizing digital marketing to capture your leads. There are 3 basic ways to market your Salesforce skillset in this digital marketing era: inbound marketing, outbound marketing or the classic do nothing approach. Salesforce has really picked up steam over the last decade as the go to customer relationship management (CRM) tool and as a consultant, you will want to be easy to find.
What is Marketing?
“Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.”
What is Inbound Marketing?
“Inbound marketing is focused on attracting customers through relevant and helpful content and adding value at every stage in your customer’s buying journey. With inbound marketing, potential customers find you through channels like blogs, search engines, and social media.
Unlike outbound marketing, inbound marketing does not need to fight for potential customers attention. By creating content designed to address the problems and needs of your ideal customers, you attract qualified prospects and build trust and credibility for your business.”
What is Outbound Marketing?
Outbound marketing tries to reach consumers through general media advertising as well as through in-person contact. Depending on the venue, the approach can be extremely broad (TV advertising), thoroughly personal (face-to-face meetings), or “impersonally personal” (cold-calling or blanket emails). Through each outbound methods, sales leads are generated and then followed by internal sales representatives.
3 Options to Consider: How to Market Your Salesforce Skills as a Salesforce Consultant
1.) To Inbound Market?
Driving prospective clients IN through inbound marketing is an ideal approach to generate new clients. Here are some popular inbound marketing approaches that you should consider:
- Ebooks: You could definitely write a book about your experience but this can be time consuming and costly.
- Go Viral: This is one of the most popular ways that people get noticed by the masses but rarely do these viral videos turn into business opportunities without a strategic effort of planning out your content.
- Use Youtube and create webinars: This will take some planning on your part but it can be done for minimum cost and time, depending on what you discuss.
- Blogs: This is a free source and through the use of SEO optimization tools and creative tags, you could really attract your target market.
2.) To Outbound Market?
Many companies who are looking for Salesforce Resources receive lots of outbound marketing material from prospective Salesforce Consultants. Consultants provide materials or their outbound marketing material to prospective clients in a variety of ways. Some of those ways include the following:
- Billboard advertisements (Silicon Valley has a ton): This is costly
- Putting out a television or radio ad: This is costly but if positioned during the right programming, can really return a good ROI. Also, you could create your own podcast and make your own commercials for your services. Now THAT’S the way to promote yourself!
- Email marketing campaigns: This approach can be free if you utilize free email sources but can be very time consuming.
- Salesforce Conferences or Trade Shows like Dreamforce: This is costly. The last Dreamforce had hotel rooms starting at $600 – YIKES! You would also need to factor travel, to and from the conference, transportation while at the conference and the list can go on and on. NOTE: This is an EXCELLENT opportunity to meet all of your prospective clients but be mindful that there can be a significant cost impact here.
- Ads in magazines or newspapers: This can be costly but targeting industry journals, magazines and other periodicals puts you at the fingertips (pun intended) of your prospective target market.
- Press releases: This has the potential to be free but you should be mindful that this can be time consuming.
- Direct mail (brochures, postcards, catalogues): This is absolutely costly and very time consuming and doesn’t have a huge ROI. With the decline of snail mail for information dissemination, you’ll want to make sure you’ve thoughtfully developed a strategy for direct mail. Direct mail DOES have a great personal touch and could help you stand out from the crowd,
- Branded marketing (newsletters, key chains, pens, even flash drives): Don’t do this if you are just starting out and you have limited funds. You’ll want to leverage as many free resources as you can. Remember don’t spend money that you don’t have. Once you become successful, then you can think about buying chotskies. Emphasis on the THINK about…
3.) Do Nothing Approach – Set It And Forget It
My personal favorite (and my undergraduate Professor would be very proud of me that I’ve included this as an option) is the “do nothing” approach. Don’t you just love when you can put information about yourself on the internet on sites like LinkedIn and then monitor your inbox for prospective opportunities? A well crafted LinkedIn page that highlights a Salesforce Consultant’s past experiences and skillset is an excellent way to “set it and forget it.” Once you’ve created your LinkedIn page, then prospective clients have the ability to search that site for YOU. Headhunters and recruiters look for candidates on LinkedIn and can quickly find out about where you’ve been, what you’ve worked on and have an easy entry point to engage in dialogue with you to determine if you would be of an asset to their project or role.
So, there you have it. I recommend that you scale your marketing approach as you are able to accept new clients. As you are starting out, or even if you are seasoned in your career, your marketing efforts should be scalable so that you can nurture each potential lead with diligence and care.
Be mindful of your resources and constraints: time and money. Like most Consultants, you may have limited time (because you are focused on delivering to your clients) to market your Salesforce skills. You can also set up other free social media sites like Instagram, Twitter or even a Blog. These are all free tools that you can utilize for both inbound and outbound marketing but remember – your social media sites are only as good as the content you produce. We’ll talk about content marketing next time. Using sites like LinkedIn can definitely allow you to load balance your opportunities and keep a steady stream of opportunities coming your way. New to LinkedIn? Connect with me, below and I’d be happy to help you in any way that I can.
May the Force Be With You,
Zeanique has been working with public, non-profit, and private entities since 2000, where she has stood up large scale ERP implementations. She has been a Salesforce Consultant since 2010 and is based in Washington, DC. She’s also served as a Professor for small business marketing, value proposition and business plan development at Trinity Washington University