The 2 Year Path To Inbound Marketing

You’re 96 podcast episodes from being a top thought leader in your market.
 
You’re 48 blog posts away from steady inbound leads.
 
You’re 6 white papers/special reports away from converting your inbound leads.
 
You’re 1 referral system away from continuous high-quality clients.

In the next 2 years you could release 96 episodes to showcase your expertise and extend your peer network. You can also gain “borrowed” authority by interviewing people who are famous in your market.

In the next 2 years you could publish 48 in-depth blog posts that educate your market. One of the best examples I’ve seen is this guy Glen from Viperchill. He decided years ago to actually test the common blogging knowledge, which said you must blog at least once a week and preferably more.

He posted 1 to 3 well-researched, and very long, blog posts for his market each month and some months he didn’t post anything. His blog was hugely successful without the need for the content creation hamster wheel that everyone who does “The Top 5 blank” posts have to do.

At least every 4 months you should be releasing a white paper, special report or some other lead magnet for your market. Initially, you’ll have to drive traffic to these lead magnets either through ads, seo or content marketing. If they are any good, they will be passed around in your market. Within 2 years people will be coming to your site because you’re an authority so you won’t “have” to spend money to advertise them, but you probably should.

All the above is okay and will get you results, but if you don’t institute a formal referral system in your business where you ask for referrals from your clients your business will always have to rely on outbound marketing and sales to replenish lost clients.

Referrals are very powerful for a company. I lived for years off of referrals only. No advertising, blogging, nothing. I have met others who moved to referral only businesses, too. The work is more pleasant and the clients are better. I think this is because they know that you and the person who referred them all know each other and they don’t want to lose any of their reputation by being a jerk to you.

Also, they’ve been properly framed by your past clients so they don’t complain about your high prices or your other quirks. My guess is they act this way because they want to be like their friend who referred them. If their friend is cool with what you charge and the way you do business then they should be cool with it too.

It won’t take 2 full years before you start seeing results if you’re solving big problems for your market. It will take 2 or more years before you’re attracting more leads than you’re getting from your outbound marketing.