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Imagine that you’ve been struggling with a lingering pain in your body...

You go to visit a new doctor. He recommends that the remedy to your pain is surgery. He guarantees that this surgery will improve your life and he promises you’ll enjoy long-lasting results. No more pain sounds too good to be true and you’re sold. You schedule the surgery.

Later on at home, you go online to research your new doctor a little more. After browsing his practice’s website, you discover that this doctor has never once performed a surgery in his life. You begin to question his advice. How could he have so confidently recommended something that he’s never personally done before? We’re betting that this would lead you to cancel the surgery and go find a more experienced doctor who actually practices what he or she preaches.

Well, the same is true of inbound marketing...

How would you feel if a marketing company or agency recommended inbound to your business, promised that it would remedy your pain points, but then you found out that they don’t even practice inbound marketing on their own? Wouldn’t you begin to doubt their level of expertise? After all, no one really knows what they’re talking about unless they have done it themselves in a hands-on way.

Why Choosing An Expert Matters

Sure, the surgery example is a little extreme, but the concept is true. Don’t you want to know that the people you’re entrusting yourself to are skilled and can make recommendations based on personal experiences? Don’t you want to know that the marketing partner you entrust your business to is well-versed and experienced in what they recommend as well?

If you’re currently working with an inbound marketing provider or if you’re considering implementing an inbound marketing strategy for your business, then make sure you do a deep dive into your current or potential provider’s experience. After all, you don’t want to spend your hard-earned dollars with someone who has never practiced inbound marketing (or performed a surgery) on their own before!

Make an informed decision about your business’ marketing. Investigate your current or potential inbound marketing provider by asking the following questions:

1. Do they have their own blog?

Content is the heartbeat of inbound marketing. If the provider you’re working with doesn’t have their own blog, you should consider it a huge red flag. How can you trust that they know how to execute your content strategy successfully when they don’t exercise this fundamental inbound practice on their own?

2. Do they promote their content?

If the answer to the above question is “no,” then you can just skip ahead: If your provider doesn’t even have content to begin with, then they’re obviously not promoting anything. Creating content is just step one of inbound marketing. Promoting said content to the masses is an all-important step of its own.

Do a little investigating. Take a look at this inbound marketing provider’s social media pages. Are they frequently posting their content? Look around their website. Do they encourage visitors to sign up for the blog newsletter? If so, subscribe to it. Take note of their emails. How often do they send them? Are they offering relevant content to their subscribers? Try a quick Google search for the company. Do they turn up as a search result near the top of the page? How good is their SEO?

The key here is that you want to see consistency in an inbound marketing provider’s own marketing tactics. If you can tell that they are frequently sharing and promoting their content, then you can trust that they will be even more diligent in doing the same for your business.

3. Do they offer a variety of service options apart from inbound marketing?

Any solid marketing provider should have a portfolio of service options that can be custom-tailored to fit your business. These types of services are important options to have as they can pair seamlessly with an inbound marketing strategy, helping to promote your content to consumers. Such services can include: social media management; digital targeting services, like geofencing, targeted display, SEM, and OTT; traditional advertising methods, like radio or magazine; and website design services.

Choosing an inbound marketing provider with a variety of promotional opportunities means you’ll be giving your business even more chances to get your message out to consumers. It also means that you can trust that they are experienced not only in inbound marketing, but in general marketing best practices as well.

4. Do they have case studies or results of their own to show you?

Again, if your inbound marketing provider isn’t even practicing an inbound marketing strategy of their own, then this question is irrelevant in the first place. If they are, then ask them to show you their own results from their inbound marketing strategy.

Ask them: How long have you been practicing inbound? What were your website visit, lead generation, and lead conversion numbers like when you started? And what are those numbers like now? Ask yourself: Is it obvious that they’re believers in inbound marketing because they’re proud of their own successes from it? They should be, because that directly reflects what your business can expect should you choose to work with them!

If your current or prospective inbound marketing provider passes the “test” that these questions present, then you can trust that your business is in good hands. If not, then we recommend getting the heck out of the “operating room” before you let that inexperienced “surgeon” ever touch a scalpel!

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