The rules of marketing and selling have changed because buyers have changed.  Today’s buyers want to be educated and not sold to and if you are not educating them then you can bet your competitors are.  The new social etiquette of social media marketing, inbound marketing, online marketing, whatever you call it is that you have to give to get. Seth Godin says “The Internet rewards relentless generosity.” and the more you worry about pay day, the less you are going to make.

So the new rules are:

•    Buyers are in control
- they don’t want to be sold to
- they do want to be educated

•    They want information when they want it
- access and timeliness of information is vital
- free take-aways are a must without the need to give all your contact info

•    They want clear information
- they don’t want marketing speak
- they do want a short, sharp, clear expression of your value proposition

Image credit:  Technoligence, LLC.

There are many stats around inbound marketing but some of the most startling ones that illustrate the new world order are:

•    40% of all web browsing is now done via a mobile device
•    57% of companies and people who use blogs reported that they acquired customers from leads generated directly from their blog
•    41% of B2B companies and 67% of B2C companies have acquired a customer through Facebook

Having said all of this, it is time to ramp up your online lead generation but remember that some of the old rules do still apply.  You still need to:

•    Generate interest, desire and demand for your products and services
•    Convert interest to leads
•    Convert leads to sales
•    Measure the effectiveness of your online methods

Most importantly, leads from social media need to be followed up immediately. They have a very short shelf life and next week will be too late!

So remember, educate don’t sell,  give away free, valuable information and make your offer very clear and accessible.

Good luck and happy lead generation.

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