You are an Inbound Agency. Imagine for a second that each of your clients has sales people blogging, customer service people blogging, the CEO blogging, marketing blogging, and product teams blogging.
Pause....now take a look at your website. How many wildly successful case studies do you currently have listed?
Now think about if the scenario above held true, how many more would be there? How would this change your business? How would it change your client's business?
"Getting" A Client to Produce Content
Many marketing agencies ask their clients to create content and some get their clients to do so. In fact, there was a recent thread on the Hubspot Partners Forum on this very topic that generated a ton of great comments. There were ideas on getting commitments from clients, how agencies can hold clients accountable, how tools and cheat sheets can be created, and more.
These were great comments, however, they seemed to be missing one thing. And that was addressing the question....How can an agency not just 'get' a client to create content, but how they can help a client truly embrace content and its power to not just move the needle, but transform it's business?
Change Agent or Marketer?
My question for an agency is are you a marketer first or a change agent first? I don't mean to suggest they are mutually exclusive. But I am suggesting that many agencies are putting most of their energy in the former, when maybe they should put an equal or greater amount in the latter.
What do you think? Are you #1 - helping, inspiring, and challenging a client to embrace content as part of their organization or #2 - are you neglecting this while focusing primarily on the marketing tactics part of the project.
My hope is that a lot of agencies are doing the former, but my experience tells me that a lot of agencies are doing the latter. It doesn't mean they are not successful - many are. But it begs the question on how much more successful they could be?
How Do We Do It?
So how do we do make inbound marketing part of our clients culture? How do we make the scenario at the top of the post a reality?
Specifically, how do we:
- Encourage real buy-in from across the client organization, not just marketing, on inbound and content creation.
- Motivate client leadership to embrace content creation and in fact help inspire and drive their organization?
- Keep our clients motivated even if they don't see early results?
- Help make inbound and content creation core to who our clients are?
If you have done some of these things or you have been giving these serious thought, please share what you have been doing.
Why Aren't You Doing This?
If you are not doing these things or giving them hard thought, why not? Are they not meaningful or would you say they are not an agencies role? Or would you love to be doing this but need some ideas?
Some Food For Thought
As food for thought, I would suggest John McTigue of Kuno Creative's recent post The Inbound Marketing Agency as a Change Agent based on the same thread in the partner forum. I 100% agree with John that culture change starts at home. I also think we should 'lean in' on ways we can start to exercise culture change with clients after we have started it at home, even if we haven't fully mastered it.
I would also suggest checking out one of my favorite Inbound Conference Webinars -> How to Create A True Culture of Inbound With Your Clients by Marcus Sheridan.
The Rewards Are There
What do you think? If you can help, inspire, and challenge a client to truly embrace inbound, it can change their business, and change yours. How can we do more to make it happen and why aren't we doing more of it today?