Ismail Aly

The Start of my Inbound Journey

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My Inbound journey started this 2016

Does Inbound Marketing truly work? That was the 1st question I asked myself when being explained what my job was going to be about during my first day. When I started, the whole concept was completely alien to me. Not only I knew how to do traditional marketing, but my role was all about public relations, never having to sell a product.

Now that 2016 closes and I know what Inbound is about, my whole opinion has changed and I feel like someone who can align my practical and professional knowledge towards marketing, while also keeping the human side I’ve polished during my years in PR and mass media.

One of the main things I learned with Inbound is that it is a different way to do marketing. You probably know that it is a different methodology than what most people are used to. When it was explained to me, I wasn’t sure how effective it could be, being exposed to nothing else but traditional practices all my life - some which worked, and some that didn’t.

But that thought didn’t go a long way with me. When I started watching the Inbound certification video made by the HubSpot Academy, I learned not only how it is done, but also it's good practices, and how it's possible to make it work.

Once I started applying what I had learned was when I realized my ideas and prejudices about this more humane way of doing marketing started to vanish, and I learned valuable lessons that will stay with me throughout my whole journey.

There is not a thing as A customer

When I used to work in mass media, everything I wrote was written to one person called “the reader”. This person didn’t have any special requirements or traits. He didn’t know a lot or too little. His only given was that he knew how to read.

In Inbound it isn’t like that. Thanks to the Buyer Persona, when I’m creating content I’m not just throwing a blog to the Internet waiting for someone to be hooked by it. I’m customizing text towards a person. My ideal customer profile.

When creating content, I’m thinking exactly how I want to talk to him/her. What I want to tell, what I want to say, and how can I help to make his/her problem easier to solve. Almost like a conversation that will begin a relationship thanks to both pointing to the same objective: a greater good for both of us.

This wasn’t the only challenge. Having to learn how to do everything in a more human way, more personal and less robotic one, no matter that, at the end of the day, we’re both trying to engage in business.

Content isn’t just text

Even if all blogs follow a basic structure, Inbound isn’t just about writing the blog and being done with it. There is a methodology that is designed to engage customers and readers alike.

Even if in regular journalism you have guides to do this, such as an inverted pyramid, using the first paragraph as a hook and using multiple sources to give validation to what you write, when writing for Inbound that mindset is lost to give birth to another one, one that feels as if it was made for that organic visitor.

Just like it was described in the Content Certification, when writing you must do it thinking as if it was a story. Think of it as a fairy tale. With an introduction, development or conflict and resolution. This way, readers will want to know how the story ends, or in this case, they will want to know the solution to their problems and needs, and know how to keep improving.

My text is the guide. My advice and results of my research are part of the resolution. Their success is my success. And this way we will keep growing, evaluating each other, and forming stronger bonds.

Inbound does help

My boss will want to hit me for this, but when I was studying my journalism major, I was closed to the idea of doing marketing. My idea was to work in mass media to help develop tech news in an easy way for readers and viewers to learn and not fear it. Marketing was just an evil institution that wanted to make money off people. This was mainly my knowledge of how traditional marketing is done.

When I learned about Inbound and started working with it, when I got to know my clients and to know their cases, I realized Inbound doesn’t want to create false ideas or try to convince a customer by force of the many benefits of my client’s product or service. Inbound is a guide that is looking to deliver solutions for those who really need it.

If there is a qualified lead that would find my client’s product or service useful, he will be my main target. I will try and show him how much easier or more successful his business would be if he tries what I’m offering. It isn’t invasive, it is looking to offer solutions in a “take it or leave it” way. It will be his decision, not ours, and after he has made his mind he will come to us, and we will be there. He will be delighted in the most natural way marketing has seen, and will be coming back for more.

Right now, I’m convinced that what I’m doing isn’t just to sell something, but to help people, and I feel comfortable doing Inbound.

Even if in 2016 my Inbound journey just started, I hope I can keep growing and learning this 2017 to be able to deliver content in even more media, support the team and can get rid of the bad practices of traditional marketing.

How was your experience with Inbound this 2016? Leave a comment, I’d love to know your journey.

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Ismail Aly

Ismail Aly

Inbound Marketing & Sales Enablement Consultant, HubSpot User Group Leader, HubSpot Platinum Partner

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