Ryan Hanley

author, speaker, marketing geek

Believe in Inbound Marketing and the Future of Your Business

inbound marketing

This blog is geared towards helping small and mid-sized businesses achieve revenue generating success from their online activities.

inbound marketingThis is the work I do every day at my insurance business.

What I’ve learned using inbound marketing techniques such as content marketing, social marketing and digital marketing I talk about here.

Being that I work in the insurance industry and the trial by fire I’ve endured over the last years has taken place in the insurance industry it makes logical sense that my career a Digital and Social Marketing Speaker would being in the insurance industry.

That makes selling professional services to Business to Customer and Business to Business my bread and butter in regards to Online marketing.

I say this as a disclaimer, though I believe everything I’m about to share with you today, as well as all the thoughts and idea contained within the page of blog apply to any and every industry, big, small or sideways…

So I’m going to speak from my experience working with insurance professionals but believe me all this applies to your business as well.

Believe in Inbound Marketing

The reason that so many main-street businesses have neglected to implement inbound marketing as means to grow their business is very simple:

They don’t feel the pain!

Yes, they’re standing on the tracks…

Yes, the train is coming…

But the crossing guards haven’t started to sound…

…and the sky is blue

…and the sun is shining

…and TODAY the train will not hit them.

But there in lies the issues.

That’s the Resistance.

Right now you still have to believe in the inbound marketing.  It’s not a necessity to run a business.

Sure there are plenty of stories out there where people have taken their relatively average businesses or ideas and created extraordinary results using the inbound marketing principles of:

But it’s necessary TODAY…

…or at least it’s not necessary to utilize inbound marketing TODAY to succeed TODAY.

But it will be in five years.

That’s not a prediction.

It’s a full fledged guarantee that in five years inbound marketing will be a necessity!

If I’m wrong, yell at me in five years…

Advertising doesn’t work anymore.

Especially not at the level that you and I can advertise at.  Yes, Coke and Pepsi and McDonald’s and Burger King can battle it out for which competitor spends the most advertising dollars.

Us regular business folk

We don’t have the budgets to buy enough ads, that will interrupt enough people, often enough, that they will stop what they’re doing and call us.

So we have to use marketing.

“But Ryan… aren’t advertising and marketing the same thing?”


No they are not…

Advertising is message you put on a billboard.

Marketing is why that message is there in the first place.

Does that make sense?

Are we clear on this keystone conceptual difference?

Try this example and then we’ll move on:

“Advertising is when you hand the guy sitting next you at a bar your business card.  Marketing is the story you told that prompted him to ask for it.”

 Are we there yet?

This conceptual difference between advertising and marketing is so crucial to the longevity of your business it pains me to think more time isn’t spent on this topic (to spend more time on the difference between advertising and marketing see Seth Godin here).

This is why the practice of inbound marketing will ensure the possibility you still have a growing business five years from now…

…your story,

…your value,

…your mission,

…your passion,

…your purpose will be all over the Internet.

 Because who gives a shit what you sell?

Not me…

Because if I don’t know your story, if I don’t know why it’s important that the unique Me does business with the very unique YOU…

…I’m going to business with someone else.

Because YOU just like ME sell something that a lot of people sell.

Belief in inbound marketing is belief in your story and an investment in the longevity of your business.

The latest trend in advertising will come and go… There will always be another billboard for you to plaster you message on… but the ability and more importantly the willingness to tell your story in a way that delivers value and build relationships…

…that’s the ticket to growth my friend.

The longevity of your business lies in marketing… Not advertising.

Want to talk more Marketing v Advertising? Keep the conversation going on Facebook here.

Drop Some Knowledge

I could be completely full of shit on this one… but I don’t think so.  How long do you think Non-adopters have left?

About Ryan Hanley

I help make sales easy through content marketing. My work as a marketing strategist, keynote speaker, and Amazon bestseller author will help your business establish authority, attract an audience and grow revenue. Hire me to speak at your next event or grab a copy of my new book, Content Warfare.

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  • http://inspiretothrive.com Lisa

    I’d agree you really need some bucks to advertise effectively if not a local business. I think inbound is where its at for a lot of small online businesses now. It takes time but worth it over time. Like your honesty in this article :)

    • http://www.ryanhanley.com Ryan Hanley

      Thanks Lisa!

      It definitely takes time. But that time is worth the investment for sure.

      Appreciate you stopping by!

      Ryan H.

  • http://www.ryanhanley.com Ryan Hanley

    Awesome example with the auctioneer… What many people don’t realize is that customer service is Marketing… It’s part of your business story.

    Thanks for sharing buddy


  • http://www.andrewstark.com Andrew Stark

    Hi Ryan,

    Simple but powerful concept.

    Far too many people just think the answer is to spend more money on advertising and then wonder why the people aren’t buying anything. A lead asking you what you sell if worth ten times someone arriving at your site wondering what exactly was the point of the advert?


    • http://www.ryanhanley.com Ryan Hanley

      No doubt Andrew… Now your explaining yourself twice, once in the advertisement again if they ever actually follow that advertisement.

      Be good dude.

  • http://waltgoshert.com/pay-for-copywriting/ Walt Goshert


    Non-adopters are in the process of burning assets each and every day.

    They are NOT building equity value in their business simply because their cost of lead acquisition is THREE times the cost of what an inbound lead costs.

    Smart businesses with this much of a front-end advantage who fully leverage the relationships with their clients will crush their competition.

    It’s simple math.

    • http://www.ryanhanley.com Ryan Hanley


      That is a perfect way to explain it. The lead will eventually become so large for the content creators of today their late arriving competitors will have NO Shot.

      Thanks buddy,


  • http://www.brentmkelly.com Brent Kelly

    Really solid post. There was a time when I believed inbound marketing was a good idea, but maybe not necessarily a must. I really think the landscape is changing fast and inbound marketing IS the best way to go. Thanks for being a leader in content marketing.

    • http://www.ryanhanley.com Ryan Hanley


      You’re a leader dude. You and work that you’re doing and growth you’ve seen both with new clients and within the industry and simply being an amazing ambassador for the insurance industry is the inspiration for everything I do.

      Keep it up brother.


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