Recently I was talking with an entrepreneur who has been implementing inbound marketing best practices for years but not getting much value. His startup is past the product / market fit stage and now he’s working on building a repeatable customer acquisition machine and needs to fill the top of the marketing funnel (see Lead Generation Drives SaaS Startups). On the inbound marketing front, he’s been writing blog posts, creating white papers, nurturing followers on Twitter, and following search engine optimization recommendations.
After thinking about it for a minute, I commented that implementing inbound marketing best practices is different from building a passionate community. Here are a few thoughts on it:
- Standard content, while keyword rich, often isn’t edgy or strongly opinionated
- Offline interaction and building personal rapport is an important ingredient in cultivating a community
- Audience engagement is readily measured based on number of comments, retweets, and follow-up emails
- Amazing storytellers, like the best programmers, are 10x more effective than their colleagues
So, as part of building a passionate following, think about the cult in culture and figure out what resonates with the people you want engaged. Inbound marketing is about relevant content while a passionate community comes from compelling leadership.
What else? What are some more thoughts on how building a passionate community is different than inbound marketing?