4 Ways Small Businesses Can Implement ‘DIY Inbound Marketing’

inbound marketing i can do myself as a small business (1)

Recently, I was speaking with my brother, who is launching his own digital marketing agency in Staunton, Virginia. We were discussing my ‘ideal client’ vs his ‘ideal client’, and one of the things that I believe we both realized quite quickly while having this conversation, was whether your business is fortune 500 or you’re a small mom and pop business – while the term inbound marketing seems to be a trending topic, not many small businesses think they can afford it.

Yet just because your business thinks they can’t afford an inbound marketing agency, it doesn’t mean you can’t begin to implement some foundation methods to help get your website quality traffic, build brand recognition, and begin to see leads from your efforts.  So instead of worrying (at least today) about the huge amount of marketing your competitor down the street does, spending even a few minutes a day implementing these techniques will help better prepare both your website and your business for tomorrow. Continue reading

40 Blog Posts That Will Make You Smarter, Better & More Efficient in 2016

40 Blog Posts That Will Make You Smarter, Better, More Efficient in 2016….(

I was recently asked my favorite influencers in the industry. Trying to recall a few (which even a year ago I could have spewed at least 100 of the industry’s top influencers), but quickly drew a blank. I began to ponder how in the world this could be. I am constantly reading, researching, and website/blog/social media account hopping.

It was instantly then, that I realized the one keyword… hopping. With the availability of sites like inbound.org , growthhackers.com, linkedin.com, reddit.com and the growing usage of specific hashtags on social channels (that then link to relevant content) — well the truth is, in 2015 I stopped following specific industry leader’s or blogs, and instead started following topics that peaked my interests.  A blog might have 1 killer post, but the rest could pretty much suck. So why waste your time visiting individual sites, or receiving emails of the latest posts

That aside; If you have an interest in inbound marketing and the various components that help produce great inbound campaigns, here are 40 blogposts that can help you bring your best to all you do in 2016.

Content Marketing

  1. 10 Steps Every Content Marketer Must Take In 2016, Heidi Cohen
  2. Planning Your 2016 Content Marketing Calendar, Duct Tape Marketing
  3. Content Marketing Grows Up: My 2016 Prediction, Ann Handley
  4. The Content Marketing Campaign Playbook – Guaranteeing Success in 2016, Moz
  5. Idea Sex: How New Yorker Cartoonists Generate 500 Ideas a Week, 99u
  6. Should you have a resources page on your blog?, BloggingTips
  7. 10 Steps to Becoming a Better Writer (Poster), Copyblogger
  8. 5 Free Market-Research Tools to Read Your Audience’s Minds (And Create Content to Delight Them), Kissmetrics


  1.   Planning For SEO Success In 2016, Search Engine Land
    1. 7 Highly Effective SEO Tips for Bloggers, Sprout Social
    2. SEO Checklist 2016, IDFmarketing
    3. SEO & Link Building in 2016, webprofits
    4. SEO Predictions for 2016, emagine



    1. 3 PPC Trends And Tactics You Can’t Ignore In 2016 , Search Engine Land
    2. PPC New Year’s Resolutions for 2016, ClixMarketing
    3. PPC Trends 2016: 24 Expert Predictions On Paid Search, Display & Retargeting, momentology
    4. 8 PPC Trends for 2016, Serps-Invaders
    5. Why Facebook Is A Bigger Ad Opportunity Than Google, AdEspresso


    Social Media

    1. 5 Ways to Re-Ignite Twitter Growth in 2016, Ignite Social Media
    2. 12 Best Facebook Marketing Tips (Sharpen Your Skills Today), Post Planner
    3. A Quick Guide to Visual Marketing on Facebook for 2016, Social Media Explorer
    4. How to Use Facebook’s Best Feature: Targeting, Contently
    5. 2016 Social Media Marketing Plan For Success, Heidi Cohen
    6. The Truth About Social Media Strategy, Convince and Convert



    1. Data-Driven Design Tips for Maximising Impact on Twitter, Canva DesignerSchool
    2. How to Find Images on Google You Can Reuse, RODAMarketing
    3. Be Careful About These 6 Web Design Trends in 2016, AWWWards
    4. 6 Web Design Trends You Must Know for 2015 & 2016, AWWWards
    5. Web Design Predictions for 2016: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly, Wix
    6. Top Web Design Trends To Watch In 2016, Forbes



    1. Retailers’ email volumes rise in Q3 and so do open rates, Internet Retailer
    2. Best Email Marketing Services for 2016, The Simple Dollar
    3. Email Marketing & Video in 2016 – All You Need To Know, Business2Community
    4. Email Marketing Trends in 2016, Keywords+Jargon
    5. 8 Ways to Improve Your Call-To-Action Copy to Get More Subscribers, AWeber


    General Digital Marketing Tips

    1. Stop Marketing Like It’s 2012, Gary Vaynerchuk
    2. The Dangerous Myth of the Magical Tool, Copyblogger
    3. Top 3 Digital Marketing Trends for 2016 (Which You Should Be Starting in 2015), Impress1
    4. The one thing keeping your marketing from being successful, YourMarketingCo
    5. 7 Inbound Marketing Trends You Need To Stay Ahead of the Curve, Impact


    You can also find Blair Pettrey on Facebook • Twitter • LinkedIn


The Power of One – by Blair Pettrey

Blair Pettrey - the Power of One

If you don’t already, you need to subscribe, follow, read and watch Gary Vaynerchuk on anything and everything.
(In no way am I being paid, reimbursed, bribed, or anything else to tell you that! I’m merely trying to tell you FOLLOW THIS AMAZING MAN if you want AMAZING inbound marketing tips, digital marketing tips, personal branding tips, etc.!)

I know for me, personally, I hit a link – a blog – a website – and if it’s informative enough, or seems ‘hip’ enough – I’ll usually follow through on their immediate ‘call to action’ (as every inbound site of course has, right?) and give them my email address, and subscribe to their newsletter. By the 2nd round of emails (if I even make it past the first email they send) – I’m 99% likely to hit that unsubscribe button. While they drew me in enough to get me to give them my email – they have failed to hold my interest. Whether it’s because their emails are boring, they failed to correctly personalize (i.e. my experience with Ebates.com), or whatever reason – VERY FEW newsletters that I sign up for, do I ever read the first – even fewer make it past the 2nd email.

Gary Vaynerchuk is one of the VERY few that passed that test.

In fact – even my ‘marketing idol’ (inbound marketing hero? Digital marketing expert? Whatever you want to call the amazing Seth Godin); I don’t subscribe to his emails.

I digress.

The amazing Gary Vee recently sent an email out… sharing an old video he once did, titled ‘One is Greater than Zero‘.  If you haven’t watched it; watch it now!

But this is something I have been ‘doing, believing, and preaching’ for years. Because while I measure everything (after all, I’m an inbound marketer!), I purposefully do not focus on the amount of views or leads or comments or shares or retweets or bounces or anything on my own personal domain. Because, I know that whatever I am doing? It’s working. It may not be going viral – but it is helping those who may not know much about digital or inbound (i.e. my most successful posts have been the ones where I wrote merely tips to help businesses grow; i.e. 6 Steps to Organically Growing Your Social Media Following or (Competitor) Ignorance Ain’t Bliss Honey… or What is “Inbound Marketing” aka – “Sell Me This Pen” or Stalking Not Necessary… How to Stay on Top of Your Competition!) I didn’t write those to attract, or count, or convert or build an empire – I wrote those merely to share and help others. Others who may never become clients. Others who may never spend $1 with me. But I wrote it for them – and not for my own purpose, not for my own numbers, not for my own gains. And yet, those (and other similar blog posts) are the reasons I’ve landed new clients. Are the reason I’ve attracted employers and opportunities that I thought were “way out of my league”.

And yet – I write other posts – where only 1 person reads it; and they even bounce. Or I get 10 visitors, and only 1 comment. Or I get no comments.

But I still write.

Because ‘The Power of ONE’ is influence enough. Maybe that ‘one’ will become my next huge client. Maybe that ‘one’ will refer someone to my blog, or to me. OR maybe, just maybe that ‘one’ was about to give up on their business – on their own success and growth – and instead learned something unique and valuable enough to help keep them going.

Don’t write or create content merely for the numbers. I promise you – if what you share is valuable – you will get more than 1. But even if you write the most AMAZING blog post, even if you create the most AMAZING video, graphic, ebook, etc – and it only gets 1 view/click/download – you never who that ‘one’ is.


The Secret to Inbound Marketing

When times are tough and things are confusing – I am grateful for the resources I have to reach out to… Bill Faeth of “Inbound Marketing Agents” has been a constant source of inspiration and reminder of what it takes to succeed…. The best advice received? “Outwork everyone else. Focus. Figure out how to increase your efficiency in everything you do.”‪#‎inboundmarketing‬ ‪#‎digitalmarketing‬ ‪#‎progress‬ ‪#‎alwaysmovingforward‬‪#‎JustMOVE‬ ‪#‎justSTART‬ ‪#‎justDOit‬

blair pettrey

Facebook’s New ‘Call to Action’ Button!

Blair Pettrey, BlairPettrey, Inbound Marketing Maryland, Inbound Marketing DC, Inbound Marketing Virginia, Facebook Call to Action, Facebook Call to ACtion ButtonIn case you live under a rock – and I admit, I am delayed in the amazingness – Facebook has recently introduced (in a slow roll out, sadly none of the pages I administer have it implemented yet…) a “call to action” option.

Blair Pettrey, BlairPettrey, Inbound Marketing Maryland, Inbound Marketing DC, Inbound Marketing VirginiaLocated next to where a potential fan would typically ‘like’ your page, you can now add 1 of 7 new ‘Call to Actions’:

  • Book Now
  • Contact Us
  • Use App
  • Play Game
  • Shop Now
  • Sign Up
  • Watch Video

As a huge conversion & lead generation lover – this brings yet another way for Facebook to help you rock your marketing funnels and gain information and potentially help you bypass steps in the funnel you would have had to cross bridges with social media prior.

To add the ‘Call to Action’ you visit your page’s cover photo section, and it will be located next to the “like” option. As I mentioned, I haven’t received access to the exciting tool yet – but Facebook promises it will be rolled out worldwide by the end of the year. (Ha!)

Have your page received the ‘Call to Action’ button yet? How are you utilizing it and what gains have you seen because of it? Leave a comment with your experience

6 Steps to Organically Growing Your Social Media Following

Inbound Blair, BlairPettrey, Blair Pettrey, Social Media Tips, How to grow social media following, inbound marketing dc, inbound marketing charlottesville, inbound marketing frederick, inbound marketing columbia, inbound marketing maryland, inbound marketing washington dc, inbound marketing virginia, di


Social Media is a wonderful mufti-faceted innovative way for businesses to grow and develop leads. It helps search engine optimization, it helps build brand awareness, engage with clients and/or potential clients, and more! And with the changes in Facebook in recent years as well as many of the other major social media platforms – the success and growth of your business on these platforms, all depends on your audience reach.

So how do you grow your following without paying for advertisements and clicks? Implement each of the steps below and I personally promise you will see a drastic increase in your reach!

  1. Connect (and actively engage!) with audience – both fans and similar businesses (i.e. like businesses in your local area).
    1. Ask engaging questions
      1. “What’s your favorite website”
      2. “What are the first 3 websites you visit each morning”
      3. etc. etc. etc. etc.
    2. Respond when people comment/post on your page, etc.
    3. Respond to other business page’s!
    4. Share/Re-tweet valuable/unique/interesting info, not just business specific
  2. Utilize Hash-tags!!!
  3. Make it personal
    1. “Happy 11 years to XYZ Business today… #TBT”
    2. Happy Birthday to our Employee, Sam McGuire (i.e.)
    3. Share photos! Share your culture. Instagram it! HASHTAG it.
  4. Repeat. Re-post. Re-purpose.
    1. Make interesting blog posts into infograms and/or graphics for Facebook/twitter/etc.
    2. Turn a blog post into a podcast
    3. Share it on Facebook.
  5. Track/Measure when your followers are most likely to engage with you – make sure you are posting valuable info (or re-sharing,etc) through out the day, but especially at these times.
  6. Share info for potential clients – not just current clients (or those in the same industry as you). Ideally social media will attract other businesses/potential leads to hire ImageWorks (or whatever business you’re managing the social media of).

Don’t forget to track and measure your growth! Both Twitter and Google have free insights and analytic ‘s for you to utilize when measuring your reach and fans/followers!

Happy Growing!

Digital Marketing Websites…. Wha? (South Carolina edition)

I remember meeting with the infamous Matthew Roda of Roda Marketing – when he had asked me (after reading my Lancaster, PA edition of Digital Marketing Websites…. wha?) if he thought I was searching for the same terminology that others ‘not in the field’ would be searching for.

In the moment – I thought of course?! What small – mid – ( or even large) sized business that needs digital marketing efforts doesn’t look up things like “Digital Marketing” or (internet/online/some variation of such). However, the reality is, Matthew might have been onto something… Or AT LEAST, I’m hoping… Because as it turns out? South Carolina might not be a haven for digital marketing.

But alas, as always – here’s what I was looking for:

  1. Responsive Website Template

  2. Social Media– Links to share, and links to company pages

  3. Content– The ability to manage & create engaging content

And how did ‘South Carolina” measure up? (Or some of the major metropolitan areas within since the term South Carolina wasn’t so … helpful….)?

Continue reading