Book of the Month: Grow! Inbound Marketing System


Service businesses live and die by their ability to get leads, and the internet is a virtual goldmine. But in an ever-expanding sea of competing listings, it takes more than a $20 DIY website and a Facebook page to get noticed. Thankfully, it doesn’t take a million dollar marketing budget, either.

The Grow! Inbound Marketing System - How to Rapidly and Profitably Grow Your Service Company Online is a step-by-step plan that shows you how to reach your target customers at a fraction of the price of traditional advertising. Even better, it gives you the tools to manage incoming leads by slowing or increasing their flow using proven digital marketing techniques. All that amounts to the Holy Grail of business success: fast, profitable growth.

The advertising tides have shifted from print, radio, and television, to digital marketing - and for good reason. Those old methods - called outbound, or “interruption” marketing - cast too wide a net, and, more importantly, cost a ton.

How many commercials have you seen and heard that had nothing to do with you or your needs? Those advertisers are paying for you to hear those messages, and losing money doing it. With Grow!, you learn how to identify your target customer and reach them directly, saving you money while bringing in qualified leads.

Written by Donnie Shelton, owner-operator of Triangle Pest Control (and, full disclosure, Coalmarch’s own beneficent overlord,) Grow! is the end result of a decade of trial, error, and huge success. Using a mix of personal stories, statistics, and real-world examples, Donnie walks you through each essential step until you’ve got the same system in place that helped him take Triangle Pest from pennies to millions, without breaking the bank with marketing costs.

Step One: Preparedness

You have to walk before you can run, and a business is no different. Because the Grow! system has been proven to work so well and so quickly, it’s imperative that you are ready to lead and that and your team is prepared provide a superior experience for your customers.

Part one asks you to evaluate your foundation. Are you engaged and setting the right example for your team? Do you recognize that customers have changed, and customer experience - not service - is king? Set your business up for success by looking at yourself, your team, and your processes. There’s room for experimentation in business, but the basics never change. When the leads start pouring in, you want them to be met by a well-oiled machine.

Step Two: Know Thyself, Sell Thyself

Owning a business does not a marketing expert make. If you don’t have a solid understanding of your target market, if you don’t have a dedicated service goal, if you don’t have a system in place to track what’s working and what isn’t, your business can’t grow.

Part two gets to the meat of the Grow! IMS. Made up of 10 steps, from defining your target market to setting a realistic marketing budget to creating a website built for conversion, the Grow! IMS simplifies what can be the most daunting aspect of business ownership. There are no illusions that this is easy -- it’s not a get-rich-quick scheme (though, if you put the work in, it kind of is…) -- but it is clear, and the worksheets available for download online let you keep track of your own progress in building out your plan.

Put a Bow On It

You’ve got the keys. Now it’s time to fire up the engine. Learn how to implement the system, from managing it in-house to hiring an agency. Learn how introducing sales and tracking software to the mix can simplify your efforts. And learn where and how to experiment to find the perfect fit for your business and make the system your own. 

The Bottom Line

If you’ve got a service company -- heck, if you have any company -- and you want it to reach the right people for the right price, this is required reading. Yeah, you could argue that we’re a little biased, but the truth is that we would shout from the rooftops about Grow! even if Donnie didn't hold the checkbook around here. The reason? We see the system work every day. You can't knock the facts, folks. It just works.