Those of us who are old enough to remember Ed Sullivan’s live TV show or Neil Armstrong stepping out on the Moon for the first time are probably thinking about retirement or at least today’s version of retirement: transitioning from full-time work to something else. We’ve had a pretty good run. Many of us have raised some pretty cool kids that are now raising their own children. Others have built strong businesses and are watching closely as the next generations continue the momentum or sell for big profits. The key question now is “What’s next?” Here’s how inbound marketing can help us make the next 20 years better than the previous 50.
Most of us no longer need that four bedroom, two and a half bath monstrosity in the burbs that takes up so much of our time and budget to maintain. We can sell it and move on to something more interesting, maybe a downtown flat with restaurants and hip coffee shops! We can roll up some of the profits into a month or two in Italy or Sidney each year. The trick is selling the house.
Yes, we can hire a good realtor and pay 6 percent in commissions—or maybe we could pocket at least some of that commission and spend that on Italy instead. Why not market the house yourself and pay an online service like Owners.com much less to get your house on the MLS and help you with the paperwork? Here’s what I would do:
- Create a cool website on sites like Squarespace or Virb showing off your house with nice photos and specifications of your neighborhood, schools, taxes etc.
- Create a home tour video and promote it on YouTube
- Blog about living in your house and some of the fun stories from your years of living there
- Share your listings, blogs and website on social networks like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn
- List your house on Craig’s List
- Advertise in local realty magazines and newspapers
If you’re like most retirees, you will probably get bored quickly doing nothing. Add to that the pressure of living off your retirement income, Social Security and other benefits you may have accrued over time. It’s not easy. Most financial consultants recommend you need at least 70 percent of your pre-retirement annual income to survive, and if you live into your 80s, that may not be enough. Why not start your own business doing what you love? For example:
- Consulting in your area of expertise
- Making a business out of your hobby or craft
- Joining up with a buddy to start a new restaurant, store or service
- Buying residential or commercial properties, fixing them up and renting them
- Transforming yourself into a savvy investor or realtor
To do any of these things, you need to market your new business and generate qualified sales leads. You can take free inbound marketing classes online, like HubSpot’s free resources, or take advantage of continuing education classes in your area. Many of these courses now feature the pillars of inbound marketing: blogging, social media and search engines. To go to market you’ll need:
- Strategy, Planning and Budget: Available cash or investment dollars for building and promoting your business.
- Knowledge: Learn how to do inbound marketing and research your marketplace.
- Insight: Get to know your buyers by talking to people or participating in forums where they are likely to discuss their needs and challenges.
- Networking: Now you’ll begin to realize just how valuable Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn can be. Participation in conversations helps you make new connections, learn how to solve problems and generate sales.
- Technology: There are many affordable options for small business marketing, but make sure they are easy to use (or you will not use them effectively) and comprehensive (so your entire business can be run from your laptop).
- Passion: You won’t get far unless you commit yourself to getting your business off the ground and to providing the same level of excellence you gave every day during your career years.
Many of us Boomers are thinking about our legacy. How will we be remembered by our family, friends, co-workers and the community as a whole? Why not share what you’ve learned over the years and make the world a better place? You can start with a blog.
Chronicle your adventures, your most valuable nuggets of advice and your war stories. Younger people can learn from you and avoid making some of the dumb mistakes you’ve made. If you’re more ambitious, you can join charitable ventures and use your skills to help them succeed. A great example is charity: water, which is run entirely from donations raised via inbound marketing.
Me? I’m into rescuing animals, so I’m working on developing how I can use what I’ve learned about inbound marketing to save dogs, cats, horses and more that have been neglected or abandoned. There are lots of choices.
To learn more about inbound marketing, here are a few free resources to help you get you up to speed quickly and start living the best years of your life knowing how to achieve your goals.
- HubSpot Academy: No, you don’t have to be a HubSpot customer
- Kuno Creative Blog: Yes, it’s self-promotion, but lots of people follow us
- Content Marketing Institute: Learn how to become a brand journalist
- Business2Community.com: A plethora of great blogs on inbound and content marketing and social media syndicated daily
- SocialMediaToday.com: Even more valuable blogs and other resources syndicated daily
- G2|Crowd: Compare marketing software technology for your small business
Happy retirement folks. You’ve earned it.
Photo Credit: kamshots