It was like the first day of school when I had my picture taken outside of the HubSpot HQ. It was my first day as an employee.
Everyone kept saying, “You’ll learn a lot. You'll learn more than you ever thought you could learn.” They were definitely right, all of them.
While I had previous experience with advertising, promotion and marketing – I was fairly new to HubSpot and the Inbound methodology. I decided that I’d study hard and learn through my daily experiences. To my delight, the training program for HubSpot is world-class and no joke.
During new-hire training, HubSpot new hires build a website, create a content offer, develop a conversion path, drive web traffic, generate leads, publish blog posts, build a social following, leverage our Workflows App for lead nurturing and marketing automation, and present our methods to the training leaders.
And guess what? After only 30 days, I saw:
- Over 3,800 page views
- 45 new leads
- 125+ new Twitter Followers
- 16 Keywords ranked on the first page of search engine results (top ten)
- Over 45 content downloads
I was stoked to learn that my project exceeded my training leaders’ expectations. So much so that I wanted to share my method with anyone looking to expedite their learning. This prompted me to open my dusty notebook and retrace my steps to share my approach to learning HubSpot.
This is my four-week learning blueprint, a combination of in-person training, user guides, blog posts, HubSpot Academy Projects and observational anecdotes from yours truly.
Week One: Learning the Framework
In grade school we learned that sharing is caring. Inbound is all about developing and sharing helpful, educational and valuable content with our audience and the world.
By creating content that your customers love, you will attract more qualified prospects to your business and build loyalty from their first interaction with your company.
Key Takeaway #1: The Inbound Methodology (your inbound GPS)
It’s really more of a philosophy, better yet – a credo. The methodology helps to guide our actions as marketers, and is the framework to practicing inbound marketing. There are four actions an inbound marketer must take in order to generate visitors, leads, customers, and promoters. Check out the simple graphic below:
HubSpot provides the tools companies use to accomplish these actions. Look here for a complete understanding of the Inbound Methodology.
Before you go creating all of the content, we need to know one important thing: for whom are we making this content?
Key Takeaway #2: It's All About Buyer Personas
Have you ever given a gift that was more for you than the person receiving your gift? Yep, the gift has nothing to do with you - it's all about the recipient.
This is a good lesson to learn early on with inbound marketing. You need to be sure that every decision you make is for your buyer persona. Just because you like a certain marketing technique does not mean your buyer persona will like the same technique. This was hard to shake for me during this new time.
So when you're creating content, pause and be honest - is that blog post for you or for your buyer persona?
Try out these resources when developing your Buyer Personas. Remember, these are the people you want to attract to your business.
Buyer Persona Resources:
- Introduction to Buyer Personas - HubSpot Academy Video
- Creating a Buyer Persona - HubSpot Academy Projects
- makemypersona.com - Website by HubSpot
Buyer Personas and The Inbound Methodology make up the foundation for successful HubSpotting (yes, it’s a verb). Now, let’s jump into the tool and get you off the ground.
Key Takeaway #3: Content is king, and "The King" converts leads
Inbound marketing is the epitome of quid pro quo. Through blogging, for example, readers find solutions to their challenges, get educated on a topic, or receive suggestions and advice.
Marketers get the opportunity to kick off the conversion path; deliver educational content; and convert visitors into leads. HubSpot’s in-person training is the best and fastest way to learn how to build an effective conversion path. In the meantime, check out HubSpot Projects for the practice you need to "serve The King."
Content & Conversion Path Resources:
- How do conversion paths work? – HubSpot Marketing Blog
- Creating a conversion path for your content offer – HubSpot Academy Projects
- Conversion Optimization - HubSpot Academy Projects
- A Guide to Building a Killer Content Strategy - A HubSpot offer
Once you have a conversion path for your Buyer Persona, it’s time to get some attention and promote your offer. Let’s get into keywords, search engine optimization and social media.
Week Two: All About Search
Key Takeaway #1: If you're not in the top 10, you're invisible
When searching for an answer, most people don’t look past Google’s 1st page results – it’s very competitive. Focus on long-tail keywords first, build relevance and then get found online.
Keywords are just the beginning of search engine optimization – but you can rank for keywords if you approach it the right way. I strictly focused my efforts to on-page SEO. Start with these resources when approaching SEO:
- Understanding Keywords - HubSpot Academy
- On-page SEO Project - HubSpot Academy
- Building an Inbound Campaign – HubSpot In-Person Training
You should consider how people speak when optimizing for keywords. Natural language optimization is becoming more common as people change how they use search engines. Get ahead of this by considering all of the variations of your long-tail keyword.
My favorite keyword research/content idea tool is www.answerthepublic.com, hands down.
Key Takeaway #2: Publishing is only 50% of a successful social strategy
Social is so much more than posting, it’s monitoring, responding and analysis. Don’t neglect your social monitoring streams. There’s no luck in social media. Luck is the convergence of opportunity and preparedness; luckily HubSpot can help you with that.
We, as people, have developed a skill to spot mass communication – and we hate it. Lead with social by communicating with your prospects, leads and customers differently. HubSpot makes this easy.
Social Media Resources:
- 5 Steps for Successful Social Media Marketing – HubSpot Marketing Blog
- How to use Social Monitoring to engage with Prospects – HubSpot User Guide
- How to use Social Monitoring to engage with Leads – HubSpot User Guide
- How to use Social Monitoring to engage with Customers – HubSpot User Guide
Week Three: Building time back into your workday
Key Takeaway #1: Earn your time back with Smart Lists
Smart Lists should be your go-to app when thinking of new ways to get more people to subscribe to your blog, convert on your landing page - all of the marketing activities you do every day. You can create lists in HubSpot to segment and manage your database more effectively.
Do you want everyone who has seen your landing page but didn’t fill out a form to be segmented into a list? You can do that. Check out these training resources that helped improve the quality of my communication.
Smart Lists Resources:
- What’s the difference between smart and static lists? – HubSpot Academy
- Understanding And/Or criteria in Lists – HubSpot Customer Blog (Support Series)
- Everything you can do with Lists in HubSpot – HubSpot Customer Blog
Key Takeaway #2: Workflows allow you to work smarter, not harder.
It was love at first use. I was blown away by everything that the Workflows tool can do for marketers. From executing lead nurturing campaigns to automated task generation for internal teams, workflows can do it all, so you can focus on your goals.
Workflows are complex and very powerful. I would recommend starting off with simple workflows and building upon them. Check out these projects and resources to jump start your efforts.
- A quick tour of workflows – HubSpot User Guide
- How to set up a Workflow in HubSpot – HubSpot User Guide
- How to set a goal to focus your workflow’s objective – HubSpot User Guide
- Set up a lead nurturing workflow – HubSpot Projects
- Save time with HubSpot’s Workflow Recipes – HubSpot User Guide
- Lead Management and Automation – HubSpot In-Person Training
Please note Workflows are only available for Professional and Enterprise customers.
Week Four: Measuring Success with Analytics and Reporting
Key Takeaway #1: Reporting is not (always) a daily activity
One big, huge, over-the-top “ah-ha!” moment I had was realizing that there is a difference between monitoring performance to measure success and actually building, executing and speaking to a formal report.
For now, I will share the basics. Depending on what you want to know, you will want to look at different analytics in HubSpot.
Driving Traffic: Check your Sources Report, Keywords, social media and Page Performance.
Generating Leads: Leverage landing page performance, list performance, lead scoring and the marketing dashboard for information.
Closing Customers: Look at your workflow performance, email performance, CTA dashboard and list performance.
Creating Promoters: Measure delight through social monitoring and email performance. Try integrating Survey Monkey and ask your customers for their thoughts and opinions. Learn how to integrate Survey Monkey here.
It’s important to look at your data; analyze everything. Without it, you can't make good marketing decisions for the future.
Check this out: I have made a quick reference guide for where to look when monitoring performance. Download it here and share it with the world.
- A quick tour of Reports Home – HubSpot User Guide
- Reports User Guide – HubSpot User Guide
- Measure Effective Conversions – HubSpot Academy Projects
- How do I manage my reports in HubSpot – HubSpot Quick Answers
Congratulations, you made it. Now, keep it up!
This is my approach learning HubSpot. No tricks, just some hard work and a desire to learn. I hope this will help you to tackle this beautiful beast known as HubSpot. Good Luck!
You will sharpen your skills over time. However, this should help you achieve "lift-off" with HubSpot. Leave a comment - if sharing is caring and knowledge is power, together we can accomplish anything.
If you want to ramp up faster join us for a HubSpot in-person course in your city!