If you’re somewhere in between a total beginner and a modest level of experience when it comes to your understanding of inbound fundamentals, HubSpot Academy’s Inbound course will definitely be worth your time. As someone with previous experience creating content (like blog posts and landing pages) for inbound marketing agencies, with more of an intuitive, loosey-goosey grasp on the core concepts but no clear definitions, this course gave me a lot of “a-ha” moments.
After learning the principles of the inbound methodology flywheel, it finally came together in my brain why I had been previously contracted to write ‘how-to’ blog posts without ever mentioning the company’s specific products or services. It’s all about attracting, engaging, and delighting people in an educational way. If those words mean nothing to you right now, I recommend buckling up and getting ready to have your mind blown (depending on how much marketing standards excite you).
HubSpot Academy's Video Courses and Certifications
The video lessons provide clear, concise building blocks (usually about 3-5 minutes long) that establish key definitions, concepts, and practical applications of inbound marketing principles. Just like Legos, these videos stack perfectly on top of one another, block by block, to leave you with a satisfying and complete structure. You can choose to build yourself a little spaceship of comprehension by just watching one chunk of a video lesson or you can do a deep dive and build out the whole universe of inbound marketing with HubSpot Academy’s entire array of courses and certifications. Seriously, they have everything. From email marketing to social media and sales enablement to contextual marketing, the platform covers all the ins and outs of the industry to help boost the success of your business. But don’t worry, I’m only going to be talking about the Inbound Certification today.
How to Pass the Exam the First Time
All in all, the videos are well-produced and the scripts deliver concepts in quality, easy-to-digest snippets. However, if you’re prone to distractions like me, you’ll probably want to take a few extra measures to make sure you’re fully prepared to absorb the curriculum.
Check the Video Speed
My first tip for passing the Inbound Certification is to make sure you’re playing the video at a speed that is appropriate for your learning style. At the bottom of each video window, there is an adjustable play speed button that allows you to watch the video at 50%, 100%, 150%, or 200% speed. In my opinion, the presenters in each video speak the way I imagine a snail would talk, so I almost always bump the play speed up to 150%. This helps to ensure that my mind doesn’t wander off in the middle of a sentence and the curriculum moves fast enough that I want to pay attention.
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Take Quality Notes
I’m a steadfast lover of all things stationery, so I began the video series with a beautifully blank legal pad and my favorite fine-tipped pen at my side, ready to take some notes. While I wouldn’t recommend copying the slides verbatim, I would issue a word of caution for overly confident test-takers like myself: make sure you jot down any specific statistics that are mentioned in the video. I promise you, they will come back to haunt you, even if you understand the underlying concept a statistic is related to. I failed the exam the first time because I missed too many of the numbers-related questions and got blocked from retaking the test for another twelve hours. Luckily, in my position, I had ample time to review the videos and retake the test, but if you or your employer are under a time crunch and you need to pass the exam the first time, writing down the numbers is a must.
If taking notes really isn’t your style, you’re in luck. At the bottom of every video, you can click on the ‘Resources’ tab to uncover a wealth of information and cheat sheets. The resources include downloadable versions of the slides, video transcripts, related blog posts, and workbooks for maximum comprehension. In the same vein, you can also mute the audio on the video and just opt for closed captioning if that aligns more closely with your learning style.
Don't Underestimate the Material
Another way to set yourself up for success before you even open the exam is to not underestimate the difficulty of each course. I know, if I had read this blog post before taking the test I might have rolled my eyes, too. Online certifications are usually laughably easy and for a lot of programs, you could easily guess the correct answers without glancing at the lessons. HubSpot Academy has higher standards.
I wish I had known the level of scrutiny I would need to dedicate to each question before I took the exam for the first time. While not intentionally tricky, the questions are designed to truly test your comprehension of the subject matter. In many cases, all of the answers will be correct, but it is a matter of selecting the most appropriate answer based on the context of the question. If you’re dedicated to getting your Inbound Certification on the first try, take the material seriously and make sure you read each question and answer carefully.
Benefits of Getting HubSpot Academy's Inbound Certificate
A lot of that information was about how to pass the exam, but another important reason why you probably came to this blog post was to find out why you should get the certification. What’s really in it for you? Well, that all depends on your position and goals.
As a content writer, being able to write a blog post that ranks high for SEO and being able to write a blog post that actually interests an audience and provides them with useful information are two completely different things. The level to which you educate yourself will guide your marketing tactics and practices, influencing the level of social engagement, website traffic, or other metrics you’re interested in improving.
That’s not to say that watching a few videos and slapping a HubSpot Certification on your LinkedIn profile will magically make your business grow, but it does demonstrate your dedication to understanding an ever-evolving market. The way consumers want to buy products and services changes all the time. As an individual in the world of marketing, you need to be able to stay on top of these changing attitudes and shape your business to anticipate and meet the needs of its prospective clients.
Better Marketing for Better Business
So, I’ll ask again: why bother getting a HubSpot Academy Certification? The bottom line is that you won’t regret a few hours spent developing your professional toolbox when it equips you with valuable business skills to better understand your contacts. Whether you’re completely new to the information or you’re just looking for a quick (and totally free) refresher, the Inbound Certification program meets all levels and learning styles to make you an inbound expert. At least when it comes to the fundamentals.