Extremely grateful, that's how I feel every time I think about my transition into the world of inbound marketing. It’s been a long journey; from getting my bachelor’s degree in marketing, to applying that knowledge to what were then my college jobs and internships, to finally getting my foot in the door at a digital marketing agency.
What I enjoy most about my job is that I am able to help businesses, of all shapes and sizes, grow. That is important to me because I truly believe that business is responsible for long term human prosperity. Behind every business there are real people, who are simply trying to make an honest living by providing consumers with the goods or services that they want. Not only that, but most business owners have families to provide for. Even if they don’t, I take great solace in knowing that they are providing employment opportunities for individuals who might otherwise not have a steady income.
I am very fortunate to be working at a place that is willing to invest in me as much as HIVE has, and even though I’m still relatively new to our agency, I have learned a ton about inbound marketing. Here are my top 5 biggest takeaways from working in inbound marketing.
1. Workflows can be used for just about anything and everything.
The more I use workflows, the more I want to automate everything. It brings a tremendous amount of value to any organization that knows how to utilize it properly. There are the obvious and standard uses for workflows like sorting new contacts, automatically tagging new blog subscribers, sending out high value content offers, or your basic thank you emails. But there's so much more that could be automated!
Workflows have so many great features to choose from between building blocks, productivity, marketing, sales, contact properties, and triggers; that it really opens up a world of possibilities. They make even the most complicated process more streamlined, and gives HubSpot users the added security of knowing those little action items don’t slip through the cracks.
A great example of how you can use workflows in a creative and unorthodox way would be to design an automated new client on-boarding process. Complete with new client enrollment triggers, hand-off emails, and automated task reminders.
Thinking about new ways to automate actions and processes for multiple contacts at once is so convenient, it’s almost laughable. Which brings me to my next takeaway.
2. Don’t be afraid to use humor.
When I first started here at HIVE I was very reserved, all business and no play. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it’s important to lighten up a little to boost morale. After all, you’re part of a team, and nobody wants to be around a robot all day. The same advice goes for networking events, you’re much more likely to engage with potential new clients by being your fun, natural self.
It’s still important to be professional, but you don’t have to act like you’re meeting your girlfriend's parents for the first time at church.
I’ve found it’s also beneficial to use humor in your copywriting. It conveys personality in whatever you’re writing. Whether it be for your agency, or clients. Obviously, you should still use your discretion. You wouldn’t want to make light of a campaign that has serious overtones.
3. Be good looking, and don’t be bad looking.
I’ve been told that a little bit of good looks and charisma goes a long way, but we all do what we can. I for one have to compensate for my asymmetrical face by reminding people of my sparkling personality and rich blood line.
Seriously though, it's important to put your best foot forward for you and your agency. Taking the initiative to look professional shows clients that you are taking their account seriously and that you value their time. Another aspect to consider is how easily perceptions can become reality. Imagine you were the client and you scheduled time out of your busy day to have a marketing meeting. I'm sure if you saw your account manger looking like a slob that you'd perceive him or her to be lazy. Now you have to work extra hard to overcome the poor impression you left them with.
4. Don’t be overly apologetic.
You can’t please everyone all the time, and this applies to clients too. By being overly apologetic you think you’re helping to grease the wheels of the client relationship by acknowledging your mistakes and holding yourself “extra accountable,” but there are unintended consequences. Because what you end up doing is training them to not trust you, and you’re giving them the opportunity to voice their dissatisfaction with your deliverables. Even if the criticism is unwarranted! That’s not to say that account managers shouldn’t hold themselves accountable, but sometimes if you give an inch they’ll take a mile.
All that being said, most clients are great to work with. And as I mentioned earlier, helping these clients succeed in business gives my life purpose and direction. So thank you clients of HIVE!
5. Don’t be afraid to fail.
I realize that this seems like generic life advice that you might have heard at a graduation ceremony, but it’s true. Make those email templates, draft those workflows, and write those blog posts. Just use your discretion and trust yourself. If you make a mistake, then make sure to reflect on that experience and learn something from the ordeal so that you don’t repeat that mistake.
If you prioritize mitigating risk, you probably won’t be challenging yourself or progressing as quickly as you could. Of course it's okay to still ask questions and get help, but it will serve you well to be independent and self sufficient. It is nerve racking at first, but life is all about conquering your fears!
So whenever I start to feel the pressures and anxieties of getting up to speed I like to remember what the famous Roman leader, Julius Caesar, once famously said, “experience is the teacher of all things.” And I believe it was Jedi Master Yoda who said, “the greatest teacher, failure is.”
Call these takeaways what you will, (lessons, epiphanies, irresponsible advice) but I truly value them and I hope others can also appreciate these takeaways and implement them into their roles, whatever they may be. I look forward to continuing my personal and professional growth right here at HIVE Digital Strategy, and I’m eager to help our clients thrive!