When I was a kid, I convinced my parents to buy me an expensive pair of roller blades -- I was going to be an X-Games athlete. (Watch out, world.)
However, my expectation of that process was much different than the reality I experienced. I thought the purchasing of the equipment would be the biggest step to my success, but it was only the beginning.
The same is true with HubSpot.
if you go into using the tools thinking that just possessing them will make you successful, you’ll end up asking the same question my parents did eventually, “Why did we spend our money on this?”
I talked about it at IMPACT Live '18, give it a watch!
You don't want that. And I don't want that for you. So, here are the most important things you and your team can do to avoid falling into this disappointment trap with HubSpot.
Carina's Secrets to Long-Term HubSpot Success
Once More with Feeling, Own It!
We already talked about this, but I can’t stress it enough. The most successful HubSpot-lovin' organizations I've seen all have employees (or teams of employees) who have taken it upon themselves to own their organization's success with HubSpot.
How do you make sure you're owning it and on your way to becoming an expert?
Get Educated & Engaged, Of Course!
One of my favorite things about HubSpot is the community of users that has formed around it. There are a ton of different resources to get educated on the platform and make your way to mastery.
Here are a few of my favorites:
*Shameless Plug Alert!* We created this Slack group as a place for any and all HubSpot users to congregate, share ideas and ask questions.
There are channels for all of the different Hubs (marketing, sales, and service), plus feeds of every product update announcement and HubSpot User blog post. Want to join? We'd love to have you.
Similar idea to the HubSpot User Slack, but this forum is created and moderated by HubSpot. It's a platform where any user can post questions, and other users -- including HubSpot employees -- can provide answers or ideas.
My favorite piece of HubSpot's Community is the Ideas forum, where users submit feature and functionality requests for things they wish the tools had or did. You can comment on Ideas and upvote them. The benefit here is that the HubSpot Product team actually looks at these and will prioritize ideas with the most upvotes if they can.
HubSpot has an entire team of people who are dedicated to helping users be successful not only with the product, but also with inbound marketing, sales, and service strategies.
This team has produced an impressive amount of content over the years, ranging from written user guides to certifications -- which include hours and hours of video lessons and trainings. HubSpot Academy should be your go-to resource for learning tool sand strategies.
Depending on how you like to learn, they've got different types of content:
These are written, tool-by-tool and step-by-step overviews that walk you through how to set up or create different things within HubSpot. If I don't know how to use a tool or have questions about limitations, I always start with the user guide for that tool.
When I first started using HubSpot, they had maybe... five different certifications. They now are pushing 20+ certifications and counting.
I've already recommended the Marketing Software and Inbound certifications, but what you select next will be dependent on your goals and strategies. That said, their Email Marketing and Content Marketing certifications are also at the top of my recommendation list for those looking to make the most out of HubSpot.
Once you've gotten your certifications, you may need refreshers at certain points or may be interested in learning about specific aspects of the tools or specific strategies. The Academy has their content broken out into individual lessons so you can search for exactly what you're looking to learn about.
Don't Be Shy, Ask for Help!
HubSpot is a robust tool -- even people like me don't have all the answers.
You will likely run into situations regularly when you either can't find an answer to your question or don't understand how to do something you want to do in the tools. Being engaged in the above communities will give you a place to ask for help and form relationships with other power users who can help you think creatively to solve your problems.
Don't underestimate how powerful this can be!
Rookie Mistakes to Avoid with HubSpot Marketing
“I’ll just get in there and figure it out.”
Sigh. Famous last words right there, folks.
While many of HubSpot’s marketing tools are user-friendly and relatively easy to learn, you can save loads of “trial-and-error” time by diving into the training/education materials I mentioned above and in previous chapters right at the start of your time with the platform.
By learning about the different tools and features through lessons and certifications before you start setting HubSpot up, you'll save yourself a ton of frustration.
“I’ll just fit in learning HubSpot along with all my other varied responsibilities.”
Oh, the lies we tell ourselves. Yeah, and I'll totally write that novel I've been talking for ages during coffee breaks. You need to dedicate time to learn the tools if you’re going to get value out of them. That doesn’t only mean learning how to click buttons, but educating yourself what you should be doing in the tools.
“I’ll just hire an agency to set everything up for me.”
While there are plenty of HubSpot Partner Agencies that would love to work with you -- 👋 hi, we do this -- to get your new HubSpot portal ready, the worst thing you can do when getting started is pass off your entire portal setup to a third party.
- Have you ever had a website with lots of custom development built -- and every single time you want to make a change, you have to call your developer and pay them to make an update? If you haven’t you probably know someone that does. Unfortunately, the same thing can happen with HubSpot. When you hire an outside agency to do everything for you in HubSpot, it's easy to release ownership of it, and responsibility for it. But you'll pay for it later with a lack of autonomy.
- If you ever stop working with that agency, all of that knowledge is gone. If I had a nickel for every time I heard a client say, "I don't why that's there or what that is, our old agency set that up." I'd have at least... a couple dollars. Be involved. Don't disengage. You'll regret it later when circumstances change.
- You’ll end up paying an agency hundreds of dollars to do things in HubSpot that would take someone on your team less than an hour. When you have an understanding of how the tools work and how to do things in them, you'll quickly know which things you can set up yourself and which things you need help with. So, plan for the future -- and save your money.
"...So, I Shouldn't Work with an Agency?"
Not at all. You can -- and, in some cases, should -- work with an agency.
What I'm saying is that you shouldn't release all of the responsibility of your success with HubSpot to anyone outside of your team. You have to own it. The beauty is, when you own it, you can leverage the expertise and experience of Partner Agencies to really crush it with the tools.