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The true power of HubSpot Academy (HubHeroes, Ep. 29)
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We do our best to plan out every HubHeroes podcast episode in advance, so we can guarantee you always get the most out of HubHeroes every time you...
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Alright, HubHeroes, we are back for Email Marketing and HubSpot Part II: ELECTRIC BOOGALOO! In our last episode, we told the epic tale of how email...
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When we talk about email marketing, we have to acknowledge that we've all come a long, long way since ...
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Agency vet, content therapist, messaging strategist, HubHero wrangler.
HubSpotter, partner enabler, strategy wizard, BLACK@INBOUND.
HubSpotter, senior solutions engineer, CRM evangelist, a millennial on TikTok.
HubHeroes leader, growth catalyst, guardian of humans, HubSpot expert.
George B. Thomas (01:11):
Devin, I have to agree with you that junk PO me up, dude. Like I just, I, I wanna listen to that almost every time before we start, because it's like, yes, yes. And by the way, the social gentlemen have said things about the artwork. They've said things about the intro episode one, and people are already pulling out quotes from things that you said that impacted their lives.
And I'm gonna be honest with you. I'm super excited and blessed because usually, you don't see that till episodes 10 episode, 20 episodes 30, so community. Thank you. Thank you, hub heroes, for letting us know that you're enjoying what we're doing on the social. Keep it coming because all of this, all the value that we're adding is coming because we love you. And we wanna see you become the hub hero of your company. Now, today we're actually diving into a conversation that is around the attract phase inbound methodology.
We're gonna kind of backtrack and Devon and max, and I will unpack this whole larger philosophy of attract, engage, convert, but then we're gonna dive in deep to the attract and answer the question, what the is great content anyway, because man, there are some buzz words and some conversations that happen on the internet that make me just wanna hide my head in the sand or hit it on a brick wall.
Or anyway, gentlemen, let's start with the larger philosophy historically, when you've trained people on this attract engaged, convert, how do you take them from, I think I know, or I have zero clue to, oh ––
Max Cohen (02:46):
If we're bringing it back to the inbound methodology, right? Like we're talking about attract today. I think one of the biggest reasons this should have been an early episode, which it is, and I'm glad we're doing it as an early episode, is that like, this is the most important part of inbound or at least one of the most important parts of inbound that is really difficult to do. And a lot of people ignore it because it's very hard. And I think also people have some like misconceptions about what it actually is. My kind of fire around obsessing around this stage very much comes back from like my days of doing onboarding when HubSpot was primarily a marketing tool,, the problem was, is like a lot of people wanted to use HubSpot, but they didn't want to create content, which was literally when it comes to an inbound marketing strategy.
That's the gas in the car, getting marketing software <laugh> and, and deploying some sort of marketing strategy and not having an emphasis on the content behind it is like buying a car and not putting gasoline and getting HubSpot, which is a fantastic marketing tool and not creating content is like buying a Ferrari without putting gasoline in it. It just doesn't make sense. You know, I'm thinking hopefully today we can have a really good conversation around like, what does attract mean? What is content, how do the two play together, and some of the more tactical pieces around it? My fire behind this subject is just seeing so many people hyper-focusing on the wrong things when it comes to this stage and not wanting to approach the 800-pound elephant or not, that's a small elephant, but you know, the 20 to elephant in the room that is creating content.
George B. Thomas (04:17):
It's literally honey, I shrunk the elephant, uh, episode 57 or movie trailer, 57 Devin. I am gonna kick it over to you for a second, but I love max that you're bringing up this idea of gas. I've actually gone a layer deeper when I talked about this historically because it's like without the engine content literally is your engine. When I talk about content is your engine. I'm literally talking about three different layers of this engine, right? You've got like a VA to V6. This is a V3. This is the engine for social media.
This is the engine for sales. And this is the engine for SEO. So you need to understand content comes back to everything that you're actually gonna do. So imagine max talked about the Ferrari minus the gas, imagine the Ferrari minus the engine. You look sexy in your driveway, but Hey, you ain't going nowhere. You ain't making an impact. And so you have to think about the content being the engine of your marketing sales and social efforts. Devin, go ahead and wax poetic for us a little bit.
Devyn Bellamy (05:16):
Don't mind if I do the thing is with content I don't care what vertical you're in. I don't care what you do. I don't care what your company does. There are content opportunities, my little secret sauce for getting content. The very first thing I do, I go to the salespeople and I say, what's the one question you're answering over and over again. What's the one question that comes up on every call. The one slide that's in your slide deck. Just so you can answer the question ahead of time. That is, to me, one of your first steps is getting content there. Another thing that's important with content is that it's not about you. Then, about you, is further down the line right now. This is about the industry. This is about problems in general, and this may come as a shock to you.
They might not even be problems that you solve as a company. They might just be things that you're writing about, but Devon you say, why would I write about something that doesn't involve me or that I can't fix? What you're doing with content is you're positioning yourself as a trustworthy thought leader. You're positioning yourself to say, Hey, when people look at me, they know that I know what I'm talking about when it comes to their industry in general, not just my little niche section, I always talk about two different industries. I talk about car mechanics and, and repair shops. I always talk about showers because I've had to do so much research on these subjects. It's annoying. I've worked for a SaaS company, that had nothing to do with social media, and had nothing to do with marketing. We put out an ebook about social media and it blew up. And not only did it blow up, but our lead flow increased so much. We had to increase the size of our sales team. And they knew that we weren't doing anything about social media, but the way we were pushing them down the buyer's journey into actually talking about the problem that we were actually solving. This is what got them in the door. This is what attracted
George B. Thomas (07:27):
Them. Yeah. There's so much there that I wanna unpack. And max, I'll kick it back to you here in a second, but there's literally a term that we use for what you're talking about. And it's literally drafting. Like if you know anything about NASCAR, the car behind the car in front of it is, is drafting. It's being pulled. It's using less gas and there's a way that you can literally pull to the side and you can draft around them. And when you think about the topics that are around the problems that you solve, the topics that are around the aspirations that your potential client might have, and you start to write around those, you draft into the winner circle because it is content that is useful to them. But also is a side piece of where you're going in, what Devon said. And I will say even less pushing them down the buyer's journey, but pulling them into the center of you, the buyer's journey.
But if I go one level back for a second before I kick it back over to max I want everybody to realize we already use the word trust, attract equals trust, attract equals thought leadership. Why is that important? We haven't used this word yet. And everybody needs to understand that it is a real thing. Trust me, as somebody who has recently started their own business reciprocity is real. If you add enough value to the world, if you create content that evokes an emotional response, if you focus on these topics that draft people into what you can actually help them do, they're like, of course, I would work with you. Why wouldn't I we'll talk about more pieces that I just listed out? But max, where is your brain thus far on this conversation we're –
Max Cohen (09:04):
Having. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah. I, I wrote down three things that Devin said that I wanna drill into with the most ferocity here. He said at the beginning, that no matter your industry content works, this is something a lot of people lose sight of. I can't tell you how many times I've worked with a company. That's like, we sell to businesses. So we're not gonna do this funny blog thing.
We sell to businesses. So we don't do any social media market. They keep away from all this like funny-sounding internet marketing stuff in their eyes. It's almost as if they're literally forgetting that they don't sell to sentient buildings with arms, right? When you're selling to a business, you're selling to people. That's why like you hear me go around all the time saying, oh, you know, there isn't B2B there. Isn't B2C. There's only B to H I've been saying that forever because it's true.
No matter what, you're always selling to humans. So you need to kind of keep that in mind. Content is something for a human being to consume human beings, work at the companies you're trying to sell to. Okay. There, isn't a concept really of selling to a business. I'm sorry. You sell to humans. And that's why content's super important. Devin. You also said your content's not about you and yeah, sure. It's not about what you're interested in. It's about the goals and challenges that your customers have. But to take that idea a step further, when we say content's not for you, content should not just be seen as your lead generation machine. When I hear people say, oh, I got a lead magnet. I wanna vomit because the second you start thinking of content as just something that's gonna help you get leads, you've completely lost.
Focus on why you're creating it in the first place. You both talked a lot about building trust with your content and being positioned as a thought leader. If you're just putting content out there to get people, to give you their email addresses, you've completely missed the book. Your content should be out there. And the mindset that you should be in when you're creating content is truly to genuinely educate people, get leads, get people that are interested, getting people to build trust with you. That should all be a byproduct of what your mindset should be as a marketer. And that's, I'm creating content. That's gonna help people get closer to achieving a certain goal that they have or overcoming a challenge that's in the way, cuz it's the only way content adds value. The last little thing that you kind of mentioned there, you were working at a SaaS company, but you went and created an ebook about social media.
There is such a valuable list in here for all those folks that get analysis paralysis about what sort of content should I create? You should never under any circumstances say to yourself, we can't create content about X subject because we don't sell something that has to do with that or our product doesn't do that. That is like the best way to just make sure you never create content that people care about when you're only talking about stuff that your product actually does or has a very direct impact on you gotta remember no matter who you're selling to those folks, play some sort of role in their professional or personal life. And they have different goals and challenges around different things that may not have to yet be about what it is that you're selling. So when you pigeon your hole yourself into just talking about a very, very narrow sort of layer or chunk of subject matter, you're missing the potentiality of being able to like become a thought leader for all these other people.
I used HubSpot as an example for this all the time. Well before HubSpot had any sort of integration with Instagram, we created tons of content about how to market yourself on Instagram, because we knew marketers to who we were trying to sell wanted to know how to market themselves on Instagram. We didn't let the fact that our product didn't have integration or didn't do anything with Instagram. Stop us from doing that. And neither should anyone listen to this podcast. If you have something valuable to say to the people you're trying to sell to say it, help them educate them. Don't hold back. The last thing you need to do is say, what's the content that we shouldn't make, right? Because it's generally not ever gonna be helpful.
George B. Thomas (12:54):
I love it. And Devin, I'm coming back to you. I feel like I'm like the net on the tennis court, the players back and forth here. A couple of things I wanna unpack. First of all, ding, ding, ding, ding. We have our first Scrabble word of the hub heroes podcast. Max used the word. Might I say sentient because your, your sentient building with arms and legs? I absolutely love that part by the way. What I wanna do right now though is say, listeners. I'm curious about your thoughts on what Devon and max have laid down so far. Make sure you use the hashtag hub heroes podcast and let us know we're gonna keep drilling down further. I want to get into this. What truly is great content, but I've gotta pull out one word. I'm only pulling this one word out, max that used because it's so dang important for people to focus on.
And that is if you ever want to be successful, might I say just that business in general, but at the attract phase, the word max used that everybody should write down in their notepad is care. How do I care? How do I care with passion? How do I care with passion around the person? How do I care with passion around the topic? How do I care with passion about helping other people reach the success that they're trying to reach? Because if you come with an attitude of caring of empathy, of walking a mile in those folks, moccasins and serve them with the content that you create, it will be a victorious moment for your marketing team, your sales team, your business in general, Devon, what are your thoughts?
Devyn Bellamy (14:27):
The thing is, is that you have to demonstrate that you care about the industry and not your piece of it. And you care about solving your customer's problems and not just the problems that you know, how to solve. And just as a quick note, you might find something that you don't know how to solve, but you know, somebody who does know how to solve it. And so you white label the other person's services and boom, more money, but that's a whole separate conversation. You're not ready for that level of sauce. So we'll go back to talking about a track phase. The important thing is to make sure that you are demonstrating that you are an industry thought leader. The thing is, is that as max was saying, people try and pigeonhole themselves because their industry isn't quote-unquote sexy. I had a conversation with a customer once who said, well, we sell janitorial supplies.
There is nothing sexy about janitorial supplies. There's nothing right about it. It's like, listen, people love nerding out. Everyone nerds out about something. And for everything, there is someone who is nerding out about it. You can talk about the different hand dryer options in the pros and cons. And what's so annoying about them, but talk about it through the lens of a maintenance person, not a user and the maintenance. Person's gonna read that and be like, oh my gosh, I know, right? Or you can talk about like a cost-benefit analysis on different kinds of paper towels versus the kind of reusable cloth ones and all that stuff. Someone is going to find that interesting to cater to those people. People think that, oh, I'm writing this blog. And it only got 700 views so far. It's like, are you kidding me? 700 views on niche content. That means that 700 people who are more than likely qualified to hear about what it is that you have to go on and are more interested in the industry in general than someone who's gotten 10 million hits, 10 million hits. Those might be bots. Who knows, but I can tell you that not everyone's gonna be qualified, especially if you're doing something special, focus on nerding out.
George B. Thomas (16:45):
Yeah. It's funny cuz, and I'll talk about this later. You guys remind me to talk about a default state that your brain goes into when you get into the content mindset. But literally, Devin, as you were telling the janitorial story, I was like, dude, that's seven pieces of XYZ equipment that the magic eraser clean that will blow your mind. Mr. Clean magic eraser. Like there are always ways to spin. What people think is boring into something that is juicy. And you just have to have this mindset of you'll be talking to your sales rep. You'll be talking to your CEO, you'll be talking to your wife. And all of a sudden you're like, oh SHS, that's a piece of content.
Max Cohen (17:25):
I think we should also remember that the discovery channel managed to make crab fishing sexy.
Devyn Bellamy (17:30):
Oh yeah. Dude,
Max Cohen (17:31):
If you can make crab fishing sexy, you can make literally any other industry sexy. The other thing you gotta remember too is that there is so much stuff about being in that industry that you can talk about. And when someone is in a certain industry or they have a certain job, they're generally trying to figure out either how to do it better or how to overcome certain challenges or how to make things easier for themselves, no matter what it is. And guess what people aren't going to their local library to figure out how to do that. They're looking it up on their phone argument of all. I can't create content because my industry is just like almost never true.
George B. Thomas (18:05):
So let's spin this and let's start to talk about it because all of us, by the way, create content, when you sit down to either ideate or actually create or whatever it be in that process, what are the things that you think are vital for you and others to bring to the table when you're actually in that content creation space. So we can again, tie into that title, what the heck is, great content anyway, the word great could be anything. What do we truly mean? And what are the elements that have to be at play? This
Max Cohen (18:37):
This is where everyone really, really needs to start listening. I think because oftentimes you will see marketers just say, oh yeah, make a piece of content and then do all these other crazy things. Here are 40 different ways you can share it. Here's how you can cut it up and turn it into a TikTok here's you can send it to emails, blah, blah. And they never like to address making the piece of content, to begin with. And that is always gonna be 10 times harder than any other strategy to distribute it. And like all these marketers, they never wanna approach that subject. All they want you to do is to get you to buy some book that shows you how to cut up this magical piece of content you pulled outta your ass and all of a sudden make money from it. Guess
George B. Thomas (19:13):
What? Guess what? We're approaching the conversation right now. People so tune in. Yeah.
Max Cohen (19:19):
Let's talk about it. So I talk a lot about marketing physics, right? I keep saying that all the time, but the physics discussion really does come down to the content piece. When you say like, what is a good piece of content? What does that actually mean? The first thing you should do is completely remove the idea of what format it is. I generally don't care if it's a blog post. If it's a video, if it's a newsletter, if it's a whatever, ultimately the format does not mean anything. If the substance isn't good. So what makes the good substance of the content good content helps someone when they consume that piece of content, no matter the medium, when they consume that piece of content, it gets them closer to achieving a goal or overcoming a challenge. When that happens, that's where someone actually receives a value. Why do we wanna make sure we're doing that with our content?
Two big reasons. One, it doesn't matter how well you optimize that piece of content. If you do not create what people are looking for, they have no reason to find you in the first place. So let's talk about that. You could hella optimize your business' website to be the most optimized from an SEO perspective about the specific product you sell and your brand name. Well guess what if people never heard of you, why would they be Googling you? Why would they be looking for you if they haven't been specifically told by somebody that you exist and they already have a problem that they know that you can solve? There's no reason for them to be searching for you. That's a very small amount of people who are already doing that. So good content. You wanna create that. So people are actually looking for people, and use search engines to overcome goals and challenges, no matter how micro or how macro they are.
Pizza near me is a goal. E even though it's broader, why is my sales team not hitting its quota in a specific industry? That's more specific, but that's a challenge. Your goal is to hit your sales quota, your challenge is that your sales team isn't doing it, no matter how specific or broad it gets, there's always some sort of underlying goal or challenge. So that's the first piece of people that need to be looking for it. The second reason it's important to focus on goals and challenges is that when someone actually consumes your piece of content to get them in that second, to like dedicate their time to actually read that content, you probably, you know, either advertise it in a certain way or had some sort of tagline or subject line or whatever that got them to think, Hey, I'm gonna get something valuable.
If I give some time to consume this, if that content doesn't get, 'em closer to achieving that goal or overcoming that challenge and you've taken away time, they've spent on it. You've created clickbait. You've broken their trust. You've actually detracted. They're seeing you in a negative light now. So you wanna make sure this is where that trust is built. You're presenting something, Hey, read this, watch this, listen to this. You will learn X, Y, Z. They go, oh, okay. That sounds great. And when they consume it and they actually do it, the trust is built because they said, Hey, they said it was gonna be this and what I got matched, what I expected and I am better for it. Now I now trust you a little bit more and it's really important. Your content does this in the attract phase. Because when we talk about the engagement phase later, that generally happens after you've captured someone's information. And they're not gonna give you your information if they don't trust you, or they're gonna give you fake information. That's a whole nother conversation past that. Again, you want to think about what makes good content, something that gets someone closer to achieving a certain goal or a challenge or overcome it a challenge because of those two big reasons.
Devyn Bellamy (22:40):
My goal is to be selfless in the content that I create because I know that as much as I want to generate a lead, as fun as that is, and as good as that feels, the more important thing just like max said is to add value and give someone the opportunity to grow after interacting with you. And the only way you can do that is by being selfless in what you offer in my community. We have a, a saying that says the game is sold and not told the thing is, is that it's okay to tell the game, because especially when you operate on the level that we operate in most businesses that are successful operate, as soon as people start seeing how it's done, they're like, I don't want to do that. You can do that. If you're talking about, for instance, shower manufacturing, if you're showing people what to look for in a shower, the qualities of the shower, the important things to avoid when you're looking at showers, even if, even if some of those shortcomings are in your product, that's okay. They will respect your honesty and integrity. And they will. What's that word trust you. You got to make sure that every interaction that you have with a customer, be it content, be it personal, whatever it is, they're the better off for it. It can't just be about you and generating leads and making money. That's gonna come. If you get your customer closer to their goal,
George B. Thomas (24:18):
I have to unpack a couple of things. One max, when you're talking, do you guys remember the movie, Tommy boy, Tommy boy. He talked about a guaranteed turd. They used a different term, but like I can guarantee anything. I can G you want to guarantee turd, max. I went there because you're talking about optimization. Are you optimizing a turd or are you actually got SEO going on? Something that's actually magical and ready, to be leveraged to impact the world? But here's the thing, fundamentally, I think about this way different than most people, because we've even mentioned if I generate a lead. Well, here's the thing. Everybody needs to know that I don't think of HubSpot forms or any form tool as a tool for lead generation. I look at any form of tool for a conversation starter. So if my focus is on starting conversations, that means I'm starting conversations with potential friends.
And what do I do with friends? Will I help friends? And if I think of them as friends, that I'm going to eventually have a conversation with, then I lean in with caring again, the word care. But what I want everybody to realize is, unfortunately, when it comes to content creation, people care about the wrong things and don't care about the right things. Meaning when I step in front of the camera, ladies, and gentlemen, I don't care what you think about me. I don't care if you think I'm fat. I don't care if you think I'm thin. I don't think if you care if I have a big nose, large ears, and a really weird voice, but what I do care about is I care about if you're gonna be successful. I care if this piece of content is gonna help. I care about the value that is coming out of my mouth, into the world.
That one five, 5,000, 20,000 people will watch over the next 2, 8, 10, and 12 years. That's what you need to care about is the impact over time of the information that you're educating or entertaining or just leveraging for helping people. It will circle back around because you're talking to your friends to start a conversation into revenue, but you can't come from this conversion revenue mindset and it ever is great content. Now you might get lucky here or there, but I'm telling you the businesses that lean in on the human side, the businesses that lean on the side of actually putting good into the world, what you sow, you will reap. Those are the companies that won't have a problem getting to this next level, content creation, having the V8 engine in their Corvette or their Viper or whatever vehicle it is that you love. So care about the right things. Don't care about the wrong things. The other piece that I need to put in here is that again, not to get Woohoo on anybody here, but if you can take this word caring and truly understand what I mean when I say that, I am talking about love and empathy. If you have a love for others and empathy for others, and you want to help them get 1% better each and every day and have conversations with your friends that are valuable, you're gonna win. Yeah.
Max Cohen (27:19):
Yeah. The other thing I wanna like put out there too is that there might be some folks out there listening, being like, oh, these, these girls are talking about just caring for people and, and just doing right by people. And they're forgetting that they're marketers and they have a job to do, which is like generating revenue for the business. Here's the thing. If you just wanna generate leads, that's all you're gonna do. You're not gonna build a community. You're not gonna build trust. You're not gonna position your company as a thought leader. You're not gonna create customers that love you. You're not gonna create customers that will recommend you and sing your praises on the mountain tops and, and be delighted and build that word of mouth.
You're just gonna generate leads. And those leads probably aren't ready to talk to your sales team. And those leads probably don't trust you enough to talk to your sales team, which means you're putting stress on your sales team to do, have to do a lot of that extra legwork to prove why you should pick up my cold call, cuz you read a fricking ebook. That's all you're doing. If you don't care, it's very easy for your customers to kind of know that you don't give a shit about making them successful. It comes through all of this stuff that we're talking about. Isn't just like, Ooh, woo kumbaya. Let's just be great educators and help people. There's the tactical value behind all of this. Just keep that in mind. Like there's a tactical value for doing all the things that we're talking about. It's not just feel-good marketing.
George B. Thomas (28:39):
So it's funny because my brain's going in a certain direction. I wanna touch base on that. Then I probably think we should probably talk about the buyer's journey and how awareness consideration decisions actually come into play to attract great content and all that. But there's a part that I have to lean into because you haven't heard us mention it and I'm gonna kick back to the know what not to care about. You don't have to have the best camera. You don't have to have the best computer. You don't have to have the best mic. It's not about equipment. It's about what I have in my hand, at my disposal to actually create the content, the most important tool, the vital piece of equipment. I'm gonna let you in a secret that you have to purchase that you have to have that has to show up when you're gonna create great content is your cranium. And that's not a new software people don't go to ukrainian.com and look for it. I'm talking about your brain, bring your brain and bring your heart. Those are the pieces of equipment that you need.
Devyn Bellamy (29:39):
One thing that is a hole that marketers can fall into, uh, just as anyone with their company is that I spoke earlier about needing out. That's great. What you don't want to do is nerd out about the wrong thing. It's like if there are engineers, sorry. Uh, I'm sorry for what I'm gonna say, but they're <laugh> engineers can get really excited about a really small piece of a project or even a large one that no one cares about. Like they could say it's like this cool thing is doing back flips in the back end. So excited about it. No one cares. If you are making a widget that makes a pixel go from point a to point B all people care about is the fact that you're making the pixel go from point a to point B. They're not really overly excited about the little things that may excite you.
And, and that really like engage you and, and, and, and that's fine. They don't have to be, what you don't want to do is just basically get all Pokemon to someone. Who's is like over the age of 50 and has never watched a single cartoon in their life. And it's like, gotta collect, oh, what, what do you mean? This boy is still a preteen? How, like, you don't, you don't want to basically go off on someone who could potentially be a good customer, but you've turned them off by making all your content too niche. That's what I was saying. You, you don't want to be, uh, just the expert on the problem you solve. You want to be an expert on the problems they have and not just the problems they know they have the problems. They don't even realize that they have yet. Yeah. And the only way that you're going to get there is by using empathy, by asking questions, and by listening, when you're having conversations with people,
George B. Thomas (31:40):
Oh, Devin, you just totally unlocked something in my brain brother, because I have to say one thing that creates great content is understanding that you don't have to sound like a genius. What you need to do is focus on simplifying the complex because it is a genius who can actually make something that's difficult, seem easy. It's a genius that can make something that is difficult. Sound easy. Yes. I said that twice, there is not a riff in the matrix. Do you have to figure out how can I talk about how can I teach? How can I communicate in a way that mirrors mortal human beings will understand what I'm saying versus I'm gonna get on this platform of audio, video, or text and make myself sound a certain way. No, simplify, simplify the complex. I had to unpack that max.
Max Cohen (32:33):
Well, this is why, uh, buyer personas are still important, everybody. Cause you gotta know what are the goals and challenges that the people that you're creating this content for having. Cause again, that's the only thing that's gonna tell you if your content's adding any value. That's the only thing that you're gonna do to ensure that you're creating stuff. People are actually looking for. You know, there may be a bunch of people that say, oh, new buyer personas or ideal customer profile or this or that or whatever. I, I don't care what you call it. The people that you are are, are attempting to have an impact through your content. You gotta have an understanding of what their goals and challenges are. The other thing you need to remember is that it's not always gonna be the ultimate decision maker. I can't remember, I can't even like tell you how many times I've had a little challenge that has given a customer saying like, Hey, next week, when we talk, I want you to come back to me and tell me who your buyer personas are, give us some resources to go figure it out.
Kind of use it as a little bit of thought exercise. And nine times out of 10 people come back to me and say, it's a C-level executive with purchasing authority and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And what they forget is that it's not always a C-level executive or someone in a big authority position experiencing the problem or having symptoms of an issue or doing the research. So you gotta remember when you're creating content, you're creating content, not only to chains, hearts, and minds but also you're creating content that you're hoping someone's actually looking for. You may be creating content for someone who's not a decision maker. You should be creating content for someone who's actually experiencing the problem and can then be your biggest internal champion that can be inside that organization. You're trying to sell to say, Hey, these people really know what they're talking about.
They help me with a whole bunch of stuff I was going through. They clearly know what they're doing. I trust them. We should consider buying from them and they go and say that to their internal decision makers and make all the intros that the sales team wants and all that kind of stuff. Consider the fact that your buyer personas are probably not your lit to role buyers in a lot of cases, especially when it comes to B to B, it's not always the person signing the checks that you're creating content for, but again, get a really good understanding of who that is. And then start thinking about the buyer's journey, which I'm sure we'll get into
George B. Thomas (34:37):
Devin. You had multiple visual
Max Cohen (34:40):
George B. Thomas (34:41):
Responses to what, like I, I was like homies about to explode homies, about to explode.
Devyn Bellamy (34:47):
George B. Thomas (34:48):
So fine, sir. Please step up to your pulpit and preach to the community for a hot minute on what was going on in your brain.
Devyn Bellamy (34:56):
What was going on is the fact that people are so hungry to get to a decision maker, not realizing that the decision maker doesn't have the background education or expertise in order to make an educated decision on whatever it is that you have to go on. You could have the best thing going since slice spread. If the decision maker isn't the one who's involved with it, it's not gonna matter case in point. I love telling the story about how I started using HubSpot in the first place with me. I told the story in the last episode about how I went to the website looked great. Sorry, got in, and went to a growing event. I didn't talk about what happened in between then in the growing event, I'm on the website and I'm just seeing so much fantastic content that has to do with me now, keeping in mind that I'm an individual contributor, very low level making entry-level money.
And there are three degrees of separation between me and the actual decision maker, who is the CEO of the company. What they did is they educated me, gave me opportunities through the academy to learn about inbound, about the process, and then how that would apply to the HubSpot product. I became such a HubSpot fanboy, even before I started using HubSpot. Now it doesn't hurt that James Stone got me really drunk at the growing event. That helped too. <laugh> the thing is, is that the company just got me so excited about like the ease of use and every blog I'm reading. Oh my gosh, I have that problem in all sales and marketing alignment. I have that problem too. And content and driving lead and knowing what happens after I send 'em in the sales, it's like, oh my goodness, this is all of this is what I'm experiencing. They turned me into the internal champion and helped me go before CSU and present the deck, get promoted past my boss, move on to another job, make more money, and happily ever after.
Max Cohen (37:11):
And for anyone out there who's saying, well, hubs boat has this big academy. We don't have that. All you need to do is educate people. Anyone can educate people. Don't let, oh, we don't have X, Y, Z academy thing make you argue against what Devin just
George B. Thomas (37:22):
Said. Not to mention who cares if you don't have it right now, you can have it in the future. It's literally one brick at a time. People like just to create that piece of content. And dare I say, Devin, when you were talking in that last section, it's funny because I always like to talk about how great content is educational. Great content is entertaining and to hear you and the journey that you're going through with the HubSpot blog and content is, and not that you're designing it this way, but great content becomes episodic, meaning you can't wait to read the next one. You can't wait to watch the next one. And so start to think about how you enable that. By the way, the tip here is emotion and understanding. So think educational, think entertaining, and think episodic, how can we thread these together? Where all of a sudden we're creating a piece of content in the awareness stage that then leads them to a piece of content in the consideration stage.
That then leads them to another piece of content in the decision stage. And we have dope CTAs and URL links, anchor links for all of you nerds out there that actually take them to that next piece of content that they just keep going and keep going and keep going. And pretty soon they're like, I love this person and they don't know what to do in themselves. Now, speaking of that, because we have added a ton of value, I wanna start to end these episodes with action items. So if you think about this topic around great content and the conversations that we've had inside of it, if you had to boil it down to one action item that people listening to this podcast should think about or take as they move forward, where do you guys' minds go
Devyn Bellamy (38:53):
Absolutely chill with the negative talk. The first thing that you need to do is what you need to stop doing. You need to stop telling yourself that what you do, isn't sexy and no one cares about it. If no one cared about it, you wouldn't have a job. Cause a company wouldn't exist. Clearly, someone cares about it because they're giving you money to solve a problem. That's the first thing you need to do is dead. The negative talk. The next thing you need to do is you need to start talking to your salespeople. You need to start talking to your favorite customers. You need to start talking to your least favorite customers. You need to start talking to X customers, find out what the problem is, and not just what the problem is with pertains to your company. But the problem in general, talking about automotive repair had nothing to do with our product, but we stayed in the flat rate versus hourly debate, even though it had nothing to do with what we did because it was a challenge that resonated with our audience. We talked about marketing to millennials, cuz it was a challenge that resonated with our audience. Didn't have anything to do with what we did, but because we presented ourselves as thought leaders, we generated trust, start talking to people both internally, and externally, take 'em out to Starbucks, and send them a gift card if you're gonna do it virtually, but get in contact with people to understand who you're talking to. Cuz if you create content in a vacuum, it's gonna fail
Max Cohen (40:14):
Two things. I would say that if you're gonna walk away from this conversation, does not under any circumstances be hyper-focused on search engine optimization. If you haven't already got good at creating content in the first place that is like trying to land a kickflip before you can pump a skateboard. Okay? Yes. There's nothing to optimize if you haven't created it yet. So just get really good at putting content out there. If you're sitting over there saying which keyword should I be optimizing for? And you haven't even written a blog post yet, you're losing already just get used to create the content first. Then you can focus on making it better. Then you could focus on optimizing it. You gotta remember Google wants people to find good content. That is a thing. To optimize all you want. Just don't let that get in the way of you actually creating the content in the first place.
Now in terms of like, what content, what should we create? And maybe what's like a simple mindset that we can follow. Say what you want about Gary Vaynerchuk. But he's a really great tactical thinker when it comes down to this. And I remember watching a little interview. He did with someone where it was some service company that kind of walked up and asked him like, where should we get started with content? And he said, one of the best things I think I've ever heard when it comes to just having like a mindset of what content you should create. He said I would be creating every sort of piece of content that I could to get that person not to hire me. Essentially give away all your secrets, and educate people. Now I'm not talking about like company-specific information when I say secrets, but I'm saying ways people can solve their problems.
That doesn't make it seem like their only option is to hire. You put content out there that helps people figure out what their problems are and gives them concrete steps on ways they can solve those problems. And here's the deal. When you do that, there's really only two to maybe three sorts of outcomes of one. There's gonna be plenty of people that see that content and then never buy from you. And you never hear from 'em again. Guess what? That's already happening. That's marketing baby. It's a game of numbers. But then the other two possible situations are that someone is going to read or consume or watch or listen to whatever they're gonna consume your content. They're gonna go out and they're gonna solve their problem without you. And they're not gonna buy from you. But guess what happens when that happens, you create a promoter of your content.
You create Goodwill in that community. You get yourself positioned as a trusted leader and you get someone else out there saying maybe they're friends privately or more publicly, or by sharing their content on social or whatever saying, Hey, these people really know what they're talking about. They're doing that in one way, shape, or form as social proof that your content helps. And it's actually educational. The other folks are going to look at that advice and either try it or just go, wow, that's hard. I should probably hire the people who clearly know what they're talking about. And maybe that other person is gonna recommend that content to someone else. They're gonna go consume it. And they're gonna do the thing that the second person does, which ends up saying, this is too hard. I'm gonna have someone do it for me cuz you clearly know what you're talking about.
So there's a tactical reason behind giving away all your secrets. And it's a very unorthodox way of thinking about content, do something to make them not hire me. But like that's a great sort of framework you can use in terms of saying, what should we be trying to do with the content we're actually creating? The biggest thing is most marketers are completely focused on the decision stage. If you know what that is great. We're not gonna go too deep into it right now, but not enough. People are focused on that more awareness and consideration stage content where you're educating folks. That's where you're missing. If you're a marketer and you're not building a lot of demand and generating a lot of demand, it's all in those awareness and consideration stages.
George B. Thomas (43:38):
Yeah. I love that so much because listen, ladies and gentlemen, there is no secret sauce. We all know that it's thousand islands. So just talk to us about the thousand island. Okay. Just, can we skip the bullshit and get to reality? <laugh> here's the thing too that I wanna share with the community. That's my last tip. And by the way, it's been a secret tip about content creation that if you've watched any of my videos, you've heard about a bazillion times, simply wake up in the morning, show up as a happy, helpful, humble human. And then guess what hit the keys hit record, create the content and then simply do this. Don't be paralyzed and hit publish.