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We've gotta be honest with ourselves here, folks.
As much as many of us like to talk a big game about sales enablement strategy, that's pretty much...
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We've gotta be honest with ourselves here, folks.
As much as many of us like to talk a big game about sales enablement strategy, that's pretty much...
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When bright orange sprocket rolled out the HubSpot Operations Hub in 2021, they did so while underscoring one of the most common challenges that...
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One sunny September morning in 2018, thousands of inbounders and HubSpotters were gathered in Boston watching HubSpot cofounder Brian Halligan's...
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 (01:10):
All right. Hub Heroes. That's right. We are here and we are ready. I'm super excited to be here on what we might call launch day of the league of extraordinary inbound superheroes. The future is bright my friends, the future is bright. Why you might ask? Because we're here to help you do inbound. HubSpot, content sales, heck you name it better, or at least not alone. Now first, before we jump into the good stuff, the conversation of the day, what do I mean by "we"? Well, I'm not alone on this fantastic journey. I have two other superheroes by my side. So let's meet them first. First up Devyn Bellamy. Devyn, you didn't know this was coming, but why don't you let the Hub Heroes listeners know a little bit about you, who you are, what you do, and maybe some information that we might find shocking or unique?
Devyn Bellamy (02:02):
No, I didn't know that it was coming. And I also didn't know that that intro was coming. I'm not cool enough to be brought in by any of that, but glad to be here. For those of you guys who don't know me, my name is Devyn Bellamy. I work at HubSpot. I work in partner enablement. I deal with partners, solutions partners who basically help customers grow better. Before that I was in the partner program myself, I've done onboarding, I've done strategy, I've built out who knows how many portals built HubSpot, CMS websites, tons of fun. And let's see a fun fact about me. I used to teach Kung Fu. That's an interesting tidbit.
George B. Thomas (02:43):
There we go. All right, next up, joining us for the high-flying adventure is Mr. Max Cohen. Max why don't you let the hub hero listeners know a little bit about you, who you are, and what you do. Man, this one scares me even giving you this opportunity, but a little tidbit of information that we might find shocking or unique.
Max Cohen (03:05):
Hey everybody, my name is Max Cohen. I am currently a Solutions or Senior Solutions engineer. I just got a promotion over at HubSpot. I've been at HubSpot for around six, going on six and a half-ish years right now. Did a lot of stuff from customer onboarding to learning and development as a product trainer. And now I'm on our sales team and it's super fun because I get to have really awesome conversations with customers and reps about HubSpot and the possibilities and all that fun stuff.
Max Cohen (03:33):
And I also just create a lot of content around inbound, marketing, sales, HubSpot, things like that. You could find me on TikTok if you haven't already. Maybe not a lot of people in the LinkedIn and like HubSpot universe may not know about me that my life outside of like HubSpot and inbound beyond being a dad of two wonderful daughters is I've played and coached competitive paintball since I was 15 years old. That's like another big half of me that like, I don't really talk too much about on LinkedIn. Because I don't really think people care too much about it. That's kind of the other side of me. And now that the pandemic is finally, hopefully over, I'll be getting back into a little bit of that instead of just sitting behind this desk all the time.
George B. Thomas (04:14):
Oh, we might have to get some video clips of that. Here's the thing, listeners, I want you to know hopefully you heard all of the years of experience years with HubSpot, and the nerdiness that is coming through. By the way, I'm George B. Thomas. I have been doing inbound in HubSpot since 2012. I've been training, doing onboarding, implementing, well, listen, my office is orange. My mic is orange, on any given day, I'm wearing orange to say that I love HubSpot and the people that use HubSpot is probably an understatement. By the way, the weird thing about me is I love peanut butter and pickle sandwiches. So you can chew on that one for a little.
Devyn Bellamy (04:53):
How long have you been pregnant?
George B. Thomas (04:56):
Oh wow. There's probably a joke there, but we'll move on. Because listeners you may have stumbled onto this podcast. You may have clicked on the link in the socials, but did you know that you have your very own Hall of Justice? That's right. You can head over to thehubheroes.com at any point to catch up on future or historical episodes, depending on where in the timeline you are listening to this hero episode.
George B. Thomas (05:21):
Also over at thehubheroes.com, you'll be able to join the League of Heroes, suggest an episode, and even see all the podcast apps and listening locations we're broadcasting to. So head over to thehubheroes.com and get what you need. One last thing we need to mention for you the community before we get into the topic of starting with why you need to know this. You, my friends, have a special hero signal at your fingertips. Kind of like the bat signal, anywhere on the socials at any point in time, you can use the hashtag, #hubheropodcast and we're going to come running. All right, here we go. Let's get into the good stuff and start the conversation starting with why turning humans into heroes, Devyn, Max, where do you guys want to start with this conversation on starting with why.
Max Cohen (06:13):
A lot of this kind of stems from why we wanted to get together and like do this podcast in the first place? Because the one thing that I think really kind of ties all of us together is in one way, shape or form, we were all HubSpot trainers or our HubSpot trainers, and still in some capacity HubSpot trainers, however, you want to shake that out. The most common question that I've gotten is, "All right, we have HubSpot, where do we begin?" Or we're starting to do inbound marketing. We're starting to do inbound sales. We're starting to do inbound in general. Where do we begin?
And I think when we were talking about this a while ago and kind of coming up with like our first topics and ideas for this show, we called this episode starting with why, I think, for like a reason for me and Devyn and George, I want to hear like your takes on this too.
Max Cohen (06:59):
Five years ago, while HubSpot was kind of turning into a CRM or morphing into a CRM and it was still mostly a marketing tool, I think it was a little more obvious the answer of why are you getting started with HubSpot? And that was really to do inbound marketing. This is back when like inbound was just marketing. We didn't think of it as this more like an amorphous larger sort of business, an all-encompassing business strategy that is now inbound.
Max Cohen (07:24):
So I think a while ago, the starting with why the conversation was probably a little bit more narrow. But now that inbound is a strategy, HubSpot as a product does a lot more than just focus on marketing. Whenever you're getting started with any of it, ask yourself, why. Why are we getting into the idea of doing inbound? Why are we using a tool like HubSpot is the most important question you have to answer because HubSpot is a giant blank canvas.
Max Cohen (07:50):
Inbound could do many different things for you. It can touch a lot of places in your business. But for me when it comes down to starting with the mind, it's like, why are you getting into either deploying the strategy or using this tool? Because from there that's where you can start to think about like, "Hey, what are our first moves? What are our first steps? What are the things we want to think about when it comes to reporting? What are the problems we want to be able to solve for our business?" All that. And like, that's just kind of the question that I'll like turn around on. I'm curious before we dive too deep into it Devyn, what have those conversations looked like for you in the past? What have you told people in terms of like where to begin, things like that?
Devyn Bellamy (08:26):
The thing that I always explain, you put it great. It's a big blank canvas. It's a tool. And it can do so many things, but the question is what do you need it to do? And that's the biggest thing that you need to identify first. The first step to using HubSpot is not even opening HubSpot. It's you don't even log into your portal. What you need to do is identify a strategy that you want to do. Well, first you need to identify a goal, identify an objective that comes from identifying problems. So I'm going backward here. You start with the problem. Then you create a goal and then you figure out how you're going to get to that goal. And then you take HubSpot, bend it to your will, and then use that to accomplish your goal.
Devyn Bellamy (09:23):
For instance, if your goal is more leads, we'll start with a very simple one, using your website to get more leads. All right, great. Now you want to think about how you're attracting the content that you're going to put in. Because HubSpot is a tool, not a magic wand. You can't just turn it on. And then all of a sudden, "Oh my goodness, I'm being inundated with people who want to talk to me." That's not how it works. What you got to do is you have to come up with the content ideas and strategies, compelling something. That makes people want to interact with you. That makes people think that "You know what, this person's amazing."
Devyn Bellamy (10:07):
And then what you do is you use that to create a path that people can then convert. There's a technical term. We like to call it the conversion path. That's what you want to use. And that's just like the marketing aspect. And then you talk about CRM and sales and how you can get that interdepartmental cooperation and kumbaya alignment and all that fun stuff. That's why you start with a why. How can I use HubSpot better? No. How can you attract people better? How can you be awesome out there? And then how can the tool work for you?
George B. Thomas (10:42):
And I want to jump in here because I think there's so much good happening in this conversation. And I want to even go like a step before this. And I really want to take a moment to empower the listeners who might be listening to this before they even get HubSpot, or they just got HubSpot, and empower them from the Lord Lack of knowledge of why the crap, somebody just bought this tool and said, now use it and said good luck.
George B. Thomas (11:09):
Because what I want to empower them with is the ability to say the question you should be asking the people that are in the C-suite, the people who purchased the tool that looked at you and said, "You are the implementer." You should turn and say, why? What are we trying to achieve? Just like Devyn and Max said, what is the problem? What are the hurdles? What are the goals? What is the roadmap? What can I actually line out and look at the future, and gain a vision for where I'm trying to go.
George B. Thomas (11:37):
Because then another piece of what you gentlemen said, bend it to your will, mold it. I want everybody to be educated on the fact that HubSpot is not "Paint by Numbers". It's a box of Play Dough. You can literally pull it out and mold it with things like custom objects, custom properties, and views that you can actually make dependent upon how your team needs to use them. And it's not just this out-of-the-box, SAS, silver bullet software. "We're winning. We paid thousands of dollars and now we're like, make it rain." No.
Max Cohen (12:16):
We turned on the lead faucet!
George B. Thomas (12:18):
Yeah, no. We turned on the lead [inaudible 00:12:18]. No, it literally is this thing of we've got this tool. We have to build a roadmap. We have to customize it to our needs and it all does come back to why. Now with that understanding and empowering and educating these folks on this, my question is what are. And again, we may start with marketing. We may start with sales. We may talk about service. We might just talk about rev ops, which talks about all of them. What are these foundational elements or items that you historically have seen as trainers around inbound and HubSpot that you're like buy all that is holy, get this in place? Or think of this thing.
Max Cohen (12:53):
The funny part that I think a lot of people don't even consider is like, no matter what part if we were to kind of like take the basic parts of the inbound strategy, attract engaged delight, let's look at the big three parts of the methodology. Depending on how your business, your organization, whatever you are, depending on how you're doing and where the biggest pain points are in that whole cycle, you might be starting at different places.
Max Cohen (13:16):
What a lot of people don't think about is like, okay, what do we do if we get really, really good at that one piece of the puzzle? What sort of like downstream problems does that cause? So for example someone could be thinking like, all right, we're thinking about like a track here. Let's turn on the content machine. Let's get really smart at thinking about who our buyer personas are. Let's get really smart about generating demand with content. And let's think about what people are actually searching for online when they have certain problems and-
George B. Thomas (13:44):
Preach it, brother. Preach it.
Max Cohen (13:46):
Let's pretend you get really, really good at just attracting people, and maybe you're setting up some conversion paths. I know there are plenty of people today that believe in completely un-gating everything. And I think within inbound, there's even an argument for that too, but that's neither here nor there. Let's say you go and you're just collecting a whole bunch of leads because you created a lot of great content. It's like, cool. Now what? Are you just going to send them over to sales? You're creating all these people that are coming and they want to gather all your content, but you don't have any sort of plan of taking them from someone who's just built up enough trust in you and giving you their information. And like now what you're just going to send them over to sales? Because you didn't really think about what was going to happen in the in-between.
Max Cohen (14:23):
You didn't really think about how you were going to begin to like engage them. Or the marketing to sales handoff or anything like that. There's always going to be some sort of physics involved if you do really good at this, what is that going to mean downstream? If your sales team becomes extremely efficient. Maybe you get the sales hub and they start being able to communicate with a much higher volume of people at a much faster rate. And they're having a lot of great conversations and because they're not spending a bunch of time on administrative BS, maybe that means they're closing more customers and they're creating a lot more customers. That's awesome. But if you don't have like the customer service or the customer support infrastructure in place behind that, well then that's going to get really ugly really quick.
Max Cohen (15:06):
All your new customers are going to go back to your salespeople. Because you don't have a CX org in place in order to be able to help them when those people have questions or you don't have something like a knowledge base, that's going to help people self serve. Not only do you got to say like, "Hey, but this is also what we want to do to get started." You also need to like, think a little bit about, it's like, "Hey, let's say this goes well." What's the downstream physics of that mean for us? And do we have the ability to like an answer or solve those problems as they come up? And I'm not saying think 3, 4, 5, 7 steps ahead. But just say like, "Hey, here's our first initiative. If we do well, what does that mean?" And maybe there aren't any problems.
George B. Thomas (15:45):
Maybe there are six or seven steps ahead, but at least two. And Devyn, I'm going to kick it over to you here in a hot second. But I want to unpack something that hit my brain in HubSpot, like in life, best-case scenario, worst-case scenario. Have a backup plan for both of those. Because sometimes your best-case scenario, if it's too much of best is all of a sudden, a lot of friction or force in the wrong direction. By the way, the reason I kicked in here real quick is I want the listeners to know. And you two to know that I've gone over to our massive library of ideas for episodes, and we added inbound physics, as well as I, added this one Max, because of something you said to gates or not to gate, that is the question. That'll be a future episode. So back to the conversation at hand, Devyn, what are your thoughts on kind of what Max is unpacking and the direction that we're going?
Devyn Bellamy (16:36):
I think one of the biggest friction points that people are going to... Not going to the... Every day people deal with when implementing any system is an unwillingness to change. And that's either from an organizational standpoint or from just an individual standpoint. It could be something you're willing to do. One of the biggest mistakes that I've seen people make is let's say they've been working with MailChimp for years and then they get handed HubSpot. What they try and do is make HubSpot work like MailChimp. And it's like, don't do that. Stop it. Or when we talk about the sales process, what we do is we do all of this cool stuff. And then we export everything to spreadsheets for the sale... Don't do that. What you have to be willing to do is to adopt an entirely new process, an entirely new way of doing things.
Devyn Bellamy (17:39):
And I'm not just talking about going from a stick shift to automatic. I'm talking about going from bus to boat, sailboat. It's a completely different experience. And you're going to find that it requires a different set of skills and a different mindset in order to accomplish what it is that you're trying to accomplish.
Devyn Bellamy (17:58):
But the second thing, you not only need to have a C-suite buy-in. You need to have everything come from the top down. If you're an individual contributor or even a mid-level manager, you are not going to be able to initiate the change required in order to be successful with your new tools, because you can't tell one of your coworkers, "Hey, you have to do this thing now."
Devyn Bellamy (18:23):
Because they're going to tell you a certain number of expletives that may or may not result in them getting reported to HR. But if it comes from the top down that, "Hey, this is what we're using. This is the process that this person's created and we're going to do." If you can give feedback on it on whether or not you see issues with it. Great. But if you just want to have a total complaint fest, go, go ahead and do that self-channel in slack where you can just talk, because we're not here for that. That's not conducive to growth.
George B. Thomas (18:55):
Yeah. I'm not down with that party brother.
Devyn Bellamy (18:57):
Yeah. But the biggest thing is that in all of these things when we talk about the why, is that you have to understand that if you were awesome already, you wouldn't be doing this. You wouldn't be implementing the new tools if you were already dope at generating leads or you were already getting a whole bunch of sales through the pipeline and being able to accurately forecast what you need to do. If you were able to completely service everyone that comes in. If your website can tell you about who's seeing what and when and how interested they are, if you are already doing all of that stuff, you wouldn't need this.
George B. Thomas (19:32):
Yeah. And Max, at some point, we're going to need you to create your evil laugh, as a sound that we can use in the podcast. Because here's the thing, I feel like Lord Lack struck again. Devyn, in that first section you were literally talking about the lack of innovation and the lack of change. The ability to somehow when it's the worst-case scenario be stuck in who you are and what you've been doing for the last five years, knowing that it's not working, which by the way is insanity.
George B. Thomas (20:01):
The other thing is too, that I want to unpack that second part and where my brain went. And what I heard is that yes, it has to come from the top-down, but I'm going to give you a little super-secret tip. You can be a leader without being a leader. Meaning you might be the person in the middle and you've been told to implement HubSpot.
George B. Thomas (20:22):
You can lead the leaders in what you need them to say to the people around you, below you, whatever. So it does come to the top, even though, think of it a little bit, not in a bad way as the [inaudible 00:20:36] of getting the buy-in, getting the verbiage, getting the things that you need to be successful, for your team to be successful. So don't get hung up on this, "Well, I'm just this." As soon as you hear yourself say just no, just nothing. You can be a leader, even though you might not be a leader. Where else does your mind go on this topic of starting with why, when it comes to inbound and HubSpot and all that good stuff.
Max Cohen (21:00):
I wanted to kind of like hop on that thread Devyn that you were talking about getting the buy-in from leadership to be able to make big changes like this because let's not bullshit around it. Going from a company that's doing completely outbound everything. Buying paid media and TV shows or commercials or ads in the newspaper or billboards and sending out physical mail and just cold calling everybody until all your sales reps burn out. Saying, "Hey, we're going to stop doing all those things that we've been doing for so long. And we're going to try this whole inbound thing."
Max Cohen (21:35):
I mean that's a very tricky conversation. If that initiative isn't coming from the top. But let's say you're a marketer. You're someone in sales and you realize that the current tactics are causing problems or stunting growth, or just making it really difficult for you to grow the business in the way that you want to.
Max Cohen (21:53):
How do you approach that conversation with those folks who are able to make those decisions? And I think the whole idea around like, starting with why is kind of pertinent here because you can start by saying like, why are the way we do things right now not working? Or why is the way we're doing things right now, not working? And kind of be able to call that out. I think that is either really easy or not so easy to kind of like identity in your organization. If you haven't educated yourself in the other ways of doing things. And when I'm saying the other ways of doing things, I'm talking more about inbound and demand generation and really leading with content and things like that versus what your company may have already been doing for so long.
Max Cohen (22:35):
And I think that could be a pretty daunting task for that marketer that's seen the light or that salesperson that's seen the light, being like, "Oh, these leads are kind of crappy or cold calling people all day kind of sucks. Or these people don't really come to me thinking that we can solve a problem already. It's really hard."
Max Cohen (22:51):
I guess what would be your advice for that person, who's trying to drive that change management in terms of like getting themselves educated so they can either pitch the idea of change or get people on board with it before you even think about it... Because at the end of the day, it's not about buying a piece of software. It's not about buying HubSpot. It's about deciding that you're going to change the way that your marketing sales and service organization operates. How would you coach someone who's kind of feeling a little bit intimidated by a task like that? Like where would you tell them to start?
George B. Thomas (23:26):
First of all, I'm just jumping in here real quick, and then I'm going to kick it back to you Devyn for a second. But I have to say if when you purchase HubSpot, it doesn't change your ecosystem or destroy your echo chamber then you are probably not going to be headed in the right direction.
Max Cohen (23:43):
George B. Thomas (23:43):
And if I could wave a magic inbound wand over everybody, I would make certifications and HubSpot Academy education mandatory. Either one on one, but even better as a group. Every Friday at 12:00 bring your fricking lunch. We're going to do this one hour of training because you need to know the methodology, the religion, then let's go amen of why the freak we're using this expensive... Oh, I'm sorry, HubSpot is not an expensive, but a very valuable tool and not just let it lay there on the shelf. So education is the key. It is the life chamber. It is the thing that will breathe oxygen into new ideas, new strategies, new things that you want to push forward as a company, I'll stop. Get off my soap box. Devyn, what are your thoughts?
Devyn Bellamy (24:37):
Well, I'm going to hop right back on my change management soap box, buddy. Here's the thing, getting people to do a thing that they are uncomfortable with. Getting people to get out of their comfort zone is annoying and it sucks. One of the things that are worked for me is getting someone else to come in, like an outsider, a consultant. And having them set the change because like the Christian says, Jesus wasn't even accepted at home. Why would you expect that you would be?
Devyn Bellamy (25:05):
The thing is that if you bring in someone else to work on it and to document and implement, and keyword document as a part of implementing this change, people can go back and refer to it. Then that helps. Even if you're the expert, even if you are the absolute go-getter, boss hog, when it comes to HubSpot, the fact that they will respect an outside before they respect yours, sometimes that's the case.
Devyn Bellamy (25:33):
But the other thing is just setting the expectation that everything is changing. Normally I'm all about parallel testing and gradual transition, but this is like changing from driving on the left side of the road to driving on the right side of the road. You can't gradually change that. That's just something that one day, this is what we're going to switch over to, and this is how it's going to happen.
Devyn Bellamy (26:00):
And we're going to migrate all this data from the old thing to the new thing. And this is what it's going to do. If you can't handle that, regardless of how much of a rockstar you are within the organization, if you can't handle, there are going to be consequences and repercussions. And so you can lead with the carrot, but there's got to be some stick behind it. This is why I talk about getting buy-in from management and C-suite and then George hit it right on the head with managing up.
Devyn Bellamy (26:29):
You have to empower leadership to enable these changes because they don't know what they're doing. That's what they hired you for. If you can make these changes, it would be great. But the other cool thing about the systems is that you can set up and automate and then give a demonstration on why this is so cool and why this is going to make their lives so much easier and get them excited about the new change. Point out, "Hey, here's why you suck right now. And here's how you can stop sucking." And people will be excited about not sucking anymore, even if it means that they have to learn something new or do something different.
George B. Thomas (27:07):
Yeah. I love this. Max, I'm going to kick it back to you here in a second, but the idea... There are two things running through my head. This last point that you just made about the only way that where you can go is knowing where you're at and if where you're at is suck and what you want is a success. You have to know those two points to move forward.
George B. Thomas (27:27):
The other thing is, I want everybody to know, that this is why I am so excited about this podcast because ladies and gentlemen, I want you to realize we just had a Jesus reference, and a Dukes of hazard reference in the same clip from my man, Devyn Bellamy. It was the boss hog. And it's hard to be a prophet in your own town. I'm just super excited. Max, let's continue down this journey of why. Now for me, where I start to go is like, should we share why we got excited about inbound? Why do we decide to make it part of our lives, and why do we decide to train and implement it? Or if you want to take another direction, we totally can do that too.
Max Cohen (28:11):
What got me super excited about inbound, man, I'm like really trying to kind of go back and think about my experience as a sales rep at Apple, before I came here. We want to know how we got leads. When I was working at the Apple store as a business sales rep? When people came into the store to buy something. Could be a personal item, could be anything. If on their receipt, we saw that they had a business email, we would then try to reach out to them and call them. And that was excruciating.
Max Cohen (28:42):
And though the wild thing that I noticed was when we would do workshops, where we would actually talk about educated topics around how to use Apple products in your business, we would one get people showing up that actually cared. And then two show people that we knew what we were talking about and we could be trusted advisors.
Max Cohen (29:04):
And all of the leads I got from those ended up turning into great relationships. Who would've thought? And that kind of like proved to me how important it is to build trust with your marketing or whatever emotion you go through to capture leads, generate demand, and get interested. I know those are different things, but they're also very closely related.
Max Cohen (29:23):
I think that the big thing too, is just I hated cold calling so much. I just thought cold calling was just a weird thing to do. At the end of the day, if you think about the physics of what's happening there, it's you calling someone up, not because you care about their wellbeing or helping them, you just want to sell something. And that just didn't sit well with me. Do you know what I mean? I always thought there has to be a better way of generating folks who are interested in talking to salespeople in a way that doesn't totally suck.
Max Cohen (29:54):
And to me when I finally started learning about what inbound really was, and that was really only when I started working at HubSpot, I had gotten inbound certified when I was in college. And that's when I first heard about inbound. But the way that I understood it at the beginning was that, oh, it's just how you use social media, which I was completely wrong about. But what I really like understood is, hey, content's what drives everything. It's all about building trust through the content you produce and really doing all the legwork to build trust and generate demand for your product before someone even talks to a sales rep. That to me just felt like a much more human, wholesome way of marketing. Because even if people aren't buying stuff from you, you're still putting like good out there into the universe because there are plenty of people that can take your advice.
Max Cohen (30:39):
Things, you talk about the content you create and go out and solve the problems that they have on their own. And that's awesome if you do that, it's tactically awesome for a number of different reasons, which I'm sure we'll kind of dive into more depth as we kind of continue this series. That's what got me super stoked about it. Is that you could do marketing in a way that had a good benefit, not only for your customer but also for your other internal customers your sales reps, and stuff. You could send people to them that was actually excited to talk to them. Or actually wanted to talk to them or already had a certain amount of trust going into that relationship. And I've been a sales rep and a non-inbound situation. And no one likes that. That's kind of what got me jazzed up about it at the beginning.
Devyn Bellamy (31:18):
For me, long story short, it helped me make a lot of people's money and it in turn made me a lot of money. For me what happened was I discovered HubSpot by accident. I was doing a website redesign for the company I was working for and entry-level marketer, even though I have way above entry-level skills, having no degree in coming off of over a decade in radio, people are going to treat you like you don't know what you're talking about. And I didn't sound intelligent at all. When I talked about marketing, I would just try and explain concepts that I had reversed engineered from these multibillion-dollar organizations like McDonald's. I wouldn't have given me money. What ended up happening is the CEO asked me to create the website and I asked him what websites he likes.
Devyn Bellamy (32:09):
He's like, "HubSpot has a really cool-looking website." I'm like, all right. And I went and checked out websites and I'm like, wow, that is cool. But then I started looking at the content. I'm like, wow, that is cool. And then I got the inbound certification and got invited to a Grow With HubSpot event in Philly and met James Stone, who is still to this day one of my favorite HubSpotters. I really fell in love with the people first.
Devyn Bellamy (32:35):
And then they actually... He and Andrew Fargnoli actually helped me create a marketing deck that explained financially why we suck and why we could be better in marketing. And it worked. And so not only was I able to speak intelligently, thanks to HubSpot Academy, but I was able to get C-suite buy-in thanks to these awesome hub spotters. And then not only that, but I was able to follow through and knock it out of the park.
Devyn Bellamy (33:03):
With their help, I was able to set KPIs and identify our goals could be. And then we knocked them out of the park in the first quarter, just off of an ebook campaign because it was killer content. My favorite thing was getting promoted past my boss and becoming his boss just off of using HubSpot effectively. And working on the system after identifying the goals, it was magical. That was like six years ago, almost seven years ago. And I've kind of been writing the HubSpot, orange rocket ever since. And it's been amazing as HubSpot's grown, as the sales tools launched, as the business model has completely changed and the hubs have completely changed, I've grown with it now. My life is pretty dope. I get to buy talking Deadpool heads and stuff like that.
George B. Thomas (33:59):
I love it. And here's the thing earlier I got really excited about education and you'll see why I get excited about education. Why it really is a passion point. Why I believe I'll be a HubSpot trainer until the day I die is because education is key. And honestly, I tell people, I think HubSpot found me, I didn't find HubSpot. And in 2012 HubSpot Academy did this thing called the world's largest webinar. Our social media guy, small agency, four people, Madison, Ohio. Our social media guy comes running in, he says, "Hey, there's this company called HubSpot. They're doing this thing called the world's largest webinar." We're like, "Ooh, what?" He's like, "I think we should watch it." So we go out to the conference table, we got it on the big screen TV. We're watching the webinar and we hear, I believe it was Mark Kilens at this point, say, "We're going to give away 10 free tickets to the top 5% of tweeters."
George B. Thomas (34:52):
And John, our social media guy, his fingers are on fire. We're just tearing it up. Zach and I are just sitting back like okay, let's check this out. Long story short, we win two tickets. Zach and I go to Boston for the first time. I hear Gary Vaynerchuk speak. By the way, ladies and gentlemen, before this, I was a designer-developer, six-pack and a pizza come in and a website comes out the other side. Don't talk to me, leave me alone.
George B. Thomas (35:18):
2012, I go, "I want to be a marketer when I grow up." And I'm like, I know nothing about marketing. We come back in September 2012, we get HubSpot for the agency. I start attending webinars. I get one certification. One becomes three, three becomes six, six becomes 12, 12 becomes 21, and 21 becomes 38. HubSpot Academy certification is literally multiple, probably college degrees based on HubSpot Academy education.
George B. Thomas (35:47):
It ends up enabling me to get a job in the sales line, which then enables me to become a professional speaker, which then enables me to onboard companies that if you asked me in 2012, will you ever talk to employees of these types of companies? I'd be like, no. But I've been able to do that because of education. And this is why when I said a while ago, I would make education mandatory because if you can learn what you don't know to implement what you need, your future will be bright.
George B. Thomas (36:16):
I need you to rewind that part of the podcast because there's a key to life and a key to hub spot and a key to inbound in that last 15 seconds. Now here, I'm going to tie it all together. The reason I fell in love, why with this whole journey was because in 2012 HubSpot was preaching don't call me a customer. I'm a human. The reason why your company has HubSpot, the reason, the way that you should focus on your why. The reason, why you should go past your hurdles and head towards your aspirations is because of the humans that you are serving. The humans that you are helping pass their hurdles with the content and the strategy and the sales that yes at the end of the day ends up being revenue. But in reality, was life-changing to those people around you.
Devyn Bellamy (37:10):
Yeah. What he said, all of that. That's the thing I think HubSpot Academy is one of the most game-changing things people can bring into their lives. It's constantly expanding. I mean, even beyond the certifications, the gems that are in just the straight courses. If you just take the time, I remember I spent a week. It was like over the course of a week or two weeks, I got every HubSpot certification that became available.
Devyn Bellamy (37:39):
And I came out of the other side of that, a completely different marketer. When I would go to inbound every year and I would go to the breakout session. I literally just did a speaking engagement at a conference in Wisconsin. Shout out to everybody at Experience Inbound. I did a breakout on email deliverability and everything that I spoke about, everything I said, I either learned through HubSpot academy or I picked it up from different years of going to inbound. It's like people you said, I never... Five, or six years ago I never would've imagined giving a talk to professionals about email deliverability. Being the guy on the stage, talking about email deliverability. And just having that... I went to college for a music education. This is not at all how I pictured my life being. And if you do nothing else, get on academy.hubspot.com.
Max Cohen (38:40):
If this is the last episode of the podcast you listen to. The next thing you should do is just spend your time at HubSpot Academy. And here's the other thing I think we hear a lot lately just with how everything is crazy with the economy and crazy with the job market, all this stuff, you hear a lot of people talking about the idea of like breaking into tech. I think there's also this concept of like breaking into the HubSpot universe. HubSpot Academy, which by the way is free, for anyone listening to this that isn't familiar with HubSpot academy yet all of this educational content, lessons, tracks, courses, and certifications are free. Free, free, free, free, free.
Devyn Bellamy (39:15):
Free. All the way free.
George B. Thomas (39:17):
Did you say they're free?
Max Cohen (39:19):
George B. Thomas (39:20):
They're free right?
Max Cohen (39:21):
They don't cost currency. They're free. What's wild is sure, you work at your company. You want to learn more about inbound. It's not just a HubSpot product. Yes, you can go in there and you can get certified on the product. But the majority of the stuff in there is all about strategy, which is product agnostic. Let's say you want to break into the HubSpot universe. That's a great way to get started. But then something to keep in mind. This is great. If you want to work at a company that's using HubSpot or just deploying inbound. If you want to work at a HubSpot partner or agency or some kind of company like that. Because there is lots of folks in there that are helping HubSpot customers, deploying HubSpot, running inbound marketing campaigns, managing their entire portal and their whole setup, and everything.
Max Cohen (40:09):
And hey, maybe also you could be a freelancer. You could start your own agency or you could even come work for a HubSpot one day like Devyn's doing now as well. And he started with HubSpot Academy. There is this massive ecosystem and universe surrounding this whole HubSpot thing for folks who are looking for a career change, and you don't need to go back to college to do this. You don't need to go to college if you haven't gone to college before to do this.
Max Cohen (40:39):
All of the education that you need to break into this wonderful community, massive universe. And there's this whole idea of the rise of the HubSpot admin now. That's becoming a thing. It's all just kind of sitting there right in front of you with this HubSpot Academy. So like don't sleep on that. Go check that out. Because if you're listening to this podcast, because maybe you just got put in charge of this HubSpot thing, or you just bought HubSpot recently and you're realizing maybe it's a little bit more difficult than I anticipated Academy is the greatest place for you to start.
Max Cohen (41:11):
I promise you if you're looking at HubSpot right now and you're looking up at the navigation and you're just like, "Wow, that's a lot of words. That's a lot of tools. That's a lot of stuff." If you just go get your inbound certification, all of it will start to make sense. The thing that a lot of people don't put together, especially folks that are evaluating HubSpot for the first time, or new to the community, new to the product or the strategy, whatever, is that there are two things. There's an inbound strategy. And then there is the HubSpot product.
Devyn Bellamy (41:43):
Max Cohen (41:42):
The HubSpot product is built to deploy the inbound strategy. You could do the inbound strategy without HubSpot. Is it a pain in the butt because it involves tons of different tools and cobbling together a whole bunch of systems in order to do it? Yes, it's a pain in the butt, but that's what HubSpot solves. But again, every single part of HubSpot and how it's all built together to be one piece of software that does all of this stuff, it's all meant to kind of support this inbound methodology, flywheel, attract, engage, and delight, whatever you want to call it. It's built to support that inbound strategy, the two work best together.
Devyn Bellamy (42:14):
The last thing, just to tie together this whole episode is the hardest thing about using HubSpot or any tool for that matter is the strategy. The hardest thing about any of it is the content, the strategy is the why.
Max Cohen (42:32):
Devyn Bellamy (42:32):
If you can figure out a why and then create a plan to solve those problems. That you are diving into at that point, the HubSpot user interface becomes extremely simple. Because there are so many different moving parts to HubSpot you might not ever use. There are a lot of tools in HubSpot that are available that may not be applicable to the goal that you're trying to solve. And that's okay. Everything within it is exceedingly powerful. The tools that you are going to use, even if you just use a fraction of the Hub that you got in order to accomplish the goal that you've set, you're going to see remarkable benefits.
Devyn Bellamy (43:21):
And I'm not just saying that because I bleed orange. I'm saying that because it's made me a lot of money over the years doing that. Being able to know the strategy the way I do, being able to be a strategist, being able to come up with a plan for success, all across the organizations, not just in marketing. That is what allows me to look at HubSpot and say, "Okay, I'm going to take this tool. I'm going to take this tool. I'm going to take this tool, and take this tool. I'm going to put together all of this and do something dope." And then people are going to look at it. I'm going to regenerate reports. The C-suite's going to love me. And then I'm going to get a pay raise.
George B. Thomas (43:58):
Yeah, ladies and gentlemen, the one thing I'm going to say to end this episode, whether it be HubSpot Academy, whether it be listening to future episodes of this podcast in your mind, simply put this. 1% better each and every day. Don't get overwhelmed by the massive wall, but enjoy the journey along though way.