Inbound16 gave many of us working in digital marketing the chance to meet up and discuss our experiences of the last year and our hopes and expectations for 2017. I was delighted to meet the Get Focused team there, and below I have answered some of the questions they kindly put to me as a leading entrepreneur and advisor to businesses looking to get back on track with their digital marketing efforts.
We really looked forward to Inbound16, and found it to be very informative and great fun. What are the main points you took away from the event?
For me, attending Inbound is about re-connecting with all of the other agency partners who are on the same entrepreneurial journey. I love hearing their stories, giving "been there, done that" advice to people who are starting out, and learning from people who are further down the road.
It's less about the tactics and HubSpot features, and more about getting energised by the community so we can go back home pumped up to continue making an impact.
Which speaker or presentation did you most enjoy and why?
Inbound16 was a bit weird because of the timing of the US Election, and I don't envy the organisers who had to deal with the energy on Wednesday morning after the results came in andDonald Trump was named as the vic tor.
I thought the speakers were great. I particularly loved Alec Baldwin, and I really enjoyed Trevor Noah's unexpected appearance when Sarah Silverman cancelled at the last minute. Neither of these were really marketing-oriented, but they were what I needed at the time, because many people were not pleased with the election outcome and it was a little hard to focus on presentations about CRM features!
What is the biggest challenge you have faced in your Inbound Marketing strategy?
When my Whole Brain Group agency, which provides smart marketing solutions to growing businesses, first started as a HubSpot Partner in 2012, there were only a couple of hundred Inbound agencies around the world: now there are thousands! In some ways, that makes it easier because more people know what Inbound Marketing is, and we don't have to spend as much time legitimising the methodology. The key now is differentiating ourselves from the competition, highlighting our experience, and telling our success stories.
What’s the biggest mistake you ever made in Inbound Marketing?
Jumping in to tactics before figuring out the strategy. When we first started as an agency, nobody really knew what the "right way" was to get going with a new client, so we all had to figure it out on the fly.
We got very excited about the geeky features of HubSpot and wanted to jump right into setting things up, but we didn't focus enough on the goals and the long-term strategy of what we were trying to accomplish. Once we realised that we had to slow down and really get to know the client before jumping in, our relationships and results began to improve.
Tell us about the Entrepreneurial Operating System you incorporated into your business plan as an Inbound digital marketing agency, and what it has led to for you.
Taking on board the EOS was, in one word, transformational! We started implementing the system in my Whole Brain Group agency, in 2012. We self-implemented for two years with decent results. We were using most of the tools, and finally had a clear vision of where I wanted the company to go.
But in 2014 I felt like we had "hit the ceiling" again and we couldn't seem to break through to the next level. Just as many businesses benefit from availing of the expertise and experience of a professional digital marketing agency, we hired a Professional EOS Implementer, and immediately figured out that we hadn't been doing everything quite right.
Once we had an expert guide, we started to see results again – it turns out that we had been "treating symptoms" for a couple of years, but hadn't gotten down to the "root cause" of some of our meatier issues.
Our Implementer helped us figure out how to break through and get that stuff solved, and we started gaining traction again.
Around the same time, I was asked to join the Leadership Team at EOS Worldwide, and the Whole Brain Group started doing all of their marketing. As a member of the leadership team I began to understand the broader impact that EOS was having on clients, and I got to witness first-hand the amazing community of EOS Implementers who were all passionate about helping their clients do what I had been able to do at WBG.
This year, I turned the day-to-day leadership of WBG over to my Integrator and leadership team, and decided to become a Professional EOS Implementer myself. Now I'm building my practice and beginning to work with other agencies and clients to help them get a grip.
It’s so important for businesses nowadays to implement an effective Inbound digital marketing strategy, but it’s not always an easy task, which is why hiring an expert and dedicated agency makes the whole process so much easier and more likely to succeed. Importantly, it also frees up your time to do what you do best: run your business.
Our thanks go to Marisa for her great insights. Find out more about what she can do for your business here. To discover what Get Focused can do to make your digital marketing strategy as effective as possible, book a call with us, and get started on your Inbound journey by downloading our Lead Generation Survival Kit: