A lot has changed since SMA Marketing first started using HubSpot in 2015. Both our agency and the HubSpot platform have evolved to keep up with the newest digital marketing strategies and Search algorithms in the last four years. After one year we increased our revenue by 100%, and we have had steady growth every year since.
Now, I am not about to tell you that if you purchase a piece of software your revenue will magically explode. That would be absurd. What I can say, is that without partnering with HubSpot, there is no way I would have been able to accomplish this outcome. While the software itself was extremely helpful in automating my processes, it was the intangibles HubSpot never told me about that have had that the biggest impact on SMA Marketing's growth and are the reason that I will continue to use their product.
Before we dive into the finer aspects of HubSpot I want to give a quick overview for those who are unsure what this platform is or what it does. In a nutshell, HubSpot is an inbound marketing software platform that helps companies attract visitors, convert leads and close new business. Here is a link to “Why Go Hubspot”. The software helps in a number of ways including; landing pages, forms, CTA’s, Social Media, Email Automation, analytics reports and more. It puts everything under one roof so you can see how everything fits together and where to invest the most amount of your time and effort to deliver the best ROI.
I knew going in that HubSpot had great software. I knew they had awesome customer support. I knew that you could get certified in Inbound Marketing and I knew their tools were helping thousands of agencies and businesses across the globe. But just like many others out there, price was a big hurdle for me. 10k a year for software? Are you kidding me?
Now, before you leave the post based on that number, just chill out for a second and continue reading. There’s more under the hood that’s worth another look because HubSpot now has FREE options that offer many amazing options!
HubSpot now offers a free monthly option for an account that includes contact management, email marketing, form integration on websites, pop up forms, and ad management as well as other features.
The more features you need and the more contacts you have in your data base will determine the overall price of your account, however to know knowing that you don't have to automatically pay 10k should be enough to keep HubSpot in the running as you consider your CRM options.
But even knowing that my CRM expenses will grow slowly as your agency grows is still not the best part about HubSpot. Read SMA Marketing Founder Ryan Shelley's reflections on what sold him on HubSpot and why our agency continues to use this CRM today.
I am creative. I enjoy the work. I’m also an extrovert. So I like to talk and I’m passionate about what I do. At times this can be overwhelming for sales leads and harm my sales process. Because I like people (OK, I’m a people pleaser), I tend to sell myself short just to close a sale. Up until partnering with HubSpot, most of my good leads were referrals and because I had no real process, the goal was to close the deal at all cost. Even if that meant I took a hit financially.
HubSpot has helped me change this and it’s transformed my business. The partner videos were great and helped show me the value of what I was offering. The free CRM has taught me how to organize my leads and prioritize my sales process. But the most helpful piece to the whole equation is my CAM, Jordan. He’s the guy that’s stuck with me as long as I’m a partner.
He’s been the guy that’s helped me see the flaws in my sales process, not just by telling me, but helping me figure them out myself. He’s shared his knowledge and experience and if I have a question, he’s always there to answer. He helps me prepare for my sales presentations and checks in to see how they went. But the one thing I appreciate the most, is that it’s not just so he can make some money from me onboarding clients to HubSpot. Jordan wants me to succeed. Jordan is for my agency. Jordan wants me to reach my goals. Jordan is a friend. Through our relationship, my sales confidence has grown and my process is beginning to take shape. This is something I had no clue I was getting with the software.
HubSpot understands that agencies and businesses that are growing are hungry to learn. They need more than just tools, they need inspiration. They offer small group coaching sessions to agencies who want to learn from others who are further along in the journey. Men and women just like us who have been where we are and have turned their agency into their dream job. These coaching sessions alone would cost thousands of dollars in the market.
Now just to be clear. These small group coaching sessions aren’t just a button inside the portal. My CAM, Jordan, let me know about them and I took him up on the opportunity. So, if you’re currently using HubSpot, ask!!! You won’t regret it. While this was not something I was aware of at the start, small group coaching has been a huge benefit.
The online marketing world is extremely competitive to say the least. But there is something about inbound that pulls our tribe together. It’s not so much about who can beat who, it’s about collectively working together to educate, assist and grow with each other. Having been in other business environments, this was refreshing.
Through HubSpot I have been able to connect with other like-minded marketers. From the awesome inbound.com site to the partner community, there are so many ways to get involved. One of the best connections I’ve made is with the team at Guava Box. Without the HubSpot community, I would not have been exposed to what they’re doing, nor would I have the great project management software my agency used for a long time. This idea of being a part of a tribe was something I never knew was part of the deal.
As you can obviously see, I’m sold on HubSpot. What you don’t know is that I’m not a big agency with a lot of capital to spend. When I signed up, it was HubSpot or bust. I wasn’t sure how I was going to pay for it, but I knew that if I was going to grow, I had to take a leap.
Today, I still have a small agency, and a whole lot more. I have a sales trainer, coaches and a community who are all working to help me succeed as well. I have a bright future and I am pumped to break my revenue goals again next year. The software helps me with the work, but it’s the stuff HubSpot never told me about that has transformed me and my agency.
Editor's Note: This article was originally published on December 21, 2015, and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and completeness.
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