Is Your Hubspot Consultant Drunk On Inbound Kool Aid?
When it comes to modern marketing Hubspot has definitely been a thought leader with their championing of the phrase “Inbound Marketing”. In the book of the same name the founders of Hubspot lay out one of the most solid plans for marketing your business yet to date. Add to it the fact that they have a rock solid marketing platform and raving community and the decision is a no-brainer.
And then you log in…
Excited to automate your small business marketing, you quickly realize you are a bit out of your depth. With a tool that has so many possibilities it can be overwhelming and many a small business owner turn to a consultant to help them get the ball rolling faster and map out a plan for them to effectively grow their business.
Inbound Marketing Is The Modern Day SEO
The problem with a platform like Hubspot being effective is that instantly everyone in the field of marketing is an “expert” at it. Now I don’t mean they really are good at it, but you wouldn’t know it from looking at their resume or website. If by chance you have ever tried to hire someone for SEO (search engine optimization) you know what I am talking about. They definitely squirm when you ask them the hard questions.
With everyone claiming they are an expert, and you not knowing the details of the platform it’s very easy to get sold on a great story and lose thousands on a consultant that doesn’t actually know anything.
How To Find The Steak, Not Just The Sizzle…
Let’s face it… There are a lot of hubspot consultants that are all sizzle, no steak. They talk a great game, look fantastic on paper, but a few months after you hire them you find yourself wondering, “Wasn’t I supposed to be drowning in new leads and business by now?”
A few months into the engagement the general theme revolves around:
- “We’re waiting on…”
- “We’re about to launch…”
- “It takes a long time to…”
This goes on for months, all the while there are zero results. An expensive way to pass the time. Finally you are fed up, end the relationship and are back at square one minus thousands of dollars. Thankfully your friend Nate Johnson has put together a few tips to finding a good Hubspot consultant. 😉
Before You Hire A Hubspot Consultant You Must Read The Following:
1) An Inbound Certification Is Worth $0. Results Are Priceless
The first point I’d like to make is that an Inbound Certification isn’t worth doodley squat without real world examples of it being applied. If your potential consultant has one, fantastic… But make sure they show you the beef (past results for other clients).
This is important because:
- The Inbound Certification is free to take, and open to everyone (even people who haven’t used Hubspot)
- Knowledge is worthless without application
- If someone read a book on brain surgery would you let them open the hood and have their way with your gray matter? Of course not!
- You marketing plan and implementation are basically the brain and body for your business in respect to getting new customers…
Don’t be afraid to have a high standard when choosing someone to work on this delicate system! I am not saying that it is a bad thing to be certified, but don’t let it cloud your judgement when finding someone to work on your business.
2) Show Me Examples Of Leveraging The Platform To Do What Was Impossible Prior
The second thing to look for and keep in mind is when using Hubspot as your marketing platform you should be doing things that were previously impossible for your business. The capabilities with a tool like Hubspot are almost endless so if your consultant, or potential consultant can’t show you some exciting examples of how he or she has used the tool to do some magic with other businesses that wasn’t possible prior (or isn’t currently possible in yours) I’d continue the search.
Hubspot is a significant chunk of change to purchase (expensive)… If you aren’t ready to really dive in wallet first I would recommend something like Active Campaign until you’re ready to really focus on it. Active Campaign does a lot of the marketing automation that Hubspot does but starts at $9/month, but does not help you with your Social Media, Blogging, CTA buttons, built in lifecycle marketing, etc.
3) Do They Have A High Level Strategy That Integrates Channels?
One of the superpowers of a tool like Hubspot is you have everything under one roof. Your blog (potentially), social media, email marketing (broadcasts), automation, CRM, CTA buttons, and analytics. If your potential Hubspot consultant is not tying these channels together in their proposed strategy for your business… *ahem* I’d continue the search.
Here is my attempt of an example of what I’m talking about:
Analytics + Email Marketing Automation
- Visitor opts in to something
- 14 days later visitor, now prospect visits the pricing page
- Hubspot sends the prospect an email reiterating your value proposition
- Hubspot sends the lead to a sales person notifying them of a hot lead
- If they haven’t purchased in 10 days switch all the buttons on your website to promo buttons send them a promotional offer via email.
Any of the Hubspot tools alone are not that impressive. The true power is being able to connect these things together and share data without using a service like Zapier AKA internet duct tape. Add on the fact that Hubspot syncs your customers social media information with their contact record automatically and you can do some pretty cool things.
4) Efficient Use Of Other Tools In Concert With Hubspot
This is one of the most telling “drunk on Inbound Kool-Aid” signs there are… Not being open or embracing tools other than Hubspot. While a powerful platform there are holes in it’s armor, inefficiencies, etc. Not only on an economic level but on a performance level as well. Here are two examples:
Hubspot Doesn’t Lead With It’s Landing Pages
Now in all transparency I work at LeadPages so you may think I’m biased here… But I also own a Hubspot jacket so it evens out. 😉
In all seriousness all you need to do is look in the available templates in Hubspot’s landing page module and then look at the templates in LeadPages’ marketplace. Hands down no comparison. Not only on quality but expect to pay 10x the amount in Hubspot.
Pay the $30 / month and double your conversions. Going the consultant route you are going to incur thousands of dollars of charges to create custom landing pages on the Hubspot COS platform versus just grabbing a beautiful template out of the LP marketplace.
Pushing you to have a custom designed template for thousands of dollars is benefitting the consultant, not your business.
You Need To Upgrade To Enterprise To Split Test In Hubspot = FALSE
If you have went down the internet marketing rabbit hole to any extent you’re sold on the idea of split testing EVERYTHING. With this in mind you head over to the Hubspot pricing page and realize the jump to enterprise is considerable.
Good news for you is if you embrace other technology outside of the HS stack you can easily set up free split tests using Optimizely. Their split testing tool is completely free until you get into some serious traffic numbers. If you have enough traffic that you would need to pay for Optimizely I would recommend upgrading to HS enterprise at that point, it is a much better deal than Optimizely’s paid offering.
5) Not Results Oriented
The final thing is that your Hubspot consultant should be results oriented for your business, not just theirs. I’ve been working on this idea of marketing quadrants which is based around the premise that you need to focus on the actions that have the biggest payoff for your business at that moment.
Applied to this context it means that the first things your consultant should be doing / helping you implement isn’t necessarily 30 social media posts per month and moving your site to the Hubspot COS. This is self serving in their interest. Instead they should be locating that low hanging fruit that can get your business some quick wins.
They should also insist on accurate metrics so that:
- They can make accurate decisions and save time over making decisions by “feeling”
- Hold themselves accountable to you
In fact some of this low hanging fruit may not even have anything to do with Hubspot, but some simple changes that could get you big wins. (That’s why you’re paying the big bucks right?!) I can personally guarantee you that things like moving to the COS or posting a bunch of messages on social media will do next to nothing for your business, but everything for the consultants bottom line.
Before You Hire A Hubspot Consultant
If you are getting started with Hubspot and do not have knowledge of the platform (or a marketing specialist who does) I definitely recommend getting help. The onboarding sequence is decent, but not enough to effectively start crushing it with your marketing and automation efforts. Before you do however, please refer to this article and keep the 5 points above in mind to ensure you are making an effective investment for your business.