Deciding to go all Inbound
Our venture into inbound marketing and the HubSpot Inbound Certification started early in the development of the foundation of our agency. My partner, @peterwyro, and I formed Cherry as a digital marketing agency in an environment of constantly evolving technologies and methodologies. Aside from a commitment to delivering real, measurable results for our clients, we had not yet determined how to do that or exactly what kind of digital agency we wanted to be. Peter (Connect with him on Linkedin) has an extensive background in B2B marketing strategy, working with AE Consulting Marketing, Professional Services, Technology, and Manufacturing; whereas I have a background in commercial content storytelling and professional filmmaking.
Our complementary backgrounds were a great fit for linking an analytical approach with an emphasis content and solving B2B customer problems as they searched for solutions and resources. The inbound marketing methodology was a natural fit for our approach, but the learning curve was pretty steep.
Soon after launching our company, we decided to invest in HubSpot and Inbound Marketing. It was a revelation – the single most important building block to solidifying who we were to become as an agency. We were able to systematize our tasks while delivering the client results that were so important to us. HubSpot became the foundation for our entire Inbound Marketing business.
Now, jumping head-first into HubSpot can be pretty overwhelming. There is a lot to use and test and learn. One of the first things we did – and the first thing I would recommend any marketer do – is become Inbound certified.
Inbound Marketing is a Response to a Problem
Technology has disrupted the way we conduct business, and customers started tuning out and skipping over traditional interruption-based advertising. Through online search and social sharing, customers, rather than corporations, began driving the buying process. Inbound Marketing is the natural response to this monumental shift.
Inbound may have become something of a buzzword, but this is no fad. It isn’t just about new marketing tactics; these are profound changes in the way that we understand our customers and create value for them by providing the content they need to help them solve their problems.
What is the HubSpot Inbound Certification?
Fortunately, you don’t have to be a HubSpot subscriber to go through their training and take the Inbound Certification. Anyone can do it, and it’s free. The information here is invaluable. HubSpot is not just marketing software – it’s an entire methodology – and this certification is Inbound Marketing 101.
The training consists of 12 classes, with a total runtime of about 4.5 hours. These are fantastic study materials – everything is intuitively segmented with engaging videos and downloadable resources. It teaches you the fundamentals of how search engine optimization (SEO), blogging, landing pages, lead nurturing, conversion analysis, and reporting combine to form the Inbound Marketing strategy.
The certification itself is 60 questions, and an 80% or higher is a passing grade. Certifications last for 13 months.
Why Get Certified?
The HubSpot inbound certification is for anyone that wants to begin learning about the Inbound Marketing Methodology, such as marketers looking to broaden their content marketing skills, students looking to boost their marketing knowledge or entrepreneurs building their Inbound business from the ground up. In addition to learning the methodology itself – how to use Inbound to attract visitors, convert leads, close sales, and delight customers – becoming certified comes with several perks.
Use Certification to Market Yourself
HubSpot is a highly regarded brand and industry leader, and any certifications from them are going to be beneficial to you and your company. You can use your new certification to market yourself by adding it to your LinkedIn profile, your website, your resume, and your email signature.
Set Knowledge Standards within Your Organization
Commit your entire marketing team to learn the vocabulary and principles of the Inbound methodology by having them all get certified. Your team will all be on the same page, improving your marketing efficiency and results.
Establish Professional Credibility
After just a half-day’s worth of training videos and a 90-minute test, you’ll be certified in something highly valuable that most of your competitors simply are not. By conveying to your prospects and customers that you have fully embraced Inbound, you’re on your way to positioning yourself as the industry leader that your clients expect you to be.
Is It Really Worth It?
Simply put: yes. Many benefits come with the certification (as outlined above), but the most valuable thing you’ll gain is the knowledge you get by going through the training. You could go through the study materials and think you’ve learned it, but by taking the exam, you’ll actually determine whether or not you really got it.
And, after you pass the HubSpot Inbound Certification, don’t stop there. HubSpot has several certifications and a wealth of training material available, each designed to help you master every facet of Inbound Marketing.