Fresh out of college, a skip in my step and a twinkle in my eye, I walked into my first job interview with MINDSCAPE. My shirt was freshly pressed (thanks, mom) and my hair was freshly greased (thanks Old Spice).
I'm not afraid to say it, I was looking suave. Real suave. I was confident as could be as I shook hands with the CEO, Pete Brand, and prepared to give him... oh just about a thousand reasons he should hire me.
And then we started talking.....
I was pretty sure Pete liked me, and I was quickly falling in love with his company, but my impenetrable wall of confidence was starting to look less like the Great Wall of China and more like the crumbling wall of a sandcastle. I was beginning to suspect that the plethora of knowledge I obtained over the last four years wasn't as extensive as I originally thought.
As the interview ended and I nervously gathered my things, I gave one last effort. "So what would I have to do to start working here?" Pete just looked to me and said he would email me a list of assignments. I had made it to the next round. I broke into a smile, shook his hand once more, and screamed in triumph (as soon as the elevator doors closed behind me).
Over the next 2 months, I would earn two certifications, write numerous blog posts, take charge of the company's social media efforts, and become fully immersed in the world of Inbound Marketing.
Here is what I learned:
1. The World of Inbound Is BIG
If you are just entering the world of Inbound Marketing, you are probably beginning to realize just how much is involved in it. Email marketing, SEO, social media marketing, website design, content creation and distribution, pay-per-click marketing, I mean there are 3 other types of marketing included in inbound marketing, and those are just the things I listed!
"As wide as the ocean, as vast as the universe, as confusing as movies about time travel."
I am making a point of telling you this because when you start experimenting with inbound marketing, you need to know what you are getting into. If your boss suddenly says: "Hey, I heard about this Inbound Marketing thing, can you get on that?" You might want to enlist the help of a few co-workers or partner with an Inbound consulting agency (I know of at least 1 really amazing one).
You are going to need to get organized, get familiar, and collect data before even thinking of developing your inbound strategy.
2. You are Going to Want to Feel Dumb....Don't
When you start something new, you generally aren't going to be great at it. I had to get certified in Inbound Marketing before Pete would even let me talk to him, certified in Hubspot as soon as I got the job, and I have learned about a million other things since I've been with MINDSCAPE. That being said, I haven't even scratched the surface of "everything Inbound."
You might have to ask some "dumb" questions, but that's okay. No one person is great at web design, content writing, SEO evaluation, social media marketing, etc.
It isn't going to be easy to familiarize with everything, luckily there are resources aplenty on the worldwide web to help you out.
3. It Can't be Done Without Prioritization
Remember how I said, "get organized?" Yeah. Do that. And then decide what your company really needs. If your website hasn't been redesigned since the early 1990's (thanks for reading our blog, Tim Berners-Lee) then you should probably place website redesign at the top of your list. If you are struggling to engage potential customers, it might be time to start getting active on social media. And if your number one goal is to become your industry's biggest thought leader, work on your content creation.
You might not need to impliment every aspect of Inbound Marketing in order to accomplish your goals. Figure out what your company most needs, and start there. Once you perfect one aspect of Inbound, you can start to focus on the other, less pressing aspects of your Inbound Marketing strategy.
4. If You Aren't Analyzing Quit Now
This is probably obvious, but to be honest with you, analyzing data is something I had trouble with at first. I had all of these great ideas I wanted to throw into the fray, but I had no scheduled plan for analyzing my results, and I wasn't familiar with all of the analytical resources I had at my fingertips.
If you work in a fast pace, urgent, and excited environment, a little voice in your head might be screaming "NOW, NOW, NOW!" Don't listen to this voice.
Chances are you have the internal resources to gather data . Once you establish your goals (increase leads, generate more traffic, improve engagement, etc.) and set benchmarks (internal standards of comparison) you can implement your strategy with care, and develop a next step when results start pouring in.
From then to now....
As you probably gathered from my little bit about "gaining certificates, writing numerous blog posts" blah, blah, blah, things have worked out well for me at MINDSCAPE. It was a hard process, but trust me, the knowledge comes, and things get easier and easier. Once you learn and implement Inbound Marketing strategies, you are bound to see results.
Having trouble handling "everything Inbound?" We can help! Click below to get information on our training course!