Building a profitable brand can be tough at the best of times. The digital revolution has made starting a business easier and quicker than ever, with the average start-up taking only six days to launch. Easier access to the marketplace means more competition, however, which is why fewer than half of businesses make it past their fifth year. Whatever sector you’re trying to break into, selling yourself takes time, effort, money, and a heavy dose of willpower.
Thanks to the world-renowned HubSpot marketing blog, however, many budding entrepreneurs are bucking this trend. Indeed, some of the most successful professionals are using the company’s business growth articles to learn about sales and marketing from the comfort of their own homes. In other words, if you’ve never heard of HubSpot before, you’re missing out on a treasure trove of valuable advice about how to grow and nurture your business or start-up in the digital age.
Whether you’re new to the world of industry or attempting to grow a well-established company, there are many valuable nuggets of information to be found throughout the HubSpot marketing and sales blogs.
First things first: What is the HubSpot marketing blog?
HubSpot’s primary selling point is its customer relationship management (CRM) platform, used by businesses across the world to run marketing campaigns, manage sales, handle customer service, automate business processes, and upload content. The company’s regular blog posts are freely accessible regardless of whether you’re signed up, however, and they’re impressively comprehensive. From the latest search engine optimization (SEO) tips to detailed podcasting guides, few stones are left unturned.
Ready to learn a thing or two about entrepreneurial success in the digital age? To help you conduct effective HubSpot research and make the most of the famous HubSpot marketing blog, we’ve created a guide to the company’s best articles from this year.
1. How to Use Google Calendar: 21 Features That'll Make You More Productive
Think you know your way around Google Calendar? Think again. This blog post about Google Calendar’s wide array of features is brimming with helpful tips about making the most of this widely used application.
Google is constantly updating and improving its tools, and HubSpot research is a great way to alert you to the latest changes. Reading this article will teach you some nifty tricks, including:
- How to sync up meetings with your CRM system
- How to hide event details to ensure sensitive data remains confidential
- How to add locations to your calendar invitations
- How to enable desktop notifications
- How to create different calendars for different aspects of your life
Remember – staying motivated, focused, and productive is vital if you want your business to grow. While natural entrepreneurial talent and an innovative product represent the foundations of success, you won’t get far without drive and concentration.
According to stats from Atlassian, the average worker is interrupted 56 times a day on average and spends around three minutes on a single task before switching to a new one. In other words, we’re constantly distracted by notifications, emails, and wandering thoughts. As this incisive article makes clear, carefully organizing your priorities in Google Calendar will help to structure your day and those of your employees. By remaining disciplined, you can grow your business without the need for excessive overtime or burnout.
2. 3 Easy Steps to Build Your Brand Promise [+10 examples]
As you’re probably already well aware, reaching key audiences with sharp branding is vital if you want to grow your business in 2021. Cutting through the noise on social media and other online platforms means conveying a fresh message that reflects your company values. If you’re looking to succeed and gain the trust of consumers, these values should go beyond simply gaining fans and making a profit.
As this helpful article explains, disseminating an attractive brand promise across relevant touchpoints is a must for growing businesses. Whether you’re pledging to offset your carbon footprint or to put technical innovation at the top of your business agenda, customers love investing in brands on a mission. In fact, a massive 40% of consumers actively seek purposeful brands with a social conscience.
So, how can you come up with a realistic brand promise that attracts consumers? By reading this article, you can find answers to questions such as:
- What is the difference between a tagline and a brand promise?
- What are the most common forms of brand promise?
- How can you come up with a unique promise?
The blog post also features a list of examples to get your creative juices flowing. Check it out when you have a spare moment!
3. How to Create a Sales Plan: Template + Examples
If you’re going to succeed in the cutthroat world of business, you should at least be familiar with the idea of a sales plan. Don’t worry if you’re a little unsure about how to come up with one, however – this is just one of many business growth articles loaded with actionable, step-by-step advice.
In short, a sales plan will help you to refine your target audience, identify potential obstacles to growth, and discover sales strategies that truly work. Sales planning in the digital age means making use of online tools at your disposal such as CRM systems, social media platforms, e-commerce sites, and more.
Sounds complicated, right? It doesn’t have to be. As the author of this post points out, careful budgeting and analysis of your chosen sector will offer robust foundations on which to build data-driven sales strategies. Read it to find out more about the following:
- How to identify and exploit industry trends
- How to impress stakeholders with a convincing budget proposal
- Which technologies you should be using to track business success
- Why you should create individual plans for every team in your company
- Key performance indicators (KPIs) and their uses
- Why sales and marketing teams must work together closely
- How to conduct a detailed competitive analysis
- How to motivate your sales representatives
This article is a little longer than the others we’ve listed, but its helpful insights and free sales plan template are well worth your time.
4. How to Stop Procrastinating and Become a Joyful Writer [Infographic]
We’ve all heard the phrase ‘content is king’, but what does it really mean? Put simply, content marketing is a precious (and often underused) resource for new business owners and should be a core part of your marketing strategy.
If you’ve ever researched how to do online marketing, you’ve probably come across a few of the thousands of online articles telling you to get your writer's brain into gear. This is because search engine optimization (SEO) represents one of the cheapest and most efficient ways to drive organic to your site and create a buzz around your brand.
Wondering what SEO has to do with content creation? Head straight to the SEO section of the HubSpot marketing blog for a crash course in strategies such as keyword research and backlinking – trust us, you need it!
Even when you’re aware of the powers of content marketing, however, motivating yourself to churn out high-quality blog posts or landing pages can feel like a chore. If you’re a budding entrepreneur without the resources to hire a professional copywriter, writing content can feel like a distraction or an insurmountable task.
Fortunately, HubSpot has published a delightful infographic to help both rookie and professional writers produce their best writing at lightning speed. Despite its short length, we think it is the best content marketing guide produced on the site so far this year.
Check it out if you would like help with any of the following:
- Identifying the reasons behind your procrastination
- How to avoid distractions in the middle of writing content
- How to motivate yourself to produce more words
- How to handle writer’s block
5. 4 Ways to Create Time and Space for Building Rapport Virtually
Thanks to the COVID-19 crisis, virtual meetings have become a normal part of everyday life for millions. While some people find the experience of homeworking a little isolating, many workers and employers discovered that their productivity shot up over 2020. According to recent figures, companies are so pleased with the cost-saving and business-growing effects of the ‘new normal’ that over 36 million US workers are expected to work remotely by 2025.
Even if you prefer the buzz of the office to your familiar domestic space, chances are you will need to conduct some professional meetings virtually in the coming months and years. As your business grows, you may need to video call stakeholders in other parts of the country. If you’re planning to hire more workers, you may also need to be flexible about homeworking, particularly if they have childcare responsibilities.
While interacting with others via platforms such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams may seem a little unnatural, it can actually be very rewarding. As this excellent HubSpot article explains, it is perfectly possible to build meaningful relationships with clients or business partners if you’re willing to put in the effort.
From sending friendly follow-up messages to setting aside a little time to talk about your weekend plans, you can still generate a rapport with people who aren’t in the room. Remember – building professional networks in the ‘new normal’ is still just as important as it was before the pandemic hit. As well as introducing you to new opportunities or clients, networking could help spread the word about your business. Think of it as free marketing!
So, how should you go about setting up meetings and avoiding technical problems? Dive into this article if you want to find out:
- How to break the ice and set the tone when interacting with new faces
- Why you should be scheduling short check-in meetings
- How to build relationships outside of meetings
- How to replicate the sociable elements of in-person meetings
6. How to Create an Effective Customer Journey Map [Examples + Template]
Prepare yourself for another long read, as this is one of the best and most in-depth customer service guides that we’ve come across during our HubSpot research. It is, in essence, an induction into the world of customer journeys.
If you’re wondering what this means, you’re not alone. Many new business owners build marketing and sales strategies based entirely on their instincts. Unfortunately, this is pretty much doomed to fail. Mapping out customers’ journeys will help you to identify weak spots in your sales or marketing strategies using the perspectives of your customers. People who use your goods and services are, after all, best placed to provide feedback about what you’re getting right and wrong. Failing to make the most of these perspectives is not a mistake that entrepreneurs should be making in 2021.
This blog post starts by explaining how you can go about mapping your customers’ journeys. It provides a handy table you can easily use for your own purposes, including subsections such as key events, customer motivations, and areas of friction.
Of course, mapping customer journeys from A to B necessarily involves collecting data from prospects and customers beforehand. If this sounds a little overwhelming, don’t worry – HubSpot has you covered. You can find more information about data collection in this article and elsewhere on the site.
Once this initial legwork has been completed, you can get on with implementing a robust customer journey strategy that will help your business to grow. For example, the author of this blog post offers plenty more valuable tips about the following tasks:
- Establishing your key customer personas and their goals
- Discovering all relevant touchpoints
- Taking the customer journey for yourself
- Making changes based on actionable insights
7. Is Cold Calling Dead? 17 New Prospecting Strategies Salespeople Should Use
If you own a new and growing organization, you will need to come up with strong and assertive ways to discover prospects. You can’t simply wait for customers to find you – you must be proactive and demonstrate clearly why your goods and services are worth investing in.
Unfortunately, as this article demonstrates, finding new prospects requires much more innovative techniques than cold calling. While there is still a time and a place for getting in touch with random people, the digital landscape has opened up much more cost-effective ways of driving sales and profits.
Take a look at this quick and easy article if you’re thinking about using any of the following direct and indirect sales techniques:
- Writing a blog
- Sharing content on social media
- Reaching prospects directly using social media platforms
- Connecting with thought leaders in your industry
- Tracking web behavior to come up with an effective calling schedule
- Selling your wares with expert knowledge
- Sending compelling emails to sales prospects
- Sharing blog posts in online groups
- Using chatbots to draw in new customers
- Getting rid of your call script
- Making the most of your CRM system
- Making sales videos
As you can see, there are plenty of ways to reach new prospects. HubSpot’s business growth articles offer in-depth guidance on how to pull off these techniques successfully.
The bottom line: Do your research
If you’ve ever Googled anything about content marketing, sales, or CRMs, you’ve probably come across a sea of HubSpot articles. As well as being supremely well-optimized (they are marketing gurus, after all), HubSpot has developed a reputation as the go-to resource for business professionals looking to expand their horizons and learn about the latest corporate trends.
So, whether you own a relatively well-established business or a sparky young start-up, make yourself a strong cup of coffee and settle down to some HubSpot research. While scrolling through a blog may seem like a waste of time when you’re trying to grow a business, doing your research is vital in today’s digital landscape. Your competitors will be coming up with increasingly ingenious ways to improve their search rankings, so you must stay on top of the latest trends to retain your customers.
Although we recommend starting with the articles listed here, it is always worth browsing other blog posts on the site. Think about what skills you may be lacking and use the search bar to find out more about them, noting down any exciting new discoveries as you go. Even a thirty-minute browse through the archives could equip you with the knowledge you need to de-stress, improve your organizational skills, and boost your bottom line.