Last August, I wrote an article about our initial experience with using HubSpot for inbound marketing. In late 2014, we made a fundamental shift in our agency and chose to use HubSpot as the platform to manage inbound marketing for ourselves and our clients. If you missed it, you can read the full article here.This month, we achieved a milestone by being recognized as a Gold Tier partner agency with HubSpot. It’s a significant achievement for us, so I thought I would take this opportunity to provide an update on our journey.
Inbound Marketing is Still Hard Work
Over the last sixteen months, we’ve learned if you’re going to be successful at inbound marketing, then you have to be willing to “do the work”. And do really good work, not just crank out average content. It’s a process of continual improvement, but it’s a lot of fun when you see positive results.
If you’re not committed to consistently producing great work, then you’re not likely to succeed as you had hoped. The same principle holds true for clients. If they’re not committed to the process, then it’s going to be a long, painful journey for you both. Fortunately for us, we’ve been able to partner with some really great clients that get it.
State of the Business
A LOT has changed in our agency in the last 16 months. Here’s a quick recap of the highlights.
- We just achieved Gold Tier status with HubSpot.
- We’ve maintained and expanded ourselves as a Google Partner agency.
- Prospects are finding us. We’re not finding them. Sure, we still get great leads from referrals but our primary source of lead generation is our own inbound marketing.
- Our Sales process has changed to align with the New Buyer Mentality.
- We’re working with fewer clients, but we’re doing significantly more with the clients we work with.
- We’ve doubled our full-time staff.
- Recurring revenues have increased over 160% and now represent more than 90% of our monthly income. Previously, recurring revenue accounted for about 50% of total income.
All of this is great, but we’ve got bigger plans. I fully expect we’ll double in size again within the next 12 months.
New Challenge: Growing Our Agency
The success we’ve had in adding new clients presents new challenges, namely growing our agency in a controlled manner. Over the last 16 months, our agency staff has doubled in size from 5 to 10 full-time Wayposters. And that doesn’t include a network of freelance copywriters we’re developing for clients with specialty products or services.
Fortunately, we were planning ahead for this growth (because we knew it was going to happen) and developed a process to continually attract new talent. We applied inbound marketing methodology and developed a campaign to attract, connect with and nurture future Wayposters.
Now, we have a bench of candidates we’ve already been connecting with to pull from when we have a need. There is no mad scramble to find someone to fill a spot. Plus, there is no need to retain a staffing agency to do this work for us. We officially implemented this process last December and have used it for our last two hires.
HubSpot is Just a Tool
We chose to use HubSpot’s marketing automation software as the platform to deliver our services. We still think it's a great platform that only continues to get better. However, the value we are now able to provide lies in strategy, content creation and our ability to deliver results in terms of lead generation and sales, which is, after all, the only thing that really matters.