Party Talk

Learning aloneAs a passionate HubSpot customer, I smile at HubSpot’s email, devour blog posts here, and regularly scour Twitter for anything about inbound marketing. With no degree or formal study in marketing, I’ve acquired much of my marketing expertise from reading this material on weekends, during lunch hours, or on my hourly ‘check email’ breaks.

As a content creator, I tend towards the introvert. I’m invigorated by a three-hour battle with a jquery plugin and drained by a 45-minute interview, even when it’s with a cool wind geek who even plugged the blog post on her Facebook page. Yes, it’s true — even though most people don’t bite, I’m scared of ‘em.

Despite my aversion to humans and corresponding love for reading anything on the screen — especially if it’s a blog post with at least one image and heading tags in orange — the lessons that have stayed with me the longest have been learned socially. By “socially” I mean learned in one-on-one interactions. (I interrupt this blog post to inquire why no one has ever thought of calling these websites “anti-social media,” since they interrupt dinner conversations, football games, funerals, weddings, and worse.)

I learned that graphic designers need to focus their ideas on a client’s business goals not from reading a book or a self-help article but from a conversation in 1995 at a HOW Magazine design conference. This lesson stuck with me throughout my whole career and I still remember the person who suggested it – David Esrati, whose business card brilliantly said “We make you more money than you pay us.”

After the annual HubSpot User Group meeting each year I’ve returned to the office all jazzed up, ready to become a blogging maniac like Marcus Sheridan or a landing page wizard like the folks at Lynton Web. It turns out that, despite my tendency to stay home from parties, I’m inspired the most by stuff I learn at meetings.

Here’s where I absolutely plug an upcoming event!

HUG meeting October 9If you’re in the situation of doing inbound marketing or sales all by yourself, or mostly by yourself, user group meetings are especially valuable. That’s why I jumped at the chance to co-lead the local Boston HubSpot User Group (that, and the unfettered access to the HubSpot fridge).

Our first meeting will focus on lead intelligence. We’ll hear from some sales people about how they use lead intelligence to improve their sales process, and we’ll hear from some of the HubSpot team about how HubSpot 3 can improve lead intelligence and lead management. The panel discussion will be great, and of course there will be eats there. But the best part is going to happen in the discussion afterwards, when someone will convince me that Myspace is not dead or to make all my web sites pink. Please come meet me — I’ll be the one in the back row taking notes with a pencil!

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