Listen To My Latest Podcast Episode:

#518: Sweeten the Deal: How To Create a Bonus Package That Gets Your Audience to Buy

Listen To My Latest Podcast Episode:#518: Sweeten the Deal: How To Create a Bonus Package That Gets Your Audience to Buy

AMY PORTERFIELD: Hey everyone, welcome to another edition of the Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast. 

Today's session is extra special; the reason being is that this session is one that you, or many of you, actually asked for. The reason I know that is because I sent out a survey a few months back asking for your feedback and insight about what you wanted to learn most from my podcast. So I asked you what sites did you frequent the most, what businesses did you follow, where you spent your time online, and I really specifically asked about list building, content marketing, content creation and social media. SO MANY of you mentioned that you follow the HubSpot blog. 

What I did today is I invited the Chief Marketing Officer of HubSpot, Mike Volpe to come on the show and share some of his wisdom. 

For those of you who are not exactly familiar with HubSpot, they offer an inbound marketing software solution. So they help you blog, Tweet, capture leads, optimize your SEO, view analytics, basically everything you need to do for your marketing all in one spot, hence the name HubSpot. It's a pretty powerful tool, and I've always been a huge fan. I have a lot of clients that use it. 

Our guest today, Mike, has been at HubSpot since 2007. He was actually the 5th employee of the company. Now they have over 500 employees, so they've grown significantly over the past few years. 

Mike heads up HubSpot's lead generation and branding strategy through inbound marketing. To brag on Mike just a bit, since he joined HubSpot, the company's grown from 10 to 8500+ customers and raised $65 million in venture capital. Pretty impressive, to say the least! I am so excited that Mike's here today. 

A little housekeeping before we get started: I wanted to remind you that you can get all the show notes for all of my podcasts on my website at AmyPorterfield.com, and depending on which session you're listening to, that's how you find my show notes. This session is session #5, so you go to amyporterfield.com/5. That's the number 5. Easy as that! I'm going to make sure I add a bunch of links, a lot of great articles and tips and tricks that are mentioned in this podcast today inside my show notes. So that's AmyPorterfield.com/5. 

Let's go ahead and jump in. 

Mike, thanks so much for being with us today, I really appreciate it. 

Mike: Oh, I'm so psyched to be here! Thanks for having me. 

Amy: Definitely! So, tell me a little bit about HubSpot and why it's different than, let's say, the average social media site or even the regular online marketing site. I mean, your blog covers so much, but tell me a little bit about why it's different and really what IS inbound marketing. 

Mike: Yeah, so there's a bunch of ways that I think HubSpot is different from a lot of other things. I think in terms of the content and the information that we provide, we're huge proponents of inbound marketing, and I think the way to think about inbound marketing is, it's marketing to people in a way that they want to be marketed to. So no one likes getting cold calls, no one likes having their mailbox filled with a bunch of junk mail. But people are still buying things. People are searching in Google, they're asking their friends in social media. 

What inbound marketing is, is a collection of all the techniques that you should use in order to attract people to you by marketing to them the way they want to be marketed to, so [inaudible] being a helpful resource and content marketing is an important part of that. Social media marketing is an important part of that. Search engine optimization, SEO, is an important part of inbound marketing. But that's fundamentally what inbound marketing IS, and that's what we do most of our publishing and content and advice about. 

Amy: You do so much on your site, so you got the eBooks, obviously the blog articles, you do webinars, reports, case studies. Now, for someone that's trying to do it all, but obviously we know they can't, what's one of the most important strategies that you've discovered on your site for lead generation, to collect those names and emails? 

Mike: Yeah, so really specifically around lead generation, I think the one tip I would have for most folks is have a strong call to action. Whether it's on the homepage of your site or also on–probably the bottom, at the end of every single blog article that you write, or even as part of some, not all, of your social media messages, have a link to some lead generation offer that people can click on and actually convert on. Something that goes to a landing page where you're collecting that lead information. 

So many sites that I see, especially amongst smaller businesses, you go to the homepage and there's no strong call to action. There's nothing there that's enticing people to click on it and then give you their contact information. When you read blog articles on a lot of sites, when you finish the blog article, it sort of just ends, it says sort of like “Hey, hope you enjoyed that!” and that's it. You should always have a strong call to action at the end of every blog article. 

If you go to HubSpot.com on our homepage and also blog.homespot.com, which is where our blog is, you'll see good examples of how we do that in most cases. And I think the results that we've seen from businesses that just do that, just have a strong call to action, are really, really significant. We've seen blogs get 2-3 times more leads just by having a call to action at the bottom of each blog article. 

Amy: You know, I do a lot of webinar trainings and I taught the whole strategy of adding in opt-in at the end of the blog, and I used HubSpot as the #1 example. You do that SO well. I think the coolest thing you do is…the way I see it, at least, is what you're giving away at the end of that blog post usually has something to do with that blog. Is that right? 

Mike: Yeah. That's exactly right. I think–and it's interesting, maybe this is a good opportunity to talk a little bit about, you know, obviously we provide all this content and all this thought leadership, but we sell software. That's how we make money– because we all need to make money to pay our salaries at the end of every day! And so what our software is, is this marketing platform that people can use, companies can use, to do inbound marketing. 

So you use it for social media, you use it for blogging, you can use it for landing pages, you can do email with it and marketing automation, you can do analytics, you can do search engine optimization and it's got all those things all in one place, which is why it's a really great solution for bigger companies but also for smaller companies. 

One of the things that our software does is it will do what we call Smart CTAs or Smart Calls-To-Actions. What that means is, that you can take your list, your database of contacts, and put them into different groups, and maybe have a group of people that are bigger companies that you're selling to, and maybe there's another group that are smaller companies, and what it can do is at the bottom of that blog article, it will actually display a DIFFERENT call to action based on who people are and where they are in you sales and marketing process. 

Amy: Wow! 

Mike: So, someone who doesn't know you quite as well, maybe you want them, at the bottom of the blog article, maybe you're going to offer them an eBook. For someone who's maybe already downloaded a couple of eBooks, maybe you actually want to do a trial consultation or talk to a sales person or something like that, and you can do that as well. 

I think what you're talking about in terms of both tailoring the call to action to the content that is in the blog article, that's really very effective, and in addition to that, even personalizing it to different audiences and have it actually switch or even do–aid the optimization, things like that, that may be getting a little bit more advanced for some folks, but that stuff can also be really, really effective. 

Amy: I think that's fantastic! I mean, segmentation is the name of the game these days. There's so much information out there, and people are consuming it in so many different ways, but if you can REALLY hone in on what they need and how you want to interact with them–holy cow, I think it changes the game! 

Mike: Yeah. I think that there's big companies that do this really well. I mean, when I go to Amazon.com, the page that I see is very different than the page that my wife sees, because she and I are interested in purchases different products. If Amazon showed me the page that they show to her, I wouldn't be purchasing a lot of things from them, and vice-versa. 

I think what we're trying to do, and what we think all companies should think about doing, is how can they take some of the type of personalization and do it on their own website? And you know, you may not have tens of millions of products the way Amazon does, but you probably have a couple of offers that you're trying to use for lead generation. You have some different content. You might provide a couple of 

different services! And as much as you can tailor those to the individual people that are coming to your website or your blog, the better results that you're going to get. 

Amy: Yes, for sure. You know, I work with a lot of people that are just starting out with their online marketing and they're just starting out with their giveaway. I call it the Signature Promotional Giveaway, that one giveaway that they're going to start out with to collect names and emails. But I always say you're going to, obviously, grow your list faster if you have a few different options for people. People like to learn in different ways, listen in different ways–so I love the idea of having multiple opt-ins and then segmenting and personalizing them to the audience. So that's great. 

Mike: Yeah. And we started, you know, when I started at HubSpot the company was 5 people. I was the first marketing person that they hired, that the co-founders brought on, and we've grown a lot since then. The company's now 500 people, the marketing team is like 40 people, so we've definitely taken things to an extreme. 

But back in early 2007, I created our first offer, and I did a webinar and I turned the slides from the webinar into an eBook and that was the first thing that we did. From that point, starting with that one, we now have over 150 different offers between webinars and eBooks on different topics and things like that, and I will tell you that our conversion rates have gone up as we've had more and more offers. 

So the more options you have for people, the more topical things that you can have, the better. But you're absolutely right: The most important thing is just pick one, get started with one, show some success with one and then do another one and then do another one. Because the most important thing is just to get started. 

Amy: And it's so great that you've got to start somewhere, you're so right, you started with the webinar, turned it into an eBook. I love the whole repurposing of the content. How long ago was that? 

Mike: The first one, it was the beginning of 2007. So it was almost 6 years ago. 

Amy: And how many clients do you have now at HubSpot? 

Mike: There's over 8500 companies, in over 50 different companies. We just announced our results for 2012. Our revenue grew 82% to $53 million in revenue. And so, yeah…and again, when I started, we had a handful of customers. It was very small. So we've been able to grow a lot, and I do think that inbound marketing has been a 

key part of our success, because we could reach and attract a really, really big audience for not that much money. And I think that that's something that you talk to–everyone that you talk to about it is like “How do you leverage these things to attract more people at a lower cost?” 

Amy: Yes! And you know, I look at HubSpot as one of the big boys. You have a lot of clients now, you guys are making great money, but you started really simple. I mean, you were the first marketing guy on the team, and I used to work with Tony Robbins, and one of the things that he always taught me was “Don't shy away from learning from the big guys.” Don't think that Coca-Cola and the big Starbucks and whoever are people that you can't aspire to because you just model the best. 

What I do is I go on HubSpot all the time, find out what you guys are doing, find out what you guys are teaching, model how YOU are marketing and it changes my business, too. So I'm glad you talk about your humble beginnings but also the fact that you're REALLY solid. I mean, your success has been huge. 

Mike: Yeah, thanks! And it's great to know that you're actually reading our content and sharing with folks. I think that–you know, the advantage that a lot of the people that you talk to have over HubSpot is we're now 500 people, and we do not move as quickly now as when we used to 

when we were 5 people or 50 people. And so in many ways, if you take some of the things that we're talking about or some of the things we're doing, you know, your audience might be able to implement those things faster than we're doing, and there's some advantages there, too. 

One of the things is, we always like to learn from some of the big guys, too, so we're constantly looking at companies like SalesForce.com and other huge companies and seeing “What are they doing that we should incorporate into what we do?” 

So I think that that learning that you have from Tony Robbins is absolutely spot-on. 

Amy: Definitely. Now, I want to talk to you about webinars, but before I get to webinars I have to circle back one more time and the whole concept, where we started here, was adding an opt-in at the end of a blog post. My good friend Derek Halpern of Social Triggers always says “If someone's going to read your entire blog post, they are a HOT commodity to you! You definitely want to get them on your list because they're interested.” So of course, have that opt-in at the bottom. 

But I read somewhere–you've had some crazy conversions with that. Do you remember any statistics as to what you're seeing with adding an opt-in at the bottom of your blog post? 

Mike: Yeah. I forget the exact numbers on it, but it definitely helped a ton. We were able to add–I mean, we have a pretty big audience on our blog now, but I think there were two things that we did recently, over the past year that have helped us a lot. 

The first thing was adding that opt-in at the bottom of a blog post, and you're absolutely right. That person who read the entire blog article and they're really asking you what they should do next. We talked earlier about having a call to action, and we have both a call to action to download an eBook or webinar, but we also have the sign-ups to describe to the blog by email as well. 

The combination of that plus, on all the forums to download our eBook or our webinar we have a checkbox that you can opt-in to…it starts off unchecked, but if you want to check i t you can, and then we'll add you to the blog email list as well. The combination of those two things, we started getting more than–it was almost 15,000 people, additional subscribers to our blog in a two-month period. 

Amy: Wow! 

Mike: It was a pretty big number, and we've got a large number of subscribers to our blog now. Our blog gets over a million unique visitors a month. But it's through a lot of things that you're talking about, absolutely. So I think your advice is definitely right on. 

Amy: Cool, definitely. Okay, so let's talk webinars. Webinars have been the #1 way that I've built my business, put myself on the map, built my authority AND built my email list. But what I noticed about what you do at HubSpot–you have a really cool strategy with webinars. I think you probably use them in a few different ways, but can you talk about your webinar strategy, what you've been doing and what you've been seeing with that? 

Mike: Yeah. The interesting thing for us is webinars have been hugely important for us, and again, the first offer we ever created was a webinar. And I think that what you'll find is for different audiences, different offers work really well, but webinars are one of those things that can be really, really affective. It provides a great connection with your audience. 

And I also think that the live aspect of holding a live webinar, for some people, gives them a reason to actually respond to something because there's a specific date and time. The great thing about a webinar is that you also can then record it and then do the archive, which I know you do as well. And then use that as an evergreen offer, or some offer that's on your site permanently. 

I think there's some great ways to use webinars, and those are a couple of examples of how to get started and for us, webinars are one of the cornerstone offers that we use. You can take the slides to the webinar and turn that into an eBook, you can take the content from the webinar and then write blog articles about it. So we try to do all those different things. In many cases, for one of our offers or campaigns, it starts with a webinar and then we just get all these other pieces of content based on that original webinar. 

Amy: Yeah, I think that a lot of people stop at the webinar and forget that there's so much more you can create with it. 

Now, I usually promote at the end of my webinars. My webinars are free, and then I give great valuable content, I make sure it's actionable, so if someone buys or they don't buy they still walk away with something, but I usually promote a product at the end of my webinars. Do you promote or is it just pure content? 

Mike: We do, do some promotion. I think the key is, what you want to do to be affective at inbound marketing is always provide value. Value builds trust. And then once you have that trust, you have the ability to do some selling. So yeah, usually at the end of the webinar…and we vary it up. It depends on what type of webinar and who is actually attending and how much–what the engagement of the audience has been with us. 

But there's always some next step, at a minimum, just letting people know that HubSpot sells software, and you can do a free trial here, or you can sign up to request a demonstration there, things like that, absolutely. 

Sometimes we'll do something a little bit more and maybe morph the content of the webinar toward the end into talking a little bit more about the product, the software product that we sell as part of the content of the webinar, but usually only for the last 5 or 10 minutes on a 45 minute or hour-long webinar. So I think it's really important to build trust and build up that thought leadership, because that's going to make your ability to sell much more affective. 

I think if you start off selling at the beginning of the webinar, unless you've told people that this is a demonstration or this is a sales pitch, I think if they go there expecting content, you're not going to build a lot of trust and you're not going to build repeat viewers and they're not going to share that content with any of your friends, so it's going to really limit your ability to do lead generation unless you're providing value. 

Amy: Yeah, definitely. Do you ever use SlideShare? I don't know about it enough, but have you turned your webinars into SlideShares? 

Mike: Yeah, let's talk about it. SlideShare, it's slideshare.net, and I like to call it the business version of YouTube, because YouTube, I think there's a lot of…its' great for videos, it's a great site, we use it as well, but SlideShare is really, is the–video is to YouTube as PowerPoint is to SlideShare. So you can take a PowerPoint presentation and upload it to SlideShare. You can also use PDF and other things. But most of it's PowerPoint. And it's just like YouTube but it's for PowerPoint. 

What I like about it is, it's a very business-focused audience. Unlike YouTube, you get a lot of high school and college students watching music videos and squirrels, you know, water skiing and things like that, SlideShare is really about business. There's a lot of presentations out there about sales and marketing and software development and product design and finance and all these different great topics. 

So if you're doing some marketing in the business realm, it can be really important. We've had a lot of success there. We have a few presentations that's been viewed hundreds of thousands of time. 

Amy: WOW! 

Mike: Yeah! And again, I would equate that to millions of views on YouTube because the audience of SlideShare is so focused. And if you want some basic tips, I would say the most important tip for SlideShare, maybe the two most important tips, are 1, make sure the front page, that cover slide, is really well optimized for SlideShare. And when you look at the site they have small thumbnails. 

So what you want for that main slide on the front page is to have very, very large text that you can still read and it's still appealing even if the slide is shrunken down to a very small size. And you can upload one that's like a test on the site and see how much it strikes. Because people, what you want to do is get people to click on the 

thumbnail when they see the small version of the presentation. So you need to use really large font on the front page and then make sure that the presentation is a presentation that can be read and it's not just a bunch of pictures or images that need the voice track. They do have the ability to add a recording to it, but most people don't really use that on SlideShare is my understanding. 

Amy: Oh! 

Mike: So you want it to be the kind of thing where you click through, it's a very visual and engaging presentation, but you don't need any extra audio to make the presentation make any sense. 

Amy: Okay, that's huge. 

Mike: If you can get those things, you've got a good shot at making SlideShare successful. 

Amy: Okay, so that's what I actually didn't know. So you're not hearing anybody's voice. You're just looking at the slides. 

Mike: Yeah. You CAN add a recording to it, but most people— 

Amy: But it doesn't sound like that's normal. 

Mike: I think most people with SlideShare have their sound turned off. And most people, they click through it at a very rapid pace. So if you wanted to tape a webinar and try to convert that or put that on YouTube or save the audio from that and pair it with your slides on SlideShare, I've done that, but our most effective presentations don't have any audio, they're only, you know, only the presentation slides. 

Amy: That is so great to know. Give me an example of what you would put on that intro slide, like what would you put? 

Mike: What's worked well for us is some sort of an image. You know, I think if you want to have images that are available for you to use, I don't know if you've talked about things like iStockPhoto, which is a free, cost-effective way to get images of almost anything and for a few dollars an image, you can actually get the rights to use it for your own marketing rather than taking something from an online search that might be copyrighted or trademarked or whatever. 

So take maybe a certain image from a service like iStockPhoto plus having some very large font text, and usually something that's asking–you'll see–if you go to SlideShare, look at the most viewed presentation, usually they have some sort of an interesting question on the front cover, or they've got–you know, they talk about a hot topic. 

You know, when Pinterest started to become big, there were a couple of presentations about how to do marketing on Pinterest that did really well on SlideShare. Same thing when Google+ came out. So the things that are topical or things that ask an intriguing question, I think things like that. 

But again, the important thing is have some sort of image that's going to attract the eye and also have the font be large enough that when it's just a small thumbnail you can still see what it's about. 

Amy: Okay. And talk to me about that last slide. Is that a call to action? Mike: Always. I mean, if there's one theme to our conversation today, right? Amy: That was a trick question! 

Mike: It's the end of a blog article, call to action. The end of a webinar, call to action. You always want to have that next step. When you think about sales you never want to conclude a meeting without setting what that next step is in the process, because the goal to every step is to get to the next step, right? 

The same is true of marketing. If a person does click through all of your slides and he gets to the end, show them what you think the next step should be. 

Maybe you want to give them a couple of options, maybe there's only one thing you want them to do, but absolutely–you can put links in the PowerPoint and those can get embedded in the SlideShare and people can then click on them. 

Amy: Oh, nice! 

Mike: Or you can put a phone number, you can put your website, you can put lots of things there, but absolutely you should definitely never finish any content without a call to action. 

Amy: Never. And for a lot of people selling is scary and they're just getting used to it, but it doesn't always have to be sell something. Now if they listen to the whole SlideShare, give them something of free value that you know that they'll love if they just went through your entire SlideShare. So there's always different things you can do with that. 

All right, I'm going to put my next presentation on SlideShare. I've heard too many good things about it. I can't believe I haven't done it yet! 

Mike: Make sure to email me links to your slideshows, and I will definitely tweet it and see if I can get you some more SlideShare views. 

Amy: Thank you, I appreciate that! And we'll find one of your best SlideShares, I'll put it in the show notes so people can see an example of how it's done. 

Mike: Awesome! 

Amy: So we'll link to that for sure. 

Okay, so there's so much you can do with inbound marketing. I know we've mentioned it before but you've got your eBooks, your videos, your blogging, podcast and webinars and all that good stuff. But a lot of the people listening have a very lean budget, a very small team and not a lot of time to focus on content creation. But we all know it's a complete necessity. 

So, if you were going to give some advice to somebody that, let's say, was a one man or one woman show, how would you have them go about streamlining this whole process, but actually taking some action? People feel like they have to do it all. 

Mike: Yeah. It can be overwhelming. I definitely understand that. And I think especially if you're a small team or even if you're a one-man show, it's hard to–

and then be able to create this content on top of it. 

I think maybe there's two tips I would think about. One is if you're having trouble getting started, and just don't even know what to write about or what to create content about, think about the questions that you're getting from people that you're already talking to. So probably in your email box you've got questions that customers and prospects are asking you. Or when you're meeting with people you've got 

questions that people are asking you on the phone, people are asking questions– those questions can become great titles for blog articles. 

There's a great example–there's a company called River Pools and Spas, they have one of the most widely read blogs about pools, and they were able to actually cut their advertising by almost half, I think, and actually install more pools with less advertising because they built up their blog so much. And all they do is they take questions like “What's the difference between a liner pool and an [inaudible[ pool?” 

That's a question that everyone who's thinking about buying a pool is probably asking themselves. They wrote a blog article about that. And when you search for things, headlines like that, which is something that people search on in Google, is what's the difference between a liner pool and [inaudible] pool, you're–they're one of the blog articles that shows up a lot of the time. 

So I think taking the questions that people are asking you and using that as a starting point to start to create some content is a great way to break through that writer's block and get going. 

That's one thing. 

I think the second piece of advice I would have would be, if you're able to spend a little bit of money, you CAN actually separate the writing from the content itself. So if you're the kind of person that maybe prefers to talk or give presentations or answer questions over the phone, you can hire writers online relatively cheaply or maybe you can get an intern who's maybe an English major at a local school or something like that to actually transcribe what you're talking about and turn your verbal comments into a blog article. 

I have seen, you know, maybe the owner of a small business who doesn't have a lot of time but doesn't have a lot of expertise do maybe a conference call or short meeting once a week with someone, answer a couple of these questions verbally, and then that writer turns it into an article. So if you have a little bit of budget and there's Contently, there's Zerys there's these wider marketplaces where you can hire writers and not too expensive of a cost–that would maybe be my second tip, but I think the first thing is, if you're having trouble getting started, just look at the questions you're already getting. 

Amy: Yes, definitely. A lot of people will ask me, you know, how do I get started, how do I get the audience? And I'll say “Well, do you have a blog?” And a lot of people surprisingly will say “Well, not really. I don't really blog.” And I feel like that's the first place you've got to start, is to get those articles out there. 

For somebody that is blogging, how often do you think they should–I know this is a loaded question, because there's so many different opinions, but how often do you think somebody should be blogging on their own blog? 

Mike: So it's interesting, we actually have data on this, and i forget the exact percentages but the overall trend was the more you blog, the more results you get. Even up to–we now blog multiple times a day at HubSpot. 

Amy: REALLY? I didn't realize that! 

Mike: Yeah! We have! 2-3 times a day, we've new articles coming out, and we've seen not only for our own results, just for our business, but also even because we do analysis of our 8000 customers, and we also do survey work with a bunch of small and midsized businesses and we see from them as well that the more often the blog, the better results they get. 

So I would say–I don't think it's worth it to have a blog unless you're updating it at least once a week, but I would tell you that the more you do it, the better results you're going to get, so the bigger investment you can make, all the stats and all the data I've seen show that you get better results if you do it more often. 

Amy: So true. And the more you do it, the easier it gets. And there's a direct correlation between blogging more and building up your email list, so that's— 

Mike: Oh, absolutely. And you are such a big proponent of like–the email list is so important. People talk about, you know, marketers and business owners live and die by the quality and the size of their database, right? 

Amy: Yep, for sure. And they're just–I always say it, but you will make more money in your business if you grow a quality email list. There's just no dispute about it. There's so many different factors involved, definitely, but one of those to make more money is to have a solid email list. I'm obsessed with it, I guess. I talk about it all the time, but that's why I was so excited to get you on the call because I know you do so many different things to collect leads and build the email list. I appreciate that. 

One of my favorite things to read on anybody's blogs are those dos and don'ts list, especially around the topic I'm really excited about. You've been in the trenches of inbound marketing for so long, and if you could give us a few of the top DON'TS, what do you not want to do when it comes to inbound marketing? Can you give us some of those? 

Mike: Yeah, I would say don't sell too hard, especially in the beginning, is absolutely one of them. I've seen–just the other day, I was meeting with a company, they were all excited because they'd been blogging for 3, 4, 5 months and they weren't getting any results. I looked at their blog and every single article was proclaiming to the world about how fantastically awesome their service was. No one's interested in that! People that are really interested in products and services are people that are about to buy. 

The key to inbound marketing is attracting new people to your business that aren't sure if they want to buy yet or don't even know if they need to buy yet, and it's building that audience at the top and just getting that initial email opt-in and then nurturing people overtime that's so important. So I think that first don't is don't sell so aggressively, especially in the beginning. 

Amy: That's a good one, definitely. Give me one more. 

Mike: Heh, heh, heh. Um, I think other ones would be…you know, this is sort of like the opposite of a [don't?] or whatever but I think it's don't delay maybe is the thing to do. I think a lot of people over-think this stuff. I think that I talk to–it seems like chatting with you a little bit beforehand that you talk to people as well that just have trouble getting started, and the hardest thing is always just to get started. 

So, you know, don't delay, figure out how you can get one article up and just start going from there. Start to build up that email list and start to build things up. The longer you wait the more your competition is starting to do things like this, the more time you're wasting. I know it's hard to get started but once you get started it does get easier. 

Amy: It does, definitely. Just diving in and you're not going to love the first pieces of content you put out there. I think everyone cringes when they go back to look at their very first. I know I do! When I look at my first videos, ugh! 

Mike: Oh yeah. I'm still embarrassed by my first blog articles and webinars. 

Amy: I wish they would go away! And that's the beauty of the Internet, they never do. 

Mike: Well, and that's the hidden power of inbound marketing, too. I'll tell you this: 70% of the leads that we get from our blog, the new opt-ins we get from our blog are from articles we didn't write this month. 

Amy: Really?? 

Mike: Yes! Isn't that shocking? 

Amy: That IS shocking! 

Mike: Now, we've been blogging for six years and we have almost 4,000 articles now. 

Amy: Okay, so you have a lot. 

Mike: We have a lot. So we've not only been blogging for six months. But the cool part of that is, imagine if my entire blogging team took vacation for a month–the leads that I'm getting in for my blog, opt-ins that I'm getting for my blog would only drop by 30%, right? 

Amy: That's solid. 

Mike: That's really cool. That's the power. It's like this compound interest affect that happens with your marketing if you do inbound marketing. If you're doing all of these other paid marketing things, you stop paying your advertising bills the day your ads go away and they stop working for you, but the article that you wrote 4, 5, 6 years ago is still attracting new people from your site from SEO and from social and all these other things. 

Even though I haven't updated those articles or looked at them for a long time! So that's really the power of what we're talking about, and that's why I think it's so important that you think about getting started and figure out how to do inbound marketing sooner rather than later. 

Amy: It's so true. I use Facebook Ads all the time. I'm a huge fan of Facebook ads and I've seen them really make a difference in my business. However, if I weren't doing the podcast and blogging and the webinars, when I'm not running the ads I have no activity whatsoever. 

And obviously, Facebook Ads can get expensive overtime, so I don't run them every single day. And you're so right about that. 

Mike: Well, and the ads are great as well, but then think about your organic presence on Facebook and you're big on Twitter as well. Those are super helpful, right? And you need content to feed those channels as well and make them affective inbound tools, so it's definitely not a–if you want to use advertisement to augment those things, absolutely, those can be affective and I know you wrote a book about all of that stuff as well. But again, using those to help build up your organic side can be really, really affective. 

Amy: Yeah, once you have a good foundation of slick organic content out there or organic activity out there, the ads only make things better. But you just can't live on those ads alone without that content. So they definitely go hand in hand. 

Before I wrap it up, I want to ask you a question about launching a product or program online. 

A lot of people listening are either getting ready to launch or they have an idea of what they want to launch online. When it comes to inbound marketing, what advice do you have for someone that is getting ready to launch a product or program online. What are some things that they can do to really make sure they have success in this area? 

Mike: The first thing is I would make sure that I know really well who is the persona…we haven't talked about this much. Who's the persona you're trying to sell too and attract? Make sure that all the content and all the marketing that you're creating is really interesting to that person. A lot of times, I think people try to come up with generic content that pleases everyone. You really want to hone in on who exactly is the person, what is their state of mind, what are the things that they're interested in? What's the type of content that's going to attract them? That's the first thing. 

And then I think the second thing is, you don't need to be ready to sell something when you start doing your marketing. Think about the power of being able to do some blogging and build up your email subscriptions, maybe podcasting like you do. You know, webinars, eBooks, all the things that we talked about. You could start to build up your email list before you actually have the products or service that you're 

going to sell completely ready, and then the power of that is once you have something ready to sell, you hopefully already have hundreds of thousands of people on your opt-in list. And then you can offer that thing for them to purchase. 

So if you have some time and, depending on what the product is, what the service is that you're working with, maybe you're ready to do some marketing before the product is ready? If that's the case, don't hold back on the marketing. There's no reason why you can't start to build those opt-ins ahead of time. 

Amy: Yes, I love that. There's no reason to–I love–I think you're the first person I've heard say that you don't have to have–you don't have to be ready to sell before you actually get into the marketing. And there's so much work you can do ahead of time, and so many people aren't quite ready to sell yet. Don't waste that time that you could be marketing right now. Such a great point. 

Mike, it has been such a pleasure having you here. I feel like we touched on so many different points in this, my favorite being the slide share. I didn't even expect to talk about that, but I think that's really valuable for people listening today. But we touched on so many great points. I cannot thank you enough for being here. 

Mike: My pleasure. Thanks a ton for having me. This was great! 

Amy: Definitely. And we'll put a bunch of links in the show notes so people can find you and find out some of your articles and slide share and all that good stuff, so make sure you visit the show notes and again have a great day and thanks again Mike.