Link building is hard. I think it is the hardest part of a successful internet marketing strategy.
I wrote a few new articles on link building on the HubSpot blog. The first one talks about how to construct a good inbound link and why link building is so important. The second one talks about what methods to use to build inbound links to your site. Both articles link to a lot of other authoritative articles about blogging written by other bloggers. The first article has a lot of great comments from HubSpot blog readers who shared some link building success stories and ideas. With these two new articles, there's now a good amount of link building articles on the HubSpot blog, giving a good overview of link building best practices.
This a guest article written by Shannon Golladay of Paragon Wealth Management.
It is race day and you are about to run your first marathon. You have two choices... you can run the race and do something you've never done or you can back out and cheer on the sidelines.
If you decide to run, it will be difficult, and it will take time to get to the finish line, but your reward will be great.
If you decide to stay on the side lines and watch, you might have fun, but you'll be doing the same thing you've always done: just watching people get further ahead.
This situation is similar to ours at Paragon Wealth Management as it relates to marketing. For over 20 years we stayed on the sidelines. Our business grew gradually by referrals and it was successful, but it never really took off... until now.
We decided to do something different. Our services are unique compared to the typical money manager so we decided to do something completely unheard of in the investment industry: online marketing.
Most businesses in our industry build their businesses solely by referrals. They may do an ad in a magazine or newspaper here and there, but most grow by referrals. This method does work, but it isn't the best method.
I started working at Paragon last November 2007. I was hired to do public relations and to help us "run a marathon" to grow our business.
My background is in public relations. In school I learned the traditional ways to pitch the media with story ideas. I had used these methods for several years. They worked, but nothing like the new way of doing public relations.
The first thing my boss, Dave Young, did when I started my job was give me a book to read called, "The New Rules of Marketing and PR" by David Meerman Scott. It is - by far - the best book I've ever read about public relations and marketing. It opened my eyes to a whole new way of marketing Paragon.
In the book I read about David Meerman Scott's blog and then I learned about Hubspot, an internet marketing company, which is outstanding.
We signed up for Hubspot and started implementing the ideas in David Meerman Scott's book. We started two blogs, Money Managers Live and a blog on our website. We also redesigned our website to make it easier for people to learn about us. We submitted press releases online with links in them. The list goes on and on.
The moral of the story is that we had great Personal Wealth Management Services, but not many people knew about them. We were sitting on the sidelines just watching the marketing marathon - doing the same thing each day.
We decided to start training for the marathon by making some changes and getting help from great resources. Now we are running the race as fast as we can.
So what's your story? What are you doing for marketing or public relations? Are you on the sidelines watching or are you running the race?
Shannon Golladay is the Public Relations/Marketing Director for Paragon Wealth Management, a registered investment advisor. Paragon takes a dynamic and proactive approach to investing and has over 20 years experience working with both good and bad markets that can be difficult and constantly changing. They are client centered and have a fiduciary responsibility. Shannon also writes and edits articles for Paragon's blogs Money Manager's Live
and Paragon's company blog.
A news release with some HubSpot milestones was just published.
My favorite part of the press release, from a quote from our fearless leader, Brian Halligan:
"During the month of July, our customers in production saw an average of 20% monthly growth in website traffic and 25% monthly growth in leads"
Since HubSpot is software as a service, we not only have a pulse on the growth of our own business, we can instantly measure the success of our clients, individually and collectively.
There's got to be some interesting and powerful implications there that are yet to be discovered.
I had a conversation with someone the other day who was interested in HubSpot. They were referred by a client. I asked him how I could help him. He hadn't really bothered to understand what we do.
I positioned us a few times (ie We help small business owners who are frustrated with not getting
enough leads from their website and online marketing activities.) He didn't bite. He kept insisting he was doing pretty well with his internet marketing. Unfortunately, he wasn't. Then, he proceeded to pitch me on the idea of trading advertising on his site for HubSpot services.
I told him that we have no need to advertise on his site. We have more leads than we can handle and we know what we need to do to get more, if we need it.
I used to trade services. But, it never worked for a variety of reasons.
Here's my rules taught to my be Rick Roberge:
- I'll buy your service if I have a need and it helps me fill that need.
- Feel free to buy my service if you have a need and you're convinced that it fills the need.
I think the people that try and trade their way to success just don't know how to discover needs and align their product to the needs of the customer. This is going to result in no sales, which is going to result in no cash flow, which is going to make it difficult for them to invest in anything to make their business better, including their online marketing.
Which is a shame because there are a lot of entrepreneurs and small business owners out there with great ideas and great passion.
Trading is often used by entrepreneurs as a sales shortcut because they do not have the ability to sell. Before they're going to see their business succeed by closing new business, they need to
learn how to identify problems, establish urgency and to present approprate
solutions when the time is right.
Unfortunately, they probably also don't have the willingness to make the changes in their business (and themselves) in order to learn these skills.
HubSpot just got techcrunched. If you're a client, go leave a comment about your experiences with HubSpot, please.
TechCrunch has several million readers, btw. It's the most popular internet/tech blog on the web.
Oh yeah. We raised a few new dollars too.
And here's a more accurate description from Julie Power, about what we do.
And here's why we still need journalists. Here too. And here.
And most importantly, here's how a blog lets you communicate directly with your market.
I take all that back. Blogs can do solid reporting.
Mike Langford, at our seminar the other day, was talking about networking for small business owners. He said, and I'm paraphrasing, "network with people who have already achieved what you want to achieve".
I couldn't agree more. I also like to network with people who are equally ambitious and dedicated as I am too. It keeps me sharp and positive.
At HubSpot, I've never been around as functional, dedicated and extremely intelligent group that is this large. I've worked with some of the smartest and dedicated people I know at other places. But, EVERYONE at HubSpot has a passion for making themselves, their team, the company and their clients successful. It's inspirational and motivational.
However, of all the people I hang around with, the smartest ones that I know are my friends from WPI. My buddy, Darryl Pollica, is leading the development of fuel cell systems at a one of the leading fuel cell companies in the world. My buddy Josh Brotherton leads implementation of biopharmaceutical process control systems for majorly important biopharmaceutical companies. (And beer companies too.) My buddy, Jeremy Olszewski, is VP in charge of about 60 people at Fidelity's Acturial Services group. He's an actuary with a personality, although we're still working on his dance moves.
And Seth. There's Seth Popinchalk. Seth is the man. He's one of the most intelligent people I know. Not just at his job. But, he's a role model. He inspired me through some times in my early twenties when I was pretty lost. And he's always been a step ahead of me in terms of making big life decisions. He's the guy that goes first and reports back. He's an amazing husband, dad and he's super smart at all things physics and math. He's one of the most curious smart people I know, constantly tinkering with things. Well, he's been telling me he's been tinkering with his blog for the last six months. And he finally launched it. It's quite technical. So, I'm sure you might not get what he's writing. My physics and differential equations, etc are a bit rusty too. So, I don't think that I'll read it regularly.
Nonetheless... he seems to be showing promise among math bloggers and his first post has 34 comments already!
So, maybe I'll have him write a guest post about "what i takes to start a blog at a big and booming company" like Mathworks.