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HubSpot Insiders Part I: Q&A with Nick Sal

by Haley McGahey

Last Thursday, some members of our team attended the monthly Charlotte HubSpot User Group (HUG) meeting. While all HUG meetings are fun, informative, and absolutely worthwhile events, this one was particularly special as Nick Sal (Salvatoriello) from HubSpot Academy graced us with his presence.

Prior to the meeting and presentation, members of the Charlotte HUG worked together at a three hour hack-a-thon where we were able to get tips and best practices from Nick. Our team worked on 2015 annual planning, case studies, and inbound workflows for some of our clients. 

Since we had the opportunity to get HubSpot insider info directly from the source, we took it upon ourselves to film a little Q&A session with Nick.

What’s the biggest hurdle you’ve heard for new Inbound Marketers?

Great question, the biggest hurdle for new inbound marketers is typically they are all by themselves, they don’t know where to begin so they feel like they don’t have anybody to sort of bounce ideas off of or anybody to hold them accountable, manage the project and they also don’t exactly know where to begin. There is so many different pieces of information so they start reading things and trying stuff and start to focus on something else. Lack of focus, lack of support and (buying) or (buying in) is a big challenge for people who are new to inbound.

What’s the one skill all Inbound Marketers should have?

Wow, the greatest skill any inbound marker should have? I think discipline. To be honest, I mean isn’t that one of the biggest success factors? Whatever you’re going to do, stay committed to it and stay committed to improving it. I think that’s one of the biggest factors I’ve worked with. Hundreds of customers who use HubSpot and also these folks who are inbound marketers in general. The folks who don’t make it are the ones who try a couple of things and then they kind of switch stuff up and don’t really follow through so really having a good discipline and sticking to those goals. As you know inbound marketing takes time. It’s not quick.

Can Inbound Methodology work for everyone or are there certain industries where it maybe won’t work as well?

I think if your company involves convincing somebody else to change behavior or get some person to consider working with you, doing business with you um maybe for a nonprofit or a school, just joining your mission. Yeah, marketing is about influencing peoples behaviors so inbound marketing is using certain tactics to help influence those behaviors. So we say all the time, it doesn’t matter if your B2B, B2C, B2G (business to government), nonprofit, doesn’t matter. Sure the terms might change, you may not call them a customer, but a donor or student, sale processes might be longer or shorter. These are the same best practices because its humans. If humans are involved in making a decision to work with you then yes you can do inbound marketing, but don’t look for an excuse to say, “Well my business is slightly different. Mine must be the exception.” You’re stopped from the get-go with that answer.

What is the future of Inbound Marketing from your point of view?

The future of inbound marketing from my opinion, I’ve been talking about this for a while, is to make your customers the star. Get out of the way; people don’t want to hear from you. Help put other people in the spotlight. Help them be in the drivers sit. Let them be Luke Skywalker; you’re Yoda. The customer is the star; the business is the mentor to help get them there. People believe in people who believe in other people. If people see how well you treat your users, your customers, your donors, your students, they’re going to say I want to be with someone who recognizes me like that. Who helps use me as a tool to inspire other people, I want to inspire other people. So I think that’s a trend that people are going to catch on to. You saw what we did today Haley, we brought on Pinckney Marketing to talk about case studies, we recognized other Charlotte marketers who are here. We have a lot of smart marketers here in Charlotte. I got out of the way. I helped MC, right, I was the guide on the side. You folks were the stars with your expertise. That’s who you want to hear from. That’s a big key; make your customers the star.

Frog costume aside, if you could be one animal what would it be and why?

Wow, I have to eliminate the frog idea. The frog is so great. I think I would be the killer whale, which I think is a misnomer. Not because it’s a killer, but because they actually, they have a lot of documentaries out now on Netflix and whatnot. They are very social animals; they got their own language and stuff. They are very majestic. So me being a rather social person, I don’t about the majestic thing, I don’t know where I was going with that, but yeah you know they’re smart.

We’re having fun in Charlotte! Come join the HUG.