Last week I attended the Inbound 2013 Marketing Conference in Boston, MA. It was amazing to see so many people come together over a common goal: becoming better marketers.
According to Hubspot, “Inbound marketing has been the most effective marketing method for doing business online.
Instead of the old outbound marketing methods of buying ads, buying email lists, and praying for leads, inbound marketing focuses on creating quality content that pulls people toward your company and product, where they naturally want to be.”
And this conference was all about putting the customers needs first by creating a better experience at every touchpoint.
I wish I could write one blog post that summarized what I learned throughout the entire event, but that would take me days and if you’re reading this, you most likely didn’t buy a ticket. Maybe next year ;)
Anyway, here are six things I learned that will change the way you work.
No one can avoid the long, drawn out creative process that often leads to big ideas and amazing outcomes. Not even Jerry Seinfeld, who once took two years to finish a joke on pop-tarts. According to Jason Keath, you should come up with 50-100 times the amount of ideas you actually need to reach the ultimate creative solution.
Great advice! And it really rings true. Start your brainstorming session with the mindset that you need more ideas and you will free your mind to think bigger and explore more options.
Your Work Should Be Art
Seth Godin’s opening keynote was truly inspiring. He spoke about art and how the future belongs to those who decide to “do art”. And not art in a traditional sense as in painting or photography, but through creation.
Create something beautiful and don’t be afraid to be different. The minute you try to create and follow an exact process over and over again, you have lost the art in your work. Let yourself create without fear of failure because…
What it Really Means to Be Confident
Mindfulness is something I am just starting to familiarize myself with and Susan Piver gave a great talk about mindfulness specifically relating to communication in a work environment. What struck me about her presentation was the way she described confidence. Confidence is something I’ve always struggled with internally and her perspective was one that I haven’t considered before.
I’ll do my best to paraphrase:
“Confidence is the ability to place your attention on maximizing the other person’s position. If you give the other person what they need, it allows you to take the position of power.” – Susan Piver
To me, this is so amazing because it makes “being confident” entirely attainable for someone like me who has trouble with the idea of standing outside my comfort zone. It’s like a role reversal where you focus entirely on those around you and in return, you are commanding the focus.
There is More to Leadership Than Leadership Skills
Arianna Huffington, an inspiration to entrepreneurs everywhere, spoke about developing leadership skills and how you need to look inward to really grow in both your personal and professional life. She spoke about sleep habits, relationships, and how they impact your ability to think creativity in business.
Yes, it’s important to possess leadership skills like accountability, communication, and confidence, but what good is that if you’re too tired to make decisions with a clear head.
Don’t Strive for Perfection
Jessica Gioglio, Public Relations and Social Media Manager at Dunkin’ Brands, came to speak about her personal blog, the Savvy Bostonion. There were two really important things I took away from her talk. The first is that your resume is more than just your job history and professional accolades; your hobbies, life experiences, and personal connections all play a role in what makes you qualified for a specific task.
Jessica mentioned how her personal blog allowed her to get a job in content marketing even though her previous career experience would suggest she might not be the perfect fit.
The second thing I took from her speech is something I have to remind myself everyday to shut up the perfectionist in me.
And in reality, it should really be “Sometimes Almost always, done is better than perfect.”
Answer Customer Questions
This is the simplest piece of advice I took away from the entire conference, but so few people are actually taking the time to answer their customers’ questions on their website. Marcus Sheridan gave a powerful and engaging talk about why you need to provide your prospective customers with the information they need to make educated buying decisions, even before they contact your sales team.
All those excuses about why you can’t come up with new content for your blog… GONE! You know your industry better than anyone so who better than you to share content with your customers.
The more transparent you are and the more information you can provide on your website, the more your customers will trust you and the less time you will have to spend later on convincing them to buy your product or service.
Three days of fabulous speakers, new friends, and insane amounts of creative energy. What more could you ask for?
It is so nice to surround yourself with supportive people all looking to improve they way they do business.
Can’t wait for next year!