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Take your brand from barely noticed to wildly loved with my Brand Canvas and 3-Step Guide.

Yep. It's totally FREE. No fluff. No B.S.  Just actionable steps you'll wish you took months if not years ago.

 

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    Everything you need to get started with HubSpot's CMS and build your CLEAN website.

    No developer is needed.  This complete 3-part series includes a step-by-step guide to high-fives all around the office.

     

    Download the Guides

       
      The CLEAN Theme

      Take full advantage of the new and improved HubSpot CMS experience with the CLEAN theme.

      Theme Support & Reference

      Have a question and looking for an answer? I've likely got a video for that or an article that covers it.

      Built for Speed, Performance, AND an awesome UX.

      GTmetrix is the gold standard in analyzing the speed and performance of a website. Here is how the helpfulhero.com homepage (using CLEAN) ranks. Not too shabby for a media-rich page.

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      Report generated: Sat, Apr 23, 2022 at 2:56pm CST

        6 min read

        Revolutionary marketing ideas you can’t afford to ignore

        The business world is changing fast. Are you keeping up?  

        Customers expect instant responses. Competition is fierce. There’s no time for strategy, and you feel stuck on a treadmill at full speed but getting nowhere.  

         

        mike-w-treadmill

         

        Is there a better way to grow?  

        Some of the most successful business leaders have been where you are today. I’ve curated a handful of their ideas, philosophies, and strategies to help you find inspiration that could breathe new life into your work (and lungs).

        We’ll review:

        Inhale…exhale…here we go.

         

        Why we should rethink the funnel model

        Imagine your classic sales funnel. You’ve got a bunch of leads feeding into the top of the funnel, a percentage of those make it to the next step of your process, and finally, a small number of initial leads make it to closing a deal with you.  

         

        Screen Shot 2022-04-04 at 8.58.48 AM

        But what happens next? 

        We used to pour more leads into the funnel and start the whole process again. But could we be missing something here? What happens to the folks that are now customers?

        The funnel image doesn’t address this, but did you know that your odds of selling to an existing customer are in the 60 - 70% range, vs. a 5 - 20% chance of engaging new customers? Yeah. That’s nothing to shrug at.  

        AND as if that’s not motivating enough, 90% of people believe brand recommendations from family or friends (according to HubSpot), so those existing customers can be a massive opportunity for businesses.

        Think of your business as more cyclical than linear. That doesn’t make the funnel obsolete, but it isn’t a complete analogy. Instead, marketers are starting to embrace the idea of the flywheel.

         

        The driving philosophies behind Growth

         

        The FLYWHEEL

        The flywheel concept in business was first introduced by Jim Collins, author of From Good to Great. What's a flywheel? Well, it’s this:

         

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        A flywheel stores rotational energy to build momentum (like in the original steam engine, for example). At first, it takes brute force to push the wheel into motion. But as it builds speed, it moves more easily. Finally, there’s a breakthrough, and it spins on its own.

        There’s no single push that makes the flywheel spin. Similarly, In Good to Great, Collins emphasizes how businesses that appeared to succeed overnight were experiencing a slow evolution. For example, Circuit City’s journey over a decade finally got noticed in Forbes magazine in 1984. Forbes couldn't see the consistent, incremental changes that then CEO Alan Wurtzel had been working on since inheriting the company in 1973 when they were nearly bankrupt.  

        Here's a quick sidebar: there’s a lot more to Circuit City's story. While the company rose to become the best performing Fortune 500 Company for the 15-years between 1965 and 1995, they, unfortunately, were forced to liquidate in 2009. Why? Read Alan Wurtzel's perspective in his book: From Good to Great to Gone: The 60-Year Rise and Fall of Circuit City.  

        But Circuit City wasn’t the only company that received sudden accolades from the media after over a decade of persistence. Gilette, Kroger, and Kimberly-Clark were some of the companies that experienced these major flywheel transformations. Each of them described it as a slow evolution.

        The point? There’s no such thing as an overnight success story.

         

        INBOUND

        HubSpot adopted the flywheel and applied it to its inbound methodology. What’s inbound? 

        HubSpot defines it as “​​a business methodology that attracts customers by creating valuable content and experiences tailored to them. While outbound marketing interrupts your audience with content they don’t always want, inbound marketing forms connections they are looking for and solves problems they already have.”  

        At its core, inbound is an empathy-driven, human-centered approach. It includes three stages: 

         

        STAGE 1: Attract

        A major component of the attract stage? Your WEBSITE. Yes, you want an SEO strategy so your content is discoverable and so you can rank in the SERPs. But beyond that, think about your customer’s experience. Will they be able to easily find what they’re looking for on your website? Or will they need to visit your competitor’s website instead?

        Make info easy to find, and your customers might stick around long enough to see you as a source they can trust.

        We’ll touch on that more in the next concept, They Ask, You Answer.

         

        STAGE 2: Engage 

        This stage enables buyers to engage with you on their preferred timeline and channels.

        Note: THEIR preferred timeline. Not yours.

        An example of how not to do this?

        True story. Over the weekend, I was disrupted by SEVEN phone calls from a cleaning service company. I had visited their website on Friday to get a quote but couldn’t find pricing info (a hole in their attract stage strategy, see above). How did they respond? By hounding me. Not only did this feel like an invasion of my time (have they not heard of a weekend??), but I was so irritated I blocked the number. On Friday afternoon, I was minutes away from booking with this company, and by Sunday, I’d decided I never wanted to talk to them again.

        I bet you’ve experienced something similar. 

        So, please. Help your customers, don’t interrupt them.

         

        STAGE 3: Delight 

        It's not enough to meet your customer’s expectations. You've got to go above and beyond. 

        Here’s where the flywheel comes back to illustrate how customer satisfaction drives continuous business growth. Your existing customers can either help feed your business by recommending you or hurt your business by telling their friends about their negative experiences. Did you know 51% of customers won’t continue a business relationship after just one disappointing experience? That’s huge!

         

        Screen Shot 2022-04-04 at 9.09.24 AM

         

        Customer satisfaction surveys are a trending way to see how your audience feels about your brand and are worth considering using in your delight stage.

         

        THEY ASK, YOU ANSWER

        Marcus Sheridan takes the inbound methodology one step further with his related philosophy, They Ask, You Answer. It seems as simple as answering your customer’s questions, but there’s more to it. There are a handful of FAQs that internet buyers share, which Marcus refers to as The Big 5:

         

        1. Cost and pricing

        Many businesses shy away from addressing pricing on their website. But it’s an essential part of the buyer’s decision process.

        Take, for example, the used car industry. Until CarMax came along, the industry was riddled with distrust. CarMax did two things other used car places refused to do at the time: 1) admit their industry had a problem and 2) ask what it would take to rebuild that trust. How did they do it? By offering no-haggle pricing and a five-day moneyback guarantee. And by sharing their inspection process and the Kelly Blue Book value of their cars.

        They provided complete transparency and addressed their customers' fears and questions upfront.

        CarMax’s competitors used to laugh at this model, but after seeing how much trust and loyalty it earned CarMax, they found themselves having to imitate the model themselves.

         
        2. Comparisons

        Have you ever shopped online to research how two different options compare? If you’re like most buyers, you have.

        In our case, we sell CLEAN, a web theme for the HubSpot platform. What might our audience search for online? They'll research popular website platforms (like WordPress, Squarespace, and HubSpot).  So here's our comparison breakdown.

         

        3. Problems

        You've got 99 problems, but not this one. Because you're about helping your customers solve theirs!

        Highlight reasons why your customer is struggling or mistakes they might be making to help guide them toward a solution in their online search. For example, here's a post we wrote about 12 Costly Mistakes HubSpot Agencies Make.

         

        4. Best of lists (best in class)

        Have you ever run an online search using the word best? How about fastest? Or easiest? Superlatives like these are super for SEO and, more importantly, helping your customers. Here are some examples of best in class posts from us:

        6 Best Landing Page Design Trends That Will Crush it in 2022

        The Easiest Typography Tip for Effective SEO

         
        5. Reviews

        Reviews are what they sound like. Remember that stat we shared earlier about people trusting brand recommendations from friends and family? You'll increase your social proof and chances of building trust with a potential client by including these on your website.

         

        Why ideas are greater than tools

        Your tech stack can help spin your flywheel even faster. But here are some things to keep in mind:

        • Automation itself isn’t the solution. Don’t get me wrong. I freakin’ love automation. I could play with it all day long. But automate a broken process, and all you have is a bigger, more streamlined problem.  
        • HubSpot isn’t the solution. We love HubSpot and have a blast building web themes for their platform. But just like we mentioned above, simply using HubSpot won’t fix everything. It’s about HOW you use it and the experience you give your audience.
        • Your website design isn’t the solution (gasp!). You can have the most aesthetically pleasing site, but if it doesn’t answer your customer’s questions, it might as well be hung up in an art gallery. No flash photography, please.

         

        Those are cool ideas. What now?

        Take an honest look at your business. Is your website answering all of your customer’s questions? Do you have a plan that you’re consistently working toward, and are you building up the momentum that could ultimately result in a breakthrough? Are you creating the best experience possible for your customers?

        If not, what could you change to put yourself on that path?

        Enjoy the journey and stick with it, one step at a time.  

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