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Inbound Marketing Tips: My Interview With HubSpot CEO Brian Halligan

Posted by Ellie Becker on Mon, May 28, 2012 @ 15:05 PM

Ellie Becker Interviews HubSpot CEO Brian Halligan

For an hour on Friday, I interviewed HubSpot CEO Brian Halligan when I guest-hosted the LinkedIn Lady Show on Internet-based RockStar Radio Network for my friend Carol McManus.

It was a rare opportunity for all of us to learn about the current state and future direction of Inbound Marketing from one of the acknowledged leaders of marketing thought and action today. 

Brian is a straight-talking, accessible guy - an open book as he puts it. So we had a lively and wide-ranging conversation. You can download the 05-25-12 podcast on iTunes. Here are a few highlights of Brian’s comments:

Definition of Inbound Marketing

After I complained that I haven’t been able to come up with a one-liner to define Inbound marketing, Brian empathized, saying he’s only been able to get it down to about four or five lines.

Brian's definition:

Inbound Marketing is the opposite of traditional outbound marketing (advertising, direct mail/phone, tradeshows, etc.), where you interrupt your way into your people's lives. Instead of interrupting, Inbound Marketing pulls prospects into and down through your sales funnel in a new and natural way based on how they search for information and make purchase decisions today.

Adapting to the Shift in Marketing

Brian compared the shift in marketing today as similar to the shift in transportation that came with the automobile. Whoever decided to keep on selling buggies, horses and whips wasn’t around too long after the public started buying cars.

He and I agree that it’s still pretty early in the Inbound game and a moment of opportunity for those who jump in now. But it’s a window of opportunity that won’t last too long, Brian Halligan predicts.

The Challenge of Inbound Marketing

The hardest part of Inbound Marketing, he believes, is pulling prospects into the top of the sales funnel and converting them to leads. That’s the part that takes creativity and persistence – developing great content and getting calls to action and landing pages just right. Once visitors convert to leads, nurturing them and pulling them through sales funnel can be more mechanical. He and his co-founder Dharmesh Shah have built into HubSpot the functionalities to automate the lead nurturing process and make it efficient.

LinkedIn Lady show with Carol McManus

Other Tidbits of Inbound Wisdom from Brian Halligan

  • Make the time and free the resources to create great content by stopping marketing efforts (like Google Adwords, Advertising, Tradeshows) that don’t drive as strong results.

  • The trip through the sales funnel is not linear. Leads can bounce up and down between different levels.

  • HubSpot was created not just to sell software, but to give customers the knowledge they need to transform their marketing.

An hour with Brian Halligan is an hour well spent for any marketer or business owner.  I hope you’ll take the opportunity to listen to the full interview.

And while you’re here, please download our free fact sheet that details 20 reasons you should consider transforming your marketing with HubSpot.

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Images from the LinkedIn Lady Show Webpage on May 25, 2012

Topics: Inbound Marketing, HubSpot, LinkedIn Lady Show, Inbound Marketing Tips, Brian Halligan

Radio: A Magical Online Marketing and PR Option

Posted by Ellie Becker on Wed, Feb 29, 2012 @ 16:02 PM

This Friday, March 2nd, from 4 to 5 p.m. ET, I’ll be talking about Inbound Marketing on the LinkedIn Lady Show on This opportunity to chat live with Carol McManus, aka America’s LinkedIn Lady, and then have the show available for download on iTunes got me thinking about how radio has developed as an online marketing communications and PR medium.Radio across the decades

First, let me say that I have always been in love with radio. In my mid-1960s high school days, my friends and I spent every social moment listening on our new transistor radios to DJ Jerry Blavat – the Geator With the Heater, the Boss with the Hot Sauce – on WHAT-AM in Philly. (You can still hear him – stream his show live, in fact – on Cruisin’ 92.1, WVLT-FM.)

During the same timeframe, Marshall McLuhan published his mind-bending, ground-breaking book Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man. McLuhan described radio as, ‘The Tribal Drum.’ No wonder it’s translated so brilliantly to the Internet, where we’re all connecting with our online tribes.

Radio used to be very local. It still is, but it’s also global now. If you get the opportunity to be interviewed on anyone’s local radio show grab it, even if you market nationally or internationally. Not long ago, I was a guest on a show aired by a tiny station in Westchester County, NY. Its signal may not reach more than a mile. But my mother listened in on her computer from Pennsylvania. Many shows are recorded and available to download and share, which really leverages the time you invest in preparation and the show itself.

Even if the interview invites aren’t rolling in, you can still take advantage of online radio. You can create and promote your own radio show for free on BTR is the world’s largest social radio network. It just ranked #3730 in the three-month Alexa traffic rankings. More than 45,000 websites link to BlogTalkRadio. In essence, it’s the Wordpress of radio. There are several premium packages available that, among other features, include promotional impressions of your show to help you build audience.

One of my clients, psychotherapist Dr. Annie Abram has created quite a successful show on BTR, Ask Dr. Annie. Once a week she interviews well-known authorities and authors in her field. Such a show builds thought leadership and credibility in and beyond your service area, and opens doors to collaboration, speaking engagements and other opportunities. It also gets her in front of her mailing list weekly when she promos the current week’s topic and guest. – home of the LinkedIn Lady Show – was launched in November of 2011, by Craig Duswalt, former personal manager for Axl Rose of Guns N’ Roses, and currently a speaker, author and creator of the RockStar System For Success, and the popular RockStar Marketing BootCamps.

The RockStar Radio Network is a talk radio production company whose brick and mortar studio is based in Tyler, Texas where the company’s full production staff works to create customized interfaces, live commercials and CD quality sound for all its talk radio hosts. Carol McManus built a national audience with a previous show that live-streamed on a local AM station in Greenwich, Conn., leading to an invitation to host her current show.

Here’s a closing thought about radio --  something I underlined decades ago in my well-worn copy of Marshall McLuhan’s book. It still resonates today:

“Radio is provided with its cloak of invisibility like any other medium. It comes to us ostensibly with person-to-person directness that is private and intimate, while in more urgent fact, it is really a subliminal echo chamber of magical power to touch remote and forgotten chords. All technological extensions of our selves must be numb and subliminal, else we could not endure the leverage exerted on us by such extension.”

Takeaway: Put radio into your online marketing mix. Call to your tribe and they will gather to listen!


To shift gears to another form of social media, learn how you can make effective use of Facebook and Twitter. It’s all in our new White Paper available for free download via the button.

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The image of vintage radios is from the Flickr photostream of AlexKerhead under Creative Commons license.

Topics: Radio, BlogTalk Radio, RockStar Radio Network, Jerry Blavat, Online Marketing, Social Media, LinkedIn Lady Show

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