We’ve put together a list of some inspirational inbound marketers to get you excited for 2017.
New year, new me? Start 2017 inspired with some of the world’s most ‘out-the-box’ inbound marketers. They’re making waves in the inbound community with their inspirational thinking and, quite frankly, can only make you a better marketer. Be sure to bookmark or follow at least one of them to give your strategy a creative and leading edge industry boost in the year ahead.
1. Marcus Sheridan (The Sales Lion)
With the credit crisis, and collapse of the housing market in 2008, many companies (including River Pools and Spas) were struggling to find leads or make sales. River Pools and Spas was nearing bankruptcy, until Marcus discovered inbound marketing.
Using the inbound methodology, Marcus was able to establish River Pools and Spas as the go-to source for information on inground swimming pool construction. This not only improved sales and saved his business, but also led to River Pools and Spas’ website becoming what is now the most trafficked swimming pool site in the world with over 500 000 visitors to the website per month.
In a time where the entire building industry was struggling, Marcus managed to make 2009 one of River Pools and Spas’ most successful business years.
Marcus is a thought leader on digital and inbound marketing strategy. He has been featured in many publications and holds seminars on inbound marketing around the world. He was named a “web marketing guru” by the New York Times.
In October 2016, Marcus released his first book, titled They Ask, You Answer: a revolutionary content marketing strategy. In his book, Marcus gives a step-by-step guide to “fixing your current marketing strategy”, and addresses subjects like how to boost your company’s web presence, building trust and customer loyalty, how to leverage your in-house resources to produce great content and content creation best practices which can work for any industry or sector.
Marcus on inbound marketing strategy:
“Inbound marketing is a vision of ‘I’m going to become a teacher of people in my industry’. It’s never too late to become a great teacher of your clients, great content is always going to be relevant.”
- Marcus Sheridan, The Sales Lion
You can follow Marcus on Twitter, YouTube, or The Sale’s Lion blog, to learn more about using digital and inbound marketing strategy to establish your business as a teacher, and trustworthy source of information in your industry.
2. Nancy Harhut (Wilde Agency)
Nancy is the Chief Creative Officer at Wilde Agency, where Marketing meets Behavioural Science. She has a degree in journalism and specialises in direct response (persuasive) copywriting . Her research focuses on what content causes people to take action, and why people respond better to certain key words. Nancy and her team have won over 150 awards for their digital and direct marketing strategies.
Nancy is a thought leader on persuasive text and effective email marketing. Nancy gives educational seminars around the world and has even worked with high profile clients like the US Department of Defence. Nancy was a guest speaker at #Inbound16 where she gave a talk on the 10 Human Behavioural Hacks That Will Change the Way You Create Email.
Nancy’s advice for developing meaningful and persuasive content:
“Keep in mind that people are hardwired to take the easy, simple route. We don’t like to exert a lot of mental effort – it doesn’t come naturally to us. So make things easy to read, easy to understand, easy to do.”
- Nancy Harhut, Wilde Agency
Email marketing can be one of the most effective methods of lead nurturing. You can follow Nancy on Twitter, LinkedIn and Wilde Agency’s blog if you want to learn how to successfully implement engaging email marketing campaigns, as part of your inbound strategy in 2017.
3. Austin Knight (HubSpot)
Austin is a senior User Experience (UX) Designer at HubSpot. He graduated from Kentucky University, with a BA in Marketing, and currently volunteers as a mentor at various tertiary institutions (including Columbia University) where he trains design students and startup founders.
Austin led the design team who revised the HubSpot software, website and blog as it transitioned from a single-product, domestic company to an international brand offering multiple products to more than 90 countries worldwide. If you’re interested in how he approached such a mammoth task, he gives a great breakdown of the process he followed on his blog.
Apart from his design skills, Austin also writes and speaks at conferences worldwide. Austin was one of the speakers at #Inbound16, where he gave a very interesting talk (Design is not Art), in which he discusses how art is subjective, whereas design has become objective with its emphasis on the user and functionality.
Austin’s advice to inbound designers:
“Big egos often have little ears. Don’t let your own motivations and fears get in the way of your greatest opportunities to improve and succeed. Be open to criticism, embrace change and learn from failure. Open your ears”.
- Austin Knight, HubSpot
If you’re looking to improve your design skills this year, you can follow Austin on his blog, Twitter or LinkedIn for some great advice and inspiration. You can also listen to Austin’s podcast where he and other experts discuss various design tactics and best practices. Austin will be speaking at Pixel Up! In Cape Town (8 - 10 May 2017).
4. Rand Fishkin (Moz)
Rand is an entrepreneur. He was the co-founder and former CEO of the highly successful SEO consultancy, Moz. He’s currently a board member at Haiku Deck, a presentation software startup in Seattle, and an outsourced consultant for Moz.
Rand has written several books on mastering SEO, and has produced many helpful free online resources (such as The Beginner’s Guide to SEO).
Rand is a thought leader when it comes to SEO best practices. He’s been involved in training staff on SEO best practice at multi-billion dollar companies such as Facebook, Google and Microsoft. Rand was one of the speakers at #Inbound16, where he spoke on How to Keep up With Google.
Rand on the importance of keeping up with SEO best practices:
“What [inbound] marketers do best is to help people; and to do that, we need tools like Google to work in our favour and therefore, we need to understand them.”
- Rand Fishkin, Moz
5. Beth Dunn (HubSpot)
Beth is the Product Editor-in-Chief at HubSpot . She’s part of the User Experience (UX) team, managing HubSpot’s content strategy and customer communications. Beth has her Masters in Business
Administration (MBA) and has written content for various well-known entities, including the History Channel’s website.
Beth is a thought leader when it comes to writing content and brand identity. She’s extremely passionate about good quality writing and design, and has been a guest speaker on content creation at several Inbound events. You can watch Beth’s talk, Fix Your Writing, on HubSpot’s YouTube channel, for tips on how to become a better writer.
Rand on the importance of keeping up with SEO best practices:
“Words are the currency of the web, and like money, it’s not just a nice to have - it’s a need to have. Customers love good writing. The people who give you money, trust good writing.”
- Beth Dunn, HubSpot
If you’re struggling to write content for your business, and need some inspiration to get your creative juices flowing, you’ll find Beth’s approach to writing very helpful. You can follow Beth on Twitter, LinkedIn and her personal blog to learn more about quality content creation in order to boost your inbound strategy.
Lookout for more trade tips and tricks from these five inbound marketers during the course of this year, as you can see, they have a lot to teach us. They can definitely provide the inspiration you’ll need to get started on a great inbound strategy in 2017.