VIEO Design is excited to announce that we recently achieved Silver Tier status in HubSpot's Partner Program and we couldn't be more proud! What does Silver Tier mean? What is a HubSpot partner? Read on, my friend, and I'll tell you all about it!
How I Was "Inbounded" and Fell in Love with HubSpot
But first, let's go back in time to 2007, when I first discovered HubSpot. I was living in Atlanta, Georgia, and had just left the corporate world to stay home with my babies.
As if that wasn't already a full-time job, I was also trying my hand at a little adventure in ecommerce for my handcrafted jewelry. These were my pre-VIEO days, but they proved to be an invaluable experience of being in a client's shoes.
There I was, with a great new ecommerce website built by my talented brother Paul Gibson (now my business partner). But, guess what? Traffic doesn't magically show up the day your site goes live.
I am a bit competitive and wanted my website to be at the top of Google results for various phrases. I was looking for ways to improve my Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and although I knew some SEO techniques, I wanted to learn more. That was when my friend Jen Shields (owner of Posh Tot Events) told me about a cool new online tool she had found called "The Website Grader." This incredible tool, now called The Marketing Grader, let me grade my website on SEO and marketing effectiveness. Not only that, it gave free tips and advice on how to fix anything that needed improvement. That was my first drop of what we #HubSpotters like to call "the orange kool-aid," and I was hooked.
After using the website grader tool to grade my site and many others, I kept coming back to HubSpot's blog to read their great free tips, ebooks, and checklists. Before my experience with HubSpot, I had rarely ever been tempted to fill out online forms. I had always assumed they were tricks and that I would get spammed.
This time, the opposite proved to be true - each email HubSpot sent me seemed perfectly catered to what interested me as a marketer. The email titles made me want to click, and the offers were always helpful. They just didn't look like the typical email blasts I was used to getting. I was literally afraid to unsubscribe for fear I would miss an important tip or nugget of advice. This is a biggie folks, as I get LOTS of email and am always happy to unsubscribe when I can.
So, on with the story. In 2009 I moved to Tennessee to be closer to family and moved from being a VIEO client to being VIEO's Marketing Director. Remembering the great advice I always found at HubSpot, I purchased the book which became my new best Inbound friend, Inbound Marketing: Get Found Using Google, Social Media, and Blogs. For the first time in my professional life, I found reading a business book just as enjoyable as reading books purchased for pleasure.
As VIEO grew over the years from 3 to 10 employees, I never had to cold-call or interrupt a business owner's busy day trying to sell our services to strangers. Inbound Marketing was already in play for us, but I knew we could get better. By the time I became one of VIEO's owners, we were evaluating new tools to help our business and help streamline services for ourselves and our clients. What was a great software tool that could help my team work smarter and not harder? Oh yes! HubSpot, and I knew I needed it.
HubSpot's inbound marketing approach was working, they didn't call me 20 times asking if I wanted it. I called them to ask how I could get it. They had nurtured me through the sales funnel from the days before I had even been a member of the VIEO team. That nurturing didn't require numerous follow-up phone calls from their sales reps. I came to them over and over for great content. I trusted their advice and expertise, and when the time was right, I knew they were the right software company for us.
Finally becoming a HubSpot customer was pretty awesome, and the software had features I didn't even realize existed. Better yet was becoming a HubSpot partner last year. When I attended my first Inbound conference (INBOUND13), it was a professional dream come true to meet HubSpot celebrities like the amazing CEO and Co-founder Brian Halligan and the brilliant Social Media Scientist Dan Zarrella. They are real people focused on their customers, and to them, customer happiness is paramount.
So, What Is a HubSpot Certified Partner?
To become a HubSpot Certified Partner, you have to take many, many, many hours of training, get through several certification programs, and pass practicums to prove that you can get results using the tools and methodology. It was hard work, but oh so much fun! The partner journey includes:
- Inbound Certification - Free to the public, this program teaches the inbound marketing methodology and tests your knowledge.
- HubSpot Certification - Open to HubSpot customers, this is a two-part certification that focuses on how to use the software and tests knowledge of its use. Once you pass your HubSpot Certification test, you must complete a practicum proving you can get results.
- Partner Certification - This two-part certification is available to partners after HubSpot Certification is completed. Partner Certification involves more in-depth training to ensure an agency knows how to effectively manage and deliver inbound marketing services to HubSpot clients.
VIEO Design is also HubSpot Design Certified, meaning our techies have been tested on and passed a practicum proving proficiency in and knowledge of HubSpot's COS (Content Optimization System) and design tools. This is necessary in order to help new and existing HubSpot customers meet and exceed their marketing goals with responsive websites, blogs, landing pages, and custom email templates.
Partners work with dedicated consultants at HubSpot throughout the training process. In our experience, the HubSpot team members have been expert resources now that our agency is rocking and rolling. I'll give a shout-out here to some of our closest HubSpot friends - Adrianne Mayshar, Alix Seyfarth , James Stone, and Sarah Posnak. Sarah was even kind enough to give us a stellar review - you can read it here. Thanks for everything, guys!
What Does "HubSpot Silver Certified Agency Partner" Mean?
HubSpot has a Partner Tier program designed to acknowledge those agency partners who have 1) brought the inbound message to the most clients, and 2) executed inbound marketing services to the highest standards. Believe it or not, we had to achieve a "Customer Happiness Indicator" as part of this certification! It such an honor and thrill to be a HubSpot Silver Certified Agency Partner, our team will continue working hard to delight clients and provide amazing ROI.