Ring. Ring.  Wake up!  Get in the caaaar, it’s inbound time!  I arrived to the Hynes Convention Center in frenzy with a coffee in hand in late September. With over 2,800 marketers in attendance, I grabbed my seat early while I gawked at how mainstream the inbound marketing movement was becoming.  People were rushing in the halls to hear the likes of SEOmoz’s Rand Fishkin, David Meerman Scott, Susan Cain, Gary Vaynerchuk, and of course, HubSpot’s co-founders Dharmesh Shah and Brian Halligan.  Inbound was no other conference, but a movement.

As the CEO’s of Hubspot came in on jump suits from a helicopter, I felt humbled to be surrounded by 2,800 marketing professionals from 25 different countries around the world.  Brian dated back his early times with Hubspot when they were just discovering David’s “New Rules of PR and Marketing” book and learning the extraordinary success of Susan Kain’s “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking ” book as a top seller on Amazon.  These keynote speakers had been chosen outright in their passion for Inbound Marketing.  I really enjoyed having the guidebook app also for my phone to see where all the workshops were, but the thing that thunderstruck me most in this short introduction was the power of Marketing Grader for improving my own love of marketing.

Cue first guest speaker: David Meerman Scott.

David talked about generating attention, creating content and driving people into your business. Amanda Palmer was one of the successful artists he cited as being creatively successful at having her fans provide artwork to her website or what we call in the marketing world as user-generated content.  He also brought up Kiskstarter and News Jacking as great ways to get buzz around what your business is all about.

“Social media should be used as a tool for instant engagement, but you need to provide valuable content.”

Another cool thing about listening to David speak was his love for music.  He understood the emotional impact that music has for marketers as he himself has been truckin’ as a deadhead for decades.  He brought up the Grateful Dead as one of the most successful bands in history at providing valuable content.  Did you know that they let their fans record all their live music?  They gave away free recordings of music for over 1 billion concerts.  What content can you give away for free?

The opening keynote ended with a sweet blues harmonica jam with Cyndi Lauper, who has sold more than 30 million records and has been entertaining fans for more than 25 years, with an applauding crowd standing in gratitude.  She also provides content to her fans on Twitter as a diary.  I hope to add to that diary.  I was at a crossroads myself in this eye-opening keynote—stuck between a young marketing career and a movement that would have monumental impact for our society at large.

Final Thought: “You are what you publish.”


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