Hiring an Inbound Marketer? Here’s What You Should Look For.

One of the challenges of building a company in a new market is figuring out what type of employees to hire.

If
you're Children's Hospital in Boston, you know you
want to hire the best pediatricians you can find; if
you're the HubSpot marketing team, developing a new approach to
marketing, it's not clear who you want on your team.

Earlier
this year David Meerman Scott pointed out that journalists could be
great inbound marketers
. I think that's absolutely true. But journalists and
employers have to be careful about these types of hires. Inbound
marketing
requires qualities that not all journalist have.

Specifically,
after a year of interviewing people at HubSpot, I think there are six
key qualities that inbound marketers should look for new in hires. Journalist can develop these skills, but they do not by definition have them:

(1)
Digital Intuition
— You need to understand how the web works. The web
is an ecosystem, and if you don't intuitively understand the dynamics
of this ecosystem — how Twitter can drive traffic to a blog; the
kinds of headlines that attract attention; the simple things you can do
to build blog subscriptions — you won't be able to help your company
attract online visitors.

(2) Propensity to Create Content — Do
you share links? Do you publish photos? Do you have a website? A blog?
Do you favorite videos? Companies today must do all of this. If you
don't create this kind of content naturally on your own, you won't have the
skills and experience needed to do it well for your company.

(3)
Content Talent
— It's great if you have good intuition and a
propensity to create content; it's even better if you're good at it — if
you write like Hemingway, if you shoot film like Scorsese. Great content
stands out on the web, spreads quickly and attracts people to your
site.

(4) A Salesy, Social Streak — The best inbound marketers
promote their own content. They build and nurture relationships, and
they know how to use these relationships to spread their own content, without abusing them.

(5)
Understanding & Acceptance of Content's Place
— This is the one
where most journalists come up short. For businesses, content is a means to an end, not
an end in and of itself. Every article, tweet and video is
assessed based on its ability to generate visitors, leads and customers, not
on any subjective judgment of content quality.

(6) All That Is Important in Any Other Job
— Passion, raw intelligence, creativity, leadership, toughness and work ethic.

If you're an inbound marketer thinking of hiring a journalist (or any
other type of candidate), you should consider these qualities. If you're
a journalist looking for an inbound marketing job, you should
understand that these are the skills required for success.

News Is a Part of My Life, But Not as a Profession

Earlier this week somebody I respect asked if I ever thought about
getting back into the news business — trying to build Faneuil Media
again.

The answer is unequivocally, no.

HubSpot is an extremely rewarding place to work; we are building something important, and it is filled with people I learn from.

Beyond
HubSpot, there's a more fundamental reason I don't plan to go back to
the news business: Today journalism is less a career path, and more
something people just do. I was a photojournalist last night when I
took pictures of the fireworks.  I was a trade journalist this morning
when I posted video of a talk I gave last month.
I was an editor yesterday when I linked to the Kremlin's video blog.

I got into the news business because I love to create content and
help spread information. I can do that with my iPhone and my blog now,
so there's no need to endure the spiritual and financial pain of work
in a shrinking industry.

As Magdalena Georgieva, one of our many fantastic summer interns at
HubSpot
, put it in her job interview this spring, "news is always
something that will be a part of my life, but not as a profession."

Same for me.

My Talk on Inbound Marketing in Appleton, WI

Last month the fantastic folks at Red Shoes PR in Appleton, WI, invited me out to participate in their seminar, Bottom Line: Social Media for Business. I had a great time, and enjoyed meeting everybody out there. (There's more on the event from a local tv station here.)

Here's a recording of the talk I gave, broken into two videos. (Special thanks to Ross LaRocco for sending me the files.)

Part I

[blip.tv http://blip.tv/play/AYGOwBaY6QM%5D

Part II

[blip.tv http://blip.tv/play/AYGOxGGY6QM%5D