How does that old saying go? The first step of recovery from a certification addiction is to step out of denial about it via a blog post? Yeah, something like that.
I’ll be the first to admit that I have a problem when it comes to collecting HubSpot certifications. As of December 2017, I was one of only 15 people globally to have obtained all 16 of them — they’ve since added a couple new ones and some updates (which I plan to complete).
Now, I’m not addicted to these certifications because they’re great additions to my resume or because I secretly use them as wallpaper for my home office (... I don’t!). Rather, I’m addicted to HubSpot certifications because I crave learning.
These certifications have exponentially expanded my knowledge of inbound marketing and turned what was once mainly writing skills into a wide variety of digital marketing skills. They’re professional development at its best and while I don’t necessarily want to enable you … but I recommend everyone check them out.
The Skills You Can Develop with HubSpot Certifications
From sales enablement and contextual marketing to content writing and website design, there is a certification option for nearly any marketing or sales skill you’re trying to improve. There are also beginner, intermediate and expert options.
The best part? The certifications are broken up into several lessons, which are broken up into several videos, making them easy to fit into our busy schedules. As I alluded to above, HubSpot also frequently adds new certifications — such as the all-new social media certification course coming out this spring — so there are plenty of opportunities to learn new skills.
Which HubSpot Certifications Should You Take?
If you’re like me, you might want to obtain every certification HubSpot offers. Or you might want to focus on certifications relevant to your role. Either is a valid option, but I think there is a natural sequence or order you should take them in if it’s your desire to “catch ‘em all.” (Hat tip to Pokemon fans.)
Here’s the order I’d take them in, if that’s the case:
- Inbound: The first certification everyone should take, this one covers the basics of inbound marketing. It’s short, sweet and informative. You’ll learn about the Inbound Methodology and the general concept of nurturing visitors into customers.
- HubSpot Marketing Software: This is where you’ll learn about getting your hands dirty with the HubSpot tool. From CTAs, emails and landing pages to forms and contacts, sources and lists, you’ll know how to do it all.
- Content Marketing: A writer or looking to develop your content skills? This is the certification for you, as it focuses on things like blogging, content strategy, how to become an effective writer and creating topic clusters.
- Email Marketing: My second-favorite certification, this is self-explanatory. Prepare to expand your knowledge of email with things like the metrics you should be tracking, how to write effective subject lines, the importance of email design and more.
- Contextual Marketing: My favorite certification, Contextual Marketing lets you dive a little deeper into the advanced features and testing capabilities of HubSpot. From A/B testing to smart content, you’ll learn how to design a more customized user experience.
- Growth-Driven Design: Hosted by website design guru Luke Summerfield, this certification explores the concept of continuous improvement with Growth-Driven Design. Say goodbye to traditional websites!
- HubSpot Design: A highly technical certification, this one gets into the back-end side of HubSpot, teaching you about templates (email, website page, blog, etc.), mobile responsiveness and designing a user-focused experience.
- Inbound Sales: If you’re on the sales team or would like to better understand the Inbound Sales Methodology, this is the course for you. Do you prioritize active buyers over passive buyers? Do you understand the buyers’ context? Do you deliver personalized sales presentations? You will after this course.
- HubSpot Sales Software: Similar to the HubSpot Marketing certification, but focuses on the sales side. Prepare to learn more about how to organize your contacts, accelerate outreach with sequences and capture inbound leads.
- Sales Enablement: Are your marketing and sales teams aligned? Learn more about smarketing meetings, aligning teams around a unified revenue goal, developing a lead qualification framework and more with this certification.
- Client Management: Want to better manage clients as an agency? This certification teaches how to do it during every stage, from onboarding to upselling.
- Delivering Client Success: Once you know how to manage clients, another good course to take would be this one about ensuring they experience success. You’ll learn fantastic resources and tips for improving results.
- Developing a Sales Plan: Put together a focused, results-driven and practical plan for your sales strategy with the lessons learned in this certification.
- Delivering Sales Services: Want to deliver strong ROI to your clients and increase retainers? This is the certification for you.
- Selling Sales Services: Learn best practices for things like price, packages and services that your existing clients may enjoy.
- HubSpot Agency Partner: Finally, if you’re a marketing agency looking to partner with HubSpot, this certification will teach you how to market, sell, deliver and grow your agency with inbound marketing.
As you can see, these certifications progress from general inbound marketing and HubSpot, to writing, to design and operations, to sales, to client management, then finally to agency management.
The Importance of Certifications at a Marketing Agency
At madison/miles media, every one of our employees is inbound certified — though many of us have more than just one certification. As I mentioned above, these certifications are more than just digital trophies; they give us the skill sets we need to better tell our clients’ stories with inbound marketing and grow their businesses.
That’s one of the beautiful things about working with an agency … you get to enjoy a wide variety of skill sets instead of cramming them all into one role or team. After all, only a moron would try to get all of the skills involved with HubSpot certifications, right? Right? Right.
To sum it all up, my strange addiction can be yours. If you’d like to learn more about HubSpot's certifications, inbound marketing skills or simply have a software issue you can’t figure out, feel free to request a consultation with us today.