#Inbound15 Mastered Mashup

3 min read
Sep 15, 2015 1:12:00 PM

Last week was a whirlwind of awesomeness, inspiration, and, at the end of the day, exhaustion – but in a good way. Responsive’s President, Lindsey, and I were lucky enough to attend 
(#Inbound15 for the social fam) in our very own hometown. But, most of the 14,000 marketing and sales attendees traveled farther than we had to – from all areas of not only the country, but of the world. And, one interesting thing I noticed was that this big, amped-up, saturated marketing conference was basically like a “grown-up” music festival.

You think that’s a stretch? The similarities are as clear as day: 
  • Admission via a badge (like a festie bracelet)
  • Crowds everywhere
  • Long lines everywhere (even at the food trucks)
  • Having to arrive early in order to get a good seat, or any seat
  • Keynotes aka headliners

I could go on! But, you get the gist. I found it funny and kind of cool that this is where I ended up at age 27 when at age 22 I was navigating my way through my sweaty Bonnaroo brethren. Now amidst thousands of talented industry peers, we were experiencing the craziness together – and loving it. So, in the spirit of music and innovation, I’d like to offer you a “mash-up,” if you will, of a few crucial takeaways from #Inbound15. Read on to start mastering the core of inbound right here, right now. Have a listen:

Track 1: The Tough Get Going

“If you're really comfortable you're not being
brave.” –Brené Brown, Researcher & Storyteller

Brené Brown was one of Inbound’s keynote speakers and opened up Wednesday, September 9, with refreshing words told through a relatable, human story. She spoke about what it means to be vulnerable and brave. I thought that these insights segued nicely to a session I attended called: Serendipity or Strategy? - 7 Habits of Lucky Entrepreneurs. Here are 7 habits that will help you differentiate serendipity from strategy, and comfortability from courage, when it comes to realizing success: 

  1. Avid learners - You become lucky when preparation meets opportunity.
  2. Fascinated with problems
  3. Practice curiosity - Ask “what if” questions.
  4. Experiment prolifically - Answer the “what-ifs” in various ways.
  5. Watch for sparks - See opportunities in whatever gives you energy.
  6. Create, initiate, and construct - Remain in constructive mode.
  7. Quick to pivot - You continue evolving with every choice you make.
These points demonstrate Brené’s message in that, in order to “get lucky,” you have to dig in, take a step forward, and seize what it is that your energy wants to consume. Maybe instead of “luck,” we should call it “drive.”

Track 2: Better Than the Best

You, of course, want to produce high-quality content that ranks high in Google. In the various SEO-focused sessions I attended at Inbound, I learned that: 
  • High-quality links + high-quality content = a high ranking website
  • Each piece of content should answer a specific question quickly, rank in the top 10 searches, and be easily consumed by multiple device types.
  • Inbound links are a measure of authority, so make sure yours are extremely relevant and serve as added knowledge to the pieces they’re placed in.
  • If you want your content to rank high, it has to be 10x better than other ranking content.
Let’s harp on that last tip for a moment. Your content not only has to be good, but it has to be 10x better than anything else produced by a search result. So, what constitutes 10x content? A piece needs to: 
  • Provide a uniquely positive user experience
  • Be high quality, trustworthy, useful and interesting 
  • Be unique in the way it approaches being high quality, trustworthy, useful, and interesting
  • Load quickly
  • Evoke an emotional response from the reader
  • Draw considerable shares on social media platforms or through links and mentions by other sites
  • Provide value to a reader by answering questions and presenting information in an easily digestible manner

In order to create content that truly stands out, you have to be better than the best and constantly strive for better than your best.

Track 3: Rihanna, We Found Love

Inspired yet? Let’s close things out with a bang by mentioning how Rihanna’s powerful dance track, We Found Love, was a staple tune at this year’s Inbound. Marketers got pumped to the lyrics, “We found love in a hopeless place,” and I personally wanted to share how my brain tied this to inbound marketing.

HubSpot’s mastermind and Inbound keynote Dharmesh Shah spoke to all 14,000 of us about how inbound is for everyone – it’s all about love for everyone and it’s time to get growing with inbound. He ended his talk with the quote: “While others make noise, quietly create value. While they fight for attention, just follow your heart.”

That is what #Inbound15 was really all about and in that room, in the many rooms in the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, in our offices, on the Internet, and in person, we found that inbound was for us. And, in this hopelessly competitive and ever-changing world, finding what you love is what it’s all about.
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