The Inbound Certification is now on iTunes!

Forget your summer reading this summer. Instead, dive into a podcast.

Podcasts are addictive, they’re convenient, and portable. And if you’re in business, you may want to consider creating one as they have tons of benefits.

Here is a list of my favorite podcasts:

  • Radiolab via NPR. The following is my favorite episode – 9 Volt Nirvana:
  • Startup via @abelexberg. Listen to them in order, starting with episode 1 – How not to pitch a billionaire:
  • The Reboot Podcast via executive coach, Jerry Colonna.
  • Planet Money via NPR.
  • Tech in Boston.
  • The Growth Show via HubSpot.

And I also have some exciting news — we’ve recently launched the Inbound Certification marketing classes as a video podcast. That way, you can learn the fundamentals of attracting website visitors, converting leads, closing customers and delighting promoters no matter where you are this summer:

You can view them and subscribe to them on iTunes here:



The Unspoken Power of a Great Follower

A quick Google search with the keywords “how to be a great leader” will return more than 150 million results of advice rooted in research, experience, and stories. However, if you Google the same concept but instead being a follower – “how to be a great follower” – it results in less than half of that amount.

Why is that?

Why is it that we still focus on praising leaders while dismissing followers?

Note: I only use “follower” here as most folks are aware of and follow the juxtaposition of leader and/or/vs follower. “If you’re not a leader, you’re a follower” kind of (sad) thing.

There is an understated, and mostly undiscovered, impact that an intelligent and passionate follower can have on a leader and the team.

An article found on Fast Company shared an interesting theory from Barbara Kellerman, a leadership lecturer at Harvard University and author of Followership: How Followers are Creating Change and Changing Leaders, stating that “the significant shifts in technology and culture have changed the dynamic, giving followers more power.”

Wow, “giving followers more power.”

Passionate followers are what turn a lone-nut into a leader. They’re often on the front lines, giving them access to more knowledge and diverse experiences. They also have respect resulting in influence in a group.

People often get hung up on being a leader, but to be a great leader, you must first be a great follower.

A good follower knows when to encourage the leader to develop an idea or potential path for the team further, and often leads the activity. They know when to support the leader and help sell ideas to others. An excellent follower dares to inform the leader if when things are heading in the wrong direction. And they dare to point out areas where a leader can improve their approach or skill-set, and then assists them in their quest to improve.

You don’t always have to be the leader to lead.

As John Quincy Adams once said, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader.”

I’ve seen the TED talk below and shared it many times with people I love. Derek Sivers captures the essence and power that a first follower can wield — they turn “a lone-nut into a leader.”


Stop Seeking Expensive College Degrees, the Future of Education is Online and Free

Back in November, LinkedIn launched a Certifications add-to-profile feature that enabled users to showcase their professional accomplishments and certifications easily on their member profile.

In March, NPR’s Fresh Air ran an interesting piece on higher education. In it, Kevin Carey (a book author on the future of learning), discusses the future of education as he sees it where “educational resources that have been scares and expensive for centuries will be abundant and free.”

Then in early April, LinkedIn purchased for 1.5 million as part of their game-plan to “help professionals be better at what they do.” What better way to make more qualified candidates and make LinkedIn a stronger platform, than by provide the quality education and resources to enhance knowledge.

How long will it be before most colleges are non-existent?

The rising cost (or over-priced cost rather) of college degrees combined with the lack of innovation around education and improved teaching methods, more people than ever are turning to very accessible alternatives to learn.

Before we dig in too much, here’s an interesting video on the topic of the future of college degrees:

During the financial crisis of 2008, Americans lost 10.2 trillion dollars in paper wealth.  And college is the only thing in America, besides the cost of health care, was the only thing that did not at least, temporarily, decline in price.

During the financial crisis of 2008, Americans lost 10.2 trillion dollars in paper wealth.
And college is the only thing in America, besides the cost of health care, was the only thing that did not at least, temporarily, decline in price.

How New Technologies Are Advancing Education Further

There has been so many new technologies to help students grow, that many businesses (like LinkedIn mentioned above) are starting to recognize this and seize the opportunity.

The traditional educational model that many of us grew up with where the professors profess or the teachers teach, is now outdated. Professors now have access to technology that creates and promotes interactive learning. Being more engaged and focusing on understanding versus memorizing allows students to develop critical thinking skills and become more “free thinking.”

Technology now gives students more information in their pocket on their phone or a tablet, than ever imagined from a textbook.

Lastly, with technology advances, students are now able participate in “flipped classrooms” where they do the basic learning at home and collaborative learning in the classroom, making the most of class-time.

These technological breakthroughs aren’t only fantastic for the students, the teachers notice improvements in students as well. 9 out of 10 teachers noticed a positive change in student engagement since flipping the classroom.

How Free Educational Platforms Will Educate the World

On top of tech advances, there are also free open platforms for information sharing. iTunes U, Udemy, Coursera, Udacity, Skillshare and even my at HubSpot makes it a point to provides free marketing courses and certifications to educate the world.

These massive open online courses (aka MOOCs) make a course of study available over the Internet to a large number of people without any charge.

What would you tell yourself if you were about to enter college or had a student about to enter college (with momentous amounts of debt)?

Because of technology, learning has changed quite a bit over the last decade. Are you (or your children) keeping up? We are at a tipping point in the future of education and I couldn’t be more excited to be apart of it, and helping to forge it.