7 Marketing Career To-Dos to Tackle Before the New Year

This post originally appeared on the HubSpot Academy blog. You can read the post in its original location here6665006571_65f5cce806_b

It’s almost the end of the year. A time for self-reflection, performance reviews, and planning.

With all of this focus on self-reflection and planning, why do only 8% of people achieve their New Year’s resolutions? Research indicates that people tend to dream big, but don’t start small. People often have lofty, ambiguous goals like “lose weight” or “eat healthy” but don’t put an actionable routine in place to achieve their goals.

If you’re a marketer looking to make the most of the rest of the days left in the month, this article is for you.

The Steps You Can Take to Finish the Year Strong

1. Revamp your online bios

When was the last time you did an audit of all the places you can be found online, and determined if they were up-to-date? The most common time for people to update their profiles is when they have a job change, or if they come across something that needs updating. However, now is your chance to be proactive about your online presence.

There are other benefits to updating your social media profiles, beyond simply putting your best and most-relevant self forward. By making a profile change, it can update your status keeping you top-of-mind within your network. With Google and other search engines, updating a website page can notify Google that you’re putting the effort toward keeping your content fresh, giving you a few brownie points with their search engine algorithm ranking.

Want tips on updating your online biographies? Depending on the online site, consider adding anything from a brief introduction to yourself, accomplishments or awards, projects you’re involved with, passions, and the best place for someone to find you online.

Here are some online biographies you should consider updating:

  • Personal website
  • A biography page hosted through your company’s website
  • Twitter biography
  • Quora profile
  • Inbound.org profile
  • Clarity.fm profile
  • Zerply.com

Share in the comments below if we missed a major one that you think needs updating. (Yes, we also considered including online dating profiles and if that applies to you then here are some tips to updating yours.)

2. Upgrade your LinkedIn profile

What were your most notable accomplishments from the past year? Has anything happened or changed that is worth documenting? While not every year is met with distinguishable improvements, that doesn’t mean that progress isn’t worth documenting. If you haven’t been keeping up with your LinkedIn profile for the past year, now is a great time to get ahead of the next year.

Not sure what to add? We recommend making sure you have the most up-to-date professional headshot, job role and any awards or certifications you’ve received. A staff member at LinkedIn previously shared that profiles which have certifications added to it result in 6x more profile views than the average user.

Want to really revamp your profile? Here are some helpful articles about getting the most out of your page, and LinkedIn’s algorithm:

3. Fill in for co-workers who are taking vacation time off

Do you have a team member that’s taking time off before the New Year? Are you looking for more opportunities and/or responsibility? Asking to fill in for a team member while they’re out is a great win-win situation. You’ll be a helpful team player while getting a taste of what their job entails, and they’re able to enjoy their vacation without any apprehension.

This task which is usually too difficult or stressful to attempt, becomes a manageable growth opportunity as your own workload may be lighter during the holiday season.

4. See how you can improve your performance and request a new-year evaluation

Do you want to know how you’re doing at work? Do you want to know what you should improve to receive a raise or a promotion?

Too many employees make the mistake of waiting for an annual review to find out how they’re doing. While a great leader will be giving you feedback on a consistent basis, if you haven’t had a pulse check on your professional progress in a while, now is a great time.

Looking for tips on how to ask, or what to get out of it? This KellyServices articlecovers the basics.

5. Make yourself more valuable and brush up on your marketing skills

Brushing up on basic skills is an important part of professional development, but it can often take a backseat to the demands of our careers. Tuck some time away while things are slow in the office and invest in yourself.

There are plenty of marketing trainings, courses, certification courses and booksavailable for professional growth. A bonus for some of the paid items like books is that your leader may be more inclined to invest in these if they can help use up some end of month budget, and eventually be added to the company’s library.

Protip: If you do brush up on your skills with one of the methods mentioned above, go the extra mile by writing down your major takeaways and learnings and sharing them with the rest of your team. By doing this, you’re sharing your knowledge with the team and helping the quality of the team grow. And doing that, is a leadership quality. Want an extra boost from this? Going above and beyond by re-purposing the content and publishing it in the form of a blog post for the world to see and enjoy.

6. Keep a pulse on the industry and schedule informational interviews

An informational interview is a type of meeting to discuss one person’s career, industry, and the culture of their company with intent for the listener to learn more about the industry, company culture and positions available.

Even if you love your job, these can be a beneficial activity as it can act as positive reinforcement that everything is going perfectly swell for you, or it can give you insight into a few things you may want to consider addressing. Checking in regularly is a healthy way to make sure you’re happy at your job and not just settling in with the more comfortable route.

To get started with informational interviews, we recommend tapping into your network. Email colleagues you know that lov e the company they work for and find out why. Search through your LinkedIn connections for people who do something similar to you at another, and see if they’re opening to having a conversation. Lastly, if you feel your network is too weak for the methods mentioned above, try looking at websites like Glassdoor and AngelList (for startup-focused jobs) to see what is available.

Are you secretly nervous about being a little awkward in your informational interviews? Here’s a great article full of tips to make sure you rock each and every one.

7. Start documenting your career growth in a journal/notebook

If you’re the type that likes to focus on personal development, tracking your life, or you enjoy viewing the chronological timeline that Facebook creates for you — then this is a habit worth adopting.

By documenting your life, you’re able to better process what is happening which can lead to more reflection. According to recent research published by the Harvard Business School, people don’t learn from their experiences, they learn from reflecting on their experience. Reflection helps you become more mindful about your actions, learn from your mistakes and it provides more perspective on your actions – helping you to continuously grow as an individual.

For almost three years I’ve been tracking my professional and personal life. When looking back, it’s easy to see how far I’ve come in a year, how my thinking has changed and everything beautiful that comes out of the learning/growing pains. I use these daily notes about my life to reflect and learn, and even share on my personal blog so I can remind myself of how far I have come and continue to progress forward.

If you’re looking for a method of tracking, there are plenty of tools available. Here are just a few:

Did we miss one? Add your marketing career must-do in the comments below.

Fun Inbound Marketing Trivia Questions & Answers

Editor’s note 1/4/2017:

This year at INBOUND16, we created a jeopardy-inspired game – Inbound Speed Round!

It fit perfectly in line with our Academy team’s goal at INBOUND of making learning fun.

Today we’ve launched it for the world to play, give it a whirl and share your thoughts below: http://academy.hubspot.com/marketing-trivia-game.

HubSpot Academy's Inbound Speed Round

HubSpot Academy’s Inbound Speed Round

 

This year at INBOUND (2015), our team decided to have a bit of fun with our Inbound Certification and turn the questions into trivia questions.  Each of the 12 classes that comprise the certification curriculum were broken down and added as a different section of a massive spinning wheel. We provided some fun swag for correct answers, incorrect answers, and if you got three difficult questions in a row correct, you won a selfie stick.

Spinning wheel in back, Florida gators in front.

Spinning wheel in back, Florida gators in front.

While I was originally a fan of re-creating an Academy-style board for Jeopardy, the win ended up being clearly a great choice. It was a bit louder than anticipate, which worked well to our advantage because it demanded attention of anyone in the near vicinity. Below, I’ve compiled a list of questions we asked (and have asked Academy team members just for fun) at INBOUND. Note, we did not include any of the Inbound Certification exam questions or answer below because that’s completely against our

To help those who wouldn’t be a part of INBOUND15 get a feel for what our Academy table was all about, I’ve compiled a list of questions we asked (and have asked Academy team members just for fun) at INBOUND15. Note: we did not include any of the Inbound Certification exam questions or answer below because that’s against our usage guidelines and TOS. We want a fair exam experience for all.

Inbound Marketing Trivia Questions:

  1. What year was Google founded?
  2. About how many ranking factors does Google use?
  3. What website uses a time-line to describe the updates Google makes to it’s algorithm.
  4. What is the name of Google’s web application that allows you to make money by hosting ads on your website?
  5. What is the name of Google’s web application that allows you to see SEO metrics like keywords that brought visitors to your website, your index upload site maps, fetch Googlebot to crawl your website and even receive messages regarding your websites state of quality?
  6. What is the percentage at which your website’s email database deprecates?
  7. How often does Google change it’s algorithm each year?
  8. 25k people – what does that represent to HubSpot?
  9. Who is the author of the popular blog Occam’s Razor?
  10. What’s the name of Brian Halligan’s dog?
  11. What’s the name of Dharmesh’ son?
  12. Who is the founder of Virgin Airlines
  13. What is the name of the company founded by the well-known customer of HubSpot’s that has a podcast on HubSpot?
    1. What is the name of his pool business?
  14. What though-leader in the world of marketing said the following: “The second method for creating a winning strategy in the era of inbound marketing is to be the world’s best at what you do”? A.) Brian Halligan B.) Dharmesh Shah C.) Daniel Pink or D.) Steve Jobs
  15. Which well-known author first coined a popular and similar term for inbound marketing?
  16. UTM Parameters allow you to track attribution. What does UTM stand for?
  17. Fill in the blank (it’s the same word twice): A ________ is a special URL or Uniform Resource Locator that is used to track certain elements when a link is clicked on.  A _____ is generally a unique or specially designed to track the elements of a paid campaign, and can trace a number of different elements which can include:
  18. Who is the CEO of Rainmaker Digital and founder of Copyblogger.
  19. Name the short form blog website that was purchased by Yahoo in 2013 for 1.1 billion dollars.
  20. This person was the author of Twitter for Dummies, founded a social media company “one forty” that was purchased by HubSpot, and is famous for her @pistachio twitter handle name. Who is it?
  21. What is the name of Facebook’s news feed ranking algorithm?
  22. Which social media giant owns the 6-second video app named Vine?
  23. Name the free online website/software that enables anybody to create graphics such as calls-to-action. Hint, the founder is the up and coming Melanie Perkins. 
  24. Name the process where several graphics are presented to users and the graphic with highest success rate becomes the default.
  25. What is the name of the CEO of Site Tuners, a website focused on improving landing page conversion rates. He/She is also the author of the best selling book titled “Landing Page Optimization”
  26. CRO is an acronym that stands for ___ ___ ___. It refers to a system for increasing the percentage of visitors to a website that convert into customers.
  27. This is the name of a trap set to detect, deflect or in some manner counteract attempts at unauthorized use of email systems.
  28. This algorithm rates the reputation of every outgoing mail server IP address on a scale from 0-100.
  29. What is this person who, or role that, enables or prevents information from getting to another person(s) in a company. For example, a receptionist or personal assistant.
  30. This CEO of this popular online shoe store has written books on culture and is famous for modernizing “Delight” as a commonly referred to phrase and important business tactic. Who is this person?
  31. This song was written and performed by Canadian musician, Dave Carroll and his band, Sons of Maxwell, and chronicles a real-life experience of how his guitar was broken during a trip on United Airlines and became a massive case study for customer service and delighting customers. What is the name of this song?
  32. What is the name of the customer satisfaction metric that measures, on a scale of 0-10, the degree to which people would recommend your company to others?
  33. What is BANT an acronym for?
  34. When leads are passed from marketing to sales, it’s important to have this type of agreement in place so that ownership is transferred. What is name commonly used for the agreement?

Answers:

  1. 1998
  2. 200
  3. MOZ.com’S Google Algorithm Change page
  4. Adsense
  5. Google Webmaster Tools
  6. 25%
  7. 500-600 times
  8. Inbound Certification
  9. Avinash Kaushik
  10. Romeo.
  11. Sohan
  12. Richard Branson
  13. TheSalesLion
    1. River Pools and Spas
  14. A
  15. Seth Godin
  16. Urchin Tracking Module
  17. Tracking URL
  18. Brian Clarke
  19. Tumblr
  20. Laura Fitton
  21. EdgeRank
  22. Twitter
  23. Canva
  24. A/B Testing
  25. Tim Ash
  26. Conversion Rate Optimization
  27. Honey Pot or Spamtrap
  28. Sender Score
  29. Gatekeeper
  30. Tony Hsieh
  31. United Breaks Guitars
  32. Net Promoter Score (NPS) 
  33. Budget, authority need and timeline
  34. Service Level Agreement (SLA)

How did you do?

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BOSTON! We (MITX.org’s FLGs) are throwing a party in your honor!

It’s no secret that Boston is where you go to solve big problems.

And what better way to celebrate Boston and it’s great tech, arts and science scene than by throwing a bash. That is exactly what the 2014-2015 MITX Future Leaders Group are doing in partnership with HUBweek. (If you recall, last year I was selected to be part of this rockstar group — a true honor!).

On Monday, October 5th we’re filling the WeWork at South Station space with some of the coolest companies, nonprofits and beverage/food companies in the city — and we want everyone who is passionate about the city to join us.BOSTON-PARTY-HUBWEEK

If that’s you, join us by registering here: http://celebrateboston.splashthat.com/.

Not sure what HUBweek is? Here’s an awesome video explaining it in detail:

 

 

 

We hope to see you there!

Brin, Hannah, Jennie, Mo, & Sarah

Us (plus one) tearing it up in Vegas at the #ZapposTour.

Us (plus one) tearing it up in Vegas at the #ZapposTour.