I love this community. I feel like a majority of the agencies in the HubSpot Partner Program are comfortable playing nice with each other, sharing best practices and even transferring clients peacefully.
I was first introduced to the partner program in late 2015. However, it was May of 2017 before I was invited to attend my first Partner Day in Boston at HubSpot Headquarters. adWhite was a Gold Partner back then, so we only received one invitation. This was a great, unintended "strategy" by HubSpot. I say unintended because I believe there were just limited spots and limited seating that mandated the max number of attendees. This led to many agency owners attending the two-day event solo.
Therefore, it became natural to strike up conversations with other agency owners. It was at this event that I met two other owners and one other non-owner who ran the day-to-day operations of the agency she worked for. I still talk to these folks at least monthly. We have swapped clients and one of them has even done work for our agency.
There are others who I have sat by at meals or during sessions as far back as November 2016 who I still talk to when I see them at either Inbound or Partner Day. And yet others who I reach out to ongoing for advice on administrative issues I face running my agency.
Is there some secret mojo with these people, or are they just good people? Probably both. I mean, shouldn't we just help each other for the betterment of our clients, their products and services as well as the software we all love, HubSpot? The answer is yes, and in most cases we do.
However, lately I've run into two different factions within my own community. One set of agencies knows what type of clients they want, knows what they are good at and where they can provide the most value to their clients' businesses. The other is just looking for business. It's much easier to be a true competitor of another agency if they are in your backyard, calling on the same prospects that you are and offering very similar services. I get that. I'm not naïve. But I also get that if you believe in truly serving your client's best interest AND in building the HubSpot market, then you should think at least slightly differently about some competitive situations with other agencies.
In the very recent past, adWhite has been on both sides of the equation — losing a client to another partner agency and gaining a client from one. Here's my overall take on this. This happens and this will always happen. But, there is enough business to go around. The agency who offers the best services for the client's needs should be the one who wins.
Lately though, I'm realizing that some agencies that don't really understand the HubSpot platform and are not presenting it to their clients in the correct way. This isn't shocking. As any platform grows, there will be varying levels of expertise and knowledge about the platform. It took me about 9 months to fully understand HubSpot and how we could best service organizations that were utilizing the software. During this 9-month period, we were already working with 5 clients on the software! So that's not great, but once we "got it," our efforts for these businesses improved and so did the results of those efforts, thankfully.
I believe that marketing agencies as a whole, but more specifically HubSpot agencies, need to work for the greater good of the entire HubSpot community. The software is fantastic. It's fairly affordable and it's definitely transformative for most small businesses who implement its use. If you over-sell the software OR the services you can provide related to the software, it's a lose/lose. Instead, consider this: the more businesses that are having success with the software, the better for you long-term. The larger the HubSpot universe grows, the more opportunity you will have in the future to serve these businesses with your services.
Those businesses need agencies to get the most from the software. They will experience internal turnover as well as turnover from the partners they work with. Focus on getting better with your service offering so you can be there to help them when they need you.
We all want more advocates for the software out there. We know how awesome it is. It serves no one if people's view of the software gets tainted because the services they were sold to manage it falls short.
Are we the right agency for you? Let's find out.