2020—the year of infamy. What started out as a promising outlook for the Roaring Twenties to return quickly divulged into fear as a global pandemic spread, shutting down businesses everywhere. Yet despite this, some were still thriving. And others began to grow their market share. Here at Soulheart, we were in the fortunate few that actually increased our business growth, and now we want to tell you how.
Pre-Pandemic Backstory—Laying a Foundation for Increased Business Growth
First, a story. Years ago I quit a stable job at a $100M nonprofit in Nashville, Tennessee to start a business in the corner of my bedroom. I was high on the idea that changing the world was my calling and despite no plan and no partnerships, I stepped out full of faith and inexperience, determined to make it happen before I turned 30. And I succeeded in doing just that a few short weeks before that birthday milestone.
At the time I swore I was done with the long commuting hours of driving into an office when what I did (design, web development, video, and copywriting) were largely skills that allowed me to work from anywhere. And for the first two years I did just that—42 states in 24 months with a family of 5. I was living it large in my mind. Launching sites in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, traveling from the backwoods of Maine to the steep cliffs of Oregon. And I loved every second of it. Until I began longing for more. More connection. More purpose. More… business.
Enter Tim. We had known each other for years thanks to one of my previous employers connecting us while serving youth and teens in East Valley Phoenix. Tim was looking for work and I had the ability to teach and train anyone who wanted to put in the effort. Which is what led to several years of investing, learning, growing, and ultimately deciding that I wanted to go to the next level and build a team to go along for the journey.
And so I did. And Tim came with me—an ever-familiar face always putting up with my curveballs and helping me become a better leader, human, husband, and journeyman. I assessed our strengths, weaknesses and opportunities and began to find partners and leaders and entrepreneur-minded go-getters to join in the journey to make our company one that everyone wanted to work for and everyone wanted to work with.
Fast forward to March 2020. I was sensing the change that was in the air. We were trying to figure out our processes, trying to wrangle in a team that was getting burned out of client services, and unsure of what 2020 was about to bring with the news of a possible shutdown on the horizon.
So I did what every leader does—assessed the situation, refinanced my home and took cash out to prepare for covering my own payroll to keep the business afloat, and then began to work harder than ever to bring real-time value to our clients. I worked long hours every day because I knew nonprofits and gyms, which are the largest client sector we serve, were about to be hit extremely hard.
Finding the Right Tools for Business Growth, Even in 2020
And that’s when I turned to HubSpot (HS). We had been an agency partner for a while but rarely used the tool ourselves when it came to sales and marketing. So I began to do just that. I trained myself through the HubSpot Academy, I had the team get their Inbound Marketing certifications, and we started meeting regularly with the HubSpot team to make sure everything was on target with the direction we needed to head. Our HS account managers went above and beyond to give us value we could take to our clients and plans we could implement immediately.
And it worked.
We started by building out a Virtual Y experience for a YMCA. That then turned into building our sales pipeline, creating targeted advertising, and measuring all our data. We launched a rebranded version of our own website and built out a strong social presence to be a massive portfolio piece for our prospective clients. And we tracked everything to give us the data on how we were serving our clients. We implemented systems, processes, playbooks, and built campaigns that helped us stay in the forefront of our customers’ minds. And by May of 2020, we had tripled our staff and had our highest revenue month ever in the life of Soulheart.
So what’s the moral here? Buy HubSpot and become a winner?
That would be a “Yes” in my book. For years we’ve worked with the platform on behalf of clients, but there’s something about building your own version out and having unlimited data, conversion, ROI, and all the marketing metrics you need to actually make real-time decisions. These tools allowed us to pivot to the right areas, grow Soulheart rapidly, and ultimately give our team the confidence to serve our clients well and trust a system that got out of the way so we could be effective marketers.
The start of 2021 has been similar to 2020 with the pandemic raging on once again. But thanks to the power of marketing automation, ads, sales, lead generation, and a team bought-in, we have already been tracking at 40% growth year over year once again.
There are three key takeaways I hope you garner from this:
- Stay up to date with industry trends and be willing to go all in at a moment’s notice to create new solutions to your clients’ problems.
- Build a team that can weather the storms alongside you, but always lead out front.
- Never discount the power of marketing and sales, and make sure the software you use creates clarity not confusion so you can move fast.
Build Your Business Growth With a HubSpot Partner
So, you want increased and sustainable business growth in 2021 and beyond. You’re going to need the right tools and platforms to get you there.
After Soulheart’s own growth in one of the most challenging years ever, we’re convinced that using HubSpot, staying up to date on market trends, and committing to a healthy team culture were the secret ingredients to how our business grew despite the chaos of 2020. And it wasn’t just us—our clients have also seen consistent year-over-year growth, which tells us that these strategies and tools work in virtually every industry, including yours!
Ready to step into the growth you’ve been dreaming of? Soulheart is here with the expertise and tools to get you there. And as a certified Hubspot Solutions Gold Partner, we will get you hooked up with HubSpot’s top-of-the-line platforms and integrations to skyrocket your business growth. Book a free marketing audit with one of our digital marketing experts today and let’s get you growing.