Ready to scale your startup? Gregory Karelitz of Hubspot for Startups shares the FIRST thing you should do.
Do you hear the faint sounds of stomping and disco music? Don’t worry — you’re not going crazy. That’s just our team doing an awkwardly excited dance because Launch Summit is a mere three weeks away! Our 100% virtual conference connects early-stage startups with experts and CEOs from companies like Lyft, Streetshares, and VetCon.
And because we clearly can’t contain ourselves, we’re giving you a sneak peek at the insights you’ll learn from some of our incredible speakers.
Our latest Q&A is with Gregory Karelitz, Growth & Business Development Manager at Hubspot for Startups. An entrepreneur himself, Gregory loves “helping build awesome things.” In his role at HubSpot, he helps early-stage startups grow through inbound marketing and sales strategies. He’s also a startup advisor and a mentor at MassChallenge, a global non-profit startup accelerator. Basically, when it comes to growing a startup, this guy knows his sh*t.
For readers who aren’t familiar with your platform, what is HubSpot for Startups?
HubSpot is an all-in-one growth technology stack that helps companies grow by aligning marketing, sales, and customer success tools in one platform. HubSpot for Startups is a program designed to help seed and Series A startups learn, build, and execute their marketing with education and training resources, plus a steep scholarship (we’re talking 90%, y’all) on HubSpot’s platform.
Let’s say I’m an entrepreneur who’s just deeply focused on building my product. Why do I need inbound marketing? Why is inbound important for startups, in general?
Startups are very good at building things people love, but they aren’t very good at finding people to love those things.
As Dharmesh Shah, HubSpot Co-founder and CTO, always says, “Startups are very good at building things people love, but they aren’t very good at finding people to love those things.”
They are great at product development but not very good at market development and finding customers. That’s where inbound marketing comes into play. Inbound helps people find you, engage with you, and learn from you. It helps you market and sell to customers the way that they are shopping and buying in a modern way.
From your observations, what is one of the biggest mistakes startups make when trying to scale?
I think there are a few mistakes: (1) they talk a lot about themselves and forget about the problem that their target audiences are trying to solve. Solve your customer’s problems first.
Solve your customer’s problems first.
(2) They fail to leverage technology to help them go from startup mode to scale-up mode. In scale-up mode, it’s all about systems and processes, and if you don’t have technology to parallel your process then you create a bottleneck and typically need to hire humans to band-aid the problem.
A lot of early-stage startups have little-to-no budget and have to focus on specific efforts in phases. What’s the FIRST thing they should focus on if they’re ready to start growing?
There are two places: (1) do you have customers already? If so, satisfy them and have them help you find new customers! 58% of customer generation is from word-of-mouth. (2) Content. Content is scalable and if done properly to satisfy search engines, you can build a beautiful pipeline of traffic which then you can convert into leads. At that point, you can reverse-engineer your sales/marketing funnel to understand where you can optimize or pour more gas on the fire!
What are 2–3 key things folks can expect to learn during your Launch Summit talk?
You will learn how to aggressively align marketing and sales, how to use inbound for your companies, and how to add context to your prospects to increase sales traction.
Want to learn more from Gregory? Register for FREE to Launch Summit, happening September 18–22. Or, upgrade to VIP to get lifetime access to all of our recorded talks. 100% of the proceeds go Kiva to support entrepreneurs in emerging economies.