Inbound Marketing Blog

Corey Smith Corey Smith is the founder of Tribute Media and serves as the Digital Marketing Strategist. He is also the author of "Do It Right: A CEO's Guide to Web Strategy" and "Tweet It Right: A CEO's Guide to Twitter."

It isn't About the Technology

Posted by Corey Smith on Apr 5, 2018 2:37:00 PM

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Running your business in 2018 requires a bit of understanding of technology. Even the least technical jobs, such as lawn care professionals, are sporting smartphones to check email, talk to staff and connect with clients.

The challenge is that technology can be a bit unnerving for some business owners. It’s not unnerving because it’s technology, per se. It’s unnerving because of the need to understand, yet again, something new.

Social media, blogs, iPhones and Android, search engine optimization, flux capacitors… how do we keep it all straight?

Let me suggest that technology is only a tool. It’s no different than a hammer or drill except it’s a tool that solves a different problem. Until we understand that the technology we use is meant to solve a specific problem, we’ll continue to focus on how hard it is to integrate technology into our business and marketing efforts.

18 Hubspot Academy Certifications - The Rundown

Posted by Corey Smith on Jan 29, 2018 2:45:39 PM

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Tribute Media has been a HubSpot Agency Partner for about three years now. During that time, we've learned a lot. When we started with HubSpot, there were, if I remember correctly, only four certifications from HubSpot Academy. HubSpot has worked very hard to improve their training offerings for their clients and their agency partners.

When we first signed up as an agency partner early in 2015, I knew that the only way we'd be successful was to embrace HubSpot fully. It's paid off in spades for us and for our clients who have done the same. The Inbound Methodology is paramount to that success.

The most important question that I'm hoping to answer is: Is it worth your time to invest in attaining HubSpot Certifications?

The Death of the 8-hour Workday

Posted by Corey Smith on Dec 26, 2017 7:17:43 PM

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The eight-hour workday is a tired and old concept. It's time to put aside this tired, arcane way of thinking about work. In order to understand how to fix it, we have to understand why we have the eight-hour workday to begin with.

In the late 1800s, full-time manufacturing employees would work around 100 hours per week. Death and injury were commonplace.  It wasn't uncommon for children to put in far more hours than we think reasonable today in the factories, fields, mills, and mines.

Why Working Remotely is Harder than You Think

Posted by Corey Smith on Nov 3, 2017 3:20:41 PM

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Last year we tested, and then made official, Office Free Friday. It's been a very cool thing for us as a company because it's provided us some much-needed focus time each week where our customers expect us to be a little less available.

If you aren't interested in clicking through to that announcement link, I'll give you the simple gist here. On Fridays, we officially close our office and our phones go directly to voicemail. It's still a working day, but because the office is closed, our employees have an option to work wherever they want.

Why a Human Presence is Crucial to Web Marketing

Posted by Corey Smith on Jun 26, 2017 10:30:00 AM

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Imagine, if you will, an office where everything is gray; the chairs, the walls, the floor. The employees are all similarly dressed in gray tones as well. There are no expressions on their faces and their voices are monotone. It’s cold and robotic. 

Now think about the last time you were on a business’s social media page or reading their content. Was it fun and personable or was it drab and gray? It is surprising how many businesses are still following this no-personality, all-business persona. Maybe it's because they are afraid they'll be perceived as unprofessional, or maybe they just don't have the right person managing their web marketing and social media accounts, either way, they are failing to engage their audience.

If you are one of these businesses, then it is definitely time to rethink your company’s image.

Understanding Conversion Rate Optimization

Posted by Corey Smith on May 26, 2017 2:12:00 PM

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For as long as business owners have had a location to hang their sign, they have tried to find more and more ways to get more and more people to buy from them.

What usually happens is that businesses (even experienced marketers) will simply create a punchlist of tactics that they think are important to do — if they do they’ll get sales.

What Skills Do You Need to Build a Website?

Posted by Corey Smith on Apr 17, 2017 8:22:00 AM

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I had a neighbor ask to pick my brain about what it takes to move into the web design and development field. She is starting her degree program and still has a couple of years but is wise to start working toward her career now. I was originally just going to respond to her directly but I figured I’d write a blog post because I think it might be helpful to others, too.

One thing to note: the answers I give here are based on how we do things at Tribute Media but we are a little unique… mostly in how we work with our employees. Our office is closed on Fridays and we encourage our employees to work remotely every Friday. Most agencies/companies will expect their employees to work on site but allow contractors to work wherever. There is something positive creatively about working on-site with your team that you can’t get remotely.

Oh, and a little, not-so-humble brag here.

Safe Content Sucks

Posted by Corey Smith on Jan 23, 2017 8:47:00 AM

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When we're willing to ruffle a few feathers, we get more engagement. The more engagement we get, the more people will talk to us and about us. 

In 2017, you can find plenty of examples of this dynamic all around you. The abundance of clickbaiting and fake news is probably the best. They elicit emotions and cause us to take action.

Facebook and the Baiting of Clicks

If you haven't heard the term "clickbait," it refers to a title that begs you to click the link for an article. For example, a link might have the title, "You'll be amazed by number 7." When you click through, however, 7 really isn't that important. It's sort of like being Rick Rolled.

I explored this a bit in another blog post I wrote titled, “Is Facebook Making us Stupid and Lazy?” (Of course, I think the answer is yes. You’ll have to take a gander later and let me know what you think.)

Web Marketing is Hard… We Get It.

Posted by Corey Smith on Jan 12, 2017 11:34:00 AM

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Years ago when I was in high school, I worked for a landscaper. He was brilliant. The properties he took care of were always immaculate.

The one problem was that he never took care of his own yard. His sprinklers didn’t work. His grass was more dirt than vegetation. It was awful.

He’d get home at the end of the day and his own yard was the last thing he wanted to think about.

When it comes to managing our own businesses, it’s no different. And, for Tribute Media, we’ve found that it’s hard for us to market ourselves as effectively as we market for our clients.

Why?