How I Got Every HubSpot Certification in 30 Days
Ok, so it’s a pretty lofty goal—that of getting every HubSpot certification, much less doing it in 30 days. When combined, all the courses add up to about 50+ hours of video training. And that doesn’t include time spent writing notes, studying, or taking the tests (which could take an hour or so themselves).
BUT, getting every HubSpot certification in 30 days is certainly possible, as you’ll soon see. In fact, you could do it too.
Let’s talk about the certifications for a minute. If you aren’t already aware, HubSpot—specifically the HubSpot Academy–offers various free courses to learn and develop your skills in all things digital. These courses are as follows:
- Inbound Certification
- HubSpot Marketing Software Certification
- HubSpot Design Certification
- Agency Partner Certification
- Contextual Marketing Certification
- Inbound Sales Certification
- Growth Driven Design Agency Certification
- Email Marketing Certification
- HubSpot Sales Software Certification
- Content Marketing Certification
- Delivering Client Success
- Developing a Sales Plan
Note: At the time of writing this article, they have added a new certification called “Delivering Sales Services” which I intend to complete very soon.
My Background with HubSpot
Flashback to 2012, I had recently started a small graphic design agency with the help of my close friend and mentor, George B Thomas. At the time, we caught wind of what was being dubbed the “World’s Largest Webinar” by HubSpot. The whole team joined and, thanks to ferocious tweeting and involvement in a giveaway, we won 2 free tickets to Inbound 2012.
George and I attended the event, completely bought in to inbound marketing (Marcus Sheridan and his talk—something I’d never seen— had a lot to do with this), returned home and converted the agency into an inbound marketing agency. It happened quick, and with the help of HubSpot, we saw some quick success with it. This is when I first completed any HubSpot Academy courses. At that time there were only 4, but I understood the value of them.
Unfortunately, I had to close the doors at the agency in the spring of 2014. I continued to work on a freelance basis over the next couple years, but eventually that fizzled out as well. But still, the inbound seed had been planted and, although dormant, would begin to grow.
In the fall of 2016, I found myself on the job hunt. I spent the summer of 2016 traveling through Europe, and when I returned to the states I was hungry. I got super aggressive with the learning. My first goal was to get the Inbound Marketing certification again. After that, I moved on to the Email Marketing certification. So on and so on, until I had every certification which was available to me at the time.
How did I do it?
Did I do anything special? Well, yes and no. Some may not have that sort of discipline to knock them all out that quick. However, I’m no special case. I’ve just always loved learning, and I looked at this as an opportunity to both deepen my knowledge of inbound, and have shiny new badges to bolster my resume.
(I’d like to point out that when I started, I didn’t have a goal of getting all of them. As I started knocking them down though, it started to look more realistic.)
At the beginning, I was watching the course videos for maybe 3-4 hours a day. The first few courses I took were relatively short, so they were quick wins. I knocked out three certs in like 3 days. But as I began to feel the progress, I started amping that up. I would look at a course like Growth Driven Design, which is almost 11 hours long, and go “Okay, 11 hours PLUS time taking notes and making pots of coffee. Should be able to do it in two days.”
I didn’t do it in two days. This one probably took me a week to finish, but my point is that its possible to do it quickly. I broke it down into more manageable pieces, and even would jump between courses to keep it fresh.
In total, it took me 70+ hours to complete everything.
Reflecting on the process of finishing all these courses feels good, but it wasn’t necessarily easy. I have a low attention span, but I’m also a visual learner. That presents challenges. I’d be remiss not to mention that I had heavy eyelids some days, which is why I encourage note taking and/or large doses of caffeine. When it became difficult to concentrate, I would review my notes or call someone and have a brief conversation–whatever it took to avoid the urge to jump on Facebook or YouTube for a “quick check-in” (those things kill productivity for me by the way).
Besides wanting to beef up my resume with cool badges, I kept myself motivated with 3 important points.
3 motivators behind getting HubSpot Certified
The importance of industry knowledge
I have been involved in the marketing/business space since I was in High School. I started my first online business when I was just a freshman: selling media resources to churches. I tested out of most of my computer applications classes, including graphic design and web design. Even back then I understood that practical knowledge could get me places. By practical knowledge, I mean being able to do something, not just knowing how it’s done or why it’s done. I once worked with a talented graphic designer who had gone to a well-known arts school and learned all about color theories, design rules, and the history of art. Good knowledge to have if you’re dedicated to your craft, but he was lacking in practical application and had no business sense of how to actually get paid for this talent he had. HubSpot Academy does a good job of teaching the big ideas and also the deeper, more extensive details. These things are very important and will have an impact on your inbound marketing success, and how fast you’ll see results.
It’s free education
Do you know the old adage, “There’s no free rides”? HubSpot Academy might disagree with you. Now I know, if it’s free is it really that good? YES, it is that good. Think about what you are getting because this isn’t your average YouTube tutorial on content marketing. HubSpot has hired educators to teach this material, and they are putting together a full curriculum with study materials, quizzes, practicums, the whole gamut. Then, they walk you through the curriculum, explaining each detail in video.You aren’t just learning about their software either, you’re learning the big ideas. Elon Musk was once asked how he “learns faster and better than everyone else” in which he credits a learning style know as “learning transfer”. “It is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree — make sure you understand the fundamental principles, i.e. the trunk and big branches before you get into the leaves/details, or there is nothing for them to hang onto.” I think he’s onto something here. This is why we task our clients with getting these HubSpot certifications. If you don’t get the big picture, you can’t be expected to understand the strategic parts.
You’ll learn it all with the HubSpot Academy, free of charge.
Learning is a lifestyle
I didn’t really look at this education opportunity as optional. I didn’t think, “yeah I’ll start working on it soon.” When I decided that was the route I was taking, it went from One Day to Day One. I was relentless about it. It’s also worth noting that those shiny badges and certificates of completion are seriously motivating. I started bragging to friends and family who don’t even know who HubSpot is, much less what an Academy certification means. I saw these courses as an onboarding process back into the wonderful world of inbound marketing. I furiously took notes, reviewed the course material and made it my full time job. It actually added to my overall time of completion because I was constantly pausing the videos to take notes. I didn’t see this as optional either, because I didn’t just want to take this tests to pass them, I wanted to retain the knowledge and be able to review the topics later.
What was the result?
The biggest credit I can give to my successful completion of the HubSpot Academy is that I learned the concepts and how they are being taught. Not many industries have an online resource like HubSpot where you can learn about industry standards, the vernacular, and the new methods of the trade. It was exciting!
Want to hear a bonus fringe benefit to this accomplishment? I was able to show my future boss, Marcus Sheridan, how motivated I truly was. He was blown away with the news of my successful completion of this goal, and saw someone who was hungry, driven, and ready to work.
I believe that anyone doing as I did, could inspire some radical change in their business. Upon successful completion of just a few of these courses, you’ll be ready to teach and inspire those around you as well.
If you’re unsure about where to start with the Academy, I would encourage you to finish the Inbound Marketing Certification first. It’s short and sweet, and you’ll be fully charged with curiosity. 🙂
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