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Many educational institutions have computer sciences as one of their preferred and most stable industries for the future. It’s easy to see why. It offers plenty of career paths, and the digitalization of the world has opened up infinite avenues to explore.
Hubspot is a marketing, sales, and service platform that helps companies attract, nurture, and convert leads while maintaining their existing customer base. The beauty of the platform is in its easy-to-use, intuitive interface.
Typically, for HubSpot customization, you need the assistance of a developer if you don’t have the ability to code yourself. However, this isn't 100% necessary.
In the past, either you could code or you couldn’t. There was a definitive line between marketers and developers. The advent of WYSIWYG tools gave “non-coders” a chance to design with minimal coding skills.
Regardless, plenty of functions still require some simple coding.
If you’re like me, a “marketer that can’t code,” there’s plenty of options to choose from to stay semi-independent within the HubSpot platform for coding tasks.
The beauty of the times we're living in is that we can teach ourselves literally anything, especially when it comes to coding. There is no shortage of options, many of which are free.
Coding itself is fascinating and a true art form. Bringing things to life with through a developer's eyes has a similar feel as an architect constructing a complex structure.
For the sake of this article, we’re going to keep things very high-level. That’s partly because I have to. And I wanted to share some tips and tricks for other marketers who aren’t expert coders.
To just survive the day-to-day as a marketer, some small tasks do require coding. It can be in your best interest to be able to execute these on your own. Some examples would include:
There’s nothing worse than feeling lost and confused that you don’t know where to begin. Marketing is, by nature, a general term. Some of us thrive when it comes to email marketing, whereas others might be better suited to social media marketing.
If you’re on a smaller marketing team, you’re likely wearing different hats every day, putting out fires that are outside of your normal duties.
Sometimes a task comes your way that is completely out of your scope, and you need help. For me, that’s usually items associated with coding.
In our current gig economy, there’s no limit to the number of options you can hire outside your organization. Two options include hiring a freelancer or a HubSpot Agency. Both are effective methods, and it comes down to the scope of the project and personal preference.
Plenty of freelancers can navigate HubSpot’s easy and intuitive landscape. Where they might fall short are some ultra-specific HubSpot functions, like Workflows or Design Manager.
A HubSpot Agency will likely be more of an investment than a freelancer, but you will get more than “a website” or “a landing page.” An agency lives by HubSpot’s inbound marketing tactics, which means they will design with a full marketing funnel (TOFU, MOFU, BOFU) in mind. And they will be able to tie all the deliverables to assets within HubSpot: forms, contact or deal properties, workflows, templates, chat flows, CTAs, etc. You will be given a complete campaign in this regard.
Below you will find some points that will help you decide which option is better for you. Every project has a unique set of circumstances, so it’s in your best interest to figure out exactly what you want. If the potential partner is driving the conversation instead of you, you’ll likely be unsatisfied with the results.
That’s because no one knows your business quite like you. Spend time upfront, outlining what success means for you.
Is it more conversions? Mobile responsiveness? Ability to A/B test? Make basic page edits without adjusting code?
The HubSpot Agency network has over 4,000 partners that all pass a rigid set of criteria to fall into this category. Most of the requirements make it so that the agency is an expert in all modules of the platform. They’re expected to be certified across the board, and the list is curated annually to ensure its validity from HubSpot’s point of view.
The “power” that comes with an agency resides in the specialization and structure of the team, the HubSpot expertise, the prevailing body of work, and the speed to execute. As you can imagine, this comes at a cost.
All agencies will be able to show you an ROI on any project. If a website costs $20k to redesign, but the new site generated $60k in revenue, isn’t that money well spent?
An entire sub-culture of HubSpot freelancers exists thanks to the exponential growth HubSpot has achieved in the last decade. It might take some vetting upfront, but you can find plenty of viable options out there.
Depending on what you’re looking for, you may not need an expert in HubSpot. For example, if you are a HubSpot customer, but don’t use the CMS, you can rely on any designer or developer. It might make it trickier to migrate down the line, but it certainly isn’t required for a kick-ass website.
All freelancers have portfolios. It sounds simple enough but start there. If you don’t like anything in their body of work, it doesn’t make sense to pursue them. On the flip side, if they specialize in eCommerce sites and that’s up your alley, they’re worth engaging.
With a Hubspot agency, you will receive a varied range of services. As you will be dealing with an agency, they have employees with the experience that you require. Additionally, you will get ideas and suggestions from experts who have ample experience in the field.
This might be the case with freelancers as well, but it is not a guarantee. Most freelancers will specialize in a particular area of expertise instead of generalizing across the board. After all, they are typically a one-person show.
As we mentioned before, it will boil down to what you help with the most. If it involves building out deliverables in HubSpot, an agency will be better equipped to handle those initiatives.
HubSpot agencies tend to come with a better sense of stability. Sure, their clientele will vary from month to month. But the odds they completely shut down their doors are highly unlikely.
As HubSpot and its user-base continue to grow, so do the potential number of people that need HubSpot help and services. For the foreseeable future, HubSpot agencies will continue to expand in volume. If you look back five years, it would be safe to say there weren’t 4,000 partner agencies. In another five years, that figure may double.
The point is, agencies are resilient and are adept at new trends. If you needed more work done down the line, it never hurts to re-engage with someone that was successful and already familiar with your brand.
Freelancers are also niche specialists. They excel at solving a certain set of problems they’re accustomed to. Sure, they will not have the bandwidth to handle 50 clients. But if they are efficient, hands-on, and stay current to market trends, they will also adapt and find time to accommodate you.
This will likely depend on the current and future size of your brand. If you are new and growing, a freelancer can “grow with you.” If time isn’t of the essence and immediate results are expected, an agency is likely the safer play.
The KB is a library where you can collect information on specific topics, for your case. This tool is very supportive, especially when you’re straight up lost. More and more businesses are depending on the knowledge base. It is very reliable, thanks to its quick and productive way of gathering information on a specific topic.
HubSpot Academy is an official learning platform where you can gather knowledge and learn new skills easily. Each course is broken into bite-sized, easily consumable videos that engage the viewer. HubSpot is constantly adding new skills as they release new features in their platform.
With HubSpot Academy, you can pick and choose what you want to learn—interested in the new ABM module? Check out the videos that pertain to it. Need help with something more detailed? Peruse through the Academy, and there will certainly be insightful information on whatever it is you’re looking for.
Without wasting your time and hiring just any expert, you can achieve your dream website and its elements. Isn’t that great? Furthermore, you can also achieve certifications, making you a certified expert. This tool from HubSpot is not just amazing but perfect for you if you do not know much about coding but create a website and style your template.
This method requires more of a DIY approach, but that suits a fair amount of people these days. If you have the time and patience, and budget is an issue, carpe diem! Go slay the dragon yourself.
One thing I would add if you head down this route is to document everything. If you’re changing CSS, implementing templates, adding code, moving modules, etc.… It pays to have it written down. In the event that you run into an issue, need immediate help, or are collaborating with someone on your team, you’ll want to be aware of everything that’s been done.
With this method, you can download assets from HubSpot and use it for your project. You can find a lot of HubSpot templates to use. This method is not very hard, but you will still need to know some coding. In this marketplace, you have the option to choose from thousands of HubSpot templates. Some of these templates are free, and others cost money.
You have many options, such as HubSpot landing page templates, blog templates, Hubspot email tool templates, modules, etc. You also have the option to download complete themes. The templates are created by HubSpot agencies and other wizards in the HubSpot community.
Newer ones will even offer “Drag-n-drop” functionality, which keeps the need to fumble through Design Manager to a minimum. There’s no harm in downloading a free one and playing around with it in your HubSpot instance. If you do choose to buy one, the provider will offer support if you should need any.
Depending on if the template is “DND” or classic, some handiwork in the Design Manager is likely required. Luckily, there are plenty of YouTube or KB videos to walk you through implementation from a high-level.
Yes, you can also learn coding by yourself. If none of the above methods suits you, then you can design your website and its various elements yourself. For that, you need to learn through various resources. You can watch videos on YouTube or read coding books. There are many resources available online, such as Codeacademy, Khan Academy, Udemy, Coursera, and edX.
Of course, you won’t be coding a world-class website overnight. But if you’re thinking long-term, there’s no better time than now! Coding isn’t going anywhere. Might as well adopt that “growth mindset” and take matters into your own hands.
Are you generally curious? Fast-learner? Self-motivated? Unafraid of failure? If you answered “yes” to many or all of these questions, you possess the skills needed to start this adventure.
Temper your expectations. If your brand needs a new set of landing page templates or a home page re-design, I’m not suggesting that you go to your boss and tell them, “I got this. I stayed at a Holiday Express last night.”
Perhaps start with a test project. Take a YouTube course on the weekends until you feel adequate. Get a staging site so you can play with a sandbox environment and not destroy the actual domain. Form a small group of friends and employees to hold each other accountable for taking a course. See if your employer will assist in an online course through a local community college.
Be creative! And be ready to bang your head against the wall. Like with everything worth working for, it won’t come easy. There will be many epic battles on your self-guided journey up the coding mountain. But you don’t have to “win the war” on day one.
Learn how to change the color of a CTA. Add padding to an email template. Change the font on a landing page. It’s like karate. No new student is expected to have 3rd-degree black belt abilities.
Start small. Think big. Stay determined. And don’t be easily deterred.
And now for the easiest and fastest solution, IF it’s not a full website re-design.
Express by Campaign Creators is a suite of HubSpot workflows, digital assets, and marketing templates that are meant for HubSpot marketers. At its core, Express is full HubSpot campaigns ready for immediate launch. The HubSpot Marketplace is a great place for elements of a campaign, but it can’t serve as a “one-stop” shop for a full campaign. For example, you can’t download workflows in the Marketplace.
The price range for Express products starts from free to a few hundred dollars. This method saves you time and delivers concrete results. You just need to purchase the templates, assets, or HubSpot workflows that you are interested in. The team will connect with you to put the assets in your portal. And then you are good to go.
All that’s needed from a user standpoint is matching the templates to your brand’s style. Luckily, everything can be done on the front-end. So all of us “non-coders” don’t have to worry about anything complicated. Simply edit and replace existing placeholders.
The Express product line was born out of numerous successful campaigns launched for Campaign Creators customers. These campaigns were then reverse-engineered and made available for anyone using HubSpot and seeking game-changing ROI.
There you have it, a comprehensive list of solutions for Hubspotters that can’t code. Don’t worry; there’s a lot of us. And there’s nothing to be ashamed of!
We’ve covered the full spectrum, from simply hiring an agency, to learning it on your own, to being able to purchase low-cost, high-impact products to solve your campaign needs.
No matter which way you go, being able to complete small coding tasks is highly recommended. Part of being a successful marketer involves understanding today’s trends and what’s around the corner. You’ll only make yourself more valuable if you add this skill to the marketing toolkit.
Good luck! And if you’ve taken any coding courses, whether it be online or in person, drop some recommendations in the comment box!