Hub Marketing: The Three Levels of Your Marketing Strategy

From all my traveling and learning I have learned that there are a lot of approaches to marketing. But only one that really works in the long term.

Hub Marketing.

What does that mean?

Let me break it down into three levels of marketing: cold, warm and hot. I think you’ll see why the ‘hot’ level is the one you want to be at.

Three Approaches to Marketing:



This level is a 10:1 ratio.

10 units of effort for 1 unit of reward. You put in a lot of time and money and get very, very little out.

At this level, you start with all the people you know (family and friends) and then . . . you quickly run out.

And then we’re left with approaching people ‘cold’. Meaning, they totally don’t know us. No relationship. We’re talking to strangers about our business. At this level we’re just getting our name out there. We’re talking to everyone we can. We’re attending random mixers, business luncheons and networking events. We’re asking our clients to ‘tell their friends’ about us (when we remember to do it).  We might even be cold calling (ugh).

But the challenge with this level is that it’s incredibly time consuming and not that effective. And that leaves us feeling desperate and in a constant level of crisis. This is most marketing out there. Most marketing fails because it’s ‘cold’.



This level is a 1:1 ratio.

1 unit of effort for 1 unit of reward. You put in a lot of time and money and get a fair return.

At this level, you start to realize the power of using ‘hubs’.  We realize that our ideal clients are already spending their time, money and attention in other places. There are certain events and locations we’re most likely to find them at. There are certain magazines, blogs and websites they check out.  There are certain people that are already well connected to and respected by our target markets. So we start attending targeted events and connecting with the right people. We strategically build relationships with key hubs.

This is a huge leap for most businesses.

At this level, when you approach people they are ‘warm’ to you because they’ve already heard about you from someone they trust.



This level is a 1:10 ratio.

1 unit of effort for 10 units of reward. You put in a little bit of time and money and get a huge return. Ahhh.

At this level, we not only ‘work’ with hubs – but we become one.

Now, an important distinction. Simply by working the ‘warm’ level long enough – you will become a hub. But there’s a difference between being a passive hub (which the warm level will ultimately make you) and an active hub. Being an active hub requires a bit more effort and ingenuity. It requires a constant curiousity of ‘how can I help my community more? What do they need?’

And not just for your clients.

You become a hub for the scene and for the ‘hubs’ in the scene. You end up adding value to people’s lives long before they become your client. You’re a generosity based business.

At this level, people are seeking YOU out. People are adding YOU on facebook. You’re no longer trying to receive awards – you’re giving them. Your reputation precedes you. You’ve shifted from being the spotlight – trying to chase people around – to be being the lighthouse – drawing everyone in to safety. Instead of being a guest in the community – desperately trying to fit in and be accepted – you are now a host of the community. Instead of being at the periphery trying to get in – you sit calmly at the center.

You become a hub.


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About Tad

  • Hi Tad,
    Fantastic post. I love what you are sharing about hubs. Becoming a hub positions you to truly make a difference…a bigger difference. You become a leader, and a credible one at that, not out of arrogance, but because of your genuine desire to help. Absolute marketing magic! Thanks for sharing Tad, I’ll definately be passing this on…

  • OMG I’m feeling so hubby! Thanks Tad!

  • Tad, one of the best ways to become a hub (to yourself and others) is to find and embrace your life purpose. We see life purpose as combining your passions with your gifts and gifting the world with them.

    Keep up the good work.

    Phillip Mountrose

    (attendee at Woodstock in 1968)

  • Morgana. You’re such a hub. ’tis true.

  • phillip. wow. the ultimate hippie credentials. yes. I love this. I think it’s the only way to authentically become a hub. I suppose one could do it cynically as a marketing ploy. You know, pick a niche and sort of exploit it through ‘serving’ it. but i think it would feel hollow and come across, ultimately, as insincere. something would feel ‘off’ and ‘not quite right’. i’m curious if you’ve a link to a blog post or product or free thing where folks can learn more about your work?

  • Hey Krishna. Yes. This is my understanding of it. There are so many good roles a hub plays – connector, aggregator, filter, energizer. like a heart I suppose. It works to keep the body well because it knows that its own well being is bound up in that. Not supporting ones own community would be foolish. and why not support it in thriving? everyone wins. in some ways it feels less like ‘helping’ and more like ‘enjoying community’ these days. What do you think?

  • Erika

    For a long time I would feel guilty that I was born such a natural hub (could it be the aries and cancer in me?) but then I realized, that by not living full out, shining my brightest light, there would be alot of ships sailing around in the dark looking for their landmark! Grateful for you Tad and all of your amazing gifts. Hubs unite!

  • Hey Tad,

    I LOVE this and it fits so well with what I teach about the importance of infusing your marketing with value, generosity, purpose, mission, and service. If you can do that, then marketing becomes fun and fulfilling, and you end up with plenty of clients. The HUB concept seems like taking my idea and amplifying it by factor of 10. LOL

    I can’t wait to interview you on this topic for the “Social Entrepreneur Empowerment Series”! I’m sure it’s going to be really valuable for people.


  • hey ryan! looking forward to that too. you’re becoming a hub! woot!

  • LOVE this Tad! I’ve been trying to figure out how I can incorporate my passion of photography, helping others connect with each other and networking into one… this is the answer! Thank you!

  • hey michele! how do you see this being the answer? So curious.

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  • Ahmad Miles

    Hi Tad, I like #3 becoming a hub. It puts me in a contributory role with my community, it provides creative and exciting challenges for me, it makes me a lot more visible and accessible in terms of what I can offer. It encourages me to offer more, it acknowledges that I have more to offer. That feels soooooo good and is such a human place to be. Ahmad

  • AHMAD – i love love love the way you speak about being a hub. being put in a position of contribution. yes. it feels like that. and it’s a lot of work – i love that you speak to that work as exciting and challenging. wonderful!

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  • I am becoming a Friendship Cube Hub. Warmest Wishes from Friendship Cube dot com.