A Deep Dive Into the Nearbound Book, With Mike Midgley

A Deep Dive Into the Nearbound Book, With Mike Midgley

Mike Midgley 12 min

About the author

I’m Mike Midgley, CEO of 6teen30 Digital, Inc., based in sunny Fort Myers, Florida. With a passion for RevOps, GTM strategy, podcasting, and public speaking, I lead our U.S. expansion and drive high-growth strategies leveraging my VC experience. I’m also pioneering an AI-powered RevOps application at Relentix.com.


I’ve achieved multiple six and seven-figure exits and raised millions in venture capital. Now, I help growth-focused entrepreneurs succeed with RevOps and HubSpot.


Beyond business, I’m committed to giving back by mentoring entrepreneurs and supporting charities like the NSPCC. Let’s connect if you’re a C Suite leader ready to embrace the RevOps life and achieve scale-up success: Book a call with me.



I’ve tried inbound, and outbound, and the one that has worked for me the most is nearbound. 


If you don’t know what this go-to-market motion means, don’t worry, Jared’s book “Nearbound and the Rise of the Who Economy” has everything you need to know about nearbnound. 


I’ve been documenting chapter by chapter—because this book has so many valuable insights—so, if you don’t have the time to read through the 250 pages, you can use my Nearbound diary as a reference. 


This time, we’ll only cover from chapter one to five. But stick around because I’ll be sharing everything I’ve learned from the Nearbound book during this month. 


Let’s dig in!


*All excerpts remain copyright of the author and are used to demonstrate my key takeaways only in good faith, and in areas I feel we can use proactively with our clients within their RevOps strategies.

Chapter one: Trust Is The New Data



I ordered the book the day of the launch (27/02/2024) calling it an “investment” and I awaited eagerly for it to arrive.


It arrived Friday...…


I’ve been interested in nearbound since I first learned about it because in the past 20+ years I’ve experienced, participated, and created strategies that really disrupt.


The rise of mobile devices, all the social sites, CRMs, inbound–outbound, apps and digitalization on technically, what is simple good old attention, client acquisition and retention.


Today, I see nearbound as fundamental, profound....call it what you will. But it’s upon us and while others may just see it as just another book, one they will eventually get around to that’s ok—however just the reliance on outbound, inbound today is a fool’s choice.


Even in the HubSpot kick-off 2024 event our team at 6teen30 Digital, Inc. attended as HubSpot partners, there was a huge focus on community, usage, and collaboration in the ecosystem.


Like a seasoned heavyweight champion who recognizes that the methodologies and strategies that once secured their leading position are no longer as effective—specifically referring to inbound methodologies—HubSpot is now embracing a new contender: the nearbound methodology. 


This fresh approach is poised to propel organizations forward, complementing their existing attributes and signaling a strategic evolution for HubSpot.


For those who haven’t ordered the book yet, please order it today, and in the interim here are my key learnings from Chapter one “Trust is the new data”:


1. Where does Trust Come From? The Promise Land

Trust emerges as the cornerstone of success, and nearbound strategies offer a pathway to harnessing its power. By aligning with trusted voices that resonate with your audience, you can navigate customers toward their desired goals. 


“Nearbound strategies tap into the trust of voices who can help customers get to the places they want to go.”—Jared Fuller, Co-founder of nearbound.com and Chief Revenue and Ecosystem Officer at Reveal


Repeat this mantra after me:



2: In this era (Nearbound Era) trust outweighs the sheer volume of data

The advent of the Nearbound era heralds a paradigm shift in marketing dynamics, where the traditional emphasis on data and messaging takes a back seat to trust and relationships. 


So keep in mind three things:

- Trust trumps data

- Relationships supersede messaging

- And, network effects compound growth in ways that linear funnels cannot.


3: Organizations need to win

The power of network effects amplifies growth exponentially, presenting opportunities for you to thrive in ways that linear funnels can’t match. 


Companies that win, are the ones that have embedded partnership ecosystems and nearbound thinking into their DNA. As we stand at the precipice of the Nearbound Era. You don’t need to make 100 choices, you just need to make this one. PARTNER UP OR PREISH. EVOLVE OR DIE. 


Chapter two: Nearbound Defined



After reading further, I ended up asking myself “can I even do this justice in such a short review post?”


The reality is No! The depth and value in  2 ’Nearbound Defined’ are profound.


Before I start, I recall in the mid-90s, the focus on web development was primarily on the quantity of pages, rather than control over the content. This led to inquiries about updating content, only to learn from developers that it wasn’t possible without what we now recognize as CMS access/control.


This reflects the idea that our knowledge is limited by our experiences, equally the same mistakes are being made in business practices in 2024.


Questioning its timing and relevance, similar to a VC pitch inquiring about a SaaS product’s “market need” and ”why now?” Motivation comes from the realization that traditional methods are outdated, we have been drinking the “Kool-Aid” for far too long.


A 2020 Business Insider report states, 65% of Google Searches ended without clicks, HubSpot noted declining blog readership, and sales outreach responses fell 40% compared to pre-pandemic levels.


Yamini Rangan, HubSpot’s CEO, emphasizes the era of the connected customer, focusing on relationship context over data management.


Reflecting on early instances of what we now call Nearbound, Peter Caputa, CEO of Databox, stands out for his pivotal role in founding and shaping the HubSpot Partner program. Recognized in this book for his significant contributions, his efforts exemplify Nearbound at its best.


If these significant examples don’t convince us to prioritize nearbound, we might as well revert to using rolodexes, pads, pens, and corded landlines.


For those fond of nostalgia, enjoy. The real innovators will eagerly board the Nearbound movement.


Here are my top takeaways from Chapter 2: Defining Nearbound: 


1. Network effects and nearbound:

Nearbound is seen as an ideal go-to-market (GTM) strategy in a world ruled by network effects. It’s noted that being a “Youtuber” is more desirable than a “Netflixer” due to the status and massive reach of YouTube. 


A key quote highlighted: “A great product never beats a great GTM, but a great GTM never beats great network effects.”


2. Long-term strategy–Tesla and compound interest:

Tesla’s partnerships with Ford and GM exemplify strategic thinking and leveraging network effects, akin to “First Principles Squared.”


The installation of 20,000 Tesla chargers at Hilton Hotels emerged from this partnership, raising questions about its feasibility without the involvement of Ford and GM. Tesla and Musk knew the answer—it was compound interest.


Chapter three and four: The Curious Task of Modern Marketing and The New CMO



A serious question to ask your CMO?


Does our current or future planned content campaigns include people whom our target buyers already trust?


Let that sink in for a while. Now think about how fundamental that is!


Still unsure? Think about how you buy, for personal or business use. Likely, you are buying on trust-based referrals or associations right?


On the launch last week of the Nearbound book, nearbound.com’s Co-founder Jared Fuller shared how he was a Marriott Hotels fan for years—always staying there. However, with Tesla’s recent install deal with Hilton, his booking partner of choice is now Hilton. 


Guess who is an “existing” Tesla owner, and now a “new” Hilton customer? Jared. 


The Nearbound book shares the famed economist Friedrich Hayek views around “The Fatal Conceit” and the associated quote "The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to [all] how little they really know about what they imagine they can design and how markets are ’emergent and not planned’”.


Why is this important?


Summarized, the markets require actors to process information according to their “own” preferences. Ultimately it means “Human Action” regardless of the people trying to influence the outcome, however, these people don’t drive the markets or the outcome, it is the actors within the markets that do.


In marketing, this is the people who are surrounding your buyers, and the ones they look to and already trust.


Allison Munro, Chief Marketing and Ecosystem Officer at Vena Solutions, is featured in the book, what struck me is the statement she makes about behavior and how it’s changing.


Allison goes on to say:


"I don’t search. I ask. I don’t click, I ask again, and I’ll never revert back to the baseline of old search."


In the Who Economy, true INFLUENCE comes from TRUST, and trust comes from those who help. 


Here are my other key snapshots from these two paragraphs: 


1. Nearbound is about connecting the right people with people: 

Nearbound aims to facilitate connections between individuals who can benefit from each other’s expertise, resources, or relationships. It emphasizes building meaningful and productive relationships within networks to achieve common goals or objectives.


2. Reviews are not that important anymore:

With only 9% focused on the number of reviews and 10% on the product’s overall score (Source Trust Radius 2023 Busing Disconnect Study)–the stand-out number is 23% interested in ’reviewers that are relevant to me’. 


The 4.7 Star Syndrome is also quoted in the book and it also tells the experience and its relation with Vinay Bhagat CEO and Founder of TrustRadius— that’s well worth a read on this topic.


3: Nearbound can help you expand your reach:

CMOs need to shift their focus away from just asking ’how they can reach their audience’, to ’who can help me reach my audience’.


By partnering with influential individuals or organizations connected to their target audience, CMOs can expand their reach authentically and efficiently.


4. The power of “Who”

Instead of asking ’how can I sell my product?’, Nearbound asks "where are my buyers, and who do they trust?" 


The goal is to become part of your audience’s conversations without interrupting them.


Chapter Five: Surround sound marketing in 5 phases



We all have experienced Dolby Laboratories right?


The ’About’ section on their LinkedIn profile states:

  • We’re the rain on the roof in a movie.

  • The music flowing through your earbuds when you’re at the gym.

  • The footsteps lurking behind you in a video game.

  • The voice of a colleague on a call who seems to be right next to you.

  • The sight of a breathtakingly bright and vivid sunset on your TV.


What has this to do with Jared Fuller’s new Nearbound book?




Chapter 5: The 5 Stages of Surround Sound Marketing—A pivotal chapter where the momentum begins.


Tactically, nearbound marketing implementation offers a ground-up Go-To-Market rebuild (underlay) or enhancing current efforts (overlay) options.


During one episode of the Nearbound Marketing Podcast, Isaac Morehouse, CMO at Reveal and Co-founder of nearbound.com, and Logan Lyles, Evangelism and Content Marketing at teamwork.com, developed a 5 stage system to nail your nearbound marketing motion.


Lets take a closer look: 


1. Defining Your ICP

Shift the perspective: instead of crafting messages for sales teams, start with prospective customers and partners. Let their conversations guide your messaging.


2: Establishing a strategic narrative—making yourself easy to market with

The concept was popularized by Andy Raskin for leadership trying to reframe company strategy as a story. Another key takeaway here is that marketers are used to prioritizing ’customers 1st’ and product 2nd’, with nearbound it’s adjusted:

  • Customer-first

  • Those they trust most (partners)

  • Your story

  • Your product

You have to see partners as a center of gravity, not a distribution channel, their orbits pull your prospects into alignment.


3. Assembling a Nearbound Marketing team

The 4 key marketing team types with jobs to be done are:

  • Journalists = Story finding

  • Content creators= Story spreading

  • Partners = Story connecting

  • Customer = Story validating

4. Activating your evangelists

Ignite a self-reinforcing virtual cycle by activating evangelists who passionately share your story—the perpetual motion that starts and spins the flywheel.


 To activate your evangelist follow these five stages:

  1. Identify potential evangelists: Evangelists’ chorus singing your story harmoniously is far more powerful than any solo performance.

  2. Evaluate: Use the Map and Tap approach—Understand how they surround your buyer and tap into their influence.

  3. Activate: Ensure you make it easy for your evangelist to share your brand

  4. Distribute and make them famous: Promote a culture of “you can trust us together” and make them famous first.

  5. Understanding: Tracking nearbound investment is crucial. Chris Walker highlights open text feedback as a “self-reported attribution” method to identify referrals and discovery paths.


5. Iterating and scaling:

Resist the urge to scale quickly after initial success, build gradually and you need to “evangelize successful evangelism”.


Like Dolby Stereo revolutionized theater sound in 1975, today’s buyer is influenced more by their trusted circle than your direct advertising.


A final thought 

As we wrap up the exploration of the first part of the Nearbound book, I find myself reflecting on the transformative power of nearbound marketing. From dissecting each chapter to extracting valuable insights, this journey has been both enlightening and invigorating.


From redefining target audience perspectives to activating evangelists and scaling strategies, the Nearbound methodology offers a holistic approach to marketing success. As we embrace this new paradigm, I look forward to applying these insights in my own endeavors and witnessing the transformative impact of nearbound marketing in the years to come.


What are your takeaways from the book? Would love to hear from you.


See you soon, and don’t miss my next blog on the Force and Friction about the Nearbound book (coming soon). 

Mike Midgley 12 min

A Deep Dive Into the Nearbound Book, With Mike Midgley

Dive into the world of nearbound with Mike Midgley as he shares insights from his exploration of Jared Fuller's groundbreaking book, 'Nearbound and the Rise of the Who Economy.'

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