The First Step to Finding Your Marketing Stride

Inconsistent marketing is frustrating for everyone. You, the business owner or executive, feel like your team is underperforming. They feel like they’re spinning their wheels. And don’t forget the collateral damage: your customers. They get a ton of great content from you one month…followed by radio silence the next six.

There’s a simple way to make your marketing run more smoothly, and it has nothing to do with tools or tactics.

Letting Go

Micromanagement suffocates marketing, especially when it comes to creating ongoing content like blog articles, social media posts and email blasts. You have to learn to give it up and hand it over (to talented and trustworthy people, of course). That means accepting the fact that the people you hire might do things differently than you would.

While it can be difficult at first, you’ll quickly realize that letting go is good for your brand. Every person on your marketing team is dedicating their entire livelihood—their 10,000 hours, as Malcolm Gladwell would put it—to something that you’ve been doing on the side. Not only can they do it for you, they can do it better and offer deeper expertise in the process.

Set Guardrails

It’s amazing how leaders in charge of multi-million-dollar businesses will choose to spend hours pondering Instagram posts, marking up an ad, or “wordsmithing” an article. If you’re a CEO, daily content management is the least of your concerns. That said, you do want to make sure everything is on brand. How do you find the balance?

When you’re delegating your marketing to other people, establish the dos and don’ts.

You have a business plan, but do you have a brand plan?

A brand plan (example here) is a great document to have in place, because it’s concise, complete, and shareable. When you equip a competent professional with foundational rules surrounding your brand assets, voice and messaging, they have the guardrails they need in order to do their job.

If you can’t afford an agency to create your brand plan, check out this online workshop.

Get Out of the Way

With a team around you—and guardrails around them—there’s no reason for you to be overly involved. Let them take the lead and keep your feedback light. Just because something doesn’t look or read exactly as you might envision, doesn’t mean it’s wrong. It’s just your brand becoming bigger than you. That’s a good thing.

For example, do you have the time to write a book? Probably not. Now, how about speaking with a writer for one hour a week so they can ghostwrite a book and send a draft for you to review? Now you’re in business.

Move Fast, Learn Faster

The reason you need to remove yourself from marketing is because it moves faster than you can critique. The saying, “Done is better than perfect,” is fitting in this arena—and don’t worry, there will be plenty of times when it’s both. Meanwhile, the velocity of learning will give insight into what your audience reads, clicks on, engages with, etc. Adapt accordingly.

And yes, there is definitely such thing as moving too fast and being haphazard. Guardrails.

Make Input Matter

You can only evolve and advance your brand so far when you’re seeing it through your lens. Take a step back and listen to the people you’ve placed around you. One of the best things that ever happened to the Raindrop brand was a brave friend telling me that our previous colors were overpowering our client work on our website. He mentioned maybe toning down our palette to let the client work shine, a suggestion that we used in our recent rebrand. Whether you’re leading an in-house team, working with an agency or both, a little bit of letting go will get you a lot farther than holding on