Standing in your own way. Moving internal marketing beyond yourself.
Every week, I meet founders of companies and CEOs like myself who are struggling with something…growth. It’s the reality of every organization, we grow or we die, there’s little in between. In order to grow, we must first face an internal battle, who can help us grow and how? For us here at Fervor that came with a realization that we had to treat ourselves as our own client. Yup, time to pony up and play at the level that we know we should, no more cobblers shoes and such.
That’s exactly what we’ve been doing for the last 3 years.
You might think this shouldn’t be an issue for a marketing firm to struggle to market itself, but let’s talk transparency here. We’re just like you; on a budget, trying to maximize people, prioritizing the urgent. Of all the specialists in our organization, shouldn’t we know how well great marketing works?! And yet, it was still a struggle to practice what we preach, but the last three years have proven what we hoped it would…impact follows investment.
I’ve realized, the hard way, how much we need to own up to engaging the marketing strategies I implore our client partners to adopt. The unique perspective I hold as founder and CEO of Fervor has, at times, prevented me from objectively treating myself like I would any other client. Isn’t that true of so many business owners and executive directors? It’s so hard to be truly introspective.
When I started Fervor, I was in the driver’s seat of everything when it came to our internal marketing and branding strategy. From daily social media management to brand management, I felt like my hands were in every piece of the puzzle. And the trouble was, taking steps towards doing things right felt daunting and exhausting. And I had plenty of excuses for not doing it well or not hiring experts to help guide and grow this organization.
I’ve heard so many excuses from CEOs and Executive Directors — they are the same ones I was using myself. Yet, what changed the game for me in moving beyond excuses was deciding to engage three main principles. These are principles that center on you releasing control gradually while pursuing scaled growth.
Today, I can confidently say these principles have left me in a healthier position to treat Fervor’s internal marketing strategy with balance. These perspectives are something that were hard won at first and didn’t happen overnight. I have to say though, the results were beyond rewarding.
Start small, think big.
Don’t be discouraged by all the heavy lifting ahead. Growing your internal marketing isn’t a sprint. Any great health coach or exercise trainer knows this. They see the end results for you, and they design a plan to get you there with small steps. Changing your diet or health doesn’t happen overnight, but it can happen over time when you regularly commit to a few small things at first.
I had to believe the same things too when it came to investing in Fervor’s internal marketing strategy. The first step was ejecting myself from the driver’s seat and allowing my team of creatives to conduct a Brand Impact Assessment™ of Fervor. We do the same thing for our clients daily. So why hadn’t I started? I was afraid of what I might discover and how much work it would mean for us. But it was the best step, the step that changed everything for us.
We’re now in our third year since finishing Fervor’s Brand Assessment and I don’t regret the investment at all. I listened. I learned. And I took the truths in stride, knowing they would make us better in the long run. The growth stats aren’t too bad either.
Our content strategy is more consistent now because of this assessment, and I rarely touch our social media management these days. But this didn’t happen in a day. It happened gradually because I was willing to take a first small step in lifting some heavy weights regularly.
Trust the experts in the room.
Today, we have a team of experts at Fervor who know way more than me about everything when it comes to our internal marketing strategies. I trust them because it enables me to do what I’m gifted at even better. Sure, I’m still a voice, but I’ve relieved myself of being the expert. This has brought sweet relief in so many aspects of my life.
If you have experts like this in your organization help them relieve you of unnecessary ownership you don’t need anymore. Or, think about finding someone else you’re really excited to trust with those responsibilities you’re looking to give away. I promise you: your focus on what’s best for your organization will sharpen, and you’ll experience more holistic rest than ever.
Strive for good, not perfect.
Here at Fervor, we’re all about creating more impact with us than without us. Seth Godin helped popularize a classic sentiment in business life: perfect is the enemy of the good. I couldn’t agree more, but I’ve also struggled to live this out.
You probably see the biggest struggles your own internal marketing is facing daily. You see, perfection can often feel elusive. Your website is never done. Your content strategy always deserves more finesse. That video you’re producing could still be refined. But when will it be done? If you don’t draw the line somewhere, your strategy will never find lift-off.
So draw some lines for yourself in your internal marketing goals. Scale down to what’s possible with the time, money and people you have. Set a deadline, get it done and move on. Keep your big perfect vision in view, but don’t let it halt the launch of things that are really good in the meantime too. This is a perspective I’m really proud to see thrive. A lot of our internal marketing is not perfect, but it’s good. And I’m more than happy to say that about everything these days.