Lake One® announced today that its Director of Content Strategy and Promotion, Tiffany Schultz has stepped into the role of Vice President on the AdFed (American Advertising Federation) of Central MN Board of Directors. AdFed is a nonprofit 501(c)(6) organization comprised of business professionals in the sales, marketing, creative, publishing, print, radio, television, and photography industry.
“Tiffany joined our organization in 2019 and from day one you could tell she was going to give it her all. Without hesitation, she jumped right into her role as the community connector and paved her own path. She wasn’t afraid of a challenge and learned to pivot as the year went on. In a year of change for our group, I can confidently say having Tiffany in the room made us better,” said Taylor Sellnow, Board President. “Her fortitude, creativity, and belief in the club made her a great candidate to fill the Vice President role for the 2020-2021 year. I’m so happy she said yes to this opportunity and I know once my presidency is up in 2021, the club will continue to be in great hands.”
AdFed of Central MN has monthly events to entertain, educate, and network. To learn more about the AdFed of Central Minnesota and how they got their start, click here.
“I had attended several AdFed events in the past and instantly felt a sense of belonging. When I was approached to take on a bigger role and join the board, there was no question. The same was true for the VP role. While 2020-2021 might look a little different than previous years, I’m excited to see what great things this group can accomplish together, ” said Tiffany. “Whether you attend events, are a member or you’re on the board, you’re surrounded by smart, creative people who all support one another and the hidden gem that is the creative community of Central Minnesota.”
Here at Lake One, we’re very excited for Tiffany, her new role, and for her continued involvement with AdFed of Central MN. We’re also looking forward to attending some of the fun, engaging, and educational events they have planned for this year.
Lake One® announced today that their Founder and CEO, Ryan Ruud has accepted a board position with the Pinky Swear Foundation. Pinky Swear Foundation eases the financial and emotional impacts experienced by children with cancer and their families by providing basic needs support during a very challenging time.
“Ryan’s board service at Pinky Swear Foundation is an incredible combination of his professional and personal passions,” said Erica Campbell, Pinky Swear Foundation Executive Director. “He has been a powerful advocate for kids with cancer and their families for decades, and we are grateful for his strategic leadership and giving heart.”
Lake One launched in 2014 and has grown every year since, with a belief that business can pursue both profit and purpose. As a virtual marketing team, based in Minneapolis, it supports B2B organizations with complex buying processes including Technology, Manufacturing, Clean Tech, Sustainability, and professional services in healthcare, IT, and staffing.
“Lake One has been proud to partner with Pinky Swear Foundation since 2016. As a childhood cancer survivor myself, I know firsthand the impact of the support Pinky Swear provides to families in their darkest moments. It’s an honor to serve Pinky Swear’s mission.” says Ryan Ruud.
About Lake One: Founded in 2014, Lake One is a revenue operations and growth firm based in Minneapolis, MN. They partner with B2B organizations to compete and win online by planning, building and implementing aligned sales and marketing programs. They help organizations navigate sales and marketing technology decisions to deploy right sized tools that scale program performance.
About Pinky Swear: Started in 2003, Pinky Swear Foundation eases the financial and emotional impacts experienced by children with cancer and their families by providing basic needs support during a very challenging time. Pinky Swear Foundation has provided more than $4.5 million in financial assistance and quality of life support. They’ve helped thousands of families whose children are bravely battling the ugliness of cancer. To learn more about the Pinky Swear Foundation and how they got their start, click here.
As a virtual marketing agency, remote work has been part of our process and infrastructure at Lake One since day one. However, we know this transition doesn’t always come easy. It’s one thing to work from home but it’s entirely different to do so productively.
Here are a few of our tried and true tips and tricks to help:
Dress for Success
You won’t catch us wearing dress pants or ball gowns around the house, but waking up and changing into your “work” clothes provides that shift from home to work. We’re not saying ditch the yoga pants or comfy clothes, but wearing what you wore to bed can make it tougher to get into work mode.
Especially in the early days of your transition, it’s good to stick to your regular routine, as if you were going to go into the office. One of the concerns we consistently hear about working from home is people not knowing when work ends and home begins. A schedule and a dedicated space can help you separate work and home life.
If possible, have a spot where you can shut the door. Even a desk in a spare bedroom. That may not be possible in every situation, but having a space clearly marked as workspace when you work from home will also help with getting your headspace set for work.
Set Boundaries with Friends and Family
Just because you work from home, doesn’t mean you’re not working. Make it clear to friends and family that you can’t just drop everything to meet for lunch or help them with an errand. It can be tougher with the family that lives with you. Having that dedicated workspace can help. Let your family know that when you’re in your “office” you’re not to be bothered.
Take a Break
Some people are so worried that others will think they’re not working when they’re remote that they overcompensate and don’t take any breaks at all. That’s a recipe for burnout. Grab the coffee, go to the gym, eat your lunch, or go get the mail. Especially if these are things you did before you began working from home.
Get Out of the House
If you’re someone who isn’t easily distracted and can work from a coffee shop, we recommend getting out of the house and changing up the scenery every once in a while. If that’s not for you and you know you’ll be too distracted or spend all of your money on coffee, we recommend getting outside, taking a walk around the block, or check morning emails from your back porch.
Play Some Music
For some, listening to music while they’re working is far too distracting. But for those of you who are used to the white noise of an office: printers printing, people chatting, or keyboards clicking, the quiet that comes from working from home, might be too loud. We recommend listening to some music to drown out the quiet. Don’t just take our word for it, science says it’s beneficial.
Take Advantage of Tools
Remote work today is significantly easier than it was 5, 10, and 15 years ago. Thanks to a ton of tools that make communication, collaboration, and management easier and still enable culture and comradery even when we aren’t all sharing the same space. Here’s our remote working stack.
Slack chat is the core of our daily life. We break out channels by clients, work type and groups to keep everything organized. We also strive to inject some culture and fun with things like gifs and apps like hey taco
PM tools can provide visibility both internally and externally facing if needed. We’ve tried an endless number of them, Asana has been our ticket because of its flexibility and product vision.
This very blog post was drafted by our entire team in a Google Doc. We couldn’t function without Google collaboration between our team and our clients.
Google Hangouts & Zoom video
Video conferencing is what powers all of our Daily Stand-Ups, Virtual Coffee Breaks and helps us facilitate virtual workshops and strategy sessions with our clients.
Harvest + Asana
Keeping track of workload and managing to expectations is key when your team is spread out. We rely on a combination of Harvest for time tracking and allocation and Asana for forecasting.
Sitting in front of your computer all day is brutal on your body. Like number 6, taking breaks to stretch is also important. Here’ a great set of simple stretches you can do that will keep your loosen you up and keep you feeling great.
Set regular check-ins with your team. This can take a lot of forms. For us at Lake One, it’s a daily standup and a weekly run down. Our daily standup is a quick pulse on what everyone did the day before, what’s coming up and if there are any blockers that need to be addressed. Our weekly rundown is a strategic look at everything we’re working on. Clients, business development, marketing and operations. While these are meetings and designed to move our organization forward – it’s also a time for our team to interact with each other. We have a lot of Adhoc working sessions virtual as well.
Minneapolis, MN: Lake One®, a revenue operations and growth firm in Minneapolis, Minnesota, announced today that it has reached another new milestone as a HubSpot solutions partner, reaching platinum status. HubSpot’s growth platform lets your entire company work together — from marketing, to sales, to customer service. HubSpot works hand-in-hand with solutions partners to grow their businesses and their client’s businesses with software, services, and support.
“Congrats to the Lake One team on accomplishing this milestone,” said Chris DiPietro, HubSpot Agency Partner Manager. “They join a select group of our solutions partners to obtain this status. It’s a testament to their revenue operations approach to marketing and sales alignment.”
Lake One launched in 2014 and has grown every year since. As a virtual marketing team, based in Minnesota, they support B2B organizations that have complex buying processes including Technology, Manufacturing, Clean Tech, and professional services in healthcare, IT, and staffing.
“We’ve gotten a lot of value out of being a HubSpot solutions partner,” says Founder & CEO, Ryan Ruud. “We couldn’t have reached this achievement without our great clients and support from the HubSpot team.”
In addition to being a HubSpot solutions partner, Lake One is also a DataBox Premier Partner and a Certified LGBT Business Enterprise™.
“The HubSpot Solutions Partner Program is rich with talented inbound marketers. It takes hard work and dedication to reach platinum tier status, which is why I’m so thrilled to congratulate Lake One on this exciting achievement. I can’t wait to see what they’re able to achieve as part of the platinum partner community.” says Katie Ng-Mak, VP, Solutions Partner Program.
About Lake One
Founded in 2014, Lake One is a revenue operations and growth firm based in Minneapolis, MN. They partner with B2B organizations to compete and win online by planning, building and implementing aligned sales and marketing programs. They help organizations navigate sales and marketing technology decisions to deploy right sized tools that scale program performance.
HubSpot (NYSE: HUBS) is a leading growth platform. Since 2006, HubSpot has been on a mission to make the world more inbound. Today, over 73,400 total customers in more than 120 countries use HubSpot’s award-winning software, services, and support to transform the way they attract, engage, and delight customers. Comprised of Marketing Hub, Sales Hub, Service Hub, CMS Hub, and a powerful free CRM, HubSpot gives companies the tools they need to Grow Better.
HubSpot has been named a top place to work by Glassdoor, Fortune, The Boston Globe, and The Boston Business Journal. The company is headquartered in Cambridge, MA with offices in Dublin, Ireland; Singapore; Sydney, Australia; Tokyo, Japan; Berlin, Germany; Bogotá, Colombia; Paris, France; and Portsmouth, NH.
Lake One® announced today they have officially become a Certified LGBT Business Enterprise™ through the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC). The NGLCC is the largest advocacy organization dedicated to expanding economic opportunities and advancement for LGBT people and the exclusive certifying body for LGBT-owned businesses.
“We are so pleased to welcome Lake One to the ever-expanding network of NGLCC certified LGBT Business Enterprises and the hundreds of corporations and government agencies eager to put them to work,” said NGLCC Co-Founder and President Justin Nelson and CoFounder and CEO Chance Mitchell. “According to NGLCC’s groundbreaking America’s LGBT Economy report, America’s estimated 1.4 million LGBT business owners, many of them NGLCC certified, add over $1.7 trillion to the GDP and create tens of thousands of new jobs. We are proud to count Lake One among those who prove every day that LGBT businesses are the future of the American economy.”
Lake One is now eligible to participate in the NGLCC’s supplier diversity programs with the Fortune 500 and government agencies nationwide, can take advantage of the vast educational opportunities promoted by the NGLCC and can work to foster business-to-business relationships with other Certified LGBT Business Enterprise™ companies worldwide throughout the year.
“I’m honored to have Lake One join the ranks of NGLCC certified LGBT Business Enterprises. We join an economic force of LGBT owned businesses creating jobs and adding value to communities across the country. Diversity and impact are core to our DNA and this certification helps recognize those values,” says Ryan Ruud, Founder and CEO at Lake One.
About Lake One: Founded in 2014, Lake One is a revenue operations and growth firm based in Minneapolis, MN. They partner with B2B organizations to compete and win online by planning, building and implementing aligned sales and marketing programs. They help organizations navigate sales and marketing technology decisions to deploy right sized tools that scale program performance.
About NGLCC: The National LGBT Chamber of Commerce is the business voice of the LGBT community and the largest global not-for-profit advocacy organization specifically dedicated to expanding economic opportunities and advancements for LGBT people. NGLCC is the exclusive certification body for LGBT-owned businesses. www.nglcc.org
Running a remote marketing firm provides a lot of benefits for our team and our clients. But having a team working from home most or all of the time isn’t without its challenges. One area that I get asked about a lot is how to successfully onboard a new work from home employee? How do you make sure they feel like they are part of the team quickly? How do you make sure they have the tools and access they need to get up and running quickly?
Here are some of the strategies that have worked for us. We also reached out to our network of business owners, managers and talent leaders to get their thoughts on strategies for managing onboarding remote employees. Their insights are included throughout.
Clearly Layout 30 and 90-day Plans
Whether your new team member is working from home or not – having a clear 30 to 90-day plan is so critical. SHRM points out that 69% of employees are more likely to stay based on their onboarding plan. At Lake One, we turn to the same tool we use to plan and manage our client Marketing Springs – Asana. We build out all the tasks and milestones for our new team members and link it up to the essential resources they’ll need to accomplish their onboarding from links to our standard operating procedure to the company drive file structure.
Jennifer Zick, Founder and CEO at Authentic Brand adds, “New employees – whether working in a physical office or remotely – need clarity in two primary areas in order to get up to speed and become productive in their roles. First, any new employee needs to know where to find what they need to do their job. Secondly, they need clear definitions on what they are responsible for, and what success should look like.”
Diversify Training and Communication Styles
Mix up the training schedule to make sure your new team member gets to spend time with a diversity of folks. This helps the new employee develop connections within the company and absorb information better. Not to mention, putting the responsibility on one person to get a new employee up to speed can be a lot.
Tyler Anderson, Principal at Andcor Talent states, “There is no one-size-fits-all approach to communicating during onboarding and beyond. Each leader (and team member) needs to understand communication preferences and needs. Some may prefer and are comfortable with email. Others need verbal communication and interaction. And others want a combo of both.”
Outline Subject Matter Experts
Make it clear – who in the organization owns what. This not only saves time across the board, but it sets expectations for both the new and existing employees. If you have a standard operating procedure (see below) this is a great place to put this information. Some HRIS systems also have a place for this in an org chart.
Anderson recommends, ”Getting them up to speed fast and hit the ground running by pairing the remote employee with an on-site employee or if everyone is virtual, another remote team member who they can go to for advice.”
Zick notes, “Many companies may not have well-organized online databases or platforms full of training materials, sales collateral, HR documents, or other resources that new employees can quickly locate. In these situations, it might make sense to align an employee with an internal guide – a “sherpa” of sorts – who can answer questions to help them quickly get to the right person or place to find what they need. Collaboration tools – like Slack – can be invaluable in these cases, allowing employees to quickly ask questions and crowdsource answers from their peers. The key is to open as many pathways to answers as possible, as quickly as possible, to help the new team member feel fully equipped to do their job.”
Set Up All Accounts in Advance
One simple thing you can do to make sure your new team member is ready to hit the ground running is getting all their account access set up in advance. There is nothing more frustrating than over the course of 30 days constantly having to ping a supervisor to get access to this, that or the other thing. Make an account run through a task in the onboarding plan. That way your new team members on their first day can go through all their welcome emails from systems, make sure they can access everything and feel good about checking some things off their onboarding plan.
Anderson suggests, “Break up onboarding/training tools. Don’t throw too much at them all at once. Also, if you can get started on setting those tools and accounts up before official day one, all the better.”
If Possible, Have an In-Person on Day One
Depending on where your team is actually located and where the new team member is, this work from home onboarding idea may not be doable. But if it is, even grabbing lunch or breakfast with your new employee can help defer any jitters on day one. If you can’t do it, is there another team member that’s close by?
Anderson notes, “When this whole C-19 thing is behind us if you have a physical office, bring the new hire in and go to lunch or a happy hour. But don’t just let it be a one-time thing. Hold quarterly gatherings and continue to make them feel like part of the team.”
Break the Ice
Like with any new job, the first few days can feel like you’re an outsider. That can be especially true for remote employees who aren’t onsite. Find ways to break the ice with new employees. Whether it’s fun facts, a game, or something else. Keep it light and fun.
Cami Zimmer, EVP Sales & Marketing at Glympse says,“Use “Reply All”:Send out an email to the group with an icebreaker question, asking everyone to respond via email and “reply all” so that everyone gets to know each other a bit more.
Don’t cut the Chit-Chat: It’s personal chit-chat that actually helps employees relate to each other! When working remote, team members do not have a chance to make small talk with others in the coffee area. We have to build time for this small talk into group meetings. Try to spend a few minutes at the start of each meeting to discuss personal or department updates. Ask that team members send in recent photos through Slack or other chat tools.”
Anderson says, “Learn and share fun facts: “What are three (3) things people you know well would be surprised to learn?” Give examples – e.g. survived a plane crash, world-class chess player, child actor. Give the new hire a couple of days to mull over the questions and share what other team members have said in the past. After learning what teammates answer, they might be more willing to open up. This exercise is great for building rapport and humanizing remote team members.”
Schedule Video Meet n Greets
A key part of our operating procedure at Lake One is daily standups and regular check-ins. Get your new team member looped in on these ASAP. Even though they may not be fully up to speed – the face time with the team is crucial and they’ll also start to get the habit of how the team works remotely.
Anderson advises, “Set up a series of orientation calls/video chats within the first few weeks with the CEO and each member of the leadership team to learn about company history, culture, goals, structure. In addition, set up calls with team members in other departments within the first month. Maintain this going forward in long-term across functions and combining new and tenured team members. Depending on the individual’s communication preferences, at a minimum suggest starting the call with a video chat to do a quick wave and know who you’re talking to and then turn it over to a phone call.”
Have a Standard Operating Procedure? You Should
We run on EOS ® Traction and our standard operating procedure is our north star. If you don’t have one – start documenting one. This is also a great way to help familiarize them with how y our organization operates and executes consistently. In an office setting – it’s easy to pop up and ask a question. Virtually, that’s not always possible. Standard operating procedures help give guidance on how the business handles key situations.
Zick says, “What has been effective for us, and for many of our clients, is having a very regular and predictable cadence of communication – whether through in-person or virtual meetings. People quickly feel included, valued, and aligned when they know that they are “in the loop” on the company’s strategy, decision-making, and work efforts.
Because our company runs on EOSⓇ – The Entrepreneurial Operating SystemⓇ – much of this cadence is built into how we operate. Our executive team meets weekly and quarterly to work on the business. Additionally, our consultants – our Fractional CMOs – come together twice per month as part of our “mindshare” community. In-between these planned meetings, we use collaboration technologies (Slack and Basecamp) to stay connected, share ideas, celebrate milestones, and reinforce our company values.”
Setup Regular One-on-Ones
Another holdover from working face to face – one on ones are key. But even more so with your work from home team. In the first few weeks, it may feel like overkill but do this at a minimum weekly. First, it’s a great way to build up that comradery and second, it’s a chance to identify any early questions or concerns that might be harder to pick up on working way from each other.
Rob Weber, Managing Director at Great North Labs says, “Productivity should be measured and greater expectations of asynchronous work should be accepted. When not working in a face-to-face environment, you’re much more likely to see work schedules drift and become more flexible. This flexibility though should still require certain regular check-in meetings or standups to ensure collaboration and free-flowing discussion. I’m also a big fan if possible to occasionally still meet-in person, such as for onboarding, annual planning, etc.”
Anderson suggests, “Maintain a consistent communication structure. Include regular check-ins and checkpoints that are mandatory for every team member. Sets expectations of how each team member should interact, communicate and adhere to the plan for every team member. I also suggest leveraging visual communication tools.”
Anderson says, “Keep in mind, not everyone is built to work remotely so before you onboard be sure you have the assessment data to identify who will work well and who will not. Some really need face-to-face interaction and the structure of an office environment. Others will work well independently and thrive in a virtual one. There aren’t enough tools in the world to turn one into the other. They may be successful but you run the risk of losing them to the environment that’s better suited for them.”
Zimmer notes, “We were/are lucky in that we had a remote policy in place before this all happened. We all have laptops, Zoom, Slack and are used to working remotely part-time. Thus, we really haven’t noticed much of a pause to business. Being in the Last Mile industry, we are experiencing an increase in inquiries, even, keeping most of us here at Glympse rather busy.”
Weber reminds us that, “The characteristics of a well-managed business are similar for all businesses, regardless of whether they support work from home operations or face-to-face. Accountability is created through transparent delivery of key performance information which empowers the workforce to make decisions wherever they are working from.”
Zick advises, “Through this time of chaos and uncertainty, the very best advice that I could offer to leaders and employees is to give one another abundant grace. Everyone is adapting. Everyone is coming up to speed on our “new normal”. And everyone’s workplace experience is being radically changed. The silver lining in all of this is that – as a global community – we’re learning how to work differently, and the lessons that we learn through this time of disruption can carry us forward with new skills, deeper empathy, and an even higher level of workforce productivity. Together, we will get through this.”
At Lake One, giving back is important to us. Like it says in our mission, we believe business can both pursue profit and be a force for change, leaving the world a little better than before. That’s why we’re proud to announce our Seeds of Service campaign for 2020. We created this campaign to give back to the communities who have supported us and live out our mission.
This quarter, Lake One is partnering with Second Stork, a Minnesota based non-profit helping new parents in need.
Welcoming a newborn into the world should be one of the happiest times in a person’s life. Those early days are meant for soaking up newborn smells, sites, and snuggles. The last thing parents should be worried about is how they are going to clothe and feed their little one. The reality is that many new parents are financially stretched, anxious and unprepared to bring their baby home from the hospital. Often, they don’t have the basic supplies to keep the baby safe and healthy during those first few weeks of life. It’s because of this reality that Second Stork was born.
Second Stork, founded in 2009, provides essential infant-care items to families in need. Completely free of charge. Items like newborn clothing, a safe place to sleep, an adequate supply of diapers and wipes, receiving blankets and other necessary items. Second Stork operates entirely on volunteers, such as school groups, corporate teams, families and charitable groups.
The Lake One team will be volunteering at the Second Stork warehouse to help pack diaper bags full of essentials! If you’d like to get involved, check out the Amazon Registry to purchase items for families in need or donate directly to Second Stork here.
Second Stork and Lake One are grateful for your donations that keep the “stork flying.”
Subscribe to the Lake One blog to see all of our Seeds of Service adventures this year.
When we create a digital marketing strategy for our clients, what we adoringly refer to as a FieldGuide, we pour hours into research and strategy. We heavily consider every piece we present in order to create a cohesive, targeted plan.
So what’s in a Lake One FieldGuide? We clearly lay out the action steps needed to elevate your marketing to target the modern buyer and hone in on your lead gen potential. Here are the elements your Lake One FieldGuide will include.
Step 1. Competitive Analysis
Competitive analysis can be viewed from two angles: qualitative & quantitative. One without the other, like most things in marketing, would paint an incomplete picture. Your Lake One FieldGuide will include analysis on both ends of the spectrum for up to three of your top competitors.
Qualitative Competitive Analysis:
What are your top three competitors up to? How well designed are their websites and are their sites created to move the user into conversions at every stage in the funnel? Additionally, what do their websites convey at first sight? We call this the Blink Test. Do you know what they do and what their differentiator is immediately or do you need to read heavy content and scrounge around the site to find out?
Quantitative Competitive Analysis:
What do the numbers say? Here we look at things like the competition’s traffic + sources, domain ratings, and backlinks. Without spending an inordinate amount of time, these numbers give insight into their marketing activity and authority. It’s also a good way to see, in a numerical fashion, how you stack up.
Before we get to the guts of your campaign, we need to understand who we will be targeting: your buyer persona. A persona is “a profile that represents your ideal customer.” We conduct research- online and offline- to understand who you’re talking to. We zero in on what their challenges are, what makes them change their purchasing behavior, and what barriers they experience. The point of this is to be able to develop a marketing strategy that addresses these elements.
We’ll create two or three personas to being. Later on, we’ll decide where to narrow the focus further once we’ve jointly considered ease of implementation, ability to get quick wins, and budget.
3. Keyword Research
Now that we know who your personas are, we want to know what they’re searching for and what the search volume landscape looks like for your product/service. We’ll use a few different tools to find niche keyword clusters that we’ll target via content. Our goal in this research is to find keywords and phrases with high search volume and low competition. IE- while it’d be fantastic to rank your retail shoe store for “women’s shoes”, you won’t have much luck beating Amazon and Zappos.
A Lake One FieldGuide includes keyword clusters that we can realistically target to get you ranking on relevant SERPs (search engine results pages).
4. Persona-centric Content Calendar
When we created your personas, we thought of their challenges, barriers, and drivers to change. Now, it’s time to pair those elements and questions with a content strategy.
Blog Campaign Topics
Personally, brainstorming blog topics is my favorite part of campaign planning. The number of blog ideas we generate will depend on the scale of your campaign and frequency of posting- whether we’ll be posting on your behalf twice a month or a few times a week.
Additionally, the number of personas will impact how many blogs topics we need. Each persona will have their own content strategy. The topics we select as part of your campaign will seek to answer the questions, pain points, and interests you unearthed in your persona research. In some cases, we’ll actually take their concerns and turn them directly into topics. Here’s an example. If your persona poses the question, “How do I lower healthcare costs for my company?” a great blog topic might be “5 Examples How to Lower your Company Healthcare Costs.” Additionally, blogs will be matched to your persona’s needs at every stage of the buyer’s journey: awareness, consideration, and decision.
The other things we consider when generating your blog campaign are the keywords and topic clusters we uncovered earlier in our keyword research. We’ll pair your persona’s needs with search data to create a 1-2-punch of stellar topics.
Next up is pairing those blog topics with conversion opportunities in the form of content offers. We’ll propose 1-2 offers at each stage of the buyer’s journey. These offers are intended to boost your lead gen and provide value to your users. We might propose an offer in the format of a…
Guide or eBook
White paper, brochure, or sell sheet
Content “Packet” that includes a mixture of the above in one offer
5. Persona Centered Lead Nurturing Sequences
Your FieldGuide at this point includes persona insights, keywords, and a killer content strategy. We’ll now present a plan to put all of that to work in nurturing sequences. What are those? You might know them as drip campaigns, workflows, or just as email marketing. When a user downloads one of your offers, we ideally want to enroll them into an email campaign that nurtures them along the funnel. A user who starts out by downloading an awareness offer would get a sequence of emails that nudge them into the consideration offer… and then into a decision offer… and then *fingers crossed* into being a customer.
So, included with your FieldGuide are examples of the type of sequencing we’d like to do for your key offers.
6. Persona Watering Holes and Digital PR Hitlist
The last part of your campaign will be some research on where your personas hang out- their watering holes if you will. What websites do they like to engage with and who might be their influencers. These insights will lead to the creation of our digital PR hitlist. For example, if your personas spend time on authoritative HR sites, we’ll add a few to our hitlist. When it’s time to execute the FieldGuide, we’ll reach out to these companies to do things like guest blogs in order to get in front of you personas where they already are. Furthermore, this strategy generates backlinks and bolsters SEO.
I set out to build Lake One to be, in a lot of ways, the anti-agency. I thought about all the bad experiences I had as an in-house marketer working with consultants, freelancers, and agency partners and wanted to make sure to instill in the values of our team – the opposite of those bad feelings. A lot of the reasons people choose to work with us, are because of that choice. But one I get asked about is the flexibility of our team. Our team is virtual. Not in the sense of AI & robots (although we use a lot of cool tools that are built with that power enabled), but virtual in the sense that our team works from all over the place. Sometimes, we lose business because of this and that’s okay. But I think the benefits of working with a virtual marketing department outweigh any of the perceived concerns. Here are a few benefits to consider when working with a virtual marketing agency.
Let’s face it. The office environment is distracting. Random meetings coming up for absolutely no reason, that person who loves to stop by and talk your ear off. Sometimes it’s hard to get work done at work. Remote work arrangements increase productivity by removing distractions. Of course, at home, a coffee shop or coworking spaces can provide their own kind of distractions, but being in control of the space our team works in lets us be flexible to adapt to the tasks we need to accomplish.
Better Team Morale & Health
Because our team works remote and has more control over their days, we can fit things in that help reduce stress. Research has shown remote teams have a 44% higher positive attitude and 53% lower stress level. All of this leads to a happier, healthier life which bleeds into the work we do.
Because our infrastructure costs are lower, overhead is low. It’s amazing how much companies spend on overhead and those costs get passed through, especially in the services business. Because our costs don’t include fancy offices, we’re able to provide services at a more approachable price.
Okay, I get the benefits – but how do y’all dig in?
So maybe I have you sold on the benefits. But you’re wondering about our ability to strategize. After all, the work we do is highly important to your business. Do we even talk to each other about the accounts we’re working on? Let’s address some of the ways our team works together.
First and foremost, program management is the hub by which internally we see where all projects are. Externally, clients can see how things are progressing. We’re constantly fine-tuning our processes around program management to be as transparent about what’s getting done, what’s getting stuck, and what’s coming up.
We adopt an agile marketing approach and run daily standups with our team so we all know what we’ve worked on, what we’re our priorities are for the day, and what we need from others on the team. That’s a starting point. We also have daily sidebar conversation virtually and a series of carefully planned meetings internally to tackle things like business operations, ongoing innovation, and ad hoc client troubleshooting.
Aside from transparent communication via our program management, we regularly communicate with clients. Often daily. We have a structured meeting cadence and frequently meet face to face to tackle the big hairy strategic discussion.
Internally, we have dashboards monitoring all accounts and reporting on progress on goals. At a glance, we know daily how our clients are progressing which allows us the insight to isolate problems or opportunities.
Put a Virtual Marketing Department to Work for You
At the end of the day, we’re not that much different than an agency with an office. We have some flexibility that gets our creative juices flowing – but we’re always driven by one thing. Success for our clients.
We were fortunate enough to be able to attend and sponsor the first ever Action19 event hosted by our partner Authentic Brand.
The theme of the event was Resiliency. While the speakers aligned their messages to the overall theme, each focused their address on a specific form of resiliency: personal, business/sales, and financial.
Personal Resiliency: Cory Hepola
Cory Hepola is currently a radio host for WCCO. Having switched his career from news anchor to radio host recently, Cory focused his keynote address on the perseverance it took to attain his success. Cory broached the subject of failure by discussing his hundreds- maybe even thousands?- of job rejections. He reminded us that we all go through struggles. So why then do we put up walls? Why do we avoid transparency, never talk about getting fired or rejected or criticized, and why is it that we only put the best versions of ourselves out there? We all do it. The point of Cory’s keynote wasn’t an appeal for us to all openly air our dirty laundry, but more so to call to attention that everybody has dirty laundry. Resiliency is found in not letting the struggle stop you from chasing your dreams.
One of my favorite parts from Cory’s keynote was his insight into dreams only coming true when you’re ready for them. It’s easy to get frustrated and give up when things aren’t going your way or happening fast enough, but more often than not, things won’t happen until you’re actually ready. The beauty of resiliency is that the more you persevere, the more prepared you’ll be when the universe is ready for you. Know your strengths, weaknesses, values, and purpose, and work toward goals that help facilitate your true character. True character is, after all, what shows itself when times are tough.
Cory was also keen to point out that whatever we do, it’s important to surround ourselves with good people. Allow those people to push you and support you.
Key Resiliency Takeaway:
The message of resiliency we all walked away with from Cory was that Everybody (capital E) fails. When you’re ready for it- actually ready, not just impatient- it will come to you if you’ve persevered through the struggle.
Hiring Resiliency: Mike Frommelt and Mary Nutting
In a dialogue between Mike Frommelt, Visionary & Co-Founder, KeyStone Executive Search and Mary Nutting, Owner, CorTalent & President, NAWBO, we learn about resiliency in recruiting and retaining employees. Mike built on to the adage, “right people, right seats,” by appending “right time.” He implored us to find employees as eager and passionate about your company as you are; the people truly invested in their careers. He continued to say that those people who really understand are the ones who will be all in.
Mary built on that idea. She pointed out the importance of hiring people based on the person and their values- people with “stretch skills” (potential). Find out and understand how a candidate’s personal values fit into company values before hiring. This will help ensure a quality fit, somebody more likely to succeed and grow within your company.
Mary also addressed the importance of knowing your business’s needs today. She discussed how occasionally businesses got lost in the goals and forecasts that predict future need. Rather than hiring for that, hire for what you need today. Don’t let your business get ahead of the talent- make sure you have talent for right now.
And then there’s that little matter of compensation. How do you deal with that? Let the market set it. Simple.
Key Resiliency Takeaway:
Resiliency is found through your people. As leaders, it’s critical to empower, inspire, and spend time with them everyday. And as Mike said, you want people’s hands and their hearts to bring your company to the next level. Invest in your people and your reward will be employees who work for you because they want to, not just for the paycheck.
Sales Resiliency: Josh Fedie
Josh Fedie, founder of SalesReach, lit the room with humor as he told us about resiliency in sales. First, smarketing (holla!). Align your sales and marketing teams. Make sure they are working toward the same goals and that you practice sales enablement, and are ensuring your sales team has all of the marketing material they need. Then, make sure you have the right tools – sales acceleration- to speed up your deals.
The modern buyer will be searching for you. It’s important to know, as Josh taught us, that every touchpoint in the sales process matters. Therefore, ABB + ABS. Always Be Branded & Always Be Selling! Always make sure you align your actions with your mission and vision. When your brand shines through, people will always work with people they like. Forever and ever.
Another knowledge bomb Josh dropped was to do video. Now. Like, right now. 90% of consumers said video helped them make a purchasing decision. Use video in your marketing and in your sales process as video enables your salespeople to be very personal. At every turn, you should be enabling your people.
Empower your employees. Let them know they bring value to the organization. Those employee brand ambassadors will create custom brand ambassadors, and that’s where revenue resilience truly lies.
Key Resiliency Takeaway:
Resilient sales teams are the product of resilient smarketing teams. An aligned smarketing team can help you empower every person in the company. Always be branded, and always be selling.
Financial Resiliency: Panel
The last session of the Action19 mini-conference was an expert panel discussing the topic of financial resiliency. Andy Schornack, President & CEO of Flagship Bank Minnesota, Heide Olson CEO of All In One Accounting, Inc, Amy Langer Co-Founder of Salo LLC, and Aric Bandy President of Agosto.
The question ‘what should you do to prepare for a recession?’ was the first to be posed to the panel. Make sure your balance sheet is structured properly and that you have liquidity in assets. Develop good cash management in good times. And protect your people. While this wasn’t a continuation of the retention discussion from earlier in the day, treating your people as your greatest asset was a constant theme through the financial resiliency advice.
Additionally, we heard from Heide not to let your guard down when things are good. Always know where you are financially and don’t just have a plan B. Also know what triggers to be aware of that might indicate the need to switch to B. Furthermore, focus on process, people, and diversifying appropriately to make it through the next downturn. Invest in technology while you can, too.
Another question the group tackled was “As you head into a downturn, what happens when you ratchet back sales & marketing?” We’re going to take just *a little* liberty and say that the resounding answer was “bad things.” But really, panel members told about how when they cut back on marketing was when competitors were able to come out ahead. Additionally, they mentioned that it took a long time to catch back up to where they had been. Even in downturns, there is opportunity if you have the right team and are well positioned to take advantage. Find out why your employees and clients are working with you and do more of that.
Key Resiliency Takeaway:
As mentioned, supporting people was a large part of this financial discussion. Be resilient by creating an empowering environment where employees know they are valued.
*Photo credits to Authentic Brand
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