Have You Tried Wishing in One Hand?


Dreamers can only take an entrepreneurial venture so far. It’s the doers who get the funding – and without funding, you don’t have a business.


Partha Unnava: “Right After We Had Wired Over Money, The Manufacturer Said The Quote Was Incorrect”


Partha Unnava, the CEO of Better Walk, shares his experiences launching a new venture and his journey as an entrepreneur.


Breaking down silos — no herding cats anymore


In my last blog post, I spoke about siloed content caused by silos within an enterprise. Moreover, about the guy who is on the hook to drive the business, generate leads and protect the brand. In most organizations they call him the Chief Marketing Officer or CMO. He is focused on the connected, consistent customer journey.

Yeah, this feels like herding cats — an attempt to control or organize a class of entities which are uncontrollable or chaotic.

Because in a larger organizations, everyone creates content. Sometimes people do not even know that this content ends up being customer facing. Some folks in Support writing some messages in support systems — but is it necessarily on brand and on target?

Let’s break down the customer journey — by internal departments.

Who is actually responsible for the content out there for each step of the journey?

We mapped out the different content types — this may not be valid for all companies and all business models but will give you an idea.

However, who is creating all the different content pieces??

These could be the content contributors for all the content. This might not be your reality but think about it.

WOW! This looks complex, right?

Many departments, internal and external content contributors! And these are just the general steps of the customer journey — we are not talking about personas here and not how to address them properly.

Or translation for that matter… My friend Val Swisher of Content Rules wrote an excellent piece about “TRANSCREATION: ADAPTING TRANSLATED CONTENT FOR EFFECTIVENESS”:

“Transcreation is a content development process in which content is created–and customized–for a particular culture, in a particular language, or for a particular region. Transcreated content is not translated from a source; it is a source. It does not necessarily exist in any other language.

Remember these two main points when adapting translated content:

Done well, transcreated content evokes the desired emotional response in cases where the original expression of emotion might not translate.
Employees all over the world are already transcreating content. They just haven’t told you.”

So herding cats, right?

Back to our CMO.

Gartner says in their “CMO Spending survey 2016” that by 2017 CMOs will spend more on technology than CIOs.

  1. Marketing Budgets Grew by Nearly 10% Over The Last Year
  2. Marketers Spend One-Third of the Expense Budget on Technology
  3. Digital Commerce, Social, Marketing Analytics and Customer Experience
  4. Are Top-Ranked Areas of Investment
  5. Customer Experience Is the New Competitive Battlefield

Talking about technology, Scott Brinker of ChiefMarTec analyzed this space over the last couple of years and documented this massive increase of technology out there.

So again!? What does it all boil down to?

Spend more money on technology? Kill the bird with two or many stones?!

Here are 3 tips to start:

Tip #1: Collaborate

It is an uphill battle for sure. But you need to start creating a collaborative culture around content creation.

Your global content strategy only works if you work together. How about a content advisory group with stakeholders from various departments and product lines to share advocacy in a centralized strategy?

And you need tools to support this. Easy to use, internally and externally and open for everyone. You also need to align your tone of voice and your terminology aka your words and phrases with your brand. This could be enforced and users should get guidance.

Tip #2: Take the customer perspective

But don’t overdo this. Even if your sales team tells you that there are fifty different types/ persons/ beasts which are buying your solution, forget it! There is no way of addressing all of them. This is just not actionable! And you won’t have the resources for execution or you won’t get them from upstairs. You simply can’t prove that this is working. And this leads me to Tip #3.

Tip #3: Use objective data

Is your content really working? Do you know it only after the fact? How can you know if your marketing team is pushing the right buttons if you aren’t testing it? Testing your existing content can provide quantitative insights into what works for your target audience and what doesn’t.

Don’t stop at the obvious metrics:

  1. Web traffic/visits
  2. Views/downloads
  3. Lead quantity
  4. Social media shares
  5. Try to identify which initiative actually drove MQL to the top of the funnel. And discuss the quality of the leads with your sales team.

Yeah, you might think now, this is only for large corporations — here is a nice overview of articles how to measure success.

Bruce Springsteen once said:

“Sustaining an audience is hard. It demands a consistency of thought, of purpose, and of action over a long period of time.”



A Chat with Unforeseen Startup Warrior Nick Frost


There is no better way to hear the story of how Nick Frost came to champion startups than to hear it straight from his mouth. Here’s your chance!


The Age of Napoleons: Conquerers in Tech


The main difference between businesses born today versus those of yesteryear, is that it's very difficult to make a scalable business of shoe cleaning or running the local grocery store. Scalability in business is much more prevalent now.


How to Make an Easy Transition From Employee to Employer


When you decide to start your own business, it can be easy to bring the employee mindset with you. Here are some pointers to keep in mind.


CMO of FreshBooks Talks About the Biggest Problem with Scaling Startups


A mentor, investor and consultant, Stuart MacDonald is the veteran of several startups, including starting in Toronto.


How to Outsource Even If You’re a Control Freak


Do you find it hard not to micromanage every little aspect of your business?

Are you guilty of wishing that you could just clone yourself?

You’re not alone, but you can become far more effective when you outsource everything you don’t absolutely HAVE to be involved with. Plus, there are some tasks that — sorry — someone else could be doing much better — as challenging as that can be to admit to yourself.

Here are three essential keys to make sure that delegating part of your work is as painless (and even as enjoyable) as possible.

Choose Tasks to Delegate

These are the things that you don’t really want to do, but are scared to let go of. Some examples might include work-related minutia, like posting to social media, filtering emails, and tracking your business expenses.

Others tasks might be more personal, like doing grocery shopping or purchasing and sending out gifts to friends and family at the holidays. Now, if grocery shopping is what makes your whole world sing, by all means, keep doing it. I get it. Who can resist getting you door dinged in the parking lot at the grocery, crying babies, and seeing your neighbor who always has a lot of time for a chat?

However, if it’s a task that can be outsourced to a virtual assistant or automated without you having to take a look-over and approve it every time, then it’s a good one to release control of.

If it’s something that you know you’re going to be absolutely livid about if it’s not done exactly the way that you would have done it — or the way you have done it forever, then that one is off the list of your “assistant” giveaways.

Train Your Assistant

You’ve taken the plunge and hired a virtual assistant. Great! But you’re not done yet. You’ll want to write down how you do each task on your list of things you want done — step by step — and walk your new assistant through the process.

If you take the time to fully train your virtual (or otherwise) assistant now, you’ll be setting yourself up for success. There’s nothing more aggravating than thinking that something’s covered and then watching someone else drop the ball, especially for control freaks.

Listen — let me just repeat that again — listen — to all the questions that your assistant will ask about your processes. Have your list there in front of you, and read from it as you go along, in case you’ve forgotten a step.

Think through the process with your assistant, from beginning to end. Avoid using catchy “love language” phrases such as, “you’ve got to be kidding, you don’t know that?” and “this is so simple.”

Make sure your assistant has all the tools they need — passwords, login information, templates, links, and so forth. Consider making a quick “how-to” video for your assistant for the more detailed work you need, or for work that has to be done in a precise order every time. This way your assistant can refer back to the instructions if needed.

If you’ve been very clear on what you expect during the interview stage, from when you want them to be working on the project, about how long you think this process will take once they’ve practiced and come up to speed, to how often you’d like them to check in with you.

Yes, you control freak, you best let them know exactly how often to check in, because maybe they have never heard of personally calling someone on their cell every hour on the hour.

Seriously, do you need a beginning of day and end of day catch-up until you feel okay? Ask for this (favor) so you will really feel comfortable and be able to let go. Later, when you have some trust you will find that you’re not constantly worrying anymore that the work isn’t really being done. You really will be able to relax at some point.

Loosen Up

While it can truly be difficult for control freaks, perfectionists, and overachievers to watch someone else do things just a little bit differently than your all-knowing self would, this allowance will become one of the keys to your success.

If you’ve picked someone with similar values and a work ethic like yours, it’s now time to let go. This is going to take some personal growth and maturity on your part.

Of course, if you’ve tried to make a business relationship with an assistant’s work, and it’s just not happening, no matter what, it’s time to find someone who’s a better fit for you and your business.

In the end, you’ll hopefully find someone who makes you feel that your business is truly in good hands, and you’ll have more time to focus on the irreplaceable elements of your work that only you can make happen.

How to Outsource Even If You’re a Control Freak was originally published on Due blog by Will Lipovsky.


“Be Powerful”: How the Women Leaders at Plated Built a Culture of Female Empowerment


We sat down with a panel of four of Plated’s women leaders to discuss their strategies for encouraging female empowerment and leadership at Plated.


Renovating Your Startup Office: Creating a Google Space on a MySpace Budget and Fundable Founder Wil Schroter describes the process of redesigning and renovating the office of his dreams.

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