It’s been a great start to the year, in no small part because I now find myself doing more of the work I love. The first full month of my Waypoint contract has been completed and it’s been everything I hoped it would be and a lot more. First of all, the re-brand from Ocius Digital to Waypoint was completed over the festive break. I worked closely with Dan and the team on the project, but playing a lead role in their biggest marketing project to date is something I’m really proud of.
Over the course of January, I worked on long term projects as well as one off short activities. I’ve also had numerous calls to share advice, do some coaching and firm up plans for existing projects.
It’s stretched me and has really made me think more deeply about how I can have the biggest impact. And, of course, biggest impact means creating more opportunities to sell what they do. I’ve learned even more about how they work and I’ve also been involved in some really exciting projects which has seen me join the team on calls with their partners. All great opportunities to build on my knowledge so that I can recommend the best marketing and communications strategies for them.
I’ll continually refine the way I work to be as efficient as possible, but fundamentally, the work with Waypoint in January has proved that my outsourced marketing director model works. That feeling alone has made January extra special.
(Head over to wearewaypoint.com to learn more. And, if you work with any larger accountancy firm that specialises in the Xero accounting platform, please can you introduce them to me.)
Know You More is a remarkable organisation that supports the development of young adults through a network of passionate and driven professional coaches. I’ve worked with Tim, Kate and Chirag over the last year. I’ve created case studies for them and had the great pleasure of being a guest on a Know You More webinar.
Recently I’ve been working in partnership with Caroline from Social Good HQ to help Tim identify and communicate the social impact that the organisation makes. Tim and Caroline, as well as being ‘business colleagues’ are also friends, so working on this project has been great fun and has tested that friendship to the core. I’m kidding. I’ve never agreed with the whole, ‘don’t mix business and pleasure’ thing. The strength of our personal relationship has been a big factor in the success of this project.
As a result of this project and our previous work together, Tim, Kate and Chirag have contracted me to be their outsourced marketing director for the next six months. As you can probably imagine, this is very good news and has made me an even happier chappy than normal. I’ll be working with Know You More on the same basis as Waypoint; 2 days of ‘doing work’ per month (strategy, planning, projects and communications) as well as unlimited advisory access to yours truly. What that means is that we can move projects forward proactively while at the same time being able to react to challenges and opportunities that come up. In others words it’s about managing the planned, as well as the unplanned.
Early in January, I made the first significant change to how the Outsourced Marketing Director model works. Initially the plan was to have full days, or at the very least half days allocated for each of my clients. So, it the case of Waypoint and Know You More that would mean I work 2 full days or potentially 4 half days. But, the reality is that this is far too prescriptive and inflexible. Instead, I have made the decision to revert to ‘per minute billing’. So from now on my OMD clients will have a monthly time budget expressed in minutes.
This gives them far greater flexibility and is, to my mind at least, a much fairer way of working. For the month of February I’m trialling Harvest, a time tracking app as this will significantly reduce the time taken to manage the process of logging times and activity. (Thanks to Dan head honcho at Waypoint for the recommendation!)
Being completely transparent is really important to me. So, being able to share real time reports instantly will allow me to manage the time budget with my clients and together we can make sure we use the time wisely each month and work on the really important stuff first.
4 is the answer to the question. The question, erm, in question, is this… “How many outsourced marketing director clients can I take on?” It’s an obvious question and one that a few people have asked me. It’s ranged from as few as 4, right the way through to 10. What I’ve realised though is that to do this justice and for those OMD clients to get the most from their investment I can’t run the risk of spreading myself too thin. At this moment in time four feels like the most I can take on without compromising.
So, if my sums are correct, I’m 50% of my way to my Outsourced Marketing Director target. Not bad for something that I first shared with the World in late November 2017. I’d like to secure those remaining two within the next 6 months. But it has to be the RIGHT two, so there is no real rush.
When I’m not working for or thinking on behalf of Waypoint and Know You More I’ll continue to work on one-off marketing projects. The first of those took place this week when I facilitated an away day for a Scottish Government department in Glasgow. It was a great opportunity to work on something a little bit different. Having said that, the core was
In terms of coaching, I worked with two clients in January. One in Cork, Ireland, with a focus on case studies and the other with a management consultant who wanted support in how he communicates, particularly in writing. I’ve not promoted the coaching side of things actively for over 6 months, but it is something I really enjoy doing.
I’ve decided to offer just two coaching programme for the next 6 months. The first is called ‘The Marketing Clarity Programme’. This builds on my ebook of the same name. The second is called ‘Communication Foundations’. As the name suggests this is all about getting the core of your communications nailed, and like all foundations, it’s just the starting point for my clients to build on.
At my coaching peak I was promoting around 10 different programmes. I’m quite relieved to have stripped this back to just the two! I’ll be sharing more details on those soon, but for now, if anyone wants to find out more please send me a message or book a quick call. And, without being that guy… you know, the one that’s always selling… first clients for each of these new programmes will get a 20% discount.
I’m delighted to introduce you to Wendy. Wendy is joining me as an intern for this university semester. She’s a 2nd year student at the University of Dundee studying English. She’s going to be working with me to write a series of blog posts on communication foundations. She got off to a great start and her attitude is brilliant. I’ll be seeing a lot more of Wendy’s blogs appearing in the weeks ahead.
So, that’s it. A great start to 2018 and for the first time since launching the business I feel I’m doing the work that I was meant to do. Appreciate the support I’ve had from everyone and look forward to sharing another update in March.
I'm a storyteller, case study specialist and the founder of The Story Edge. I want more people to tell more stories. I write stories, teach people to do the same and generally encourage people to use storytelling in their business.