I’ve been working as an Outsourced Marketing Director (OMD) for a little over 100 days now. It’s been challenging, it’s been productive, and, without question, it’s been the most personally rewarding period of my professional career. It turns out that the basic principle of working deeper with fewer clients actually works.
I’ve focused my time on delivering for my first two OMD clients and, while doing so I’ve been developing new processes and workflows to make sure we’re as efficient as we can be. That’s been particularly important when working with the Waypoint crew in Melbourne. The time zones make things interesting, but by being smart, we can make that work to our advantage.
To cement the whole working smarter thing, I shared a 30-page document which, originally enough, I called the ‘Working Smarter’ plan. That plan isn’t just for the gang in Australia, it’s just as important for Tim, Kate and Chirag at Know You More. The whole OMD concept is only as good as my ability to deliver for my clients. That was an important lesson for me.
And, that’s just one lesson, the truth is that working with Waypoint and Know You More as their outsourced marketing director has taught me a lot. I’d like to share what I’ve learned.
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Lesson 1 – Working Deeper Works
Being a longer term, partner means I get to know what makes a business tick. Which means I’m better placed to put my feet in their shoes and share ideas that can move them forward.
Lesson 2 – Process & Workflows are essential
I’m turning into a boring old sod! Every task I do for my own business and my clients I end up asking myself the question ‘is there a better way of doing this?’ The answer is usually yes, followed by ‘oooo let’s create a new workflow’. Yeah, I know, I’ve changed, haven’t I?
Lesson 3 – Not just marketing
Throughout my career I’ve criss-crossed the world of marketing and sales. The result is that marketing has always been grounded in commercial reality. As a result much of my work with my OMD clients includes a business development and sales dimension.
Lesson 4 – My job is to direct and challenge
It’s never been clearer to me that what I bring to the party is the ability to direct my clients to make the smartest marketing and business development decisions possible. And, yes, that means at times we challenge each other and disagree. That is healthy and positive.
Lesson 5 – I LOVE problems
I didn’t realise it before now, but I love it when Dan or Tim throw a problem at me. I enjoy the thinking process and mental challenge of generating new ideas.
Lesson 6 – Implementation is EVERYTHING
Ideas are great, but it’s the planning and then the DOING that really counts. I can share the best marketing strategies in the world, but they’ll mean nothing if Waypoint and Know You More can’t implement them.
Lesson 7 – Refine, refine and refine some more
Being flexible and having the courage to make changes is OK. Here’s a perfect example. When I launched my OMD service the idea was to have a monthly strategy call then a mid-month review. It didn’t work. We switched to shorter weekly meetings which are working really well.
Lesson 8 – Banter Is Underrated
The byproduct of working in this way is that I become a genuine part of the team. I’ve really missed that feeling of being a part of something bigger. Of all the lessons that I’ve learned so far this is the greatest. I want to work with people that are OK with me being me. Actually, no, it’s more than that. I NEED to work with people who like me and trust me to help them.
I can’t decide whether it’s an age thing or just a realisation, but here’s the bottom line – I only want to work with people who are ambitious, want to grow and despite how serious that all sounds, want to have fun doing so. I can only support between 4 and 6 outsourced marketing director clients, so it stands to reason that I want those people to be my kind of people.
Lesson 9 – Confidence
This doesn’t come naturally to me. And, yes, to some, it will sound arrogant. Here goes. I’m really good at this marketing shit. There I said it. Moving on.
Lesson 10 – OMG I’m ALL-IN with OMD
The final lesson is that when you find the work you love, you naturally want to do more of it. I’m no different. I can do lots of different things, but this is the work I’m meant to do. I’m putting all my business development eggs in one basket. The future of my business is to work with more clients as their outsourced marketing director.
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There’s no shortage of businesses out there that I can help, but I can only work with a maximum of 6. That means working with the right people becomes so important. The right people will be in the business of selling professional services to other businesses. They’ll be small with ambitions to be big.
And, most importantly they’ll have a real desire to use marketing strategically to drive that growth. They’ll also be looking for a long term relationship, rather than a one-night-stand. And, they’ll also have a budget of at least £1,000 per month to invest.
Here are some specific examples of the types of businesses I’m looking to work with.
- A UK based, modern accountancy practice that spends a lot of time in the Xero cloud accounting world and sees growth coming from business advisory services.
- An Australian version of the above.
- An IT services business (MSP).
- A software as a service business (SAAS).
- A Xero add-on application partner.
- A marketing software company. (Marketing Automation, CRM etc.)
- A creative or digital marketing agency.
If you’re reading this and want to find out more about my Outsourced Marketing Director service, the best way to move things forward is to have a conversation. You can book an initial discovery call by visiting https://calendly.com/thestoryedge/discovery-call