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168: How to Manage Your Marketing At Scale

Posted by Austin Brawner on October 23, 2018

When you’re just starting your business and running it small and lean, it’s easy to implement new projects right away. Right?

If you go to a conference and get a new idea, you can go in and execute it. As your business and team scales up, it’s no longer possible to implement your ideas immediately. You need to plan and get your team involved.

Many businesses get stuck here and never move forward. They feel momentum but can’t take advantage of it because they can’t effectively manage their marketing at scale. This leads to stress, burnout and missed opportunities.

How do you transition from doing everything right away to having to plan it out and delegate it out? This often requires taking a step back before stepping forward. In today’s episode, we’re going to share a 3 step process to help you manage your marketing at scale.

Episode Highlights

  • 6:03 What it means to be at scale.
  • 10:29 The questions you should be asking when planning to scale your business.
  • 11:54 How discovering your Kolbe score can unlock your potential to scale your business.
  • 14:00 How documenting tasks can shine a light on what you are really doing in your business.
  • 16:18 How templating projects or tasks can bring about improved creativity.
  • 17:20 The most important thing you should consider if you are listening to this podcast.
  • 18:20 What to look at first before delegating out any documented tasks.
  • 19:32 Your business is not different, you can delegate tasks too.

Links and Resources

Become a Member

If you liked this episode, you’re going to love the Brand Growth Experts Membership.  It’s a community of top ecommerce business owners and marketers who I coach one-on-one to help scale up their businesses. Together we’ll create a plan that will help you scale up your business, and then I’ll help you execute it.

If you want to make sure you’re growing as quickly and sustainably as possible, click here to learn more. Hope to see you on the inside!

Sponsor

This episode is brought to you by Klaviyo. If you’re running an ecommerce business and sending emails to your customers, you should be using Klaviyo. It will help you find out who your best customers are and target them one-to-one to make more money.

I’ve been using Klaviyo since they were just two employees. Now they have a team of 150 and are rolling out new features almost weekly. If you aren’t already a customer, head over to www.ecommerceinfluence.com/klaviyo and you’ll get a free trial + priority on-boarding.

Transcript

Austin Brawner: What’s up everybody? Welcome to another episode of the eCommerce Influence Podcast. My name’s Austin Brawner.

Andrew Foxwell: And I’m Andrew Foxwell.

Hey, man. I tell you what. Here we are, taking time in the morning for recording podcasts together. I know mornings have been intentional for you lately. What’s been going on?

Austin Brawner: So, what’s been going on recently. About mid-way through September, I kinda was just looking at what my like, normal routine had evolved into. And I was saying to myself, I realized I didn’t like it that much. For a long time, I was waking up, going to work right away. Maybe sitting down, drinking some tea, drinking maybe multiple cups of tea. Lot of caffeine. Getting going and then I’d work til like ’round 11. Then I’d go work out and come back and finish up working in the afternoon. But what was happening is my schedule has gotten increasingly demanding. And that afternoon workout was not happening. So.

Andrew Foxwell: Putting it off. Yeah, hey, classic. I understand.

Austin Brawner: Very easy to do, right? It’s, you know, more maybe calls in the afternoon, those sorts of things, very easy easy to push things off. So today, I’ve gotta flip this thing around and started waking up and just trying to take the first hour of the day to do something nice and good for my body and my mind. So, going on walks, going to the gym. Not hopping on my cell phone. Very hard to do, right? Extremely hard to do.

Andrew Foxwell: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Austin Brawner: So that’s been, yeah, it’s been good. Since I started, mid-September is when I started and I’ve been keeping it up. It’s just kinda my go-to thing that I’m just trying to do, which is just like, be consistent in the morning. Stay off the cell phone, get outside, feeling a lot better.

Andrew Foxwell: Yeah, it’s insane how productive the morning can be and how, you know, for me, that’s like when I get the most things done and so, you know, you wanna stick there and say, “Oh, I’m gonna get this going, I’m gonna do this.” But in reality, if you take that time to focus and step away, even for only a little bit, like even 30 minutes, it can make the actual time that you have in the morning that much more productive. So I’m 100% with you, which is why I brought it up, ’cause we were talking about it. Yeah, and, you know, there has been a lot more going on, I think, with both of us. Lots going on in the membership for brand growth experts, which has been awesome, and really good questions in there. That’s growing, so.

You know, it’s an exciting time. I think, hopefully, the advice that we’re giving is inspiring people. And, you know, one of the things I guess, to transition into the episode today, you know, that we’ve been talking about, is what we wanted to get into, which is scaling, a question that we get quite a bit, and you get quite a bit in your members area.

Austin Brawner: Yeah, and, going back to why it relates a little bit to like taking this time in the morning. My goal has been to get a little bit more head space and get, you know, out of the just immediate grind of getting into work. And it’s been helpful. And I think that what we’re gonna talk about today, which is how to manage your marketing at scale, has a lot to do with taking a step back and, you know, a lot of people get stuck in this point where they are working too hard. When you’re still small, you can, there’s this, what happens is when you’re small and you’re growing, you can do everything you want, like right away. Right? If you say you wanna implement something, if it’s just you, you can just go in and implement it.

As you grow, it’s no longer possible to do this. As you scale, it’s no longer possible to do this. And so I’ve been thinking about this a lot. How do you continue to manage your marketing at scale and how do you transition from that time when you can do everything right away to having to plan it out and delegate it out. So that’s what we’re gonna talk about this week. We’re gonna share a framework for kinda managing and scaling up your marketing.

Andrew Foxwell: Yeah, that makes, exactly. I mean, it makes a lot of sense and I think, again, it is something that people really struggle with. So, the question I guess I get a lot is what does it mean to be at scale, right? Like, to have your marketing at scale. Is there a financial metric that you point to, normally, for something like this?

Austin Brawner: I think that it’s a good question. And I think everyone’s got their own answer, a little bit. Yours might be a little bit different than for me. This is a good question. I was listening to Ezra talk a little bit about this, about what does it mean to be at scale, a couple of days ago. I think I would consider someone being at scale, not necessarily revenue numbers, but more like, you have an employee or two, you’ve got things that you’re doing consistently, and you’ve got a consistent sales process that works.

Meaning you’ve transitioned from just throwing things at a wall and seeing what sticks to finding the thing that sticks and trying to do it over and over again.

Andrew Foxwell: Right, right. Yeah, makes a ton of sense.

Austin Brawner: Maybe like 250k in revenue, something like that? What are your thoughts on that?

Andrew Foxwell: Yeah, I think that’s totally true. I think I have seen people that are in the 250k in revenue area that have very, very complex, I mean, frankly, think Facebook and Instagram marketing process. And then I see people that are, I have also seen the inverse of that where, you know, I’ve worked with really huge companies who have a really simple process.

And so, I think it can be, I think, more than revenue for me is kind of thinking around what are the things that you’re trying to do every day and how many marketing channels you have, right? Like, if you’re trying to manage in-house Facebook SEM, you know, display, email, and you may be doing only 200k a month in revenue, to me then you’re at scale. Like, you’re trying to scale, too, you know?

Austin Brawner: Sure, and often, I feel like people in that position are doing too much. Way too much. You know, it’s like, if you’re at 200k and you’ve got five channels, chances are either your market is too small or you’re doing way too much.

Andrew Foxwell: Right.

Austin Brawner: So, going back to what we were talking about earlier, which is, you know, what actually has to happen to, if you are at scale, right, you’ve got a consistent process that works, how do you go from being the person doing all these things to continuing to manage that and grow it. I think that there’s really like kind of a three-step process. First, you’ve got to actually, number one, you’ve got to do it. Right? So you’ve gotta throw all those things at the wall and see what sticks. Someone’s gotta do that.

Andrew Foxwell: Right.

Austin Brawner: That’s your experimenting, you’re testing things, you’re learning what works, and then you’ve gotta find something that works for you. And that could be Facebook ads, right? A lot of people that work with you, they find that Facebook ads are really successful for them.

Andrew Foxwell: Right. Yeah, I think the “Do It” phase is interesting. You know, obviously, it makes sense, right? You have to just start doing it. And there’s a couple of different things here. One is, people get stuck in this process of doing it and then, once they start to, you know, do their own Facebook ads or their own email marketing, or whatever, you know, it doesn’t really allow you to scale ’cause they’re stuck in the weeds of trying to make that work.

And pretty soon, you know, I talked to a founder, man, what was this? Like, last week, and she said that now 20% of her time is taken up by trying to figure out Facebook marketing. And I said, “How much of your time is trying to figure out your email or your email and your website flow?” And she said, “I haven’t worked on that.”

So, you feel what I’m saying, right? You can get stuck in that so quickly and you can, as my mother used to say, complicate a simple problem versus simplifying a complicated problem.

Austin Brawner: Ooh, that’s good. I like that.

Andrew Foxwell: Yeah. And so, it’s like, you’ve gotta try it and you’ve gotta figure out what works. But the other thing that I don’t think you, you wanna be careful of here, is making sure that you’re not immediately delegating. Right?

Austin Brawner: Yes.

Andrew Foxwell: You know, that you’re not immediately like, you know what? I know it’s not gonna work for me, because if you don’t understand those core fundamentals of how something works, that’s going to be really challenging for you to be able to properly delegate that, and document it, which is really within the framework of the do it, document it, delegate it.

Austin Brawner: Yes, exactly. So, as you’re doing it, one question that I think you should always ask yourself is are you doing something that can be repeated? Right? I remember, I learned this from Mike Danner over at Ancient Nutrition. We were talking about a marketing project, like an opportunity, basically. And he was like, “While, you know, that sounds great and that would work for us, we don’t do things that we can’t repeat.”

And that is something that, if you wanna scale your business, you’ve gotta think about that. Because that is so important. As you grow, you wanna make sure that the things you are doing, if you try it, it should be able to be repeated because if it can be repeated, then you can move to the next step and you can say, “Okay, well, we did this. This is successful. Now let’s document it and move on in the process to get somebody else to help us do this again and again.”

Austin Brawner: So let’s move to that step. So, after you do it, you’ve gotta document it. That is the second step, and this is really, really hard for certain types of people, me included. I’m a person that struggles to, I get a lot of personal satisfaction of doing something, not a lot of personal satisfaction of documenting it.

Andrew Foxwell: Yeah, no, I’m 100% the same way. And you’ve talked about this score before, right, the cold score?

Austin Brawner: Kolbe score. Do you know your Kolbe score?

Andrew Foxwell: No, but you’ve talked about this and I’ve never really asked you, so here I am asking you live about it, can you walk through that a little bit?

Austin Brawner: Sure. So, if you’re listening and you haven’t taken your Kolbe score, I highly recommend it. Unlike Myers-Briggs like personality-type tests or other types of tests, the Kolbe score is more your like, method of operation, so how you approach different projects. And the reason I say that I really struggle with the documentation side is there’s one, there’s four like components of a Kolbe score.

One of those is something called follow-through. And somebody with a high follow-through score is somebody who can systematize and create standard operating procedures and do them over and over again. Someone with a low follow-through score on the Kolbe index is somebody who likes to adapt and do things without a system.

If you’ve ever worked with really good salespeople, right, a lot of those people have low follow-through Kolbe scores because they’re really good at adapting on the fly and, you know, getting excited, getting people through it, and it’s like, trying to get. I used to run a sales team, trying to get the best salespeople to follow a sales process was very difficult because they wanted to just, you know, wing it, get on the phone, make things happen. So, that’s low follow-through.

Austin Brawner: So, for me, I’m right in the, I’m like kind of on the lower end of follow-through. So I struggle to document things. I love getting going. I can get started, do something, but then I struggle to document it. And what used to happen to me is I would, I actually thought I was the only one that could document it, and that would keep me from documenting it. So I was like, I’m the only that can do it, but I don’t wanna do it.

Andrew Foxwell: Yeah. I mean, I think you can’t overstate the importance of the documentation phase. I am 100% in agreement with you that it is difficult to do, but I will tell you, as somebody that has scaled my business, you know, along with my wife and business partner, Gracie. You know, the documentation of exactly what it is we are doing and the time that it takes and the why behind what we’re doing, that process illuminates, on it own, even if we didn’t delegate it, so much. Right? Like.

Austin Brawner: Yes.

Andrew Foxwell: Just by doing that, I’m like, “Oh, god, that’s crazy. That’s weird that I’m doing that.” Right? And so, you can’t overstate the importance of this and I think, especially as it relates to your marketing, sitting down and understanding not only, you know, you think of it in terms of return, obviously, right? But also think about it in terms of return in the future, which I hadn’t thought of previously to another friend bringing this up to me, which is, you know, you’re thinking about return now. This is how it’s looking now.

But something like a website redesign in relation to your marketing, or something like redoing your abandoned cart flow, okay. That’s not something that would have an impact immediately, right? And you may not be spending a ton of time on it now, but if you documented that process of what that could be and spending more time there to make that happen in the future, that’s something that you can then do better. And you can also have a better chance of delegating that properly and the parts that need to be delegated properly.

Andrew Foxwell: So, this is my, personally, I tend to just think of it as smaller time window, where really, the documentation, too, is what you’re doing but also, you know, the opportunities that do lie out there that, you know, if you did go through that, how could you delegate those things?

Austin Brawner: Yeah, it very much relies on, if you’re gonna actually document one of your, a process, whether that’s sending out a weekly email, or it’s sending out a, you know, Messenger message. If you’re gonna document that process, as you go through the documentation, you alluded to it, you’re gonna start questioning the process. You’re like, why are we doing this? Like your mom said, are we complicating a simple process? ‘Cause oftentimes you are.

You know, I used to think that, I would be worried about documenting and simplifying because I felt like it would stifle my creativity, especially around sending out, initially, I guess, sending out emails every week. Right? I was worried that, if I had a template to go from, it would stifle my creativity.

But, in fact, it’s actually the exact opposite. If you can templatize down and get to a point where you know every Thursday you’re sending an email, you’re going to be launching new Facebook ads every Friday, and you know what’s gonna happen, then you can be more and more creative with the stuff that matters and you can be more systematized with the stuff that doesn’t matter.

For example, here, like, you and I could hop on this podcast and be as creative as possible. We can really work on creating, coming up with interesting episodes. We spend most of our creative energy on coming up with some interesting topics.

Now, the second part of this, post-production, the release schedule, the email, we have a process and that allows us to dedicate, move our resources from the post-production process to the content- creation. And that’s been a huge improvement over this last year for us.

So I would, my, if you’re listening to this, my question for you, and a question you should ask yourself is, what process can I start documenting today that’ll allow me to get to the next level and allow me to dedicate more of my time to the creative process?

Andrew Foxwell: Yeah. I mean, that is so huge. Just starting with one thing, right? Starting with the minimum viable product on your self of what can I do today that is going to, you know, document today that’s gonna make sure that my future looks better? And then you start moving in to the delegation phase, and you delegate, right? So once you’ve defined some of these processes, it’s time to delegate that out.

And a lot of people do this differently. Some people will look at agencies, some people will look at virtual assistants.

Austin Brawner: Full-time employees in-house.

Andrew Foxwell: Some people hire somebody in-house, exactly. And, you know, the other thing along with the documentation phase is understanding the time it takes so that you can appropriately assign someone when you are delegating. I was saying, “Okay, you know, this really is a ten-hour a week thing, based on what I’m doing. Maybe you know how to do this faster, so it’s a five-hour a week thing, or whatever.”

Austin Brawner: Or initially it’s longer, and then it gets better over time. Right, which is, what you mentioned earlier which I thought was a good point, which is return on investment in the future. A lot of the stuff that you delegate now isn’t gonna pay back right away. It only comes, you know, if you can train somebody to do something, it’s gonna be a lot harder right away. And then, down the road, it’s gonna come back and help you because they’ll be taking care of something two months down the road that you used to take care of.

One thing that I hear all the time, and I’m sure you hear it as well, is, “Oh, you know, I can’t delegate this thing because our business is, you know, I just have too much institutional knowledge to delegate this part of the business.”

Andrew Foxwell: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Austin Brawner: And everybody thinks that their business is different. It’s too complicated, there’s too much that people need to know. That is, all businesses are the same. It cannot be that complicated of a process that you can’t delegate it. What happens instead is that you are, you need to look at your process and simplify what you’re doing to make it so that somebody else can come in and help you. Nothing you’re doing is that, don’t follow this rap of thinking that you’re business is different.

Andrew Foxwell: Yeah, yeah, I think that’s an interesting point and one that definitely, I’ve seen people struggle with. And I also have struggled with that, right? When I brought on even three years ago when Gracie and I brought on Shane, our employee who helps us and who obviously edits this podcast as well, you know, we didn’t know how to delegate it, ’cause I thought, you know, “There’s so many nuances to this, I don’t know how to delegate the teaching of that.” And I think we could’ve benefited from putting aside ego, to be honest, a little bit, too. Saying, this isn’t that special, here’s exactly what needs to happen, right? Kind of getting out of my own way a little bit. So I think that’s kind of interesting.

Austin Brawner: And it gives you, back to what we were talking about earlier about delegating out, to get you to spend more time on the creative process. Like, what are you really good at? You’re exceptionally good at coaching, helping people with Facebook and Instagram ads, like, going through a process, and helping people get better results. And all of the other stuff that goes with running a business, like, that, if you can document that and delegate it. That allows you to spend more of your energy doing the stuff that you are tremendously good at.

Andrew Foxwell: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Austin Brawner: Yeah, and that’s why it’s valuable. That’s why, when you’re going through this process and trying to figure out where to, what to document, what to delegate, you’ve gotta find out what you’re really, really good at and stick to doing that.

Andrew Foxwell: Right. Absolutely. I completely agree with you. And over all of these things, the kind of do it, document it, delegate it, as you scale out the marketing, the biggest thing I think you and I have found is, in the podcast, specifically, is the consistency and the power of that consistency, of making sure that we have the same process in place on a very regular basis.

Austin Brawner: 100%. I think, of all the things we’ve done this year, it’s probably, we’ve doubled down on consistency, the podcast has grown over 270% up to this point in the year. And yeah, we want this to be around for a long time. We wanna be able to feel good about the process. I would, looking back over the last three months, you know, I talk about this do it, document it, delegate it process.

For just the podcast, getting it to the point where we could record and then the next steps were taken care of, they were consistent, we integrated our team. It took three months to do this sort of thing. But the future return on the investment is so worthwhile because it was something I realized I was spending like ten hours a week in post-production. And that was just too much. That could be dedicated to other things. And so, putting in the time to document it and then really simplify our process has allowed us to be more consistent.

Andrew Foxwell: Totally, totally. Well, hopefully today you found this interesting in terms of delegating the marketing. If you have questions, you can always contact us and we look forward to hearing from you. But hey, you know,
as we said, one thing you can do today is right now, documenting what will allow you to get to the next level.

Austin Brawner: Exactly. And, you know, if you also, a good place to start is looking at the things you are doing that you don’t like doing. ‘Cause you’re not going to ever want to do those things. Right? And we can fall into this trap where we say, “Well, I should be doing this.” But if you don’t like doing it, and you should be doing it, you’re
probably not going to do it.

Andrew Foxwell: Yeah.

Austin Brawner: Exactly. Well, thanks for joining us today. Hope you guys enjoyed it and we will talk to you soon.

If you guys are enjoying this podcast, you’re going to really enjoy brandgrowthexperts.com. That is the place where you can go and get personal one-on-one help from myself to help you scale up your business. So if you’re growing an eCommerce business and you are looking for someone to help you scale up your advertising, hire and manage your team, send more profitable emails, head over to brandgrowthexperts.com. That’s the place. Get in touch and I’ll help you out.

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