Yes, you can make it look like an overnight success. You can be creative enough to make your marketing go viral, but do you feel comfortable enough to put all eggs in that basket? Perhaps you want an adrenaline rush from presenting a viral-driven strategy to the board of directors. For those of us that need to play it safe though, there is a battle-tested way to outperform the competition: Build & (Continuously) improve your foundation.

Identifying your foundation channels:

What has worked in your industry before? What are your competitors doing? What aren’t they doing? What have you yourself been successful with before? When you’ve identified the channels that you want to go after, try them out and see which of them works for you. Get really good at the ones that do, and then find people that can continue improving and perfecting them. By having deep knowledge of it you will have an easier time choosing the right person for the task and you can set the performance bar much higher.

How many channels should my foundation depend on? I have no idea. Try them out, do it well, and be quick on evaluating and be ready to cut loose. You don’t want to spread yourself too thin, but having too few can result in future risk. If you have the resources and can find specialists you can go broader, and vice versa.

Improve what you own

The channels you find will all have one thing in common, they all lead to your property. Now, whenever you improve a channel, let’s say Adwords Search Network, you get a 1:1 output. But you also run LinkedIn Ads, you do SEO, you probably do social media. They all lead to your website, so time spent optimising it should equal an even higher output.

In which order?

If you’re alone, and can’t squeeze in freelancer costs to your budget: start with bringing your property to a good standard. You shouldn’t have the time to make something great yet, but you can’t afford to have something that is bad.

If you have the resources, do both parts simultaneously, you will never be finished anyway. Find a good web agency and let them create and launch a first version data-driven design as soon as possible. Don’t get bogged down with revisions back and forth – chasing perfection – get a baseline up and running fast.

In the meantime you focus on identifying the channels your foundation will rely upon and finding specialists that fit the need.

What then?

– Yes, that’s right. You grind it out. Wax on, wax off.

You improve it every day. You make it shine. You try out new techniques and go vertically deep. You aspire to be the best in the channels you rely on. Double down on what works, and remove everything that doesn’t perform as well at the same investment of resources.

When you have your foundation in check, venture out into the unknown: Experiment, fail, recuperate, reflect and repeat.

Why go on crazy ventures when my foundation is good? Longevity, you never know what tomorrow holds, your foundation might become obsolete a quarter from now, prepare yourself for external forces.

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