Life isn’t always at full-speed-ahead. However, there are times in a marketing person’s life when a lot of material needs to be written, designed, reviewed and posted in a short period of time. Right now, I’m working with a start up as they grow and develop their channel. I am extremely impressed with the people on board at this company. They are clear thinking and focused on what is really important at this stage in the game. They know the how, when and where they want to get their point across. As is typical with an evolving start up product (I’d like to say product portfolio, but they aren’t there yet) the ‘what’ isn’t altogether there yet there – but they know when it will be.
The usual questions you ask when you start a project revolve around “What do you usually do?” With a company this young, ‘usual’ doesn’t exist. So, when a part of their site needs to change, you have to go back to basic principles and build from there. It’s exciting, fun and a challenge because you are creating a standard – for now. So where does the ballet come in? It happens when you realize that in introducing one piece, you need to have 5 other pieces in place. And since the obvious messaging isn’t in place, you have to have two people check everything and then it needs to go to two other people who will actually make it look beautiful. Oh, and every once in a while, the CEO shows up and has an opinion as well. The only solution is a heavy duty use of a tracking spreadsheet. That isn’t ballet yet, is it?
So, let’s look at a ballet from the perspective of one of the main characters, torn between several other characters, witches or peasants or toys depending on the ballet. He twists and turns between the characters searching carefully in each one’s eyes for the answer to his quest. In the same way, you write something, send it off on it’s quest for approval, Spin into another task then take it back, dance with it for a while and then send it off for it’s next quest until finally after several dances you lay it down and say it’s done. If you have a lot of these pieces in the air at once, it feels like a dance. Twist, turn, check, look back, write, look up, walk, duck down, talk, check again, let your creativity fly and wrap it all up in the end. Leaving the office feels like after the finale when you can finally take your ballet shoes off and contemplate swollen toes. Only it isn’t toes; it’s your brain that feels swollen and tired. There is no one to watch you or talk to. It’s quiet. You check through your dance of the day to make sure you didn’t miss any steps and go silently home.
And somehow, the miracle of marketing creation binds the wounds overnight and in the morning, you are ready to start it up all over again – with a smile.