How to Lead When You’re Not in Charge - Carney
The Daily Carnage

How to Lead When You’re Not in Charge

Sometimes being a marketer is like trying to steer a battleship with a spatula. You know where you need to get, but the stakeholders at your company, or a client’s company, just won’t move the ship in that direction.

It’s dang frustrating. You’ve pitched something amazing to your boss, but you’re just met with blank stares. Then they say, “Interesting idea, but instead of $1,000 to do that, we’ll give you $10 to test it out.”

You know that’s never gonna work. So how do you make change happen when you’re truly not in charge? According to today’s Read, you have to establish frictionless clarity.

Here’s how to do that:

  1. Clearly define a tactic. Saying something like, “we must invest in content” is too vague. Stakeholders don’t understand that. They don’t understand how much, or how little, effort is involved. Instead, try saying, “we should hire a professional editor to manage content production.” That’s something a stakeholder can write down and plan for.
  2. Explain a relevant benefit of executing the tactic. Saying, “we’ll improve engagement,” means nothing to your boss. Translate engagement into a real business goal. Explain how more engagement means more social media traffic, and then detail exactly how much of that traffic turns into customers.
  3. Show that inaction has a clear downside. “We are losing share-of-voice and will continue to do so if we don’t increase visibility. That will continue to hurt search rankings and brand strength, which will hurt revenue,” explains how dangerous inaction is.

Okay, we’ve got clarity figured out. Here are a few more steps to actually make it all work:

  1. Have the answers at your fingertips. Fast responses to relevant questions reduce friction.
  2. Maintain a consistent narrative. Don’t contradict yourself.
  3. Don’t beat a dead horse. If it’s clear the stakeholder won’t buy in, just move on.

There is still so, so much more in today’s Read.


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