Drumbeat

Beat That Drum: How Startups Must Tell Their Story So Much That They Annoy Themselves

We live in a world with lots of competition for people’s attention. I want to assure you: no one pays as much attention to you as you do to yourself.

I have written in the past about operating in a flow-based work style and how it enables me to seamlessly progress disparate initiatives day in and day out. It also allows me to context switch from moment to moment, meeting to meeting, discussion to discussion without getting behind, feeling overwhelmed, missing a beat or under delivering for my team, partners, portfolio and network.

I have also written about being the most prepared person in the room and how it has been the foundation of my career success. By doing my upfront research, practicing, honing my craft, putting in the work, I’m able to not just understand and evolve my company’s strategy, but also put myself in the shoes of the founders or executives I engage with. My meeting subjects expect me to always be on my game and drive forward value universally. I need to turn on with the flip of a switch. Always on, always ready. When you are prepared, you can execute on business growth and assert what I like to call “classic BD deals” that shape markets.

Introducing Drumbeat Marketing

When it comes to brand building and startup evangelism, it’s important for companies and their talent to create and deliver continuous micro and long form content at a feverish pace. It’s not just about producing it, it’s about ensuring it weaves a narrative within the guardrails of the company’s messaging hierarchy that connects with an audience and drives value. This mean that companies must put in the time upfront and obsess over steady iteration to the messaging over time with a ‘market in’ approach to the impact they can derive everyday. This is how momentum is created, stories get told, and markets are made. We call this Drumbeat Marketing.

How to do it

With that, here is how I do it.

I capture content incessantly in a stream of consciousness. It just happens. I am constantly writing, pulling out ideas and thoughts and putting them on paper. My team does the same. I, personally, use the basic iPhone notes app and as things pop into my head while in meetings, reading, watching TV, listening to podcasts, I jot them down. I leverage my instincts, experience and empathy for the path of entrepreneurs to remind them they are not alone. That this is a quest worth taking. I queue up dozens, if not hundreds of pieces of this micro content but don’t always post ad hoc right now.

I create the story, stew on which form it should manifest and decide later where it should be distributed. I wait for the right moments, the right market noise, the right news cycles, the right time in my view to add value to the community and my following. In the end, this is the steady heartbeat of my career, my life, my companies and my vision. It needs to be taken seriously, It takes tuning and feel, but it’s worked well for me as I engage in the market and put my voice out there.

The investments that I can make today on brand building are deposits for the long game vision for this intertwined and ambitious dream I have. I operate in flow, focus on being the most prepared person in the room, and hammer the pavement on my message – all of these things make me the leader I believe can rally a team to accomplish big things and change the world.

Beat. That. Drum.

*I actually wrote this blog from 35K feet on my iPhone notes app. You have no excuse. This is a strategy that works.

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