There was an unofficial theme present at this year’s VC Comms Con 2022, put on by BAM Communications: marketers are spread thin! This group of high-performing marcom professionals got together to share insights that help them navigate the pressures of marketing their VC firms, as well as support the portfolio companies the firm represents. Often, they find themselves trying to influence change in an organization where they are the only one in their role.
We work with many marketers in similarly siloed roles outside of the VC world as well, from lone CMOs just starting to think about building their teams, to the fresh out of school marketing professional learning the ropes by supporting a smaller organization with everything from social media to hosting events. They all face the same question.
How can they do it all?
In service to our broader network, I’d share some of my takeaways and teachings from this year’s VC Comms Con, and strongly encourage anyone in a marketing role at a VC fund to keep a watch out for details about next year. It’s an event like no other.
Cliff Worley gave us a list of online tools he’s curated over the years, to support any need from getting a perfect shareable picture of a tweet, to better LinkedIn analytics, which just serves as a reminder to marketers everywhere that if there’s a hack you wish you had, it’s likely out there. Another pro tip? Use Zapier to connect Twitter and Slack so you are the first to know.
Nikki Parker gave the most sage advice to look at moving work forward by leveraging your team and taking stock in your initiatives, asking yourself what’s reasonable for you to own, and what’s not. She asks herself:
- What can I Own?
- What can I Influence?
- What can I Outsource?
- What can I Force?
Having good resources is key.
There was also a recurring discussion from multiple attendees around curating resources. In the main stage panel with Elise Brown, Nikki Parker, and Tyana Daley, the shared consensus was that PR and Branding agencies were the most sought after resources by their portfolio companies this last year. Having an arsenal of experts at their side makes them more powerful overall, and able to recommend the right resources at the right time.
Websites are an especially fun challenge.
I was invited to speak during a breakout session on behalf of Four Fin about keeping website redesigns from flying off the rails. The main takeaway? Be thoughtful and right-size the lift. Especially in the venture ecosystem where the speed of business moves faster than a new Tik Tok trend, it pays off to take a minute upfront to get clear.
The top six reasons a website redesign flies off the rails:
- You want the website to do too much
- Everyone battles for their win
- You use the website redesign as a chance to revisit your brand
- Content takes way longer than you thought
- New ideas emerge and you react to them
- Your team forgets that websites can be iterative
Have you experienced any of these site redesign pitfalls?
The main theme in the solutions presented for all of these, is that any good website redesign will not magically happen by simply signing a contract with an outside agency, no matter what they might tell you. Your team needs to be aligned internally on what the website needs to do (not all it can do), how you’ll gather and develop content to provide to your agency, and when to “park” new ideas for a phase two or future website update.
Your agency can and should help guide you, but it’s a partnership.
At Four Fin, we strive to keep branding right-sized for the early stages of growth, making sure the work we do is impactful enough to move brands forward to their next stage, without overdoing it.
Our solution for launching an impactful brand and website in the early stages of growth (Seed-stage or early Series A for my VC friends here) is a four-month, guided exercise called Brand Splash. Splashes are designed with the following:
- A set schedule
- Iterative and collaborative work sessions
- Are scheduled across a reasonable amount of time for the client to supply content with everything else they have going on, and
- A hand-held approach that doesn’t blow your marketing budget
Thanks again to the team at BAM communications for creating this incredible experience. Your hard work created a safe place for the free-sharing of ideas that is rare, and a community that supports each other openly. I was honored to share my expertise, and in awe of the attendees present, and their tenacity for excellence in a field where doing it all feels impossible.