“We’ve gotta walk before we can run.” Annoyingly clichéd…even more annoyingly TRUE in life, love, and marketing.
Weekly email archives and occasional extra words that don't have a home anywhere else on my site.
I jumped in a lake on Saturday.
This is significant for at least two reasons:
🐟 I generally do not jump in water I cannot see to the bottom of.
🦿I had knee surgery 10 weeks ago today.
And when I say I jumped in, I mean I kinda slithered in from the boat in an ill-fitting life jacket that threatened to strangle me for the roughly five minutes I was in the water.
But once I was in — and the initial shock of being up to my neck in chilly Wisconsin freshwater wore off — my goodness.
I floated to my back, gingerly fluttered my legs in the deep water, and felt free for the first time in months.
I was a mermaid. Weightless, for a moment.
Years ago, during my stint as a contractor for my friend’s marketing agency, we worked with a client who was decidedly just…not our favorite.
Any time we made a suggestion she didn’t like, the client would push back, saying, “We’ve gotta walk before we can run.”
It’s as annoyingly clichéd now as it was then. But in my case, it’s true on a literal level.
Which, perhaps, makes it even more annoying.
On our drive up to Wisconsin — before our first order of cheese curds — I worked from the passenger seat while my husband drove. (We were vibing to Spotify’s “Roller Rink” playlist, which I cannot recommend highly enough 🛼)
During one of my many breaks from the strenuous task of writing emails for a free workshop I’m doing, I had a volley of DMs with a fellow copywriter named Ammaarah.
She wanted to know what my business looked like before I got certified in the StoryBrand messaging framework — and how I’ve gone from walking to running with it in my business.
Here’s the now-that-I’m-not-carsick paraphrase of what I told her:
Before, I was making a lot of assumptions about my clients’ businesses and what messages they wanted to put out there. A lot of the time, they hadn’t taken the time to interrogate any of that themselves, either.
The work was incredibly time consuming, the review process was laborious, and the finished product also just wasn’t as effective as it could have been.
Now, messaging is baked into everything I do, and I make gathering that information part of my process, even if I’m not charging for it.
So thanks to the insights I gather up front, I know exactly where to find the information and narrative I’m trying to bring across on every website page and email I write.
Some people find the framework limiting, but I find it liberating. Like having the sandbox gives me permission to build castles.
Then we veered off into a tangent about how to make marketing copy for toothpaste sexy. (Hey, slide into my DMs for an awkward time!)
She’s a delight, by the way. And I wouldn’t know her if I didn’t send out weekly emails.
With almost five years under my belt as a StoryBrand Guide, I forget sometimes about the walking part, the times before I could put together a narrative as I’m running.
The times when it was actually a lurching crawl, like Gollum as a baby (don’t @ me about LoTR canon here, I know Smeagol was never a baby).
I recently looked back on the first brand narrative I wrote when I got certified, back in October 2019, and the whole thing read as so…forced.
Patience has never been my strong suit: in work, in love, in physical therapy.
But all this shit does take patience.
And even when you practice, it still feels clumsy sometimes. Because you’ve gotta walk before you run. Y’know.
You might surprise yourself one day, though, when you take a deep breath, slither your baby-Gollum bod into the dark water, and realize there’s a mermaid in there 🧜🏽♀️
F-S: Reserved for rest