Getting down to business


Today is website launch day and with it the official start of IOK Marketing - i’ve learnt a lot over the last few months. Mostly, that when taking a giant leap of faith and starting your own business you need perspective, patience and perseverance - in abundance!

Over the next few weeks I am working on building brand awareness and getting to know as many of you lovely people as possible. In the mean-time I wanted to share some tips on building a trusted support network.

Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.
— Helen Keller, Author

Partnerships for growth

For over ten years I have worked with a large support network including: designers/ creatives/ illustrators/ graphic designers/ marketing agencies/ copywriters/ journalists and photographers.

My primary learning has been that collaboratively we can achieve far greater things than when we try and succeed in isolation. With so many experts and contacts to choose from the process of connecting with others can seem a bit overwhelming at first - I use a ‘go to’ list of considerations when finding a new partner to support my business responsibilities, I hope they prove just as useful to you….

Understand your own requirements

Finding and building relationships takes time and effort but I strongly believe time and effort worth taking.

If you are serious about building a relevant, reliable support network – for you and your business – make time to understand the needs and requirements of your business before you get started.

A good way to approach this is by conducting an audit of your current business activity. Use the outcomes of this audit to reflect on your current position against the objectives and key performance measures you are working to.

 Relationship is KEY.

 It is likely that you will spend a lot of time, face to face or remotely – you need to feel comfortable working with your support network and see similarities in workflow processes.

The counter argument to this recommendation is one to watch out for carefully. If you surround yourself with a support network that is too similar, and perhaps more a reflection of you and your brand it could disadvantage learning and progression.

The support you build around you needs to challenge your ‘norm’ and encourage a capability to see an alternative – to do this the support needs to complement your skills set not mirror it.

Knowledge is power.

If you are seeking out a professional to support business growth it means you have identified a need and are resourcing a solution.

In a fast-paced industry, it is going to be important to have an expert on board who has plenty of experience and can demonstrate a continued learning that will ensure latest methods and practice can be discussed.  

Think practically.

We live in a virtual world where just about anything can happen over the internet or via telecommunication.

If this works for you then don’t be put off by geography.

Do bear in mind the value of face to face communication though. For an expert to be fully integrated into your business and provide relevant recommendations you are going to need to spend a fair amount of time getting to know each other and both of you need to be comfortable with how this is going to work practically.

Empowered to succeed

I believe that experts have two responsibilities.

  1. They need to know their subject area inside out and be able to guide you and your business through suggestions and recommendations for growth.

  2. They need to lift you up. 10 years of marketing and communications experience has taught me that finding the right support network is as important as building your own team.

    I am a firm believer that understanding your own skill set and surrounding yourself with a team and support structure that complements this is one of the most fundamental strengths a leader can have.

At IOK Marketing we work with clients to build marketing communications that support customer engagement and deliver timely, relevant campaigns for growth.

It is our goal to do this whilst also learning about your organisation (and you!) at a fundamental level – so that we can provide support and advise that complements the overall business strategy whilst creating new opportunities for success.

Are you looking to build your support network? How do you approach finding the best expert? Any top tips to add to ours? Are you an expert looking to collaborate?

We would love to hear from you – drop us a line in the comment box below or say hi via