I started working when I was 17. My first job was at my start-up. It was tough juggling school and work but when you’re 17 you really don’t need to sleep much.

Or so I thought, until one day my Physics professor asked me to visit his office after class.

I wasn’t sure what I had done but being called to a teacher’s office never meant anything good. 😰

It turned that looking at the ever darkening bags under my eyes he had arrived at the only logical conclusion – drugs.

Being an awesome teacher he had decided to organise an informal intervention.

I think everyone was relieved after learning the truth. 🤣


It took me one extra year to complete my high school diploma in engineering (getting married at 18 with my Yahoo games room buddy had something to do with it, but that’s another story).

Looking back it was tiring, a lot of fun and an amazing learning experience.

Building anything from scratch is challenging. Start-up entrepreneurs don’t get holidays. They work long days with little pay and no perks.

You’re always short on money and running against the clock to ensure the survival of your business.

This environment of scarcity teaches you how to become flexible and focus on only those things that deliver meaningful results.

The grass is not greener on the other side

During the last couple of years, I’ve had chance to work with some of the most successful and innovative brands in the Nordics.

I’ve learnt – perhaps to my own disbelief – that there isn’t a big difference between the challenges faced by marketers working with established brands and those building things from scratch.

Regardless of how many zeros you have in your marketing budget, we’re all working towards the same goal. Ensuring the survival and growth of our businesses.

Often marketers at established brands get bogged down by organisational inefficiencies and lack clarity towards focusing on metrics that deliver performance.

Inefficiencies and lack of clarity often go hand-in-hand.

Tips for building a high performance marketing team

Businesses that achieve miraculous results are successful at building two core competences across their organisations, regardless of their size.

  1. Flexibility
  2. Delivering meaningful performance

Building such a culture is the corner stone of any successful marketing team.

I found a wonderful article with some brilliant advice on building agile and results driven marketing teams. Below are the points that stood out for me the most.

Build systems that free up your time to do extraordinary work

Use tools that help you streamline repetitive processes.

A repetitive process such as lead discovery and nurturing can be automated allowing you to focus on improving the quality of leads by getting a deeper understanding of your prospects and customers.

Build every webpage with conversions in mind

Build every webpage or publish every new piece of content with conversions in mind.

You read that right.

I often advise my clients to view their websites as marketing assets. I think it’s team to push it up a notch.

Start thinking of your website as a member of your marketing team. As such in order to see results you will need to set clear performance goals and commit to pro in ding them the resources needed to reach them.

Divide every big goal into smaller sub-goals

I always feel silly asking this question at the start of a meeting with a new client; “What is the role of your website?”

That’s because the answer almost always is to generate sales or to get better leads.

Silly as it is, but this question is the jumping off point for the follow up question.

“How does your website improve sales or quality of new leads?”

There’s often no concrete answer for that.

Your landing pages no matter how great aren’t going to convince everyone to make a purchase right away. For instance, they won’t be of much use to someone trying to understand their problem before finding the right solution.

Think of your goals as progressions. What individual events have to take place before someone makes a purchase from you? Create smaller goals to match those events leading up to the main event.

Read more expert advice from a 15-year online marketing veteran on Content Marketing Institute: 8 Rules for the Startup Marketer (or Anyone Who Wants to Think Like One)

Photo by Joel Peel on Unsplash