Being a new mom and launching a business are not dissimilar endeavors. You’ve been incubating this new life for months, and now that the time is near, it seems like the perfect occasion to freak the heck out. The overlap between parenthood and brand ownership also offers up some solutions; you may not need swaddling advice before you welcome your new office mates, but other tips about planning, patience, and persistence still ring true.
1. Short-Term Decisions Have Long-Term Consequence (Sometimes)
If you ever want to feel like you’re going to ruin your baby for life simply by picking the wrong teething ring, read a baby blog. Did you know that a two-second glimpse of Real Housewives will destroy your infant’s ability to connect with their peers? And your neighbors might call CPS if you don’t use cloth diapers soaked in plant tears. Seriously, though, every decision is fraught with anxiety because you don’t have any idea what you’re doing.
Content marketing might not always seem like it’s as meaningful as mommying, but if it’s your professional future at stake, the risks are very real. The wrong branding can sully your company’s reputation before it even has one. Poorly worded content can turn off customers. A lack of strategy (a pain point experienced by some 70% of marketers) means you’ll lose valuable ground as your startup funds dwindle.
On the other hand, very few mistakes have unfixable consequences. A good content plan can help you get off on the right foot, but if you flub something, just shake it off Taylor Swift-style and get back on the horse. Your baby won’t remember that you put her diaper on backward and your audience will forget your random blog rants if you shape up and post smarter from here on out.
2. Everyone’s Got an Opinion
If I had a dime for every time someone told me I was messing up parenthood, I’d have enough dimes for an entire week of daycare. That’s like a million dollars, by the way. Some weeks, I get a half-dozen opinions that all contradict each other, and every single person is positive they’re right.
Start a business, and you’ll suddenly discover that all your friends and family member are Shark Tank-level consultants. Never mind that Uncle Bob isn’t even sure what a martech platform is, he can still tell you why you’re not marketing it correctly.
Take the advice you can use and ditch the rest. You know your baby – be it flesh-and-blood or brick-and-mortar – better than anyone. Trust your gut.
3. Things Can Get Messy
Ever witnessed a baby blowout? I’ll spare you the details, but it’s not pretty. You’ll lose an outfit to a poovalanch at least once before your kid is potty trained, and your business could wreak just as much havoc. You realize six months into operation that your brand voice is all wrong. Your landing pages aren’t converting. You asked your writer to put 20 long-tail keywords into a 300-word About Us page (please don’t do that). You never learned how to craft a creative brief.
You’ll make messes. The important thing is that you commit to cleaning them up.
4. It’s Okay to Ask for Help
Surprise! You don’t know everything. You’re new at this, and there is strength in recognizing that you can’t be Mom, Dad, bottle washer, cook, laundress, housekeeper, errand runner, and sanity keeper without some assistance.
Hire a writer. Bring in a graphic designer. Confer with a content strategist. Delegate some of the specialized tasks so you can concentrate on what you do best: nurturing your bundle of joy as it grows into something increasingly incredible.
Alana L is a copywriter, content strategist, and unabashed digital marketing enthusiast. In her previous professional lives, she was a chef, sommelier, and touring musician. These days she uses her laptop-based talents to help companies shape their brand story and make a lasting impact. When she’s not busy creating websites and crafting content calendars, Alana writes for a number of high-profile publications, starting conversations about everything from Cabernet to ecommerce to click-through rates.