Over the last four years, LaFleur has grown from a trio of ambitious individuals into a powerful force of 12 talented and experienced marketing professionals. Our client roster has increased exponentially, and we now represent a wide range of successful companies in diverse industries across the United States — none of which would have been possible without a striking balance of creativity and principles among our staff. We are a conscientious, goal-oriented group and are committed to achieving great results for all our clients through best practices, hard work, and innovation.
We believe in our core values of transparency, education, community involvement, and family, and we put these principles into practice every single day to deliver excellent work for our clients, expand and diversify the services we offer, and grow as people and professionals. All of us have our own opinions on which marketing practices are most applicable to individual clients and numerous scenarios and are encouraged to voice these opinions whenever and wherever possible. And so, we thought: What better place than our company blog?!?!
There are several laws each of us lives by in our respective positions at LaFleur to transform our core values into concepts, strategies, tactics, and deliverables. Keep reading to learn a bit more about which laws our employees value and how they use their experience and imagination to increase leads, acquire clients, and drive sales for our partners across a variety of industries by applying these principles to their individual areas of expertise.
Falon Peters, General Manager
“Laws” feels like a limiting term ─ something that stifles you from your personal desire for freedom ─ doesn’t it? Why is that? At their core, laws are there to keep us safe, to create an environment of order and respect. That feels nice. I like that. In my own life, professionally and personally, I try my best to live by the laws of respect, order, and safety.
As a manager by day and a “momager” by night, bringing order to the chaos is key to moving the business and the family forward. I create and maintain order in all phases of my life, which flows directly into a safe and comfortable work atmosphere. Because, as human beings, knowing what’s coming next helps us feel secure. Asana is my favorite tool at work, and our shared Google calendar is my favorite tool at home. (Although, the giant wall calendar I just ordered is sure to help keep us all on track, too!)
I like to think that bringing a stable, even-keel personality to my team exudes safety and security to those around me. I’m not one to get super hyped up or be found in a corner weeping. By embracing my natural stability, rather than yearning to change it, I am able to obey the law of safety and provide a reliable experience for the people around me.
Finally, I abide by the law of respect. Respect the people and things around you. Take care of your possessions, clean up after yourself, be kind to the earth, and, most importantly, be kind and respectful to one another. Whether I am involved in a client interaction, an employee discussion, or a personal conversation, I exude total respect for the individual I am speaking with. People are gifts, and relationships are all we have at the end of the day. It’s my goal to water those relationships and help them flourish through kind and respectful behavior.
So, do I like “laws”? Yeah, I think I do.
Jane Newton, Marketing Strategist
I attribute most of my personal and professional productivity and success to lists ─ a real list written with pen and paper. I started this habit in first grade, and it has served me well through my educational and professional endeavors ─ as well as completing household projects, planning family trips, and coordinating more moves than I care to count.
Here at LaFleur, we work with a project management system that gives a long-view of projects that need to be completed by a certain date, but it doesn’t necessarily include the smaller tasks that also need to be completed as part of the whole. That’s where my handy lists come into play.
On the left-hand side, I make a master list of things that need to get done during the work week and include the smaller, more mundane tasks. Then, on the right-hand side, I list the day of the week and then the tasks in the order I want to complete them in. This is especially helpful when I have several things that must get done on a certain day.
Whether it’s creating a new customer journey in marketing automation software, processing photos, uploading content to a website, or creating e-newsletters, I jot down each task on my list and cross it off as I complete it. Sometimes I’ll write something I’ve already done just to cross it off because it feels that good. Don’t judge me.
David VandeWaa, Content Director
In psychology, the term “schema” refers to a specific pattern of thought or behavior that helps people understand and interact with the world around them. I feel like I have an unusually high number of principles — or schemas — that help me through my day and make me successful personally and professionally. These include:
- You should love what you do rather than trying to do what you love.
- You don’t find yourself; you make yourself.
- You must have an eye out for work — and work is a good thing in and of itself.
- Quality should take precedence over quantity.
- You should be skeptical of everything.
- You should hope for what’s realistic — but plan on things going much worse.
There is one thing that guides my fundamental approach to any task that lands on my desk, though: Be proud of what you create. Maybe it’s my chronic oldest child syndrome, but I derive exactly zero satisfaction from simply getting something done. I want to do it better and/or faster. I want to do it comprehensively, perfectly.
(An old supervisor’s favorite adjectives for me was “thorough.”) I want to look back on what I’ve done and know that I couldn’t have done any better given the same conditions.
Of course, upon completing something, I am rarely satisfied and compulsively seek out new ways to do it better.
As far as pragmatics are concerned, I strive to eliminate distractions and avoid multitasking — because multitasking isn’t real. You are task switching, and you lose productivity with every switch. So, if I’m writing, I turn off email, IM, and other programs I know will interrupt me. If I’m building automation campaigns for clients, I shut everything else down. I relentlessly focus on what’s in front of me and see it through to completion.
Sometimes, I forget certain things I’ve done only to discover later that “me from the past” has set “me from the present” up for success in some way. We even have a nickname for my past, obsessively-thorough self around the office: Dave Vando. He’s the real MVP.
Kaleigh Simmons, Digital Marketing Strategist
When I began to think of personal experiences and principles that have helped me be successful along the way, I immediately thought of my adaptability. Adapting doesn’t mean compromising. It’s more about being open to trying things from a fresh perspective, testing opposing theories against one another, and the ability to change course. As I grow as a marketing professional, I realize how important it is to continuously let go of the “my way or the highway” mindset, while adapting to all situations as they come.
Another principle I try to live by ─ backed by my personal faith ─ is to “give good measure.” I believe that as much as I give, I will receive ─ whether that be delivering exceptional websites, working hard on a marketing automation campaign, or conceptualizing ideas for growth. When I give those things my all, the organization (and, ultimately, our clients), reap the benefits. Which also constitutes a win for my team and me.
Lastly, when I work with an attitude of enthusiasm, I find that quality and creativity naturally follow. Being “emotionally invested” in work can be a problem for some, but for me, it motivates me to deliver in a way I wouldn’t if I was grumbling through it. I believe that working with joy rather than mere obligation directly affects our work environment, the length of my days, and the client’s final product.
Emily Brown, Demand Generation Representative
As the Relationship Manager at LaFleur Marketing, my best practices include research and honest communication. I try to learn as much as I can regarding a potential client’s practice and their current digital marketing campaigns. This allows me to ask better questions and get to know the potential client faster, which leads to a more knowledgeable and honest conversation.
Kyle McCarthy, Content Manager
The principle law I live by as a marketing professional is to make myself available to my colleagues and our clients at all times. By that, I don’t mean just answering a phone call or returning an email. I mean going the extra mile to ensure that my coworkers feel comfortable with their task list and to always set aside extra time with clients to ensure I understand their needs, objectives, and goals. It’s impossible to execute a single initiative within a larger marketing plan without aligning the client’s vision with our abilities, so I strive for clear, streamlined communication along the entire spectrum of the marketer-client continuum.
Part of being available for my colleagues and our clients is that our consistent communication creates a wellspring of creativity. When discussing potential ideas for clients, we usually begin with data, best practices, and other lines of objective thought. However, these conversations almost always quickly transcend nominal topics and splinter into innovative concepts that we can then ideate, analyze, outline, and deliver to the client. The general attitude here at LaFleur is that nothing is off limits, nothing is too big or too outrageous to at least discuss. From there, we can zero in on what is plausible, how we can make it possible, and how it will benefit our clients.
In short, I guess you could say I’m a “Yes” man, but not in the traditional sense. I’m not interested in flattering my boss (sorry, Chip), sweet-talking my supervisor (apologies, Dave), or charming our clients (beg your pardon, All). I am interested in entertaining possibilities, however. And by making myself available and amenable to those possibilities, I can more wholly invest in my colleagues and our clients to plant seeds for success.
Nothing new was ever discovered or achieved without imagination, and “No” is the antithesis of creativity. So, if you’re ready to talk about seizing as-of-yet unknown possibilities, I’m your man and we’re your agency!
Pat Kose, Account Manager
Call them laws, principles, or just old fashioned good advice, I have a few core motivations that guide me professionally. They are things I have picked up from some pretty typical sources of influence: my mom, my JV high school baseball coach, and former NFL player and coach Herm Edwards.
When I was figuring out what I wanted to do with my life, my mom said to me, “Follow your bliss.” I hate to break it to you, but life is pretty short, so you might as well have some fun while you make a living. I truly enjoy working with clients to grow their business. It makes me genuinely happy to see my clients rank on the first page of Google, have an influx of new leads, or hit a new high in website traffic. As I type this, I realize it sounds a bit nerdy, but I don’t care. I believe if you enjoy what you do, you will be good at it.
When I was 16 and utterly mystified by the curveball, my baseball coach told me, “Get better every day.” Nobody is perfect and nothing is an immediate success. (Except maybe Facebook, that one was pretty ideal right out of the gate.) So, if I want to be the next Zuckerberg or if I want to make my client the next household name, I need to work to make the little things just a bit better than they were yesterday. One email, one phone call, or one report at a time, I need to constantly improve. In a business where there is always something new on the horizon, if you aren’t focused on day to day improvement, you can find yourself behind before you know it.
Maybe the greatest quote to come from sports is beautiful in its simplicity. While addressing the media following an embarrassing loss as head coach of the New York Jets, a befuddled Herm Edwards told reporters, “You play to win the game.” I think to be successful in digital marketing you need to be competitive. You need to want to rank higher than everybody, have a better blog than your competitors, and get more social shares than rival businesses. My competitive nature pushes me to maximize my strengths and develop my weaknesses. It also encourages me to try new things, which is essential in the landscape of digital marketing.
Steven Thomas Kent, Content Manager
I struggled a little bit to come up with the “laws” that get me through my daily and weekly workload at LaFleur, mostly because I’m not big on immutable laws in a field as ever-changing as digital marketing. If there’s an overarching theme to the way I work, it’s that I try to be adaptable and versatile — to flow like water around the task at hand, to quote any number of midnight Kung-Fu flicks.
Still, I need a few guiding principles to steer myself away from the rocks when the water gets choppy. At the end of the day, great marketing isn’t art and it’s not about me, the marketer — it’s about putting myself in someone else’s shoes and figuring out how I can speak to their needs in their language. It’s an area where we all need to check our egos at the door if we want to succeed.
In addition, I always try to look at anything that comes across my digital or physical desk with a critical and skeptical eye — especially if it’s my own work — and to give myself time to revisit and rethink things. We live in a technology-driven “hot take” world where there’s always pressure to get it done faster, to be the first on the scene, to hit that “comment” button before anyone else can get a word in edgewise.
The content that comes from that impulse, though, is just more acreage in our infinite digital landfill.
If you want the product of your hard work to hold value past tomorrow, look over it twice, sleep on it, then check it one more time tomorrow morning. You’ll never cease to be amazed at how much your contributions improve and endure when you work this way.