With mounting deadlines, funding lulls and temperamental clients, “Marketer Burnout” has become a borderline epidemic in our industry. Whether your productivity has taken a slight hit or you are on the brink of a stage five, code red - insert whatever alarming adjective you want - meltdown, we all need a hard reset from time to time.
Many of you are probably rolling your eyes and waiting for me to throw out generic suggestions like: get more sleep, take a vacation or quit your job and go sell mangos at the beach (I just let you in on my Plan B career). Taking a more tactical approach, I highly recommend you try the following to combat “Marketer Burnout” head-on:
Remember the "1 to 4 Rule"
The A/E/C Industry has made multi-tasking an art form. While it is a necessity in some instances, studies suggest that a person only completes about a quarter of the perceived workload when juggling numerous tasks. The “1 to 4 Rule” reminds us that the same amount of work is accomplished in one focused, uninterrupted hour as it is during four hours of multi-tasking. Obviously this is an average, but being four times less effective while exerting exponentially more effort can be detrimental to your attention span, confidence and career. So what do we do?
Since fully completing a task in one sitting isn’t always an option, you must establish predetermined benchmarks. For example, if you are working on the Project Approach section of a proposal, don’t stop in the middle to work on consultant resumes or the cover letter. Finish the sections you have complete information for first, and then move to the next task. This will boost your sense of accomplishment, thus fighting proposal fatigue and writer’s block.
We have all heard it before, but taking a five to ten minute break every hour is a vital component of battling workday lethargy. Being sedentary actually slows brain activity and lowers blood pressure; your body literally thinks it should go to sleep. So, do as genius marketers do: take a victory lap around the office, grab something to drink or just stand up and stretch.
On the flip side, if you are a business development road warrior, stop running for 10 minutes whenever you can. Sit and breathe; give your mind a moment to digest and prepare for the next meeting. It won’t feel natural to most of us at first, but it’s important to build these breaks into your schedule.
Build up Your Cohorts
Use burnout – no matter the level - to develop empathy. As a seasoned professional, investing in and mentoring a young marketer will breath new life into your approach and passion. It is also the responsibility of entry-level professionals to pursue relationships with experienced marketers. No matter your tenure in this industry, always remember that you can teach people something. Being busy is not an acceptable excuse either. Time isn’t the issue, lack of creativity is. Opportunities to engage and encourage other marketing and business development professionals usually overlap with things you already have scheduled. So, step up! Your effort will come back around tenfold!
Reroute Neural Pathways
This approach is not for the weary, but could benefit anyone who is open to the process. Without getting into the weeds, people who have been battling burnout or negativity for an extended period of time are actually predisposed to exhaustion and unproductive reactions – it’s brain science. We all have neural pathways that can be rerouted to naturally make us more productive, confident and/or positive. If you are interested in putting in the work, visit https://richardjoldale.com/2016/05/31/neurosplasticity-is-it-time-to-change-your-mind/ for more information!
Most of us have a love/hate relationship with this business. We can't imagine doing anything else, but often wonder how in the world we are going to keep such a rapid pace. The truth is, adjusting our attitude and perspective is half the battle. The other half involves making small adjustments—adjustments that will produce a world of change. So, I challenge you to dig deep and battle "Marketer Burnout" head-on.
Lindsey Cheatham, (Murphy Group Architects), SMPS President 2016-17
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Brew at the Zoo:
SMPS Business Development
June 14, 2017
In 2015, the Society for Marketing Professional Services and SMPS Foundation embarked on a major joint research initiative to explore how A/E/C firms are handling business development. The result of this research is the executive report, “Sell. Do. Win Business.” Working with several partner organizations, including the American Institute of Architects, Associated General Contractors, and the National Council of Structural Engineering Associations, the researchers surveyed more than 1,300 business developers, seller-doers, principals, and marketing directors to conduct a deep dive into the art and science of business development. Who is responsible for BD? How many firms are using seller-doers verses dedicated business developers? How do these positions co-exist in firms that have both? What are the primary responsibilities? What skills are lacking?
In addition to the extensive quantitative research, the project included qualitative research with business developers and seller-doers, adding another layer of depth and insight while complementing the SMPS Foundation’s previous research compiled in the 2013 book, A/E/C Business Development – The Decade Ahead. The result is one of the most comprehensive looks at design and construction BD ever conducted, focusing on the “who” and painting interesting pictures of both the present and the future of business development.
- Gain business development data to benchmark with your firm
- Learn how A/E/C firms are approaching business development from a staffing perspective
- Understand how dedicated business developers and seller-doers set goals
- Learn about skills gaps identified by seller-doers
- Gain insight into how A/E/C firms believe their business development programs will evolve in the coming decade
Holly Bolton, FSMPS, CPSM, Owner, 3chord Marketing LLC
A self-proclaimed word nerd, Holly Bolton, FSMPS, CPSM, is owner of 3chord Marketing, a consulting firm that helps design and construction firms share their stories and connect with their audiences through content marketing. Her 17 years of experience include wearing many hats for a small newspaper and serving in a variety of marketing, business development and corporate communication roles for architecture and engineering firms. Holly has served in a variety of local, regional, and national roles for the Society for Marketing Professional Services, including president of the Indiana chapter, chapter delegate on the Society board of directors, and president of the SMPS Foundation board of trustees, where she is currently Treasurer. A Certified Professional Services Marketer and an SMPS Fellow, Holly co-authored the SMPS Foundation research white paper, The Client’s Use of Social Media and Social Networking and the SMPS book, A/E/C Marketing Fundamentals. In 2016, ENR named her one of the Midwest’s Top 20 under 40. Holly has presented around the country on marketing, business development, and leadership topics and has a bachelor of science in public relations with a creative writing minor from the University of Central Missouri
1:00 - 1:30 pm: Registration & Networking
1:30 - 3:30 pm: Welcome, Introduction, and Presentation
3:30 - 4:00 pm: Transition to Hillside Gazebo for Happy Hour
4:00 - 5:30 pm: Happy Hour
1100 Trevillian Way
Louisville, KY 40213
Registration includes parking, zoo admission, speaker presentation, one drink ticket, and appetizers. Should you want to visit the zoo prior to the event, email firstname.lastname@example.org and she will meet you at the zoo parking lot on June 14th between 10am to 11am.
Thank you to our Meeting Sponsor!
Thank you to Our Happy Hour Sponsor!
Space for this popular event is limited. Don't delay, register today!
SMPS KY Sustainable Design Panel:
The Built Environment Powering Economy & Sustainability
by Janet Lively, CPSM, Business Development [Harshaw Trane]
A passionate gathering of professionals eager to learn about how industry leaders design to improve the health and welfare of all Kentucky citizens through a sustainable and responsible built environment met on May 22 at the Kentucky Coalition Against Domestic Violence in Frankfort.
The networking and educational event featured a panel discussion focused on Sustainability and its impact on the Commonwealth. These professionals work to transform the built environment by educating individuals and promoting the design, construction, and operation of environmentally responsible places to live, work and learn. And the audience consisted of an engaged group of marketing and business development professionals, as well as firm principals.
It was a moderated format, where questions had been submitted by members of the USGBC and SMPS in advance to fuel the interactive format. Subject matter covered included industry-specific topics like emerging trends and best practices in sustainable facility design, engineering, and construction, as well as economic development impacts across Kentucky and innovations pertaining to project delivery and funding.
Panelists [left to right]: Bobby Clark [Sustainable Business Ventures], Michael Hogan [Ross Tarrant Architects], Annette Dangerfield [Berea College], Billie Hardin [KCTCS], and Scott Southall [CDP Engineers].
Moderator: Janet Lively [Harshaw Trane]
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Each month we highlight leadership from SMPS member firms. This month we're talking to Chris Howard, Partner at CARMAN.
Chris Howard, Partner
Do you have any pets? If so, what are their names?
My family has a dog and his name is Scamp.
What’s the most interesting thing about you that we probably wouldn’t guess or know?
I am the father of twins and my wife and I will be "empty nesters" beginning in the fall. My daughter will be attending the University of Louisville and my son will be attending the University of Alabama. I still cannot force myself to hold my "L's" up or say "Roll Tide" with any sincerity.
Why landscape architecture? What inspired you to pursue this career?
Like most uninformed 19-year-olds, "I enjoyed being outside" and figured landscape architect was a perfect fit. This was after I spent a year learning that forest biology was not my passion. What I have found is that I very much enjoy creating outdoor space, participating in its construction, and observing the public benefit in a positive way.
How has the profession changed since you started? How do you see the field changing over the next ten years?
Professionals in landscape architecture are taking on a more active role in projects than when I first began in my career. I can recall being asked to “shrub things up” in the past. Thankfully, for the most part, those days are behind us and the role of the landscape architect is more holistic in nature. I see landscape architects taking more of a lead role in the future as natural and built environments continue to merge.
What advice do you have for aspiring landscape architects?
Always be open-minded to differing ideas and opinions. It has always amazed me how keeping an open mind and listening has allowed me to learn and explore new things which in turn has made be a better landscape architect.
What do you believe sets CARMAN apart?
CARMAN has assembled a team of individuals that are extremely talented. We leverage these creative and technical talents on each project so that our clients have the benefit of aesthetic solutions that are technically sound.
How do you approach your projects?
I always start with the desired outcome in mind. Design is and always will be an iterative process. I try and always remember to keep the desired outcome in the center of the circle.
What is your ultimate goal when it comes to your work?
Designing a place, space or feature that functions the way my client intended and is pleasing to the end user.
What is the number one challenge you face in marketing your firm?
Time. Whether it’s following up on leads, maintaining a website, social presence or learning the latest technology, it all takes time and commitment.
How does membership in SMPS benefit CARMAN?
CARMAN has always had the opinion that if we are going to be a part of an organization someone in the firm needs to be involved. Beth Workman has been a great resource for CARMAN and our role in SMPS. Her involvement has allowed the firm to stay up to date and make many connections in the design and construction industries.
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2017 Presidents' Leadership Symposium
by Megan Hogan, President-Elect [Bell Engineering]
In late April, along with nearly 40 other President-Elects, I had the honor to travel to Alexandria, Virginia to learn how to serve as an SMPS Chapter President. I’m not sure you can really explain the experience in one word, but if I had to choose, it would be “whirlwind.” The Presidents' Leadership Symposium (PLS) is a three-day event which leaves you excited and exhausted, but most of all appreciative. Appreciative of the opportunity to serve such an amazing professional organization. Appreciative of the new friendships and connections you now have nationwide. Appreciative of the opportunity to grow as both a marketer and as a person.
Each day, we interacted with top-notch speakers and SMPS National staff and board members on topics including leadership skills, motivational techniques, and proper Chapter governance. We also had opportunities to learn how other Chapters operate, discuss similar challenges, and brainstorm ideas for the upcoming year. The amount of information is overwhelming, but also critical to preparing to serve as President and easing anxieties.
While we learned a lot about the overall management of a Chapter and important legal requirements, my biggest take-away centered around one thought that was shared with us: “Show gratitude every day.” It’s such a simple thought, but something that is easily forgotten as we go through the hustle and bustle that is life. SMPS is a volunteer organization. We are all volunteering our time and effort, on top of our demanding careers and personal lives, to advance the A/E/C industry. And that deserves gratitude.
As I prepare to step into the role of President in September, I am aware that I have huge shoes to fill. Lindsey Cheatham has excelled within SMPS just as she has within her own firm. She is an incredible woman and friend, and I am grateful for the opportunity to serve alongside her on the SMPS Board. I am also grateful for the men and women who I know will continue their dedication to our organization and each other. SMPS is more than just attending events and ongoing education, it is forging relationships that we can rely on for years to come. PLS reinforced that for me, and I am grateful to my peers for allowing me to be a small part of this amazing organization.
Kentucky represented at the 2017 SMPS Heartland Regional Conference in Pittsburgh! TOP (left to right): Mark Henderson Thompson [EOP Architects], Lindsey Cheatham [Murphy Group Architects], and Jon Cheatham [Graves Architects & Planners]. BOTTOM: Jon Cheatham, Andy McChord [Prajna Design & Construction], Stacey McChord [Ross Tarrant Architects], and Lindsey Cheatham.
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During the next 10 years, over 50% of architectural, engineering, and construction firms are expected to increase their use of seller-doers—that's according to SMPS/SMPS Foundation research—and almost 40% of the firms that participated in the research also say they've already increased their use of seller-doers during the past 10 years.
As the prevalence of using seller-doers to win more business grows, is your firm prepared to do it effectively? Does your culture foster client relationships? Is accountability clear, with goals established? Are you working with your nontechnical business development and marketing staff to help drive success? Targeted to mid- to senior-level personnel, both technical and nontechnical, this symposium will answer these questions and provide the framework for implementing best practices in business development.
Experienced industry executives who have evolved a business development culture, as well as keynote speakers and a diverse panel of technical professions, will share their experiences and allow plenty of time for dialogue and attendee interaction.
Visit the Build Business website to for an outline of speakers and registration information.
Our sister chapter, SMPS Indiana, invites you to Party with a Hoosier on Friday, July 14th! Whether or not you're attending the Build Business Conference, this Friday evening social promises to be a great opportunity to network with industry professionals in an incredible venue—the Indiana State Museum.
To learn more, visit the event's website here!
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Chapter Administrator 2017-18
The Kentucky Chapter of the Society for Marketing Professional Services is a non-profit professional organization focused on the Architecture / Engineering / Construction Industry. This position is a support role to the Board of Directors to assist with managing the organization's membership, communications and events. This is a part-time position with an average of 20 hours per month.
- Assist President with the Annual Meeting in August
- Support individual committees as needed
- Order Board member name tags and supplies as needed
- Coordinate with the President to order speakers' gifts
- Send reminder emails to all Board members the day before a program / event
- Oversee day-of program / educational class logistics, including (attendance at monthly programs and intermittent networking events is required):
- Printing sponsorship signs (event and table sponsors)
- Directional signage
- Easels and table easels
- Registration list and iPad / computer for check-in
- Printing nametags (including speakers)
- Distributing blank surveys to attendees / Enter program survey responses and circulate results
- Creating / printing placemats
- Printing table tents (if applicable)
- Distributing blank CEU certificates / CPSM CEU forms and submitting CEU information to Nationals
- Purchasing gift cards for survey raffle winner
Should you be interested, please contact Lindsey Tudor, SMPS President, at Lindsey@murphygroupky.com to submit your resume.
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June 14 | 1 - 3:30 pm Program; 4 - 5:30 pm Happy Hour | SMPS KY Class at the Louisville Zoo: Business Development & Marketing Roles presented by Holly Bolton, FSMPS, CPSM. Registration includes parking, zoo admission, speaker presentation, one drink ticket, and appetizers. Space for this popular event is limited, so don't delay. Register today! Louisville Zoo, Louisville, KY.
July 19 | Noon - 1:00 pm | SMPS Lunchtime Learning Lab: How to Maximize LinkedIn Resources. Locations in Louisville [Whittenberg Construction] and Lexington [Shrout Tate Wilson Consulting Engineers]. Check here for updates and to register!
August 15 | Afternoon | SMPS KY Class at Shaker Village: Historic Preservation. Panel discussion moderated by Holly Wiedemann, founding principal and President of AU Associates. Details will be published on the SMPS Kentucky website as they become available, so click here for updates! Shaker Village, Harrodsburg, KY.
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Take your marketing career to the next level!
The Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS) offers a credential that recognizes your achieved marketing expertise, the Certified Professional Services Marketer (CPSM).
The CPSM credential is a voluntary certification designed to elevate the professional standards in marketing and influence the future of this vital field. Furthermore, the CPSM designation serves as a mark of distinction for professional services marketers and business developers, raising their standing with their employers, peers, and the public. SMPS Kentucky even has a reimbursement program for members that take and pass the CPSM Exam! What are you waiting for? Click here for more information.
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