Lean and Mean: 7 Rules for a Scrappy One-Person Marketing Team

A lean set of resources requires, investment in time and energy on the most impact activities.


In an early startup or small business, a large marketing organization is a rarity. Odds are you have one, at most two, scrappy marketing employees wearing quite a few hats. And if you happen to be one of those folks, you know things can be challenging.  

You want to put a strong strategy in place. You’ve got bold ideas. You want to help the business grow.

But with most likely minimal budget, being realistic about what’s possible is essential. And as you bounce between activities – content creation, social media, website, campaigns and more – you need to look at what’s working and where it makes the most sense to spend your time (or not).

The reality is you can’t do it all. Or at least not at the level you’d like. And having been in this situation, I can attest firsthand. You’re brainstorming new ideas, reading about the latest leading practices in marketing blogs – you wish you could do it all today.

But you want to be smart about how you invest your energy. So let’s take a look at a couple tips to help make the most of the time and resources you have.

7 Rules for the Scrappy One-Person Marketing Team:  

1.  Be Ruthless About Your Time

Focus on the highest impact activities and prioritize them above anything else.

Any marketer will always wish they could do more. One more blog post. A few more minutes tinkering email copy. A new explainer video for your sales team. Unfortunately, there is only so much you can do in a day so invest your time wisely.

2.  Plan Ahead

Set up an editorial calendar and layout your content and campaigns for the next month.

Then block off “writing” time on your calendar to make posts, articles or whatever you have lined up. And if you find yourself in a writing groove, knock out a couple pieces at one time. You can space them out over the course of weeks or the month – giving you some buffer and a steady stream of fresh content.

3.  Continually Experiment

Being stagnant is a recipe for failure. Constantly test new ideas, measure (#6) and iterate accordingly.

Start small and be sure to isolate variables so you can walk away with tangible results. Consider A/B testing email subject lines or times of day you send email to evaluate open rates. Or test variations of landing page copy to see what converts better. Keep a log and constantly make refinements based on what you find.

4.  Channel Your Inner MacGyver

You probably won’t have the luxury of a huge team or an agency that is constantly cranking out content. So you have to channel your inner MacGyver and be resourceful.

When possible, one piece of content should service many purposes. How?

Here are a three examples:

  • Created an eBook? Break it down into a 3-4 post series on your blog and point back to the original gated content
  • Wrote a whitepaper? Turn compelling research and stats into infographics or quick visuals you can share
  • Have a few recent blog posts? Grab select soundbites and snippets to use as social media posts and link back to your post

Next- Rules 5-7 for a Scrappy Marketing team