We’ve all seen the movies and TV shows about startups and the intense commitment workers are expected to have in order for the business to thrive. However, what does it mean to work for a “visionary,” and how much of a voice should you have in the process of building a startup? In this week’s episode, we welcome Carter Severns, Vice President of Marketing at Place, for a chat on the unique workflow challenges presented when working in a startup, as well as the opportunities to establish leadership and when you should outsource work to agencies to increase productivity.  We discuss the importance of transparency when entering a new marketing role, and how to advocate for resources to substantially improve the efficiency of your team’s workflow. 



  • Seeking Outside Validation – You have great ideas, but you need to back them up! Using examples of your proposal from outside sources, particularly ones that your CEO trusts, will gain their trust and afford you the opportunity to move your initiatives forward.
  • Eliminating Risk – Risk affects both the buyer and the company. When purchasing a product or service, a buyer is seeking low risk and high reward. The same goes for the hiring process, ESPECIALLY when bringing in new executives. Eliminating or reducing the possibility right from the start can make for a much more rewarding experience.
  • Knowing When to Outsource – The team you bring in depends on your company’s biggest obstacles. You may not have every skill set on staff, and that’s okay! Bringing in freelancers or gig workers while maintaining a high-level of quality is a cost-effective part of any startup’s strategy. 
  • Valuing Your Time – Never underestimate the amount of time Project Management takes. Checking in on project status, as well as updating people internally and externally, is a time consuming process that may take you away from physical work. The more people you bring in, the more time it will take to manage a project. 
  • The “Figure It Out” Gene – Startups do not often have the space for workers to learn or grow on the job. Initiative in off-work hours, like taking the time to train, certify, or build something on your own that you may not have been asked to do in the workplace, will help you to build tangible and beneficial skills to bring to the workplace. 
  • Keep ‘Em Satisfied – In the first 6-12 months of building a business, taking the time to figure out what’s exciting to your team opens up opportunities to thrive in the work setting. Staying in tune with your team (like asking them how you can assist in overcoming roadblocks) will keep them satisfied and at your company for longer.



  • Recognizing Weak Spots – Hires need to be self-aware enough to know when they are capable of a new task, and when it’s time to outsource. Even if your team hosts a particular skill set, ask yourself: is that the most efficient way for their time to be spent?
  • Time Management – Are you tracking time, or do you trust your team to properly allocate their time to fit the needs of every project? With more remote jobs becoming available, proper time management plays a large component in your success with any company. As Carter puts it, “It’ll come to light pretty quickly if you’re not getting your stuff done.”
  • Budgeting – When first interviewing for a marketing role, get a clear idea for the money that the team has to allocate time-intensive work to outsourced agencies. If a clear need isn’t established, you run the risk of doing everything yourself. 
  • Product Market Fit – Are the marketers in your organization able to explain what the company does? If not established, it will be VERY hard to explain that to the general public. Understanding what part of the “Product Market Fit” journey your organization is in helps to clearly establish the necessary workflows to make your efforts successful.
  • Aligning Expectations – Establishing clear daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly stretch goals will help any marketer determine if initiatives are historically attainable, or if it’s time to readjust the pipeline to e expectations. 



  • Weekly Sales/Marketing Meeting 
  • Ongoing Communication
  • Lead Management/Nurturing
  • Design Pickle
  • Hubspot



As Carter puts it: “Marketing is NOT a silver bullet.” Marketing is a long-term investment that requires intention, transparency, and understanding. Some aspects of marketing are a long, slow burn that can take up to 6 months to see the benefits of. Being intentional and setting expectations from the start sets a very important foundation that leaves room for small wins along the way and big wins in time.


A bit more about Carter:

Carter is the VP of Marketing at Place, a software development agency which supports SaaS businesses using Salesforce with Subscription and Billing operations. For more than a decade, Carter has committed his career to helping B2B, SaaS, and growth-stage companies by running their growth and marketing initiatives, leading companies like BizNet Software, Creative cave and OneDay as a go-to marketing expert. Throughout his career, Carter has been noted for his from-scratch marketing and go-to-market strategies, as well as his revenue-focused leadership for high-growth companies.  Outside of work, Carter is an avid home chef, and has closely attributed the cooking process to the thought process he uses in marketing strategies: follow what works, and throw out what doesn’t.


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Connect with Mike & Gaby @ Proofpoint Marketing:


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