Try A New Tack

You already know what your business goals are. You may even know what’s working—and what isn’t. What your numbers are; what you want them to be.

But, ”Why aren’t we getting stronger results?” and, ”Where do we go from here?” are harder questions to answer.

That’s where Sailshaker comes in.

We learn about your customers, your competitors, the ebb and flow of your market. We assess the brand equity you’ve built. Then we develop highly relevant, richly engaging digital experiences that give your customers what they need, so your business earns the results you want.


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What’s your heading?

Knowing your business destination is one thing. Understanding how your digital marketing efforts need to be structured and executed to reach those goals? That’s something else entirely.

In these waters, you can think of Sailshaker as your navigator, using the modern version of a compass and sextant to chart your course.


We review your data and augment it with independent research into your customers’ preferences and behaviors; your market space and competitors’ efforts; and your current digital marketing activities.


Our team interprets and synthesizes the research findings, articulates the challenges your company faces and identifies your opportunities to stand out from your competitors.


We create your digital marketing map, drawing from current and proven techniques in content marketing, paid search and social media, email marketing, website development and analytics to help you generate measurable results.

We ride the trade winds

Sailshaker and our network of specialists bring the full complement of digital marketing expertise to each of our clients’ projects. Our most commonly requested services include:

Fresh From the Helm


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11 Dec

3 Simple Strategies for Surviving Life’s Unpredictability

3 Simple Strategies for Surviving Life’s Unpredictability

If I’ve learned anything over 50-some years, it’s that seas get rough and rogue waves are unavoidable. I’ve weathered my share of volatility this year–from a flood of raw sewage in my home, to my mother’s ongoing struggles with Alzheimer’s, to the untimely death of a dear friend. No sailor can control elements like these.

I take heart in this image of The Great Wave off Kanagawa, a recent gift from someone who understands the way my year has gone. For me, it acts as a reminder of unpredictability—that the sea will do what it does and that we’re helpless against it.

So, in the spirit of the giving season, I wanted to share how I’m surviving the chop. These strategies have little to do with marketing, but everything to do with the mindfulness that serves leaders well in running small businesses. In my experience, these are the things that make me a better human—both personally and professionally—and bring a little more peace into my world.

1. Cultivate equanimity, come what may.

We all know what it’s like to feel overwhelmed. Your heart races, your shoulders get tight. Your breathing becomes labored. If you’re like me, your mind runs amok and your dentist tells you to stop grinding your teeth.

When you introduce adversity into the mix, it becomes even more challenging to keep an even keel.

For me, maintaining a quiet, peaceful mind is a necessity, so I make meditation a daily practice. It’s taught me to think of stressful events and emotions as waves on the ocean. They rise. They fall. I know that if I ride out the ups and downs and just keep breathing, the seas will eventually calm.

This in no way indicates resignation or indifference. Remaining unperturbed with myself, with others, with my experiences in life—whether foul weather or a political environment gone afoul—requires commitment, focus and discipline. Still, the evenness of mind I receive is worth the effort.

2. Regularly celebrate one thing you love.

Those men in longboats likely weren’t joyriding when they confronted the claw-like crest of the Great Wave. But if they had gone to sea for the sheer love of it, they’d have been doing right by their mental health, even as they rode the barrel.

One of the best ways I’ve found to unburden my brain, mitigate stress and recapture control is to do something I love every day—without technology. I don’t always feel that I can spare the time, but I force myself to press on. When I close the laptop and escape in the water, I emerge in a different emotional space. Whatever pressures I may have felt seem diminished.

My advice? Put your phone down. Take a break from Facebook. Create time for yourself as if your life depends on it—because the quality of your life does.

3. Take immeasurable joy in giving back.

Being of service to something—a person, a community, a cause—changes us into people who give instead of those who just take. That, in and of itself, is healing. Doing something kind or selfless generates a sense of gratitude that makes me happier, more optimistic and more resilient.

I volunteer at the local community center, where I teach 3- and 4-year-olds how to swim. It makes me feel good to support the facility where I count my laps and it gives me the opportunity to impart a life-saving skill. More than that, blowing bubbles with giggling girls and boys in ill-fitting swim goggles is enough to make anyone forget their troubles.

When I’m with the kids, I feel like I belong to something larger than me—something that keeps me accountable, gives me new purpose and makes other people’s lives better. It’s no wonder volunteering has been proven to profoundly affect psychological well-being.

Have happy—and peaceful—holidays, my friends.

Don’t think that I stream sunshine through every stormy circumstance. Waves far less ominous than the Great One have pulled me under.

Now, though, as I continue to work at keeping my balance, I’m becoming convinced that keeping my balance is working—both as a preventive measure and, occasionally, as a life preserver. Focus on what’s important, I’ve learned, and happiness will always bob back to the surface.

And with that, I wish you all the best this holiday season.

May you be merry.

May you be grounded.

May you be present.

May you feel connected.

May you give with your whole heart.

May you receive with your whole heart.

I’d love to hear your strategies for staying calm and balanced in the face of rogue events. Everyone stands to benefit from your thoughts!

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5 Oct
Where to Turn When Your Marketing Is Floundering

Where to Turn When Your Marketing Is Floundering

As a marketing strategist, I’m often asked to help fix things that are no longer performing the way they once did. That might be messaging that isn’t attracting attention, a website that no longer generates leads or a social media campaign that hasn’t received a single share.

Despite the increasing complexity and nuance apparent in marketing methodologies and technologies, the reason you’re having trouble may be very simple.

All hands on deck

Sailshaker has longstanding relationships with a network of proven digital marketing specialists. We draw upon these relationships to create project-specific teams that provide our clients with the most cost-efficient, timely and relevant service.

Stephanie Brown, Founder

You might expect Stephanie to have gills, since she spends an inordinate amount of time in and by the water—whether it’s the Outer Banks of North Carolina or the local lap pool. Her love of things aquatic is, in part, what inspired Sailshaker; the other part is, of course, marketing. But not just any marketing. The kind that builds on respectful—even joyful—relationships, thoughtful work and results that everyone can be proud of.

Stephanie is the author of Local Online Advertising for Dummies, and has helped companies of all kinds navigate online waters.

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