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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2 Jan

5 Tips to Build a Remote Marketing Team That Shines

5 Tips to Build a Remote Marketing Team That Shines

I might have chosen semi-rural upstate New York as my home base, but I’ve never expected the biggest minds in marketing to follow me, which is why Sailshaker crew members hail from all over. One calls New York City home. One’s in Calgary. Another keeps threatening to move west—far, far west.

We’ve spent years understanding each other’s unique work habits and honing the way we communicate and collaborate. Why does that matter?

First, because the process is as important to the success of a project as the people involved. That’s especially true when those people work independently from one another—either as part of your own team or through your agency or consultant of record. No matter how smart and self-directed your team members may be, if they’re not properly informed, engaged and rewarded, they won’t be able to deliver their best work.

Second, because keeping a solid team together for a long time is the key to professional success and personal enjoyment of the work at hand. I don’t subscribe to the concept that everyone is expendable. Quite the opposite, in fact. For me, ongoing creative collaboration with people I respect is what work—and life—is all about. Jason Fried, author of Remote, says it best:

Doing great work with great people is one of the most durable sources of happiness we humans can tap into.

Of course, it takes focus and intention to create a stellar remote culture that persists. Here are a few of the ways I’ve learned to keep distant collaborators close and my clients’ projects on course:

  1. Communicate early and often. I usually engage several specialists over the course of a project under the Sailshaker umbrella. Some are involved from end to end. Others contribute at discrete points. To keep everyone on the same page, I like to share regular, even daily, updates with the whole crew. This way, everyone feels well-informed and ready to throw down when their time comes.
  2. Get friendly with the cloud. Talk about a silver lining. We rely heavily on collaboration and sharing tools to coordinate across time zones. These include Google Docs, Dropbox and Slack—and sometimes Basecamp, Asana and Notejoy. We’re able to message one another, post multimedia files, conduct conference calls, even share screens in real time. You’d never notice that we’re not in the same physical space.
  3. Be responsive to team needs and requests. I’m fortunate to work with people who are proactive communicators, supremely well organized and dedicated to our shared work. But they’re also each business owners in their own right, so it’s imperative that I respect their time because it doesn’t all belong to me. If I know a teammate in California comes online three hours after I do, I make sure he has what he needs waiting for him in an email. He shouldn’t have to hunt me down when he’s ready to start working. The same thing applies for payments. I make sure to set up my client billing so that I can pay my team’s invoices promptly. It’s a small sign of my respect for their time.
  4. Cultivate trust. If you let them, humans have an amazing ability to live up to your high expectations of reasonableness and responsibility. Agree on a deadline up front, then set your remote folks free to do what they do, whenever they’re best prepared to do it. This allows the collective intellect of the team to shine through. I’ve seen people from seven different cities add their insights to a Google doc at all hours of the day and night. It’s a great indication to me that they’re engaged. And it’s beyond energizing to see all those brains ablaze.
  5. Don’t be strangers. Building friendships with remote colleagues helps bridge some of the distance. Recently, one of my favorite clients held a get-together so those of us who collaborate remotely could meet in person. It was brilliant. Two of us even discovered we share the same alma mater. Shy of in-person meet-ups, you can always build time into your phone calls or message streams to share photos of a new baby, a tune for Funky Friday or whatever else will keep the mojo intact.

There you have it—my top five tips for building a remote team that works. As you might have noticed, many of them are difficult enough for people working in the same room, let across continents. In fact, that’s why it’s so important that you avoid out of sight becoming out of mind.

Given Intuit’s prediction that by 2020, 40 percent of Americans will be independent contractors, I’m curious: How many of you are already working with remote teammates or employees? What are the daily challenges you face in collaborating from afar?

Comments (1)

Robin: This is great, very timely. In the context of the remote shift everyone has adapted to during the pandemic, the way the digital and visual communications field has been operating for years feels prescient

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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