EP 28: How Systems, Habits & Processes Can Lead to Marketing Success with Marina Darlow

Marina-profile pngMarina Darlow, Founder of Vision Framework 

Marina Darlow is a systems’ pro, and a productivity expert.  She sees her job as helping impact-driven entrepreneurs get 10-20 more productive hours a week, stop leaking money, and prevent stress-fuel breakdowns.

An engineer by training, Marina came to a realization a couple years ago: working for a conglomerate is not as inspiring as she wants her life work to be. The quest for inspiration brought her to found Vision Framework, a company that builds small, purpose-driven businesses from the inside, helping entrepreneurs run their companies with ease by putting effective, easy-to-use, and fun (yep!) systems in place.


In this episode I interview Marina Darlow of Vision Framework.  Marina helps business owners and entrepreneurs bring order to their business.   Taking from her project management background, Marina implements systems to alleviate stress, pressure and disconnect in a business.  This in turn helps the owner, management and staff run smoother operations and allows them to focus their energy on other areas of their business that they enjoy.

As Marina shares: “A good system clears your mind, makes it easy to make decisions, allows you to focus on the things that gears you up, energizes you and provides results.”

This is a jam-packed episode, with many nuggets on how to implement simple systems, habits and process to better operate your business.


Key Points & Quotables


1.) How Systems Benefit Business Owners:

“No business can run sustainably without some kind of working systems in place.” @VisionFramework

“Proper systems make decisions, eliminate the minutiae & decrease the feeling of being overwhelmed.” @VisionFramework

“You need a system that will help you filter through the influx of information.” @VisionFramework

“You need a system to cut down the negative emotions, to make it easy to deal with, to see the red flags when they appear, to highlight your strengths and weakness when it comes to what sells.”@VisionFramework

“Systems allow you to dedicate more time to your core work.  But more importantly they allow you to dedicate more brain space and energy to the real creative work you are doing.” @VisionFramework

“A good system clears your mind, makes it easy to make decisions, to focus on the things that gears you up, energizes you and provides results.” @VisionFramework


2.) On Building Your “Feel Good” or “Evidence” Folder:

“In order to change your story, the only way to do it was collect evidence.” @VisionFramework

Look for cues and gather evidence to push through.  It is changing the way you see things and subsequently changing your behavior.

“{In the beginning} I did not internalize that I could change my story.  I could not internalize that the ‘feel good folder’ or ‘evidence folder’ was actually working.” @VisionFramework

“When we are running our own business, especially in the beginning, when the evidence is less full, we need this motivation, we need this win, to just keep going.” @VisionFramework


3.) On Implementing Tactile Systems:

Marina needed a tactile sense to accomplish her work.  She writse 500 words/day then marks and “X” on paper calendar.

As Seinfeld says, “Keep the chain and ideas start flowing.” @VisionFramework

Marina also uses an Editorial Calendar – well balanced content, check analytics which gets most interactions and adjust strategy moving forward.


4.) Systems that Apply to Digital Marketing and Social Media:

“Marketing and social media require planning.  Set goals, figure out the steps, write down the big steps into smaller steps (into bite sized tasks) then you execute.  In order to execute you use automation to eliminate as much busy work as you can warrant.” @VisionFramework

“Content sharing has built in systems (Marketing: Automation, Budgets, Delegation, Reporting Systems & Analytics) Because otherwise it won’t work.” @VisionFramework


5.) On Using Analytics:
“At a certain time during the week, look at your analytics and review.” @VisionFramework


6.) On Social Sharing Processes: 

“These {social sharing} process helps you control it {social media}, saves time and eliminates negative feelings.” @VisionFramework

“Allow a very finite time each day {to do your marketing task} and have a plan that you follow.” @VisionFramework

Tip: Find evergreen content, load into Buffer or Co-Schedule.

Tip: Sit down on 20 minutes a day, put on timer, scheduling content from those you follow.

“The only way to push through these negative emotional barriers {when it comes to social media} is to just push through, step by step.”@VisionFramework


7.) On Email List Growth Process:

Marina teamed up with another professional and hosted a Mini Podcast Series with an Email Lead Magnet as a follow up.  Promoted on Social Media and the co-host promoted on tele-summit.


8.) On Setting Up Processes for Businesses:

“Create a plan, create a budget and follow it.” @VisionFramework


9.) On Setting Up Processes for Social Media:

  • Create categories to post about.
  • Set up time in calendar to create social media content.
  • Create quick system for idea capturing.
  • Capture ideas into an organized system that is easy to capture later (Evernote).
  • Set up and read analytics.
  • Form habits for marketing – Review weekly.


10.)  5 Rules for a Good System:

  1. Make Sure System is Easy to Use.
    1. Easy to enter information.
    2. Easy to find information.
    3. Easy to understand information.
  2.  Never Forget Reminders.
    Saves lots of time and brain space.  It takes stuff out of your head and gives you more space to think.
  3. Working System Needs to be Flexible.
    Has to be a built in choice, i.e. Writing Block.
  4. Systems Should Be Fun.
    When a system is fun you are more likely to use it.”
  5. System Needs to Have a Built-In Accountability Factor.
    They are about habits and the best way to form a habit is when you have accountability.


Other Links: 


Connect Online:

Website: vision-framework.com

Twitter: @VisionFramework

Facebook: facebook.com/VisionFramework

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/marinadarlow

Podcast Upgrade: 5 Rules for Good Systems (PDF Download with Examples)


Sponsored By:  

This podcast is sponsored by the JO Social Branding Social Eyes Newsletter.  A newsletter delivered to your inbox weekly with the latest social media news, marketing tips and other resources that help you run a successful business.  You can sign up here by texting “JOSocial to 22828”



Source: Podcast Intro/Exit Music: Train Ride by Indiana University iTunes U