Mastering Marketing: EP58 W/ Terra L. Fletcher

terra fletcher headshot and augurian interview


In this episode, Josh Becerra sits down with Terra L. Fletcher, a seasoned marketing speaker, author, and fractional CMO, to unravel her remarkable career journey. From her beginnings as a freelancer to her current role as a fractional CMO, Terra shares invaluable insights gleaned from years of experience navigating the dynamic landscape of marketing, supporting companies through acquisitions, and fostering collaboration between marketing and sales teams.

How I Work, Episode 58 with Terra L. Fletcher

Terra emphasizes the pivotal role of communication and collaboration between marketing and sales teams, highlighting their significance in driving effective lead generation and customer engagement. Moreover, Terra’s advice on selecting external vendors underscores the importance of aligning expertise, values, and organizational goals. Ultimately, the discussion provides invaluable insights for marketers striving for success in today’s competitive landscape. Some key pieces of advice:

  • With limited resources, efficiency is key.
  • If they prefer chatting on the phone; give them a call. Tailor your communication.
  • Be a good human.


To learn more about Terra Fletcher and The Revenue Table visit:

Explore more content from leaders in the SaaS marketing community on our podcast. Or visit our blog to find more digital marketing tips and ideas.

Want to learn more about Augurian? Listen to our core values or reach out to speak with an Augur today about your marketing strategy and digital advertising performance.

Transcription: How I Work, Episode 58 (Terra Fletcher)

Josh Becerra (00:02.83)
Hi everybody, it’s Josh Becerra. Welcome to this episode of How I Work. I’m super excited to be interviewing Terra Fletcher today. Thanks for being here, Terra.

Terra L. Fletcher (00:12.996)
Hey, thanks for having me.

Josh Becerra (00:14.67)
So I’m going to tell the audience a little bit about you. So Terra is a marketing speaker, author and fractional CMO who talks about communication, branding and marketing. Founder of Fletcher Consulting, author of three books, including Flex Your Communication 47 Tips for Everyday Success at Work, Flex the Freelance, An Unconventional Guide to Quit Your Day Job. That sounds great. And the soon to be released Flex Your Marketing.

So as a business builder since 2007, Terra’s strategies have benefited individuals, nonprofits, and public and private companies. When she’s not busy speaking or writing, you can find Terra painting, kayaking, or studying ads. Again, super excited to have this conversation today.

Terra L. Fletcher (01:01.988)
Thank you.

Josh Becerra (01:03.118)
So I always love to start these out by just asking my guests to tell their story a little bit. So tell us a little bit about how you got interested in marketing, your career path, and then finally, like the work you’re doing as a fractional CMO, especially with, I know you have like a larger B2B client that takes up a lot of your time. So do you want to tell us a little bit about all those things?

Terra L. Fletcher (01:26.052)
Sure, okay, yeah, so I started very much at the writing side of things. I’ve always liked to be a writer. You mentioned in the intro in my books that’s something that’s always been important to me. I didn’t know that someday I’d be writing full -length nonfiction books, but I truly enjoy that as well. But I knew that writing alone wasn’t going to be enough, you know, unless you’ve got a PhD or you’re otherwise famous. Making money just from writing books is really, really hard today. So I would stay up at night just trying to think of how I can do this? How can I make a business using the skills that I have to help support my family? So I discovered it, so I started my business in 2007. So that time I discovered a big need for website content and SEO focused website content. And let me tell you in 2007, people didn’t even know what that was, Josh. They’d be like, Oh, what’s SEO?

What’s website content? So there’s a lot of education that had to take place. So I started very much as a freelancer doing that kind of work and branched into consulting more broadly as I consumed every publication, every book I could get my hands on on marketing and took classes in that wherever I could just to increase my own knowledge. And then over the years went from freelance to consultant to the fractional CMO work that you mentioned today. And the last five years or so I’ve really focused on the fractional CMO work, particularly in manual manufacturing and have found that I really really enjoy it especially when companies are going through a big transition or they need help with a major rebrand. Those are my favorite things.

Josh Becerra (02:51.502)
That sounds amazing. And I know you have a larger B2B client in particular. They’ve grown a lot through acquisitions. So, you know, some of the things that I’m curious about talking to you about are some of the primary ways that the marketing function is supporting a company that’s doing these acquisitions, like pre acquisition, post acquisition. And then how big of a team do you really have to provide all this support? And, you know, it is called How I Work, so tell us a little bit about how that team works.

Terra L. Fletcher (03:29.7)
Yeah, so it’s been a fantastic journey. So my fractional client, I’ve actually been with them since I think 2017. So we’ve grown together and it’s been fantastic because they’ve given me a lot of freedom. The CEO there tells me to run fast and break things. Like just try it, see what works and it’s really a fun thing to do. Now through these acquisitions, the mergers and acquisitions that they’ve grown through over the last five years or so has really been a fun dynamic challenge. A lot of times we see that manufacturing tends to lag behind B2C or retail in terms of their marketing efforts. So I take a lot of satisfaction in getting them up to speed very quickly. I say it’s very easy to go from zero to 60. And there’s, it’s a lot of fun to work through that process and supporting the company through that acquisition process actually starts before the acquisition.

So a lot of times they will ask me to evaluate a company that they’re considering partnering with or acquiring to find out what their current presence is, what is their current reputation and what are the opportunities that we have. And then after an acquisition, what that looks like for me and how I work is helping the companies to kind of blend together. We like to, you know, use the family analogy. I know it sounds cheesy, but in this case, trust me, these companies are really like families. So it’s fun. It’s fantastic. We always say we want it to look like sisters, not twins. We’re just bringing them together. We’re trying to take the best pieces and the best elements, whether it’s a production process or a branding technique or.

something else that they’re doing in the market that gives them a strategic advantage and look for ways to apply that across the family of sisters to continue to build their presence and their reputation in the market.

Josh Becerra (05:11.278)
I love that. You know, we have dabbled a little bit ourselves in kind of that due diligence side of things. We’ve had a few kind of M&A organizations, private equity come to us and say, Hey, the founder of this company is telling us that they’re killing it online. And it’s like amazing. Can you actually validate that a little bit for us before we go ahead and buy this company? So I know what you’re talking about of some of that, like pre purchase due diligence. It’s super important.

Terra L. Fletcher (05:41.796)
And we have a unique perspective on that, being independent, having an agency or being an independent third party, you can look at it with a more objective eye. And you also know what other organizations of similar scale should be doing in the market, what they should look like in the market. So you can see, yeah, if there’s that alignment between what they’re telling people and what’s really out there. So I think that’s something that people don’t always think about, that they could reach out to someone like you or I to help with that due diligence process.

Josh Becerra (06:11.822)
Yeah, I think, you know, just like I would never be an expert at looking at the numbers and all the P &L and the investment side of things. Like, I can tell if a company is doing well or not online. So that’s a great call out. So you’ve obviously got this family of brands, the sisters, resources are probably being pulled in a lot of different directions. Can you share challenges that you face executing marketing when you’re kind of getting pulled in so many different directions and maybe how you either overcome those challenges or mitigate them so that you can stay on track.

Terra L. Fletcher (06:56.836)
Good question. So I love your whole theme here, Josh, because that small but mighty is definitely what I feel like I’m up against each and every day. Yes, the size of the team depends on the individual situation, the individual merger or acquisition or other project that we’re working on. Sometimes I get a lot of support. Sometimes it’s just me. So as far as managing that, it can be hard. I’ve worked with interns, I’ve worked with employees who helped with the marketing coordinating process. What I find though with it is always the most

It is effective to take stock of what are the most important things that I need to do right now. I tend to be very task driven, very focused and very efficient so I can work very quickly and get a lot done if I focus on those things. I also like higher level planning so if I do have an intern, I do have a marketing coordinator or there’s someone else in that organization who’s just interested in assisting with the marketing, that’s fantastic because I can say here are all the things that would be nice if we could get these done. Here’s what has to get done and usually I end up doing that, here’s the things that would be nice to do and if there’s someone I can partner with to do that part of it, then we see a lot more results a lot faster.

Josh Becerra (08:04.878)
I think it’s amazing how, yeah, dependent on the situation, you’ve got people you’re pulling in. Yeah, our theme, you know, we like to talk about small but mighty marketing teams. So, you know, how is it that you can get on the same page then with leadership? Because I think sometimes small but mighty marketing teams can be challenged by the fact that leaders, you know, many times, especially in B2B manufacturing, they kind of see marketing as a cost center and not as like a growth engine. So how do you talk about marketing with your leaders?

Terra L. Fletcher (08:45.156)
You’re right, Josh, that is an extra challenge within B2B. They don’t always understand that marketing should be an investment and not just the expense that you talked about. So it’s really important to communicate regularly with leadership. I’d say communication is probably the most important thing. And we need to review our goals in progress. At least monthly, I will put together a report and say, here’s where we were at the beginning of the month, here’s where we are now, here’s my plan for the next steps. And depending on who I’m working with, I’ve actually tried to do that report in different formats to make sure that it gets, that it gets kids even looked at it because to be honest right the CEO’s inbox is probably drowning them so I think it’s important to get creative. I have done you know slideshows I’ve done video even to give them the report. And I like to put just a snapshot of bullet points at the top. So even if that’s all they have the time, at least they’ll get those main, most important right now things that are going on. And also knowing what their method or preference for communication is. For example, there’s one individual who works at one of the locations I work with all the time. I send him an email and he calls me every time.

So now I know I just need to give him a call because that’s what he prefers. So that communication needs to be in a way that’s going to speak with that leadership in a way that they’ll receive it the best. So that requires flexibility on my part as a marketing person to make sure that I’m holding out my end of the bargain, whether it’s meeting with them on a virtual conference once a week or just calling them and checking in that way, just making sure that we’re regularly reviewing those goals, that progress and knowing where we want to go moving forward.

Josh Becerra (10:17.07)
I love that you talk about meeting people where they’re at and like what their preferred communication style is. I do think that many times as marketers we just fall into this idea of like, well, we’re giving you reports. And I think that there’s a big difference between like reports and reporting, which is like, okay, here’s the report, but what does this report tell us? What are the insights that we’ve derived from this? What are our recommended next steps based on the insights that we’re seeing here. So I feel like there’s, I talk about the difference between reports and reporting. And I think you’re taking it a step further by saying, and when you do the reporting, do it in the context that that leader actually is fluent in or wants it to come at them.

Terra L. Fletcher (11:07.044)
Yeah, we can’t assume either that they’re going to understand. I love graphs and charts. I have been making them for years. That’s one thing I’m grateful for, for my accounting background. I don’t know how I ended up in accounting. That’s a whole nother story. But I’m grateful that I learned how to do that kind of reporting because some people love that. They feed off of it. It’s a really quick visual to get the information they need. But if they don’t speak that language, it’s not going to work. So it definitely requires flexibility.

Josh Becerra (11:33.454)
Yeah. You know, another huge stakeholder in B2B manufacturing, but in any real business is sales, right? And I’ve had a lot of experiences kind of trying to coach and work with sales teams and get them to understand the impact that they can have on marketing. If they can give us good insights and data, we can actually activate that and try to get them even better, higher quality leads. So, can you talk to me a little bit about your experience working with sales as a stakeholders within these kinds of B2B manufacturing environments?

Terra L. Fletcher (12:14.852)
So when I think of that, I think marketing sales, they’re so similar and yet sometimes they operate in silos, but we’re really part of that same sales funnel or sales journey. Marketing just tends to be higher at the top of that funnel, whereas sales, when it gets to the decision -making is where sales oftentimes needs to take over. So we have to have communication between the two. I have found it’s very effective to attend each other’s meetings. A lot of times an organization will have a sales meeting and a marketing meeting.

And maybe you can’t or don’t need to attend every single one, but why not have an open door to attend so that you can listen and know what their concerns are, know what they’re working on. The other big thing beyond meetings is to share tools. So I found, for example, that one of the sales individuals was sending email attachments where they were making their own Word doc, and it just wasn’t to the level of professionalism that I knew as a marketing professional that it should have been, especially for the level of clientele. He said, this is not the right tool to send out the message. And people hesitate to even open an attachment from someone they don’t know or don’t have a strong relationship with. So we worked and we used to find better tools to give him links that he could share.

So people could just click on a link within the email or just making his content or his copy aesthetically more pleasing can really help to grab attention because we know that attention is so short those attention spans have just shrunk a trunk a trunk so we’ve got to really capture people quickly so knowing what they’re doing seeing how they’re communicating and sharing the tools is really important it’s very easy for me or for my team to create a new a new rat card or a new brochure or capabilities document or you know whatever kind of branding tool they need whether they have an in -person event or something they want to send out online you can’t give them the collateral they need without having those communication, that communication just regularly.

Josh Becerra (14:10.89)
I totally agree. Like if there’s people out there creating their own stuff, it’s because they know that this is what the prospective customer wants to see or needs. And so then it’s like, well, why don’t you tell us over here about marketing? Like a lot of times sales has like that direct access and relationship to the prospective customer. And so, yeah, going into meetings and hearing what they’re talking about can really impact what it is that we do on the marketing side.

I love that. So let’s talk about external vendors. So when you’re a small but mighty marketing team, you can’t do it all yourself. So I’m sure that there’s times where you find yourself looking for a vendor to do whatever it might be, website development or some organic social SEO content, paid media, whatever it is.

Terra L. Fletcher (14:43.428)

Josh Becerra (15:07.15)
Can you talk a little bit about maybe the things that you think about when making decisions about vendors? Like what’s some of the criteria you look at to say, this is what I need from a partner.

Terra L. Fletcher (15:16.324)
Yeah. Number one, first of all, absolutely, they have to be a good human. I started this journey to work for myself for a lot of reasons. I wanted more time with my family, I wanted more flexibility, but I also wanted to have more control of the environment that I put myself in and I wanted it to be a good, healthy environment and I want all the good to rise to the top. And I truly believe there’s enough room for everyone out there who’s doing good work and who is a good human to succeed. So that’s my first requirement as I got to know that they’re a good human, that they have a similar work ethic, set of values, and it’s gonna feel better to work with somebody who aligns with you that way.

As far as keeping track, yeah, there’s a lot because sometimes I do need, sometimes I need SEO, sometimes I need a video person, sometimes I need a graphic person, sometimes I need someone to help design a booth for an exhibit hall or, you know, there’s so many different things. So I have streamlined that process in addition to I’m very, very active on LinkedIn. I share a lot of my best content and forge a lot of good relationships there. But in addition to that, I discovered I actually needed a shorthand to get to my top list. So I have, I’m such a spreadsheet person. I’m like an Excel junkie. I made a spreadsheet that tells me who my top connections are. What are the things that they do best or they’re the most excited about? And it makes it very quick to find the right people for the right projects because you’re gonna get better results when you have the right people. So it’s really, really important. And we have those networks. It’s just a matter of leveraging that network and you’re gonna find the right people to get you, whether it’s partner or vendor, whatever it is, you’re gonna find the right people that’s gonna propel both of you, all three organizations forward.

Josh Becerra (17:00.098)
Yeah. That’s great. I have a similar list, although it’s used for a little bit different thing. So just today, it’s kind of top of mind for me, but I was having a conversation with someone and they were like, well, this is what I need for my marketing. And much of what they were talking about is not something that Augurian does, right? It was, we need fixes to our website. We need somebody to do our kind of social media community management. We need somebody to design our brochures and things like that. And so I also have a spreadsheet with a list of people who I can like to send to. So let’s get on each other’s spreadsheets for sure.

Terra L. Fletcher (17:42.008)
Yes! Yay for nerdy spreadsheets!

Josh Becerra (17:44.664)
There you go. Yeah. Okay. So kind of we’re getting closer to the end here, but I, you know, I love that you’ve published books and I’ve shared with you that I’m kind of trying to bounce some ideas around for a little bit of publishing on my own. But I know you’re working on this third book about marketing. So just tell us generally about your books, about the themes that you’ve covered, and then maybe a little bit about, you know, this new book and what it’s been like to be a published author.

Terra L. Fletcher (18:18.66)
Okay, sure. Yeah, so I told you I started because I love to write. That was a big part of what I do and who I am. My book’s right here. My first book that I wrote, Flex Your Communication. So I discovered early on in my marketing consultancy that a lot of organizations that called me up and said, hey, I’ve got a marketing problem didn’t have a marketing problem. They thought I could throw money at this problem. I can throw marketing dollars at this problem to put a bandaid over the top or to cover it up. And really a lot of times they had an internal communication issue that needed to be addressed.

And you know, when we talked about being good humans and making sure that you’re, you’re living up to the values that, that you’re saying you hold up to was really important to me. So flex your communication really came out of that. Um, it’s a foundation. It’s a foundation for all of that marketing stuff and everything else that comes after that. So very much came about for those purposes. The second one flexed the freelance and unconventional guide to quit your day job. I wrote this for friends and for colleagues who looked at me and said, hey, how are you doing this? How are you making this work? You know, 50 % of businesses.

Josh Becerra (19:33.646)
They said, I want to be like Terra.

Terra L. Fletcher (19:35.332)
Well, I don’t know if that’s quite accurate, but we’ll see. Well, but you know, so many do. So many do fail. First 50 % of businesses fail in the first five years. They just don’t make it for whatever reason. And I would see my friends not making it. They and they were asking the wrong questions. I think that was one of the reasons why I put together this book is because it’s not just about the tactics and I know you know that too. You’ve been in marketing a long time as well. It’s not just about carrying out these tactics, but it’s asking the right questions and having the right connections is really important too. There’s a lot more to it than just following some sort of game plan. So that’s really where the second one came from. It was, you know, again, I think there’s room for everyone. I think everyone who does good work can make, can make this work.

The third one, Josh, I’m really excited about. I know we’ve talked about books and publishing, and I think anyone who wants to be a thought leader, anyone who wants to position themselves as an expert in their field, why not write a book? It’s a perfect platform for that. And my third one is on marketing. And I feel like it’s finally time.

I’ve been doing this long enough. I’ve gathered enough of a repertoire of clients who I’ve served, of industries, of types of organizations, whether it’s nonprofit or for -profit or B2B or B2C. I feel like my experience is now diverse enough that I have enough of a foundation to share. But I’ve also recognized along the way too that that strong network is also really important in the process of writing books. And I’ve learned so much in this journey. The neat thing is when you work on a project as big as a book,

When you organize everything and lay it out and put it in order, you see where you’re missing a step or where you have a hole or a knowledge gap. And then that’s when I pull up my network and say, okay, well, who knows this area? Who knows this? Who can help me take my knowledge to the next level. So I’m really excited about this third book because I genuinely think it’s gonna be my best one yet because I’m getting more insight from other folks than I’ve ever gotten before. So it’s so much more than just me and my experience. And I think it’s gonna really help the small businesses that have such a place in my heart, the fractionals and the freelancers, all of those types of individuals, solo printers, to take their business to the next level. So that’s why I’m really proud of the third one.

Josh Becerra (22:04.942)
Well, I was honored and excited that you asked me to read a little piece of that and give some feedback. I still owe you that feedback, but I’m excited to dig into it. So kudos to you. I mean, I know other people who’ve written books and they say like, this was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my life. So the fact that you’re on your third is amazing.

Terra L. Fletcher (22:16.036)
Oh, thanks Josh. I can’t wait. Mm -hmm. It’s hard.

And in some ways it gets easier and other ways it stays hard. It’s really, really, it’s a challenge. But I think there’s so much value to sticking through a big project like that. You learn, I learn so much from the process.

Josh Becerra (22:46.19)
Very cool. And you mentioned being a thought leader. So this is kind of the way I wrap up all my conversations. And that is, so who are the people you pay attention to? Who are you listening to or reading today? Who are the thought leaders that Terra is finding interesting?

Terra L. Fletcher (23:04.546)
Good question. Okay, so I’ve got some other books here in my stack. I have been a fan of Donald Miller for a long time, but if you haven’t read Marketing Made Simple yet, game changer. Game changer. Right? So, so good. So actionable, an easy read, and reminds us to get back to the basics. It’s really easy to overcomplicate. I just saw today Joe Callaway, who wrote Becoming a Category of One, one of the first marketing books I ever read.

Josh Becerra (23:26.414)

Terra L. Fletcher (23:35.396)
He is fantastic. He’s so kind and generous. I quoted him. I had to count three different times in my marketing book. I have Joe Calloway quotes. So I messaged him and said, I am so looking forward to publishing this. And he said, I can’t wait to read it. He said we had a great conversation. But anyway, I saw he just posted today about his book about simple, keeping it simple. And we like to be flowery and grandiose sometimes and that’s not always the best in marketing. So I think those are people that I turn to. I like following Joe Callaway, like following Donald Miller. Those are a couple I really, really like. Other books that I’ve been reading lately, Story, are really important in marketing. Of course, Donald Miller’s Story Brands, we know that. But also as a writer, I like to read books on the art and craft of writing. So Save the Cat is one that I’m working on right now.

Josh Becerra (24:30.798)

Terra L. Fletcher (24:31.81)
Blake Snyder. If you haven’t explored the concept of Save the Cat concept, it in some ways ruins movies for you because now you know the formula and you know to watch for it and you know what they’re doing. But there’s a reason why it works. There’s a reason why it works. So excellent. Here’s a funny one I picked up recently. Kind of a cheesy title. Money Talks. How to make a million as a speaker. Not that I expect to actually make a million, but I thought, hey, there’s probably something good I can take away here. So that’s on this one. I’m just getting started. That’s on my list right now. I am also a bargain hunter when it comes to my books. So sometimes I come across older books and find the gems are still applicable today. I’m sure you see that too. The tactics, the techniques might change, but the principles stay the same. So I found this one the other day in a little free library, hiring great people. Haven’t started it yet, but I’m eager to because I’m getting so many requests for marketing for recruiting purposes and employer branding stuff. And I love that topic. And I thought, why not explore?

HR side of things a little bit more. And so when I spotted that, I was like, maybe this is just the book I need to read next. So that’s the other one that’s on my list. I am on Goodreads. I love to read. I read all the time. And I usually, especially the nonfiction that I read, I make sure to comment and give my feedback on Goodreads. So if people are curious when I’m looking at those are great places to start.

Josh Becerra (26:04.75)
That’s awesome. Well, I love that you’re continuing to read and be curious and that a lot of the resources you’re talking about revolve around story. You know, I mean, as humans, we’ve been talking about that. Like we have and like stories are our tradition. And as marketers, we need to figure out how to tell, you know, a brand’s story. So I really appreciated your time today. Thank you so much for being my guest, Terra. This has been a great conversation.

Terra L. Fletcher (26:35.524)
Aw, thanks Josh, it has been a blast.


Explore Our Latest Digital Marketing Tips