Remote leadership is broken for digital marketing teams…

Here’s what I’ve heard or seen within the past 2 years that prove it:

– “It gets done way faster if I just do it myself.”

– “We don’t need documentation here, the job just needs to get done without details.”

– “I’m too busy, we’re all too busy, to meet with internal team members.”

– “I always chat or email or put projects and tasks in [project management tool] so we don’t have to talk. It’s already there.”

– “We don’t have daily or even weekly team meetings.”

– “We don’t do regular one on one video calls.”

– “The account managers don’t have time to discuss clients with team members, but they should be directing them.”

– “I never told [first name] about this problem, but it started at least 10 weeks ago and it hasn’t been fixed yet.”

– “I remind the team to do x, but [first name] still doesn’t do it – and I reminded the team about this several months ago. No, I haven’t talked with them one on one about it.”

– “We’re always online and communicating already, because we’re the digital marketing team.”

– “This should be common knowledge.”


Here at Grunt Workers we call this the “Technician Trap”.

The technician trap is where a (usually new or inexperienced or sometimes ignorant) manager or leader is stuck in task-land, managing tasks that they tackle themselves (as the technician) instead of in team-land, managing team members and company initiatives…

In other words, the technician trap is where a leader is investing time in the task vs in the team…

And they haven’t successfully bridged that chasm within themselves of going from TASK to TEAM.

Investing TIME into a TEAM is a whole new world for most.

At first this shift in time investment is foreign…

You don’t feel like you’re successful because when a task gets completed, you get to check the box and move on. It feels like it was done fast and it was done the way you wanted it to be done.


The satisfaction of task management is more instant gratification style than the satisfaction of team management.

There’s a completely different set of metrics for success as a manager or leader.

It’s the growth of the individual contributors combined with the results they achieve collectively.

As a leader who has tackled tasks yourself for so long, you might feel like an imposter, or that you aren’t contributing as much as your individual direct reports, and sometimes you feel useless on the journey toward being a real team leader.

These concepts rarely get addressed or taught inside of agencies or digital marketing teams.

Instead, we invest in people failing as leaders until they just “figure it out” on their own.

Investing in people and their failures isn’t a terrible thing on its own…

But repeatedly growing and shrinking a team and wondering why you’re struggling to scale as a team without the expected results – that’s not good for business.

So how can you overcome the technician trap and become a more effective digital marketer?

Unless there’s somebody inhouse managing strategy then that strategy becomes stale.

Our clients usually come to us here, which is good because they’re starting to see a revenue drop and know they need help.

And they usually know that they should outsource that help and bring some people in full time but get huge savings by sourcing in the Philippines, through Grunt Workers.

But what they’re stuck in is the technician trap which is when they created a strategy and they’re busy implementing it. But then they ignore the strategy and don’t refresh it like it should be refreshed.

So what they need to do is identify the problems and they need to find the people and ask themselves who should I source to?

And that becomes the delegation dilemma where Grunt Workers steps in 

The solution comes in when the strategists realize the thought of who should I hire to fix these problems

The ANSWER to that question is Grunt Workers

By having a Grunt Worker on the team, digital marketing managers can now focus full time on strategy and send strategic briefs to implementation teams (which is Grunt Workers team members) and those GW team members execute and implement all of those campaigns. 

Grunt Workers free up these digital marketing managers to get 10x the work done because they don’t have to do the implementation themselves.

Instead the digital marketing manager’s time shifts to strategizing, coaching, and to analytics and campaign analysis. 

They have more time to look at the results of the campaigns,  audit the work of the Grunt Workers team members. They become real managers.

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