March Madness

Erin Burke

Ahh March… flowers blooming, grass greening, air warming, people pretending to know about college basketball (Cody), people losing money on college basketball (Cody).

Basketball is indeed on the forefront of everyone’s minds right now due to March Madness (I’m a Loyola Chicago alum and we’re in the Final Four – GO RAMBLERS!!!), so it seemed to us that the only appropriate thing to write about is how basketball is similar to our lives here at liquidfish. You may not think there are many parallels to the high energy, fast-paced, highly skilled sport and web design/digital marketing, but you’d be wrong.


1. Communication is Key.

A basketball game where the teammates don’t communicate with one another would be chaos. Try passing a ball to a person who doesn’t know it’s coming – it probably won’t be caught.

Communication is important for so many reasons. Not only does it give you a chance to know what your teammates are planning on doing, but it also allows for input from others on those plans. The point guard might think it’s a good idea for them to take it all the way in for a layup every time. But if the rest of the team hears that idea, the team may chime in with a “hey, maybe you could pass it instead.”

At liquidfish, this kind of input from the rest of the team is absolutely invaluable. Collaboration is one of our core values, and we live by it. At pretty much any point during the day you can find people in each others offices, talking through ideas and working out problems. It is this kind of communication, collaboration, and sharing of ideas that makes us sure we are providing our clients with the best ideas and solutions.

2. Know the Play.

It’s essential that you have at least a couple plays ready to go for a basketball game, and that the whole team knows them inside and out before you start. If there was no playbook, nobody would know what to do. There would be too many options, and one of two things would likely happen: a) Everyone would try to to do everything. Or b) Everyone would just stand there. Either way, it would be a mess.

At liquidfish, we have our own version of a playbook. We’ve established a framework to help guide our internal processes for projects, from start to finish. Each teammate knows who’s doing the tip-off, who to pass it to from there, when to take the ball and dribble on their own, and when to finally shoot. Those may not be the actual terms we use for the different steps in our process (although now I’m thinking we should change them), but you get the idea. We have a plan for each step of the project, and sticking to that plan (maybe with some improv here and there when necessary) helps us stay on track so we can come out the other side with a W.

3. There’s No “i” in Team.

The age-old saying still applies here – you have to work together to be successful. As mentioned in the last point, every person on a team trying to do it all is not ideal, they’d be stepping on each others’ toes and exhausting themselves for nothing.

In basketball and marketing, every player has their own position in which they are experts, and each position is vital to the overall success of the team. Maybe you’re great at graphic design, but you’re not so hot at communicating with clients. That’s okay, let your outgoing teammate talk to those clients for you. Don’t waste your time and energy on something another person can do better. You have to trust your teammates to use their talents to do their part. Then all you have to do is worry about your own job, and everything runs smoothly.

4. You Gotta Put in the Work.

Champions aren’t made overnight. And neither are websites or campaigns.

Even though the final product may come out looking like it was effortless, you know that wasn’t the case. Not just anyone can produce the quality of work we do here at liquidfish, and it’s no walk in the park. It’s the above and beyond work we put in each day – the late nights at the office, the lunches spent at desks, the big ideas we take to fruition – that makes us and our work stand out in the end.

5. It’s All About the Follow Through.

Keep a floppy wrist and your fingers pointed at the hoop after the ball has left your hands. Wait, no, that’s just basketball.

The follow through is just as important at liquidfish as it is in basketball. Keeping in contact with clients and making sure they are happy after the site has launched or the social media campaign has ended, is so important. Of course, we want to make sure the site stays working and that they are continually happy with our services. Beyond that, we want to stay on high alert for things that can be even better.

Staying in contact with clients is also a great way to grow both your personal and business networks, you never know when you might need some of their services too!

6. Stay hydrated.

Hydrate or die.