How to Succeed In-House

A few weeks ago my friend and former colleague Patrick Stox posted “How to Succeed in Enterprise SEO”. It’s an article that I encourage everyone to read, whether they are an SEO or not.

It echoed a lot of thoughts that I’ve had recently about “How to Succeed In-House” and inspired me to write this very post. Now as you can probably imagine, I’m writing this from the position of a Digital Marketer, but it could be said that these viewpoints could be shared with just about anyone who is in-house whether you work in Accounting or you work in Marketing.

Before we begin, it’s important that we clarify what exactly in-house is referring to. In-house refers to working for a company or business in-house as an employee, instead of having their work outsourced to you as either a Consultant or someone who works for an Agency.

As an in-house employee, your goal is to help the brand succeed and accomplish its goals in a working environment. This is compared to someone who has things outsourced to him (or her). As someone who is working with things outsourced, you are typically working at an agency or working as a Consultant to help companies succeed. Chances are that you are doing this juggling multiple clients at any given time usually on a retainer or contract for a set number of hours.

Every business handles their work differently. Depending on the limitations of your business it might make sense to outsource work or if you work for a bigger company and see the opportunity for full-time work, it might make more sense to have an in-house employee.

For some creatives and marketers, who make the transition to in-house they might find that in-house work doesn’t have the same “excitement” that an agency has. This means they aren’t juggling multiple projects or allowed to be as creative due to a companies political structure or limitations. However, they will enjoy the freedom of less stress, less client scrutiny, and hopefully better promotional opportunities and more professional growth.

If you are wanting to be successful in your In-house Career it’s important to ask yourself and better yet, define for yourself the answer to these 3 questions.

  • What is Your Mission?
  • What Resources Do you Have Available?
  • How are you Reporting Your Wins?

    Your mission as an in-house marketer could differ from project to project, but ultimately your mission depends on your Supervisor, your actual job, and what you want it to be.

    Depending on the flexibility of your Supervisor and your job, you might be a Specialist, Generalist, or a Strategist for your company. Ultimately though it will be up to you to decide what your mission is and how you want to accept it. When businesses decide to hire an in-house Marketer they have decided that there is a giant size hole where someone should be doing something, so though you might have some loose job parameters often times it will be on you to decide what exactly your mission and goals are.


    The awesome thing about being in-house at a company is that you have something available that you don’t have when you’re working on outsourced work, and that’s oftentimes access to employees and customers who are actually using the product/service you are marketing. This is the best tool you will find in your working life and it cannot be overtaken by some piece of software.

    That is not to say that there are not tools available out there that can help you win and succeed in your work mission. If you’re in the marketing spectrum chances are that SEMRush, Ahrefs, or even a Content King can help you with day-to-day wins. Ultimately though whether you are a Specialist, Generalist, or Strategist it will be up to you to decide what resources you use to get the job done and ultimately define the day to day around you.

    Which resources you choose and how you go after them, can ultimately make or break your job.


    Depending on the scale of your business, it will be up to you to report your wins and losses. You will have to learn how to toot your own horn and let those around you know that you won and how to articulate losses when those need to be explained.

    Every company reporting structure is a bit different, but ultimately this breaks down to communication. Knowing how to communicate properly to your peers and leadership team, can make or break a project.

    There are a variety of tools out there in this space to help you out. For those in the Online Marketing Space, Google Data Studio is an awesome tool to take a look at that can make your visualizations pop and help you tell the story but at the same time remember that it doesn’t replace day to day communication.

    Remember we can all be that guy who comes in to collect that paycheck, but as creatives, marketers, and entrepreneurs are goal is to succeed whether that’s in-house or as a consultant. Ultimately will be measured, but it will be up to you whether you reach that goal or not.