Did you know that there are different types of Integrators? There are actually 3 different types of Integrators in the online digital space and today I want to compare them all so you can decide which one is the best fit for you! Even if you’re a solopreneur, this is perfect for you because it's really going to help you understand all of the different seats that YOU sit in.

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Visionary vs. Integrator: What’s the Difference?

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What’s an Integrator? What’s a Visionary? What are the different types of Integrators… and how do you know if you need one? We are kicking off Think Like An Integrator, a podcast for business visionaries who love to dream but lack a team to do it all, with a series where we’re going back to the basics to cover all these topics and more! 

At the KS Agency, my team and I thrive in the weeds of businesses who create, grow and scale digital products. Imagine having ideas that will make you money, but never being able to launch them because you are exhausted, overwhelmed, and doing it all alone. Many online businesses fail to scale because they don’t have the organization or systems in place to get things done right. Think Like an Integrator can help! When you know how to integrate, you will always be able to innovate and I’m here to tell you how. 

Today we’re going to start with defining some important terms to make sure that we’re on the same page with all of these definitions. Because when I say the word Integrator, or when I say the word Visionary, I want you to, without a doubt, know exactly what I mean. Let’s dive in!

 

WHAT IS A VISIONARY?

Let’s start with: What is a visionary? And are you one?

Visionaries are really good at ideas. Visionaries love to dream new things, they get excited about something new, they’re really passionate about all of their ideas… and they’re usually really determined to bring their ideas to life. 

Think back to when you first started your business. 

You had an idea and you brought it to life! You were a vision caster of your brand. Now you are the boss. You are an entrepreneur, and you own your own business. 

In a business setting, the Visionary is the CEO. The Visionary is typically the one with the initial idea for the business, and the one who rallies all of the people and the resources together to make it happen. 

Even if you are a solopreneur in a small business setting, you are creating new ideas and dreaming about all of the potential that your brand has. 

Most entrepreneurs are Visionaries. You saw a need and you’ve met it. You want it to be your own boss – you had a vision for what that would look like, and now there is a business because of that vision! 

Every business has a Visionary, and every business needs a Visionary. 

Your innovation and your ideas are SO valuable. If you are resonating with all of this, if you’re nodding your head with all of this verbiage around a Visionary, I hope you feel empowered. I hope you feel so confident and inspired that you are in fact that idea person

But here’s the thing. I know that sometimes those ideas can bog you down

It’s hard to be an idea person AND also be the implementing person. It’s hard to best know how to manage all of the ideas (and then therefore manage all of the to-do’s associated with all of those new ideas!) that you have. 

It’s also really hard to figure out, from a strategy standpoint, what the BEST ideas that you should be working towards for your brand. That’s where an Integrator comes in.

 

WHAT IS AN INTEGRATOR?

I have been an Integrator working in a Visionary world and for a long, long time. I actually thought I was a Visionary. I am an entrepreneur and most entrepreneurs are Visionaries. So believe me, when I tell you that I understand the Visionary/Integrator mindset, it’s because I do. 

I sat in a Visionary seat for years and I have enough “Visionary” in me that in certain scenarios, it felt right… until I actually realized that I am an Integrator

Integrators want to take all of your ideas and create a plan to go with them. Integrators want to be in the weeds of the day-to-day, managing all the moving pieces, so that you, as the Visionary, can keep dreaming up new ones. 

Yes, you heard that right!!

There are actually people in the world that want to do the backend business tasks!! There are people that LOVE the systems, that love the management, and that genuinely just want to spend all day long working in the weeds of a business. 

Integrators are detail-oriented, and they’re very task-oriented. 

They are typically more organized and analytical than a Visionary. They are also really good at project management. They understand all the moving pieces that are needed to bring a project to life and can genuinely manage and execute those projects accordingly. 

So an Integrator is like the General Manager, and the Visionary is the CEO. The Visionary is going to stay high-level and be that high-level thinker. They’re going to have new ideas and think about overall partnerships and the general direction that they want the brand to go in.

The integrator is right underneath that Visionary in the weeds of the business, managing everything that needs to get done.

 

WHAT IS AN INTEGRATOR VS. AN IMPLEMENTER?

Integrators and implementers are different. This is where I think it becomes a little bit tricky specifically in the digital online space. So let’s break that down a bit.

As an Integrator, I will absolutely pull up my sleeves and dig into creating a product in Kajabi or be in Zapier, updating apps that need to be updated, or jump into ConvertKit and schedule an email or work on automations. I will absolutely do that where needed

But the majority of my time should not be spent on implementing. The majority of my time as an Integrator is best spent overseeing, delegating, and managing the implementers. There needs to be one person who is keeping a pulse on all the moving pieces of a project and it’s really hard if that one person is not only keeping a pulse on the project, but is also doing all of the details needed.

 

AN EXAMPLE OF THESE ROLES IN PLAY

Let’s use a content calendar in an online brand as a very tangible example of this. 

There are so many moving pieces for a content calendar! You have a podcast, you’re writing a blog, you’re sending out a weekly email around the new podcast, you’re also posting on social media… lots of different things that are happening not only in the form of audio for the podcast, but also the written content, the graphics, the schedule, etc. 

The Integrator is creating and managing the overall content plan and then overseeing those pieces

The Integrator and the Visionary are going to have a conversation. What is the content calendar? What are we pointing towards? What are we talking about? 

The Integrator is going to get the Visionary excited about those things. The Visionary is going to sit in their seat and record that podcast and do the things that only the visionary can do. 

Then the Integrator is going to be the one looking at that overall content plan and asking things like: Did the team receive the podcast audio? Have the social graphics been created? Have the social graphics been approved? Did the copywriter complete the email? Did the email get scheduled for 7am Eastern time tomorrow morning? Those are all of the questions that the Integrator would be checking in on and then pinging the team members as needed so that the team can continue to actively work on the project and hit deadlines. 

The Integrator is not doing all of those tasks by themselves. That’s way too many tasks for one person. While Integrators are awesome, they’re not like magical unicorns! There still needs to be those amazing implementers on your team to do those tasks

The Integrator is just overseeing everything that’s being done and keeping an overall pulse as the manager and overseer of those projects. 

The Integrator is the right hand of the Visionary. When you have the two working side by side in a business, it has the potential to grow exponentially, because then the Visionary is in their zone of genius doing what only the Visionary can do and the Integrator is in their zone of genius doing what only an Integrator can do. 

It is such a phenomenal duo!!

 

WHICH ONE ARE YOU?

In this free resource, I break down a visual of that Visionary/Integrator Duo.

Maybe you’re here and you’ve never thought about an org chart or a flow chart for your brand. (Maybe you’ve never thought about it because you consider yourself to be a solopreneur!) But even if that’s the case, even if it’s you, yourself and I right now, I still want you to think about your business from a true business mindset

That’s why I’ve created this free download – so that you can process through the Visionary/Integrator combo along with the org chart and it’ll help you figure out where you sit.

Are you sitting in the Visionary seat? 

Are you sitting in a lot of different seats right now? 

If that’s the case, that’s okay, because I’m here to help you feel more equipped in ALL of the different places where you’re working in your business. 

But I DO want to give a distinction so that you can figure out where your zone of genius is.

 

IF YOU WANT TO LEARN MORE

I am so excited to continue to go back to the basics here and explain even more about what an Integrator does specifically in a digital online business and how that Integrator/Visionary duo works. 

If you haven’t yet, I want you to get two books to help you learn more: Traction and Rocket Fuel. These two books are what introduced me to the Visionary/Integrator duo. I did not create this on my own. I did not think of the term Integrator. I did not think of the mindset behind a Visionary/Integrator duo and a brand. They 100% come from Traction and Rocket Fuel and I cannot recommend them enough!!

Whether you are just now being introduced to these terms, or maybe you’ve heard of them before, but you just want a little bit more clarity on what it means, Traction and Rocket Fuel are going to be a really good place to start. 

In this space I’ll be taking everything I’ve learned from Traction and Rocket Fuel, which are written for teams of more like 35-100, and break it down to solopreneurs and very small teams.

 

CONCLUSION

Every business has a Visionary and an Integrator – yes, even YOU, if you’re a solopreneur, are wearing multiple hats! As a reminder, here’s how we’re defining those terms:

  • Visionaries are really good at ideas. They’re the CEO of the business.
  • Integrators are your General Managers. They want to take all of your ideas and create a plan to go with them.
  • Implementers are the people the Integrators are managing to make your ideas happen.

So which role is in YOUR zone of genius?

Click here to grab my free resource that will help you process through the Visionary/Integrator combo and give you an org chart to help you figure out where you sit.

I can’t wait to come back to the basics again with you next week and help you figure this out even more!

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