When I was younger I knew everything… or so I thought. That means I didn’t listen to my mother unless she was telling me to come and eat ice cream. Looking back on all those wise words of wisdom that I didn’t listen to, I realized that if she was born in a different era, my mom could have been one hell of an Internet marketer (I only made that age joke because I know my mother will read this).
Here are 10 things your mother told you about online marketing. But if you’re anything like me, you weren’t listening until years later. So make up for it by reading this post.
1. You’ll understand when you have kids. – Putting yourself in someone else’s shoes can incredibly improve a relationship. When working with clients understand they often have little idea of what an online marketer does. And what they think you do is likely far from the truth. Help them to understand what you are doing and why you are doing it.
Transparency turns into trust and trust turns into a long-term client that sends referrals your way. When working with other agencies or service providers, remember your nightmare clients… don’t become them.
2. Just ’cause someone else jumps off the Golden Gate Bridge doesn’t mean you have to. – in this industry there can sometimes be pressure to do things for short term gains to keep a client happy or simply to make a quick buck. Hold true to your values. Online marketing is an industry where it is easy to get to know a lot of people. Protect your reputation. It is the most valuable thing you own.
3. Treat others how you would want them to treat you. – helping others & building relationships (I recently emailed someone thanking them for the positive effect they have unknowingly had on my life). It felt good and I hope it made them feel good too.
4. When you lie down with dogs you get up with fleas. – Don’t allow yourself to be pressured into building spammy backlinks, purchasing reviews, and engaging in short-term-focused efforts because a boss or client wants you to. Stick to your ethical standards and think first and foremost about your own reputation.
Don’t damage your name so a client or boss can make a few quick bucks. If you find yourself working for a company whose values don’t fit with your own start looking for a new job. Network with others who share your values and you will continue to improve your skills rather than staying stagnant in your learning.
5. I just want the best for you. – Take this attitude with your clients, coworkers and employees. Show others you care about them, their careers, their business and their wellbeing and you will create an outstanding work environment. Place employees where they can succeed and grow. Help them achieve their professional goals and personal goals whenever possible.
6. If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all. – Learn to frame clients’ past marketing mistakes in a constructive and sympathetic manner. “Whoever built these links from www.xxxvideos4free.com did a lot of damage” sounds confrontational and is embarrassing to a client who didn’t know how to monitor the work their “SEO agency” was doing, or that they needed to. Instead say something like, “While links from sites like this worked in the past, they may be the reason your rankings have dropped. We will clean these up and build links that will have long-term value.”
7. There‘s no use crying over spilt milk. – Shit happens. Mistakes get made. There is no use in pointing fingers (especially while a problem still exists) be the one who works hard to correct mistakes and solve problems. Mistakes are where learning occurs. Look at each mistake you make as a learning opportunity.
8. What part of NO don’t you understand? – This applies to life in general as much as it does to marketing, sometimes you just need to learn to say no. Whether it’s to a boss who is pushing you to do work outside of your pay level (in that case you deserve a raise) or a client requesting you to do work not in your contract, learning to say no in a respectful way will save you time and keep you focused on the tasks you are ultimately responsible for.
9. Look at me when I’m talking to you. – Always give people your full attention. Not only will you learn more, you will also gain the respect of those around you. Everyone wants to have their voice heard. Not everyone is willing to listen. Be the person in your company who gives everyone equal respect by listening to what others have to say. When you listen well, people will open up much faster. And this can be extremely valuable to a marketer doing research.
10. Eat your veggies. – When you were five, lettuce and spinach were not likely your favorite foods. Learning to do the things you don’t want to do yet are beneficial will help you find success in whatever it is you’re doing. Struggle through, push yourself out of your comfort zone. Experience something new and grow as a person and as a marketer.
Now call your mom and thank her for everything she taught you.