Working in digital marketing is without doubt one of the most rewarding ways in which you can spend your days. The rate at which new products and services are churned out means that apart from having to spend a large part of your working week just keeping up, the new and emerging trends and strategies mean you can never rest on your laurels. That being said working as a freelancer in digital marketing doesn’t come without its share of problems, after all why should we be any different from the rest of the world. Simply getting across the importance of an online strategy is the start of the journey with any new client and following a process that makes it easy for others can be a challenge, but one that’s ultimately worth taking.
A rocky road
In my time I’ve worked with a variety of businesses, from the one man band to larger more corporate style organisations, and as hard as it is to believe, it’s fair to say that convincing some clients about the benefits of digital marketing can still be a bit of a rocky road. Having said that you won’t find too many businesses these days that don’t have a website, even my local burger man has one, but helping them to understand the impact that digital marketing can have on their business is not as straight forward as it seems.
Bridging the gap
Working in the industry day to day, it’s easy to assume that everybody’s finger is on the pulse when it comes to knowing what’s what in the digital world, but in reality that’s simply not the case. I don’t mean this in a nasty way of course it’s just that if you’re a business owner, large or small, dealing with the day to day issues of YOUR business you probably don’t have time to focus on developing your online strategy and that’s where the real skill of the digital marker comes in to play. Taking the time to find out what makes your clients tick can have a major impact in helping them understand the value of digital marketing and working with the person, not just the business can help in bridging the gap sometimes associated with the digital industry and the man on the street.
In reality developing or increasing an online presence doesn’t happen overnight and having a clear idea as to the objectives as well as managing your clients expectations can be as much a part of the process as measuring the actual results. Personally whenever I start working on any project I like to have a process that enables me to feel confident and assured in knowing which way the road’s going to twist and turn so here’s my interpretation of a guide that I like to follow courtesy of Chris Markham at Bizfix.co.uk to help drive your plans forward and ensure your project doesn’t get stuck in the mud.
Research – Starting off on the right foot is key to succeeding in any project and that foot should always be the research. Without research you won’t be able to set your goals and objectives, know who your target is or what they want from you so get this right from the start and you’ll be on the right track.
Plan – Sounds obvious but planning a project can take up a large portion of your time and can sometimes be quite tricky but as the great man once said, fail to plan plan to fail. Take the time to plan in detail, talk to those around you and take on board other people’s opinions, oh and try not to rush it – just think tortoise and hare.
Agree – making sure people within the project are aware of the plans and agree to them gives everyone a sense of direction and purpose which adds value in driving the project forward. Hopefully by now you’ll all be reading from the same script anyway but ensuring people are happy and comfortable with what’s being proposed is a great way in further developing those relationships.
Implement – this is the doing part, whatever you’ve said you’re going to do, now is the time to do it. Actually getting on with the job can be the hardest part of all but knowing you’ve got it right up to this point should give you the confidence to drive your plans forward
Measure – In my opinion the corner stone of any project comes in measuring the results and hopefully the successes. Working your way through a project and achieving a positive result, whatever that may be, gives you a great sense of satisfaction and sharing that feeling with those around you makes it feel even better.
Remember that a project is all about team work, whether it’s 2 people working together or 200 it really doesn’t matter, having a process you can rely on will always give you something to fall back on. So when all that’s said and done and you’ve arrived safe and sound at your destination take a second to lean over your shoulder and enjoy the moment as you scream at the top of your voice.