Posted by randfish
I got a couple emails last week I wanted to share in anonymized format. Here's the first one:
It's me again <redacted>, just wondering I have been learning allot more about how to link build without software like senuke x and other automatic software and becoming a better manual link builder with google alerts etc.
And here's the second:
I look after around 6 clients at the moment, but my daily jobs just seem to be very repetitive e.g. finding related blogs, commenting on them, submiting sites to decent directories and guest posting, an now and again creating infographics and sharing them with blog owners and across sites such as reddit/quora etc…mostly I'm just blog commenting though.
I get A TON of emails like this. When folks are relatively new to the field of online marketing, or are moving from classic marketing into SEO, they often reach out seeking advice and help. Unfortunately, the volume's become a bit overwhelming of late, and I'm only able to respond to 50%, sometimes less (side note: I tried an experiment w/ email scalability a couple months back that failed). Thus, I wanted to write a post to express some empathy.
Yes. Marketing is really, really damned hard.
I understand the temptations to phone it in, to spam instead of creating authentic value, to outsource responsibility, to proclaim for all to hear that you HATE marketing, to give up. You're not alone. In fact, I've been just inches from all of those perspectives time and again over the last decade.
But that's also what makes great marketing so powerful. When:
- Very few people are qualified or capable to do something
- Many people believe that thing to be impossible
- Only a handful make exceptional investments to achieve it
That, in my opinion, is when remarkable things are in your grasp.
The marketing channels we invest in – SEO, social media, content marketing, community building, virality – fit these parameters well. It's easy to do the basics, tough to get the intermediate items right and mind-blowingly challenging to get that last few percent that takes us from mediocrity to extraordinary.
So many times, marketing professionals are called in to execute on Step 3 after being handed half-assed 1s and 2s. My friend Philip Vaughn told me at a lunch some months ago that "startups aren't really an engineering, product or organizational problem. They're mostly a marketing problem." But if we're handed crap to market, we can't help but do crap marketing.
At the risk of pissing a lot of people off – A large portion of SEO is just compensating for not being awesome.
— Rob Woods (@robdwoods) April 23, 2012
So many of the questions I see around inbound marketing boil down to the same fundamental challenge:
The way I see it, we only have two options:
A) Give in to giving up.
B) Take/earn responsibility for Step 1 and 2
Embracing option B and taking responsibility for your product -> marketing lifecycle is something very few people are qualified for, or capable of doing, many people believe to be impossible and only a handful ever execute exceptionally well. And it means remarkable results are in your grasp.
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