No marketer is an overnight success. Even the most successful digital marketing professionals have faced their fair share of troubles. What separates them from failed marketers, however, is that they realized their errors and did what they needed to do in order to succeed.
You as a budding digital marketing professional need to identify possible obstacles that will get your way before you can deal with them. Here are some of the more common ones that you might face when starting out:
Fear of failure
Fear is the single biggest obstacle that many budding marketers need to overcome.
This fear can be caused by a variety of reasons, from fearing a waste of time and money to fearing what other people have to say about you. Fear can even snake its way into your mind even when you have established yourself as a pretty successful marketer, especially when something unexpected happens.
Just remember one thing: everybody fails at one point or another. You just have to pick up the pieces, learn from your mistakes and soldier on as best you can. The only time you truly fail as a digital marketing professional is when you throw your hands in the air and give it all up. And besides, it’s not as if somebody is going to put a bullet in your head if you mess up somewhere!
Another pretty common obstacle that budding digital marketing professionals need to face is being bombarded with too much information.
The large number of books, courses and gurus out there can provide a lot of information, from books on marketing psychology to webinars on the finer points of search engine optimization. All this information is useful, yes, but you do have to take things one step at a time. Trying to learn them all at once will only overload you with information that you have no idea how to use and bog you down in studying instead of marketing.
It is for this reason that you have to start out with books like this one: free from technical jargon and simple to understand. Once you understand and master the basics, you will slowly begin to look for more advanced concepts to work with. Remember to start out slow, apply what you learn and then find out what you need to learn. This will make it so that you won’t be overloaded on the information available to you.
Overemphasis on sales
Another very common problem with first-time digital marketing professionals is pushing too hard to sell a product.
It’s not a bad thing to try and convince someone to shell out money for whatever you have. It is, however, a bad thing if the only thing you push people too hard. How would you feel if you entered a website and all it had were these loud, obnoxious “BUY NOW” signs all over it?
It is precisely this reason that you must first connect with potential customers before trying to make a sale. How do you connect with potential customers? Find out their wants and needs. Let them know that you know what they want and need. Show them how you can meet their wants and needs with your product. Once you do this, THEN you convince them to buy your products.
Inability to build a lead list
Internet marketing relies heavily on finding people to sell your product to, and this is most commonly done by building a lead list of your own.
Many marketers think that they can get away with ‘buying’ leads from third parties. This can be effective but very costly if you do not know what you are looking for in the first place. You could end up with a list of leads that have absolutely no interest in what you are selling, wasting time and money marketing to the wrong audience in the process.
It is for this reason that you have to learn how to build a lead list from the ground up. You will become much more familiar with your potential customers, and you will understand them better as a result. Such a well-tailored list will allow you to focus all your efforts in appealing to an audience that is more than willing to consider the products and services you have to offer.
Inability to utilize a list
Just because you built a lead list does not mean that your problems are solved.
A lead list is a simple list of people who are willing to consider what you have to offer. This does not mean that they are willing to part with their money just yet, and it is very easy to muck things up if you are not able to appeal to your potential customers strongly enough.
This is where the marketing tactics you will inevitably learn come in. An attractive newsletter, a comprehensive sales letter, an amazing landing page, an assuring guarantee and a convincing product will all come together to turn a lead into a paying customer – exactly what you have been looking for from the very start.
Inability to follow up on a sale
Just because a customer has paid once does not mean the customer will not pay again.
This is one of the more frequently forgotten aspects of Internet marketing. A customer’s satisfaction will dictate his or her attitude towards any future products you may have to offer.
You effectively lose out on further sales if you just leave your customers as-is.
It is for this reason that you have to learn how to follow up on your customers. Checking up on their satisfaction will make them feel as if you care about their wellbeing, and doing so will give you an opportunity to present to them offers that could further enhance their satisfaction. This will make an existing customer into a repeat customer, which is good for both your business and reputation as a digital marketing professional.
Failure to create a system
You do not need to reinvent the wheel each time you build a cart.
Being creative and innovative is good, but there are just some things that you do not need to do all over again. Too many budding digital marketing professionals strike out here, there and everywhere without actually getting anything done in the long run. This lack of organization can make even simple processes much, much harder than they should be.
A system is the perfect tool to deal with this problem. Many marketing gurus out there will often sell you a system of how they do things. Some are good, some are bad and some are outright shams. The important thing to remember here is that you have to note down what works and what doesn’t. Document how you did things and slowly come up with a plan or system. Keep working on refining this system and you will have a pattern that will allow you to deal with the basics of marketing without spending too much time and effort in the process.
Lack of depth in marketing
You won’t be able to sell something if you try to sell it to everybody.
Remember that the Internet is made up of a vast array of people, each with their own specific wants and needs. You could spend a lot of time, effort and money building up an extensive list of potential customers and then marketing to these potential customers, but all that could end up for nothing if none of them don’t care for whatever it is you are offering.
This is why you have to narrow down your target audience and add depth to your marketing efforts. Make sure that you know who you want to sell to and then appeal to the wants and needs of your target audience. This will allow you to make sure that the products and services you market will find their way to people who will be more likely to shell out money for them at the end of the day.
Lack of breadth in marketing
There is also another problem when you keep all your proverbial eggs in one basket.
It is good to start out slow and steady when you are new to Internet marketing, but it is all too easy to pigeon-hole yourself into one service or product. Focusing too deeply unto one business leaves you vulnerable to any wide-scale problems that affect your particular product or service.
You could find yourself in very deep trouble if revolutionary technologies suddenly replace the product you have been selling for years and years or your supply chain is interrupted due to a bankrupted company.
It is for this reason that you have to tinker with a few other industries in the world of marketing and get yourself established elsewhere. This will allow you to survive even if your primary product or service finds itself in any unforeseen problems.
Lack of a ‘raison d’être’
Some people say that marketing is all about the numbers. I beg to differ
Internet marketing can very quickly and very suddenly become a boring enterprise. Things just start to become mind-numbingly repetitive once you establish yourself as a marketer and become familiar with all the various ins and outs of the business. This is one reason why some successful digital marketing professionals decide to drop out of the game and pursue other interests.
Truly successful digital marketing professionals that stay for the long run all have one thing in common: they have something that pushes them to excel in marketing.
Whether it’s love, obligation, financial gain or even something as grand as establishing a financial empire, you must have a reason to excel as a digital marketing professional. This will give you the encouragement you need to keep forging ahead despite all the difficulties and setbacks you will inevitably encounter.