13 Nov The Hardest Struggles Online Marketers Face in Delivering Results
Even if you are lucky enough to have a job you really, really love – it’ not always a walk in the park. Even if you love your job so much, it won’t always love you back, haha! Kidding aside, nothing comes easy in this world. Problems will arise and you just have to push forward.
Have you encountered such struggles at work? What have you done to overcome them? These online marketers tell us their stories on the hardest struggles they have to face when it comes to work. Let’s see what we can learn from their stories.
1. Umair Akram is a Digital Marketer and SEO Consultant with having more than 4 years of professional experience in the industry. He have worked with more than 30 companies and helped them increase their sales and profits. He is also the author of his blog "MyTechMag" and write about Blogging,Digital Marketing and SEO Tips.
Your client's trust level base on what results you are delivering. So I have to keep an eagle-eye on what I am giving to my clients. The thing that makes it difficult and struggling is the competitive deadlines. It's very hard to manage both quality of work and deadlines by those clients.
2. Paul Johnson runs the leading blog for luxury travel, simply named A Luxury Travel Blog. Winner of Best Travel Blog in the Travelmole Web Awards as well as Best Travel Influencer in the Innovation in Travel Awards from WIRED magazine, Paul has worked in the travel industry for 30 years and has had his blog cited as "one of the best travel blogs in the world" and "best for luxury" by The Daily Telegraph.
I don't think there's any secret formula. Results come largely from hard work and, from time to time, a little slice of luck.
3. Suzanne Baran is an industry-leading Content Strategy and Digital Marketing expert. During her 18-year career she has driven digital strategy for the world’s most beloved brands such as Yahoo!, AT&T, Intel, Toyota, Cisco, Scottrade, DirecTV, FIJI Water, Sony, and other Fortune 500 and 100 companies. She helps brands become better, more efficient publishers.
Suzanne has established content strategy as an essential practice for agencies across many industries. She’s a two-time panelist at the Digital Growth Summit, a guest speaker for Women in Technology International, and a seminar co-leader at General Assembly.
Herding cats is what I might call the main impediment to marketing strategy unity. The ability to commandeer a team and get buy in from silo-ed departments is a difficult undertaking. No matter how large or small an organization may be, a silo mentality is a top-down issue, which trickles down from management.
It’s frequently a business model within marketing and sales teams where some assignments or projects exist in both groups. Gearing a company or department toward a single goal can foster collaboration and a sense of like-minded purpose. This fuels interaction and in turn, conversions and results.
I find it always to be difficult to assess what gets results, and then stop doing activities that's not paying off, even if they are joyful activities. In my last startup we got a lot of press coverage, but looking back it's easy to see that all that press amounted to ZERO business opportunities.
In a sense it was more of a way for some people at our company to build on their personal brand, something I realized way too late.
In my new business I always try to make it about the product, the vision and if there is a need to talk about the people at the company I try to highlight the people that actually make the magic happen, i.e. my awesome team mates.
5. Carla Johnson helps marketers become storytellers. She works with companies to develop frameworks and build teams to tell better stories in order to develop deep relationships with customers and employees, create delightful experiences for audiences and generate top-line revenue.
Her clients include Motorola Solutions, Dell, Emerson, VMware, Western Union, American Express, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and other corporate, government and nonprofit organizations.
Definitely educating executives on the value that marketing can bring to the table. With some companies, executives tolerate marketing so that things look “pretty.” This has changed significantly since I started my company in 2001. Now executives are more open to the conversation.
But if the expectation of marketers is to deliver better or different results, then everyone needs to be willing to let marketing behave differently. If marketing can deliver results that drive the business forward, execs care less about how they got there.
6. Jeet Banerjee is a 23 year old serial entrepreneur, digital marketing consultant, TEDx speaker and best selling author. Jeet began his journey at the age of 17 when he launched a multimedia agency before selling it two years later.
Since then, Jeet has launched a handful of success tech ventures while helping numerous other entrepreneurs find success with their own businesses. When Jeet isn't in the office working on his tech projects, you can find him speaking at events all around the world sharing his experiences and insight on entrepreneurship.
The hardest struggle when it came to delivering results is always trying to balance what the clients want with your own ideas. Clients obviously are heavily invested in their own projects and often times limited what I could or couldn't do to help get them results.
That was probably the biggest struggle when it came to delivering results because you have a crutch holding you back.
Eric is also emerging as a recognized expert on content marketing.
He is the lead author of the book The Art of SEO; a columnist and contributor to publications such as Search Engine Land, Moz, Copyblogger, Marketing Land, and Social Media Today; and a regular speaker at industry conferences such as Search Marketing Expo, Pubcon, ClickZ Live, and many others.
The hardest part is when a client isn't cooperating. Many times we can resolve this through an education process, where we get them to understand the reason for our recommendations. Sometimes this requires a great deal of patience. Of course, there are times when the client simply won't cooperate. At Stone Temple Consulting, we fire clients who won't let us help them succeed.
Of course, there are scenarios where clients accept, or can implement, only a portion of your recommendations. If that's enough to help them improve, then it is often worthwhile to stay with them and help them move forward in stages. That's pretty common. We only fire them if they are just not listening at all, asking us to do things we think are wrong, or not letting us do enough so they will see a material benefit from our involvement.
8. Tadeusz Szewczyk has more than 15 years of experience in online publishing.
For 5+ years he’s been known internationally for writing here on SEO 2.0 and blogs of Datadial.net, Positionly, Ahrefs, Hubspot, Google Blogoscoped among others (from About).
It's probably about dealing with client expectations. In the early years I had no idea what my work was worth and I charged very little. Ironically the less people pay you, the more they want. The thinking goes something like this – low cost means low value.
I made them rank high on Google for a few bucks, but they weren't satisfied. I have clients that still rank #1 from the optimization I did for them in 2008. These days I charge more so that clients are also more respectful.
It's always difficult to demonstrate ROI using social media. My favorite line is that although I can demonstrate ROI with social media, it will never tell the full story. Because through social media marketing, not only are we able to demonstrate results, but we also add intangible touch-points that help move potential customers and current customers through the sales process.
Oh, that’s easy! It is, hands-down, an antiquated way of looking at results among the entire industry. In the PR industry, we’ve always looked at media impressions and advertising equivalency, which are such baloney metrics.
They mean nothing, yet this is how the industry has always reported results and so it’s what executives are accustomed to receiving. They’ve now added number of social media followers, which is another metric that means nothing. The industry needs to do a better job of delivering results.
11. Gina Horkey is a married, millennial mama to two precocious toddlers from Minnesota. Additionally, she’s a professional writer and an online business marketing consultant with a decade of experience in the financial services industry.
Gina enjoys helping other freelancers gear up to quit their day jobs and take their side hustles full-time. If you’re interested in starting a freelance career, take Gina’s FREE writing course to kick-start yours today! Click here to get the first lesson sent to your inbox.
I think the hardest part is putting in the work, time and effort when there is no guarantee. It also takes a lot of time and effort to build a following and in the beginning it can seem like you’re just treading water. But if you keep at it and don’t compromise your values, results will come.
12. Adam Steele at 22, with no previous business experience, Adam left his day job to chase the dream of business ownership. He started out by peddling Gmail address’ by the bundle. Today, he leads a team of 30+, remote team members, runs 2 successful companies (is currently building 3, 4 & 5) and hosts The Steele Entrepreneur Show.
When not working his face off, he can be found rolling on the Jiu Jitsu mats, tinkering in his garden or with his nose in a book. Adam's mission is to share his experiences, past and present, with anyone audacious enough to want to be great.
Discipline. I have good work ethic, but consistency has always been tough for me. As time has passed I've created better systems to compensate.
13. James Norquay founded Prosperity Media in 2012 after working in the SEO & Content Marketing space for over 10+ years in Australia and the US.
James started working in digital marketing by developing his own network of content websites which went on to generate well over 22 million unique visitors from organic search with a strong focus on the US market. These websites were later sold on to a US media company.
James then moved into enterprise level consulting working for large businesses such as Virgin Mobile, Optus, David Jones, Woolworths, BWS, Apparel Group, Maurice Blackburn, Slater & Gordon, Travel NT, Citi Bank and many more large scale Australian and global businesses to drive SEO and inbound marketing growth.
Working on larger companies can sometimes present delays due to the time it takes to have changes implemented, you could find a technical SEO win which could mean a large traffic increase though it might take 3 months to implement. This is where you have to befriend developers and also work with senior team members to push changes quickly or work out which changes can be made quickly.
14. John McElborough (@johnmcelborough) is one of the UKs most in demand digital marketers. He has delivered on search, paid media and conversion optimization campaigns for some of the UK’s most recognised brands as well as helping thousands of smaller businesses and start-ups succeed online through his writing, training and consultancy. He currently runs the online advertising agency Inbound360 and blogs at johnmcelborough.com
With hindsight I spent too long and too much energy looking for shortcuts and tricks to drive quick results. I'm kind of obsessed with trying to hack and crack systems and find better ways of doing things so I've had to teach myself to channel that into strategies that deliver long term value.
That said I still love a good shortcut when it's justified, like just the other week I blogged about how to buy Facebook likes for ridiculously cheap (https://johnmcelborough.com/facebook-page-likes/). Stuff like that will always have a place, but now I try to focus more of my energy on the big ideas.
I think the hardest thing to do is not spam. Spam still works. It can bring fast results that will make your clients happy right until it stops working. I think if you are going to play the game right, you have to be great at setting client expectations on the time it will take to see results from organic efforts and VERY FEW clients truly have the patience to wait that long.
I think it was when Google released the Penguin update on April 21, 2012. Some of our websites that used to bring in very good traffic and money were affected by Penguin because they have many strong backlinks from directories with targeted keywords.
In my personal experience (as a consultant), the hardest part in consistently delivering results is juggling multiple clients. It’s very challenging to commit yourself 100% if your focus and attention is divided on several campaigns/clients.
I started my internet marketing business with zero cash so my biggest struggle initially was getting traffic to my sites. I couldn't afford pay per click (PPC) advertising so I decided to learn everything I could about search engine optimization (SEO).
I read everything I could get my hands on about SEO and kept at it until one day I found my website listed on the first page of Google for many of my targeted keywords. In fact, a few of them were actually in the #1 position on page one of Google. I was stunned. That's when my site traffic, my confidence, and income really took off.
The hardest thing at first was learning how to talk to people through digital avenues. I could talk to anyone in person, flash a smile, be charming, and generally get across what I was looking for and see a desired result. Getting by on words and tone in email is quite a different thing, and it took me months of perfecting my approach to language to get it right.
I think the biggest struggle was the learning curve. Not only in the freelance writing business, but also business in general; marketing and growing a business.
By utilizing social media, SEO and content management tools and strategies, companies are able to boost up their branding and engagement with their customers.
One of the hardest part in delivering results how your clients would understand what you did and what needs to be done. It's crucial to set the right expectation from the start. It's better to “under promise, then over deliver” than the other way around.
22. Christi Tasker is drawn to luxury marketing by the rich, vibrant imagery. She loves the stunning photography and the attention to artistic detail that sets it apart.
A lifelong devotee of style, she knows instinctively what the luxury consumer wants to see and hear, and from her experience working with high-end designers, artists and manufacturers, she knows how to deliver it in a way that keeps people talking. (from: About)
Time. There simply is NOT enough time in the day, especially with the endless tasks of digital marketing. Not only is time an issue, but the ever changing social site algorithms for people that don't know what an algorithm is can be challenging for most.
He is the author of the best selling book Search Engine Optimization Secrets and was the co-founder of Making it Click, a marketing training course.
Before starting his own company, Danny was the Senior SEO Manager at AT&T and the Lead SEO at SEOmoz.
The hardest time was most definitely at the beginning. Not only was there not a lot of information on best practices available, but I also had very little knowledge of the field. Luckily, the team at SEOmoz taught me what they knew and together we delivered great results to our clients.
24. Fitz Gerard Villafuerte, RFP is a civil engineer who decided to quit the corporate world back in 2003 to pursue entrepreneurship.
His blog Ready To Be Rich, has won several awards, including the Best Business and Finance Blog at the Philippine Blog Awards.
He has also been recognized by Moneysense Magazine as among the Top 12 Most Influential People in Personal Finance in the Philippines.
He is a Registered Financial Planner and a resource speaker for corporate and socio-civic organizations in the country where he actively promotes entrepreneurship and financial literacy.
The hardest struggle would be meeting the client's expectations, especially their desired deadline. There are difficult clients who set unreasonable requirements, and you need to learn how to be diplomatic while negotiating.
With over 1,000 original and real life experience based articles, He will continue to walk you through the ups and downs, and in and outs of affiliate marketing and how others are making money online.
Coming up with new ideas and ad campaigns is always tough. This was one of the main reasons I started my blog at ZacJohnson.com in 2007, to be able to build something that I owned and would keep growing with time.
26. Ian Brodie teaches consultants and coaches how to win more clients and build a thriving business online.
As a marketing speaker and coach, he has been named as one of the “Top 50 Global Thought Leaders in Marketing and Sales” by Top Sales World magazine and as one of the “Resources of the Decade” for professional services marketing by Raintoday.com.
His book “Email Persuasion” has been the #1 selling book on email marketing for the last year or so on Amazon globally with over 100 five star reviews.
I think the biggest struggle when you’re working with clients and trying to get them results is getting them to actually implement and follow through. It’s particularly true in large organisation where politics, bureaucracy and slow decision making get in the way.
But even in smaller organisations it can be a challenge because the key people often struggle to find the time to do what they know they should be doing. It’s very easy to get distracted from marketing that has an impact in the longer term by day-to-day emergencies.
27. Jan Koch helps entrepreneurs set up systems grow their business online by leveraging today's technical capabilities, and free them from technical obstacles, so that they can focus on their main business.
I still struggle with selling my services. I never learned how to properly sell, so asking for the money doesn’t feel natural to me, even my clients are happy with my services.
My hardest struggle was – and still is, time. Sometimes you know when you’re doing everything right, everything you’re supposed to be doing, but you have to wait for the clock to catch up. Some things just take time to get off the ground, and regardless of how much work we put in, we can’t speed up the clock.
There were many struggles, but I suppose you're talking about business here. The most intense periods are the ones at the beginning of a new business. Like I told you, I'm a serial entrepreneur, I started many businesses. Some of them took off, some of them don't, some of them are still maintained by me or a team. My latest business is a co-working and event venue in Bucharest, called Connect Hub.
The learning curve was definitely the hardest struggle. From a complete newbie to the online world, there was just so much to learn and grasp. I was also so busy running my business, that I found it a struggle to find the time to invest in learning new things.
Running an eCommerce business takes a lot time and energy, it's not just sitting down in front of a computer and watching sales come through. In addition to that, my time management and organisation was all over the place, and that’s me being honest.
31. Devlin Duldulao is a workaholic and insomniac and if he had his way, he’d try to convert anyone to be like that also. He may not look at it, but he’s really a nerd at heart or maybe he’s a late bloomer when it comes to the latter.
He can get along well with most people, but he can be quite opinionated and stubborn on his ways.
Even though Devlin’s days are mostly spent on being an SEO consultant, web designer, conversion rate optimization specialist, and an Adwords expert, he still has not yet completely left behind his passion for a cause.
The hardest struggle that I could think of was the time when I was still in the trial-and-error phase. Not only I’d learned many things from my mistakes, it also proved to me that there’s no 1-shoe-fits-all solution in SEO.
The hardest struggle is consistency, when you are out there to deliver a one shot project or one thing, then it's very easy to get the job done. You follow a fixed approach and get the work done and then walk away.
But when it comes to delivering consistent results over a long period of time, then things start getting harder as that's the kind of work that requires you to constantly rethink your strategy again and again and work on new action plans in order to get the job done and on time!
33. Maxwell Ivey is a 49-year-old blind gentleman who grew up in a family of carnival owners. All he ever wanted to do was to continue in his father’s and grandfather’s footsteps and be part of the family business.
He did help in the business over the years, but couldn’t sustain it after the early death of his father (who had lung cancer). He then turned to helping people sell their amusement equipment. (from About)
When I started my amusement equipment brokerage company called the midway marketplace I was the new kid in a field with several established companies and websites. My business model was different than the others. Instead of free classifieds with income coming from ad revenue, mine was a straight commission sales site.
So beyond finding my first clients I had trouble just getting people to return my calls or emails. I finally solved this by offering free text links in exchange for email subscriptions. As the list has grown its been a source of new clients and listings. People see the other items I have for sale and remember me when they have a similar need.
Like most marketers with a focus on SEO, it was always challenging when Google was releasing a new major algorithm. That was especially difficult when I was working on some client’s websites that I haven’t optimized from the beginning.
35. Joy Hawkins has been working in the Local SEO industry since 2006 and enjoys making trips to Google as a part of their Top Contributor program.
Joy currently contributes to many online communities in the Local SEO world including the Google My Business forum (Top Contributor), the Local Search Forum(Top Contributor), and the Local University Forum (Moderator).
She is also a columnist for Search Engine Land, a speaker at SMX & Local University, a contributor to the Moz Local Search Ranking Factors survey, a Google MapMaker Regional Lead, and has been certified in both Google Search & Display.
I would say the biggest struggle is getting results quickly. The results always come with time if you’re doing the right things, but many business owners aren’t patient and want something instant, which is almost impossible without blackhat tactics.
He’s always been a music enthusiast and went one step further in his days as a metal head by creating an online site for Metallica, his favourite band.
Marko was just sixteen when his site became Denmark’s official Metallica fan club, which led to many musical adventures… and gave him a taste of online possibilities.
There's so much stuff out there on the internet. That's what's great about the internet. Anyone, anywhere can publish something and get an audience for whatever he or she is passionate about. This also means that there's so much noise. And this is the hardest struggle for anyone wanting to deliver results. What do you do to break through all that noise and get your voice heard.