Excuses: I’ve Heard Them All

Where have you been?

  1. Your grandfather died.
  2. You were ill the last few days.
  3. Your laptop broke.
  4. The flood/typhoon knocked out your internet.
  5. A family member needed you to help them with something.

And hundreds more excuses than I am able to remember. I’ve heard them all.

These are all important things you should take care of– for which you have a valid reason to miss work.

But what is not okay is abandoning the team and the clients— only telling them AFTER the fact.

Let team members know BEFORE you need to take a day or two off– so they can cover for your part.

An unfortunate pattern we see with people new to digital marketing is using excuses to cover up reliability and performance issues.

Digital marketing is hard– there is so much to learn and so much to do that it can be overwhelming.

Too Much Freedom

Plus, you have all this freedom, which is easy to abuse.

Not that you are lazy or do not want to work– but because friends think you are “available” all the time, they invite you out to do things.

So you want to be nice to friends and hang out, thinking you will get back to your projects later tonight or tomorrow.

Except that never happens, and you fall further behind– since more distractions come up, all from well-meaning people who think you are not doing anything.

A shift worker does not understand a digital marketer since their view of work is like a factory job when you show up at a certain time for your shift.

If you are at home sitting on the couch, why not text all day, play with the dogs and goof off?

They do not realize you have project deadlines— team members counting on you and clients putting their business in your hands.

Once Things Start Catching Up With You

So when you realize you are behind, feeling “all by yourself” in your home, it is easy to go into excuse mode.

“Let’s see… what is the best excuse I can come up with?” is what you are used to doing. We can usually think of something since if you look for something bad, you will find it.

And that excuse might legitimately cover you for a day or two, but not for the months you have continued to struggle.

So then you get caught in a loop of being so far behind, team members and courts chasing you down, and feeling unmotivated.

I would rather watch Netflix and play video games to avoid the situation that is only getting worse.

Allow this to continue and the clients will fire us. The team will believe you are not reliable and do not care.

Communication and Discipline Instead of Excuses

The root of this is you not having learned team communication skills and not having the discipline to work in an environment that does not have physical supervision. Sure, you would be more reliable if you had to drive to an office and be there by 8 am each morning and have a rigid schedule. There is much good about being a wage slave.

But if you can learn the discipline to work in digital marketing, you can have amazing time freedom and be wherever you want.

You have to decide if you are going to focus on excuses after the fact or whether you are accountable and proactive.

Do you want to be the receptionist or factory-type worker that responds only when someone comes to the counter or calls? Or are you a leader who takes charge instead of moving only when someone tells you to?

It’s Not Too Late for You

If you are reading this, you have fallen into the most common trap of new digital marketers.

The good news is that it is an easy trap to escape from, as thousands have learned on their path from beginner to pro.

excuses

Resources

Read “How I Manage 1,000 Emails a Day

Read “What to do when you feel overwhelmed

Read “The Importance of Lightweight Touches

My friend, are you wondering why I asked you to visit this post?

If you haven’t figured it out yet, it’s because we didn’t hear from you for a few days. We tried to reach out to you, but you failed to get back to us.

And when you finally responded, you most likely attempted to justify your absence and lack of communication with a “valid” reason.

That’s why you’re here.

I created this post to show you where I’m coming from. I hope that by now, you understand why I am so critical about good communication.

This blog post is my best attempt to explain this most painful problem. I hope that starting today, you will work on your weaknesses so that we can get back on track.

Why Don’t You Start Now?

Do those five things, and you will see your teammates start applauding you instead of chasing you.

And you will be able to experience the awesome freedom of digital marketing instead of working in a dead-end job in some place you have to drive to each day and back, doing the same boring thing in an endless cycle.

If you want to grow, you are in the right place. And you should expect that learning new skills is a challenge you should be up to.

Now let us get going since the team and our clients are counting on you and rooting for you!

The key to your email inbox

The key to your email inbox

Want to know the secret to never missing a thing? I use the Boomerang by Gmail tool to bring back messages that people don’t reply on.

The downside is that if the other person continually doesn’t reply, then you get a chain of these where you have to keep chasing them.

This works most of the time– a lifesaver if you’re a business owner that is the last line of defense in your business. But it also means you have to be willing to deal with stuff like in the screenshot below.

Some people will say that you should fire people who can’t get organized or to ignore clients that can’t reliably respond. Yet some of the most loyal people I’ve known over the years were in this state of disorganization and are now solidly on top of their communication game.

I believe communication skills are more important than any sort of digital wizardry– that a reliable team beats the super genius.

Amen?

Has Facebook’s time come?

Has Facebook’s time come?

Interesting to think that Apple doesn’t have a blue check mark, but I do.

Even the most profitable company in the world is no match for Mark Zuckerberg’s power!

Seriously, Facebook has too much power. So if they don’t like you (witness the Apple + Facebook feud), you have no recourse.

Time to diversify– don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

Even though the last 13 years on Facebook has been incredible, things change– we need to adjust.

Censorship, ad accounts banned, privacy issues, nobody to talk to when there’s a problem, etc…

My money is on YouTube, SnapChat, TikTok, and good old fashioned web + email this next year.

Facebook will get busted up, just like the airlines and Ma Bell in the Mercedes 80s.

Are you prepared?

Little Details

It’s the little details that matter, which show through if you put in enough time to notice.

For example, on creating iPhone videos to market your business:

– You cannot switch from front to rear camera while filming with the camera. So you either have to use another app or manually flip the phone in your hand.

– You can reply with video in Gmail by hitting the attachment icon and then photos icon. Way more powerful than text replies.

– Sound quality is WAY more important than video quality to keep people watching your videos. If you have an iPhone and a regular lavalier mic, you need a TRS to TRRS adaptor (2 lines to 3 lines on the plug) and a TRRS to lighting adaptor. I use the Rode Wireless Go and have to buy these two gadgets, which don’t come in the box.

– You can comment on a Facebook post with a video, but you can’t do this on LinkedIn– only a picture.

– You have 15 seconds to reply in Facebook Messenger, so learn how to keep it short– or make multiple 15 second replies.

– You can share your phone screen if you’re a presenter in a Zoom call. And everything works great (just like if you’re projecting to Apple TV), except when you’re recording video– since the two interfere with each other. So pre-record your videos (stored in your favorite app) or switch to desktop webcam to show you using your phone.

– Google Photos app is super slow in uploading your videos from your photos library on your phone. So also pay for iCloud, Dropbox, and Amazon Photos (another $10 each per month) to have your videos automatically backed-up). You will have to keep these apps open every week to let it catch up, since uploads are faster when the app is open.

– Film vertically (portrait mode) most of the time if you’re reaching mobile users, but horizontal if an interview or in a webinar app.

– Zoom records participant video, but GoToWebinar does not. We had GoToMeeting/GoToWebinar for 10 years but switched because of this.

– Amazon Photos has the smartest facial recognition and easiest way to share groups of pictures (instead of having to select each picture/video, one-by-one) with your external people (like freelancers and partners).

The way to tell whether someone is an expert in something is not much they’ve spent on gear or how many years they say they’ve been doing it, but if they are deep in the nuances of their craft.

Would you agree?