The problem with most of us is that we conveniently believe that we are always doing the best we can with respect to everything.

We barely even scratch the surface of what we can really do. When it comes to digital marketing, we have a tendency to stick to what “seems” to work rather than what we should be doing to make things happen for our business.

While the basics of digital marketing are easy enough to grasp, it’s incredibly hard to make it all work together to get you the results you seek.

  • Merely blogging away on a schedule isn’t enough if you aren’t promoting your posts just as well (if not more).
  • A passing presence on social media won’t cut it for you anymore.
  • Sending out a few random newsletters or even basic automation won’t be enough to nurture and engage your subscribers enough to get them to buy from you (and then buy from you again and again).

The bar is constantly being raised as you read this. The hard work you put into developing content as a part of your digital marketing efforts now competes with some of the world’s best companies committed to make a difference and to use digital marketing as a way to grow their businesses.

If all that you think you are doing isn’t enough, what are you supposed to do? How do you compete in this, “I do better than you can ever hope to” world? Here are a few tips:

Stop getting intimidated

All that you are doing with inbound marketing is to use information to draw readers in. Then, you’d want your readers to like you and trust you enough for them to buy from you whenever “they” are ready for it.

You don’t have to produce content that’s better — or more powerful and engaging — than that of Tim Ferris or Seth Godwin. You’d only have to do enough to make a difference for “your audience”. Something you wrote about teaches them something. Or something that you tweeted about gives them “food for thought”.

Everyone started somewhere, and we really have no Shakespeare’s winning the game of content today. Successful folks, you see today are ordinary people, from all over the world.

Consistency is the name of the game

We place too much emphasis on “quality” — so much that we do it at the cost of consistency. I’ve often read how some popular bloggers insist on working just one blog post per week in the name of high-quality blogging.

Some others like blog intermittently, like Chris Lema does.

It might work for them, but it won’t work for you.

Now, Chris Brogan rarely even communicates on social media (chances are that he won’t reply to you) all the while he swears by the efficiency of social media as a medium built for modern day networking. But Chris can afford not to talk.

If Gary Vaynerchuck doesn’t reply soon enough (or not at all) to any of his potential customers, it’s alright. Gary built enough clout and goodwill to make his customers wait.

You can’t. You are not Gary Vaynerchuck and you aren’t Anthony Robbins.

For you and I, it’s quality plus consistency that works.

Compete with the best

Dan Norris, writes about how to benchmark yourself against your competition in his book The 7 Day Startup.

Anytime you feel yourself wondering if what you are doing is good enough, compare it to the best:

Don’t ask your friends to pick between three logos. Instead, compare them all to Apple.
If it’s nowhere near as good, try again.

If you write a blog post, compare it to one on KISSmetrics.com. If it’s not as good, rewrite it.

If you launch a website, compare it to bench.com or simple.com. If it’s nowhere near as good, then you can do better.

It’s often asking a lot for a small business to reach the levels of an established leader. You will be compared to leaders, and if you don’t measure up, then people will notice. By comparing yourself to the best, you set higher expectations for yourself, and you will be better for it.

It’s compelling to be mediocre; it’s hard to deliver the best you can. If we are doing something, we might as well be the best at it.

Do everything You Thought You Couldn’t

Does it feel intimidating to reach out to Copyblogger, Kissmetrics, Mashable, Marketing Profs, Moz, Forbes, and Fortune to get your guest blog post published?

Trust me, it scares the shit out of me. I already think guest blogging is a pure waste of energy and time for the measly returns it provides. To reach out to any of these publications would mean not only battling with my own fear and insecurity.

To be honest, though, I don’t think the bar is as high as we think it is. In fact, with the exception of Moz and a few others, most other blogs have lost their sheen. The content produced nowadays isn’t any better than any of us can produce.

It’s just these editors maintain the high-handedness. If we can ignore their unnecessary attitude, I am sure we can start publishing in those publications too.

Copy from others Who’ve made it before you

There are some remarkable people in this world. Sticking against the odds, working off their asses, some individuals have done what some companies still struggle with. Here are about 11 bloggers who can give any company a run for their money — all thanks to their sheer commitment to blogging, for instance.

You don’t always have to follow Rand Fishkin, you can learn a lot from regular bloggers, social media superstars, and email marketing pros — that’d cover the basics of what you need to do with digital marketing.

How are you putting your digital marketing game face on? What are you trying to do to get heard, to make an impact, and to help your customers?

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