How Managing Digital Marketing Is Much Like Managing Life

When it comes to your life, you know the drill: Wake up early, get some work done, plug in energy for the entire day, and yank all you can out of the time you got.

While you go about that, some of you have to cook, do the laundry, pay the bills, pay attention to those little things that can bite (if you don’t pay attention), and then some more. Somewhere along the way, you also have to battle it out because things don’t always work the way you want them to.

Then, there could be teething troubles you’d have to manage too. On top of all that, you have your own mind to fight with because your lazy and also sensitive brain tends to procrastinate, get bored, drift, or just wants to give up.

All of that is “recurring”. Somehow, you pull it all off. You survive. Some of us even thrive.

Digital marketing (when you have to do it the right way) is somewhat like that. Since it’s an orchestrated effort – much like your personal life and professional (or entrepreneurial life) is – it’s a bit too much to deal with.

They say, “Life is a bitch”; digital marketing is no less.

How, then, would you get to grips with it? It’s important and yet it’s a pain in the ass. How do you cope? What do you do? Here are a few pointers to help you out:

Prepare for the long-haul

When you get into a relationship, you prepare for the long-haul. You promise yourself and your partner that you’d communicate, sit and sort out issues, and give all that you got to commit yourself to make it happen.

You do something similar when you prepare to take a mortgage for the fancy million-dollar house. Or for that expensive car.

You’d do it if you make huge sacrifices and start a “startup”.

We are all somehow wired to “prepare” for the long-haul when we “know” that we have to.

Know this: Your efforts with digital marketing stretch longer than the time it takes for you to pay off the mortgage. Digital marketing is all about “long haul” — just as with your life, yourself, your relationships, your assets, and your personal finance management.

Short-cuts? There aren’t any.

Strike a balance

I wrote about how various digital marketing channels play, and what to expect from each. It’s remarkable that we have so many ways to create impact and yet most businesses don’t use any of that.

Before you strike a balance, you should learn to walk.

  • Start blogging and then figure out the best frequency to blog, the titles you should be using, and the length of blog posts.
  • Get on social before you start thinking of social media calendars and timing your social updates.
  • Start sending out simple RSS-to-Email campaigns before you plan to launch marketing automation.

Start off on all available digital marketing channels. Gather data (use analytics or see some of the best analytics tools available for business), and then decide which channels works best for your business.

Patience is still a damned virtue

Doing well with digital marketing takes times while I agree that the time it takes is possibly much less than what it’d take you if were to use traditional marketing methods.

Yet, patience is a virtue (and I am not the first one to say that).

Too many campaigns die young, social accounts go abandoned, and blogging stops before a single dollar ever comes crawling through.

Digital marketing takes persistence. It takes effort (and balls) to keep going when it’s only your mom and a few friends who actually read your blog posts and follow you on social media.

Rand Fishkin, Neil Patel, and almost every business I know started that way. They got where they wanted to, so can you.

Learn How to Nurture Customers

After everything you do, a few leads aren’t leads at all. Some leads are not even real prospects, according to Reade Milner of Marsden Marketing.

Then, only a few of the leads you’ll ever generate are high-quality ones. Plus, you could be wasting leads.

So, let’s assume that you kick the bad leads out and then start focusing on high-quality leads. Are you there yet? Apparently not.

According to Ken Krogue of Forbes.com,

Companies don’t respond fast enough to leads. [ End result: you lose all that potential]

He writes:

…they take 46 hours and 53 minutes to pick up the phone and respond to a lead. And the sales rep who does call, only makes 1.3 call attempts before giving up and moving on. And recent research shows it is getting better, but only slightly.

She further points out that companies only contact 27% of leads they get (while companies could easily contact 92% of all the leads). Just by responding to leads faster, companies can boost results by a whopping, wait for it, 341%.

Reach out to your leads fast enough. After you get leads, learn to nurture those leads with relevant information.

Outsource what you aren’t good at

Consider this:

  • Blogging 5 posts a week, every week.
  • Amplifying what you publish on social media + work on social to maintain and nurture your network.
  • Sending and managing your email campaigns.
  • Managing your paid campaigns (with each platform like Facebook ads and Google Adwords demanding expertise again) along with multiple landing pages, ads, continuous optimization, tracking, and A/B testing.
  • Using analytics and making sense of all that’s happening, every day.
  • Did we mention that there are a thousand other tasks to support everything you do above?

How on earth are you going to manage all that? Even if you thought you’d be able to do it (and maybe you can), are you doing it right enough? Long enough?

Stay on top of your campaigns but you’d be better off if someone else manages all this for you while you focus on your business.

Automate what you can

Marketing automation is huge, and it’s not because it sounds good to hear. Marketing automation helps businesses and agencies like ours manage the super-human effort it takes just to collect, nurture, and manage leads – all leading up to sales (hopefully repeat sales).

There are plenty of big tools like OntraPort and InfusionSoft to help you get there. Then there are small ones such as Campaign Monitor and Mailchimp to help you out if you are just getting started.
No matter how you look at it, marketing automation is a great way to automate processes and do some smart marketing.

When it costs less than a latte per day to use those tools, even the excuses have automatically left the building.

Do it wrong to know what’s right

If you ever hear anyone say “I am an expert”, just run. Especially when it comes to digital marketing. New technologies, tools, features, platforms, and techniques sprout up each day.

Given that, there are no experts. Some marketers and agencies are smart and some are still catching up. Many don’t bother.

As for your business and the digital marketing execution that you are doing, I’d only say this: do what’s wrong to know what’s right.

Do mistakes with your blogging, with your social presence, with your emails (sending too many emails, Charlie?), and with your paid campaigns.

If you don’t get wiped off the earth and if you come back smarter, good luck with your competition trying to catch up with your business.

Digital marketing is indeed a bitch. You could, however, be a veteran bitch trainer, can’t you?

How do you run your digital marketing campaigns? What troubles you the most? Tell us about it.

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