Help Me Help You: A Digital Marketer’s Plea

*This post originally appeared on Talent Zoo’s Beneah The Brand blog.


It’s one of the great scenes in Jerry Maguire. We all know it. Jerry is standing there in the locker room, at his wits’ end, begging a towel-clad football player to please for the love of God just give him something to work with.

It’s not uncommon for marketers, especially those working in digital marketing, to find themselves in a similar situation. A client wants something up: a Facebook Page, a website, that promotion they’re launching on Twitter, etc. NOW.

“I need this like yesterday,” they say to you. And being the speedy workaholic that you are, you clear your schedule to make it happen. The problem is that the project can’t be completed until all content and collateral has been finalized and reviewed by that same pushy client (or simply just sent to you).

And herein lies the problem. They want it now. They think that building out a promotion on a Facebook page takes mere minutes, so despite your better judgment, you say “Okay.” Then, you get bupkis. No copy approved, no images agreed upon, no idea of what you’re supposed to do next. It’s enough to leave you standing there waving your arms and screaming that phrase we’ve all come to know too well. “Help me, Help YOU!”

The thing is, it’s only natural. Social media and marketing these days happens at lightening speeds and small businesses, which many new digital marketing clients are, are notorious for dragging their feet when it comes to marketing. They, like us, have almost too much on their plates. And really, it’s nobody’s fault.

So how to ease both parties through this without someone ending up hanging from the proverbial thread?

The answer is simple — honesty. I’ve found that most of my clients recommend my services to others for two main reasons – I’m prompt in my response time and I’m upfront about EVERYTHING. Can I get you a Facebook page built out in two days and launch a promotion straight away? Yes, but it will be a quick and dirty and they’re going to have to be on call to approve content.

Helping a client prioritize falls under the digital marketer’s job description all too often. Sometimes the biggest service you can provide is assisting them in weighing their options. Do you want this campaign launched in two days? What’s more important to you, that it’s up fast or that it has all the bells and whistles you want?

Just because something is digital and instantaneous doesn’t mean the work behind it necessarily is. Making it clear (in a nice and professional way) that putting a rush on something also means a client may have to pitch in as well is what makes operations run smoothly. At the end of the day, people appreciate knowing what to expect from a project. Communication is the key to helping them help you help them. And that’s how great digital campaigns are created.