Being an effective digital marketing professional is beyond possessing the best tools or even the most up-to-date industry knowledge and knowhow.
I can guarantee you that digital marketing for any product or brand takes a village, even if it’s from outside of the digital team.
How you conduct yourself and communicate your inventive ideas and invaluable insights makes a big difference to stakeholders.
For instance, and I’m sure you’ve faced this some time in your career, being unable to successfully convince your boss of some groundbreaking solutions to your company’s challenges may cripple you from achieving what would’ve been amazing results.
For this reason, being an effective digital marketer is essential to long-term success.
If you haven’t read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven Covey, you should be ashamed of yourself. Jk. you can do some catching up on Hubspot’s book summary of it.
Otherwise, here are 7 habits of highly effective (and therefore successful) digital marketing professional, stemmed from Covey’s timeless principles, to help you along on your journey.
1. Be proactive
The height of proactivity, as opposed to reactivity, is to be independent of external forces.
As the digital realm is ever evolving, there are factors that are beyond our control that may discount our efforts. This includes Google’s changing algorithms or some social media giant’s decision to change how our content reaches our audiences organically (or not).
Staying abreast of industry news keeps you updated of changes in the digital world that impact your ongoing efforts. You’ll also get the latest scoops on online content consumption trends and other innovative digital marketing techniques.
Doing so can preemptively tweak your strategy as you go along. Avoid the temptation of mere firefighting to the point where you disregard the big-picture stuff.
I personally do this by following industry experts on both Feedly and social media.
2. Begin with the end in mind
Start by envisioning the ultimate goal of your digital marketing endeavors in mind. This will determine which values will guide us in our day-to-day decisions and actions.
For example, your approach to your SEO strategy could either be enjoying long-term website health or gaining short-lived boosts in keyword rankings.
At the beginning of a campaign, you may have to make a decision between executing white or grey hate SEO Practices.
White hat SEO may take a longer time to get specific keywords to get on the first page of the search engine results page. However, it is beneficial for a healthy domain authority over time.
On the other hand, grey hat practices have been said to produce faster results that don’t necessarily maintain your keywords’ position for the long haul.
3. Put first things first
This habit means more than prioritizing tasks on a list.
It teaches us to not be so caught up with reacting to crises resulting in the neglect of non-urgent yet important activities.
Things like building relationships, long-term planning, and preparation are all important in digital marketing because of its ever-evolving nature and competitive landscape.
Maintain relationships with other brands and webmasters/ content creators so that initiating collaborations in the future will be a piece of cake.
Plan long-term and be clear about what your digital marketing goals are so that they can guide your daily decisions. Prepare for new trends by understanding new tools, concepts, and algorithms.
While these activities may not appear urgent for now, these are the things that are crucial to long-term success.
4. Think Win-Win
Always come to agreements only when it’s mutually beneficial and satisfying to both parties. In your collaborations, sometimes it may seem like a dog-eat-dog world.
And in digital marketing, the more savvy dogs may sometimes prey on the less informed ones.
An example of win-lose partnership is syndicating content from your less-savvy partners on your website that has a higher authority without attributing a proper canonical link.
Sure, your site will rank higher on the search engine for that same piece of content, but it destroys a relationship and may also cause your site to be penalized for duplicate content. True story.
It’s tempting to take advantage of others who are less knowledgeable than you are, but they will eventually become wise to unscrupulous behavior.
Always adopt the abundance mentality.
To achieve Win-Win, keep the focus on results, not methods; on problems, not people.
5. Seek first to understand
It always pays to first understand the other party you’re dealing with before you project your own beliefs upon them.
Many a time, digital marketers have to report numbers and propose solutions because it makes sense to us by second nature.
However, for those who do not fully grasp what we do, they may have different standpoints and perspectives.
The next time you present an analysis or draft a report, think about what the recipient’s objectives are, and speak their lingo.
Research on layman terms that are foolproof.
If you’re having trouble with that, here’s a digital marketing glossary if you need to explain certain terms to non-digital folks. Good luck with that!
Having synergy with your teammates sometimes requires you to agree to disagree.
To achieve your digital marketing goals and objectives it sometimes require us to acknowledge that there are many schools of thought when it comes to the strategic and tactical parts of a project.
Be openminded enough to experiment and then take action based on collected data.
After all, digital marketing is all about embracing new and unexpected ways of doing things,
7. Sharpen the saw
To be effective digital marketers, we must devote the time to updating our knowledge. Habit 7 is focused on renewal, or taking time to “sharpen the saw”.
It surrounds all of the other habits and makes each one possible by preserving and enhancing your greatest asset — your expertise.
As a digital marketing professional, stay informed of industry news, attend conferences related to your niche and speak with your peers in forums and groups!
And most importantly, never be complacent.
Just when you think you’re a know-it-all when it comes to digital marketing, there’s someone else out there who’s already applying what they’ve learned from some professional blog post they’ve read. And they may just be your competitor.
Have a habit that makes you thrive in your digital marketing endeavours? Feel free to share in the comments below!