IMG_0653Former basketballer, Michael Jordan is reported as having said: Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.

When you work in digital marketing, that’s exactly the attitude you need to take. There’s certainly no chance of sitting back and relaxing while you score goals.

For all the so-called gurus out there sprouting their version of wisdom about how to achieve remarkable results in no time using social media, there’s 10 people in the background doing the hard slog of creating interesting content, testing versions of it, doing their market research, joining conversations in online communities, tweaking target demographics, determining budgets and campaign runs, crunching the figures and then doing it all over again before you’ve had time to draw breath.IMG_4463

And along the way you DO hit walls – sometimes in close succession. Why? Because when you’re trying to be creative and push the boundaries so you don’t become a cookie cutter brand you make mistakes and you sometimes just don’t get it right. That isn’t a mistake, it’s a learning experience.

There isn’t a formula for getting it right, nor should there be. This is something I’m honest about when I deliver training and coaching on social media marketing. I can tell you what the best practices of digital marketing are and give you examples of how I use them, but you have to apply your own unique take on it to really make it yours. It does take time and the results will never appear overnight.IMG_7920

I’m working on an event at the moment that has sorely tested my creativity and strategising in recent weeks. It’s been the source of long days and working weekends in an effort to get it right. It’s made me question what I do at every level, but my saving grace has been having a supportive team around me.

So, what has been reinforced in my mind during this time?

  1. Enjoy the opportunity to be creative when it presents itself – too few businesses value creativity but it’s the stuff of gold when it comes to marketing.
  2. Have a supportive team around you – operating solo isn’t healthy and to borrow a recent definition of collaboration doing the social media rounds: Collaboration is not about gluing together existing egos. It’s about the ideas that never existed until after everyone entered the room.
  3. Plan to be proactive not reactive. Get ahead of yourself as much as possible to give yourself time and space to think straight.

Now it’s over to Winston Churchill for the last word: Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.

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