The biggest trait needed in an online marketer might surprise you. They need to be able to write, of course! But the trait you must find in an online marketer is work ethic. Work ethic is the #1 attribute for 85% of managers (see quote below). All sorts of horrors await anyone hiring an online marketer lacking in it-more on that below. Plus, learn how to spot work ethic in a potential hire quickly.
“When hiring, virtually all managers said attitude and work ethic are the most important considerations in choosing a candidate, and 85 percent reported work ethic as the most important attribute for employee success.” — Cory Edwards, VP at Instructure
Here’s a story that illustrates both ends of the work ethic spectrum. Picture me sleeping on a couch. I was probably snoring loudly at the time. But, I’m not at home. It’s 9 AM on a weekday. The year is 1998. Were at the offices of DreamWorks Interactive, aka DWI. DWI makes video games, and I’m a video game tester there.
An entourage of people come walking down the hall, past me and the couch. A hand from this crowd points at my unconscious body. They ask, “Who is that sleeping on the job?”
This smiling, bearded fellow with a baseball cap is Steven Spielberg! Spielberg was touring the video game company he founded with Bill Gates.
If I were conscious just then, I would’ve thought I might get fired on the spot by Mr. Spielberg.
But I kept snoring! My immediate boss was thankfully in the crowd. He answered Spielberg’s question, “Oh, that’s Charles. He’s a game tester. He was up all last night working hard. He was finding as many bugs as possible up to our 4 AM deadline.”
I had shown tremendous work ethic by working hard and late. I wanted to make our video game “Trespasser” amazing. I looked like a lazy, no-good employee snoring at work! But I didn’t have the energy to bike several miles home at 4 AM.
My slumber finally ended. My boss gleefully told me the full story. Spielberg had been impressed when hearing how I ended up on the couch. Look at how strong work ethic can even get the attention of a Spielberg!
Work ethic is more important to me than ever. As an online market, I only have myself as a boss. If I don’t work hard and enjoy what I’m doing, I will fail me and my clients. I’ve learned work ethic over the years.
I worked hard to get into a good college, UCLA. Through determination and joy, I did a double major. My diploma shows both Biology and History majors.
There were many 60–80 hour weeks as a video game tester and assistant producer. Work ethic got me promoted to IT asset manager and procurement manager. I made sure to find work I enjoyed. I made sure to be punctual.
I ensured things got done on time. For example, I’d order millions of dollars worth hardware and software every year. This was at Electronic Arts Los Angeles. I worked everyone involved to ensure everything arrived on time.
An online marketer needs work ethic above all else. What is work ethic? There are many components. Here is a list. I’ve added how poor work ethic can affect copywriting in each area:
- Accountability/Responsibility: They will make excuses and blame others when they come up short.
- Cooperation/Humility: They’ll have trouble taking criticism. They won’t make necessary changes to their copy.
- Dedication: Their writing will show a lack of research. They won’t understand you, your products, or your target audience.
- Dependability/Punctuality/Reliability: Emails and phone calls will go unanswered. They won’t show up on time or at all to meetings. They won’t meet deadlines.
- Determination/Focus: They juggle different projects and jobs. They can’t focus on your company correctly.
- Gratitude: They can be grumpy and unpleasant.
- Hard Work: They can be lazy and be sloppy with their writing.
- Honesty: They can make up things. You’ll have to catch them with fact-checking. Something might slip through and make your company look immoral and dishonest.
- Initiative: You have to micromanage their work. They’ll ask tons of questions when they could find the answer themselves.
- Professionalism: They might show up to a meeting or Zoom call in sloppy clothes and look like a mess.
- Respectfulness: They might make rude and crude comments in their copy, in meetings, and on phone calls. This can offend coworkers and customers.
That’s a lot of ways a poor work ethic can hurt your project and company.
How do you ensure your online marketer has this coveted thing called work ethic?
- Action #1: Look through the online marketer’s testimonials. This is evidence of excellent work ethic. Find endorsements on their website, LinkedIn page, or job boards. Also request references. Watch out if they don’t have anything!
- Action #2: Study all your interactions with the online marketer. You’ll find hints of a good work ethic. Did they show up to the interview on time? Did they ask questions that show they researched your company? Are they excited?
- Action #3: Ask great questions that reveal work ethic. Here is a nifty guide from TalentLyft with several of those questions: https://www.talentlyft.com/en/blog/article/261/how-to-recognize-a-strong-work-ethic
Work Ethic is most crucial in online marketing. There are many ways a lack of this can hurt your company. But there are easy ways to improve your chances of making a great hire. I wish you the best of luck in your hiring adventures!
About Charles Polanski: I help people prosper through online marketing. Click this link to unlock a world of possibilities with online marketing.