To Build a Special Online Marketing Career To Be Proud Of, You Need This One Thing

To Build a Special Online Marketing Career…Image courtesy of Canva.
To Build a Special Online Marketing Career…Image courtesy of Canva.

Looking to build a great, lasting career in online marketing? You need one particular trait. This one attribute proves you’re a true professional. This attribute will impress your clients. Strong testimonials and word-of-mouth referral business will also result. It even creates that precious, scarce resource in life called trust.

What is this thing essential to online marketing?

Let’s travel back in time to 2001 to illustrate what this “thing” is…

The clock is ticking! I have to get this special “package” to the drop-off location. I only have minutes to spare.

It’s another hot summer’s day over 100 degrees in Tulsa, Oklahoma. But I’m not sweating from the heat. My Ford Taurus rental car has good A/C. The sweat is from meeting a deadline. I have to get this pack of freshly burned DVDs to FedEx before 5 PM.

Thankfully, I get into FedEx and drop the package just in time! It will arrive tomorrow in L.A. The destination is Electronic Arts Los Angeles (EALA). This is the L.A. game studio for Electronic Arts (EA). EALA game testers can discover showstopper bugs in our video game. Programmers, designers, and producers can help work on the game from L.A.

I lived with this hard deadline for the last 6 months of 2001. Nearly every weekday, I needed to get a copy of our game out to EALA. This game was “Medal of Honor: Allied Assault.” It was being made in Tulsa by a game studio named 2015. (Many of those folks later founded the multi-billion dollar game franchise “Call of Duty.”) But the Internet was too slow back in 2001. We had to physically send the latest versions of the game to EALA.

Medal of Honor: Allied Assault video game cover (image courtesy of Electronic Arts and 2015, Inc.).
Medal of Honor: Allied Assault video game cover (image courtesy of Electronic Arts and 2015, Inc.).

EA was publishing the game and saw that it had huge potential. It was part of the “Medal of Honor” game franchise. Steven Spielberg helped spawn it. Spielberg had just directed “Saving Private Ryan.” He had just created and produced the TV series “Band of Brothers.” The Medal of Honor games were also set in World War II. You could step into the shoes of those brave American soldiers. Have some fun and save the world from Nazis!

EA poured resources into the game to help get it done and polished. Many of us at EALA came to Tulsa to help out on site. Most others had to help from 1,400 miles away in L.A.

Each afternoon, I had to tell everyone to stop adding changes to the game. Then I had to compile the latest version of the game. A quick game test came next to ensure it worked! I then burned the game onto multiple DVDs. Finally, I had to get to FedEx by 5 PM. That was the Priority Overnight cutoff.

The above is a story about meeting deadlines. “Meeting Deadlines” is that essential thing for online marketers I kept a mystery until now. Congrats on reading this far to get the answer!

I’ve had to meet all types of deadlines over the years. That daily DVD delivery in Tulsa is just one in a long line of examples. I’ve dealt with writing deadlines when working at two newspapers. I later managed IT Procurement at EALA. Every procurement request came with a deadline. I’ve also done IT Asset Management at EALA, NBCUniversal, and DirecTV. This meant numerous deadlines that came with tight production schedules.

All of this experience serves me well as an online marketer.

“I am one of those people who thrive on deadlines; nothing brings on inspiration more readily than desperation.” — Harry Shearer (Source: Brainyquote at https://bit.ly/3ecHv8C)

Harry distills why there is nothing like having a deadline! You find a way to get things done. In online marketing, deadlines are everything.

One way to ensure you never get rehired by a client is to miss a deadline. Word-of-mouth referrals or testimonials will be hard to come by. Each time you meet a deadline, your trust builds with your client. Completing something on time feels great. Honoring your promises will pump you up.

Here are 3 actions to help ensure you meet all your online marketing deadlines:

1. Set Clear Deadlines with Your Clients.

a. Make sure all deadlines are spelled out clearly in the contract and elsewhere. The contract may be general like: “The email will be delivered within 3 business days of payment.” When you get the payment, send back a thank you. Also include a date and time for the deadline. Give your client deadlines for things like research material. Your time is precious, and you have other clients. Set deadlines for revisions and other details.

2. Track Your Time to See How Fast You Work.

a. Learning your speed will help you set realistic deadlines. Always add extra buffer time, like an extra 33% past what you think you’ll need. Over time you’ll get better at estimating time. Even sweeter, you’ll get faster and better at online marketing with practice.

3. Break Up Work into Small Chunks.

a. Take any online marketing job and break it into chunks. These chunks should take no longer than one hour each. My process for writing LinkedIn articles has 51 steps! Here are a few.

  • Step 1: Create an Article document from template.
  • Step 5: Create the Headline.
  • Step 16: Run the article through Readable.com.

b. I highly recommend learning from great mentors. They’ll have different story formulas and templates. Create outlines and bite-size work chunks with their help.

If you’re an online marketer, you MUST MEET your DEADLINES, period! An old Journalism teacher of mine had a funny way of putting it.

“A Deadline is a deadline. If you don’t cross the finish LINE on time, you are DEAD.” -A Journalism Teacher of Mine

Here are 3 huge reasons to Meet Deadlines as an online marketer:

  • Get rehired by trusting clients.
  • Get word-of-mouth referrals from happy clients.
  • Get great testimonials from impressed clients.

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About Charles Polanski: I help people prosper through online marketing. Click this link to unlock a world of possibilities with online marketing.