Tag Archives: marketing success

Lorrie Thomas
The Secret to Being a Successful Digital Marketer

Do you know what the secret is to being a successful digital marketer? 

If I asked this question to a room full of professionals, most of them would guess that it’s being knowledgeable in the technical parts of marketing: knowing SEO, SEM, how to buy ads, knowing the best times to post on social media, how to build and manage a website, graphic skills for photos, and much more along those lines.

All of those are great answers and true. Having a handle on any of those skills is going to give your marketing career a big boost. That’s no secret.

But that is not the key to success. When I spoke with Matt Krumrie, Director of Content Management for Power Network for his article on marketing career success, I told him that the the number 1 skill needed to succeed throughout your marketing career is not tech-related, it is the ability to communicate clearly.Web Marketing Therapy: The Secret to Being a Successful Digital Marketer

Whether you are a college grad seeking to launch a successful marketing career or a professional who has decided to launch your own business and has suddenly found that marketing is now part of the job, being an artful communicator is just as important as knowing the technical stuff.

“The world we live in is phone/text heavy, but this ‘quick and dirty’ method of communication will only leave the marketing grad dirty career-wise. Whether it is an email to your boss, selling something, writing copy for a social media post or an ad, the ability to communicate in a compelling way (and online, that means pithy, powerful text) is critical.

Strong communication skills are needed at every level of online and offline marketing, from writing ad copy to emailing a boss or reaching out to a new client. I loved being interviewed to talk about the skills college grads need to succeed in Matt’s article titled Marketing Careers: Combination of Technical and Soft Skills Key to Success.

How do you sharpen your communication skills? Practice makes perfect. There are so many ways to practice your communication skills in everyday life – strike up a conversation with the clerk at the store, email your child’s teacher, write a thank you note to your neighbor. Sharpen your writing communication skills by writing more, listening more, and reading a lot. Take the time each day to read any book, magazine, newspaper, or online news story that catches your eye. The best part is that once your communication skills are sharp, they will rarely dull, instead they will only become even better with use.

Happy Marketing!

Lorrie Thomas
Marketing Success Begins with YOU…Ready to Own It?

I received an email from a friend/colleague a few weeks ago.

He mass-emailed (passive communication) a bunch of web people and marketing professionals that he connected with over the years, stating that he was “looking for people to take on his marketing for no charge (AKA get paid a percentage of sales for results only) because he spent so much money ‘on marketing’ but wasn’t seeing any results.

I read the email and I was pissed.

PISSED. (OMG, so pissed!)

It took me a while to realize why I was so upset.  It took one of my many “de-stress walks” to give me the space to ponder his victim-like, responsibility-projecting email and reflect on why his note got under my skin.  As somebody who cared about him, I figured out the issues…


1. Professional ADHD (no clear focus).  I watched this professional from the sidelines since 2006.  First he was a corporate speaker, then a wellness expert, then a strategic deal maker to bring companies to other companies.  How the hell can you make your marketing work if you don’t know who the hell you are?   Marketing RX:  Commit to who you are, what you do and who you serve. If you don’t have focus, you better believe your marketing money will not go anywhere (how can it if you don’t stick to a plan?)!

2. Trust Issues.  I observed this colleague hire “the best web people”, “the coolest graphic artist” then turn around and say he didn’t like them weeks later.  The problem wasn’t the talent he was hiring, it was the person hiring the talent – HIM!  He couldn’t trust people to do what they did best, so great work never happened.  His “I know everything” ego got in the way of the talent he hired being able to execute brilliantly.  They would get frustrated and bail on him.  If you don’t know who you are (see diagnosis #1 above) and what you want, trust will be hard to find… Marketing RX:  In order to trust others, you have to trust yourself first.  If you have issues with that, stop and check yourself before you bring other professionals into your ring.  They can’t fix your internal issues, only you can.  And ask clarifying questions.  Respect that you can’t judge what you don’t understand and be willing to get educated in the process.

3. Victim Complex.  No matter what “professional label de jour” this guy rode, he always seemed to get into deals where he was “not getting results” or “getting the short end of the stick”  Victims will always be victims if they choose to be, and the email that was sent (a weak cry for help) was clear proof that this guy was not ready to claim his success yet.  He was emailing other people asking them to own his success when he had no clear plan! Marketing RX: Don’t be a marketing victim.  The only way out of victimization state is by doing personal work, it starts with you.  Have a business plan, research what you don’t understand and make educated choices and be willing to invest in your success.

4. Responsibility Projection.  The ownership of “success” (which this man still has yet to define) was projected onto other marketers.  Marketing is a partnership.  It takes two to tango, but if a professional wants to win in business, they needs to be willing to step up and own the responsibility. Marketing RX:  Take responsibility for your success.  Marketing companies are your support system, not the WHOLE system!  Do what you do best and pay others to do the rest.  If you can’t afford professionals, self-educate and do it yourself, there’s lots of options.  Success comes in CANs not CAN’Ts.

In the end, I realized the reason I was so angered by this email was because I really care for this guy… He is passionate, talented and has so much to offer.  Watching him for so many years just spin, without learning or improving and not going after what he wanted (because he couldn’t commit to what he wanted and own it) was tough to swallow.  This was a marketing therapy issue that I could not resolve and I hate it when I can’t save people from being dangers to themselves and others. 🙁

Marketing Success Begins with YOU…You need to be damn sure you know who you are, what you want and be ready to manage people to help you get there. IT IS HARD WORK but if you are in the game, you can play to win.

Teams like mine rock companies when we partner with professionals who are ready to roll up their sleeves and play to win.

I’m tempted to send this guy a reply and share my diagnosis, but part of me thinks the healthiest thing is to let him learn on his own….I welcome thoughts on how to reply to this colleague/friend.

When you are ready to own it, then success is on the horizon.

Learn, Live, Grow and Love what you do.  In doing so, you will attract winning results.

Follow me on Twitter @webtherapist for more tips and Join our Facebook Group “Web Marketing Group Therapy” for free tips, advice and spoonfulls of marketing sugar!

Lorrie Thomas
Copying someone else's strategy does NOT equal success

I read a great post today from Seth Godin about business strategy. Seth says:

“You shouldn’t pick your strategy by modeling someone else’s success. The success might have been strategic and planned, but it’s just as likely to be a matter of blind luck.”

I don’t know if I agree 100% about the luck part, as I am a firm believer that success comes from hard work and strong thinking.

But I DO AGREE with Seth that you should not pick strategy based on someone else’s success.

I am SO OVER treating web marketing clients that have consumed the infomercial marketing Kool-aid.  You know what I am talking about – people go to workshops and spend thousands of dollars to learn “strategy secrets” based on the success stories of an entrepreneur that boasts how they work part time and have a beach house and preach the “I live the life of my dreams and so can you, buy my success secrets”   Uh, yeah…..my blood is boiling as I blog about this…..I loathe “binge and purge” marketing.


We are paid equally to how much we are willing to think.  Thought requires time, energy and effort and although it may be easier to buy the seminar or success secrets, the liklihood that luck will save you from yourself is small.

Just because a marketing or business strategy worked for one organization, does not mean it will work for you.  You can get ideas from success stories, but how you apply them to your business needs to be custom.

Strategy is a game plan…it requires thought, creativity, effort and dedication (and maybe some luck!)

Don’t be a marketing victim, quick and dirty copying of strategy will just equal dirty results.

Be a critical thinker…copying someone else’s success strategy will not equal success.