The Times They Are a’Changin’. Don’t Complain, Marketers! Embrace it.

Change.

Adapt, change, and adapt again.

Change seems to be the only constant in the life of a marketer.

Technology changes, the communication platforms which have people’s attention change, and consumer behavior changes.

And, yet again and again, we all seem to be so shocked and upset every single time we encounter change.

Everything from the demise of print and radio advertising and the shift to digital to the slightest update in the Facebook algorithm or the Snapchat UI sends marketers into a tizzy.

I get it. Change is hard. But all thehand-wringing, fist waving and feet stamping in the world aren’t going to make a difference.

What has to change is us. The marketers.

Our job is not only to communicate the message. Our job is to constantly stay on top of these changes and adapt accordingly.

Sure, we can commiserate amongst ourselves. It’s nice to vent with someone else who understands and is experiencing the same challenges.

But, don’t stay frustrated or blame “the system.” The only constant we can rely on is change and it’s a marketer’s job to adapt accordingly.

We can cry and complain that marketing isn’t what it used to be. That now, we have to spend a lot more time branding and earning consumer trust before asking for anything in return.

We can kvetch about the increasing ineffectiveness of interruptive advertising.

And to my fellow social media marketers, we can bemoan the fact that we can no longer “crush it” on social media with text & link posts or sharing alone.

Now, social will take a serious investment of time, money, and resources. Organic is dead on some platforms and dying on others.

The future (which is already here) of social media is paid i.e. sponsored posts, video, and influencers.

Social media is a much bigger production than it used to be. For some of us, and certainly for our clients, it will be more of a hassle. And trends indicate that the current state of affairs will only continue.

But it’s all about perspective. How you react to these changing realities makes all the difference.

If you look at them as an opportunity to do better — deliver more value in your content,

find new and creative ways to hack distribution, and realize that the market is ever-changing and your job is to adapt at scale, you will win.

Look at it this way. As social media begins to predominate and becomes the primary place where we spend time and attention,

it will also require an increasing amount of resources and tactics to compete and succeed on social.

This means we can finally have the courage to demand our clients take social more seriously and begin to allocate more of their budget to social,

And less to more costly, relatively less effective things on which they are still blowing most of their budgets.

In every challenge or change, there is room to cry or to find the opportunity and capitalize on it.

Which option will you choose?

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Respecting Your Time is Respecting Your Clients’ Time

It’s important to set healthy boundaries in life and in business.

I believe in two rules for success with clients:

1) You’re not at beck and call.

2) When you’re speaking with a client, you give the client your undivided attention.

If you don’t follow rule #1, you will be incapable of following rule #2.

Unless you’re a doctor or it’s part of the nature of your business to respond to medical emergencies, you’re not “on-call” 24/7.

When your phone rings and it’s a client, many freelancers and others who work in client service feel obligated to answer or guilty if they don’t.

In my opinion, you should never feel obligated to take a call that isn’t scheduled. Making appointments isn’t snobby. It’s a way of making sure each client gets your full and undivided attention.

You are not expected to drop everything at a moment’s notice. We’re all busy. Our clients are busy. We all have families and careers.

If you don’t respect your own time, then you will not be able to respect the time of others. And, time is money so you must respect time.

In the beginning, it’s easy to get seduced by the notion that catering to your clients means you’re always available anytime they want to speak to you.

But you owe it to yourself and your clients to have some boundaries.

Are you a freelancer or an entrepreneur? There’s a Difference.

Writer or entrepreneur?

Artist or businessman?

There is a big difference. These questions are ones that I often think about.

Some people are amazing content creators. It doesn’t mean they should start content marketing agencies.

Some people are great at their craft, but they aren’t great at selling or managing people or invoicing or dealing with clients.

Some make fantastic freelancers, or solopreneurs, but they can’t necessarily create an organization bigger than themselves with employees.

They’re better off as one-person shows.

One has to have the self-awareness and the honesty to figure out what is right path for oneself.

So, what makes me think I can go from content writer/strategist to founder/CEO of a new marketing agency?

Over the past two years, I’ve proven to myself and others that I can fly solo very nicely.

Will I be able to grow it into something bigger?

We’re about to find out.

Call it chutzpah, call it foolishness, call it arrogance, but I’m trying. I’m starting. I’m DOING and not just talking.

I’m going for it.

And if I fail, then I fail forward and can always rely on my craft — writing ✍️ to support me. I can always go back to being a solo artist.

However, I’m behaving as if there is no other option.

I’m going full speed ahead as an entrepreneur. I refuse to be another statistic in the game.

Sure, there are a lot of players. Most of them don’t make it. But, as my mother always said:

“Cream rises to the top.”

I invite you to come along and follow me on my journey.

— Zev