I love to travel. My bank account? Not so much. That’s why when I travel, I’m committed to making the most of it. I compare prices, research the top attractions, and read a book’s worth of blogs to find those off-the-beaten-path destinations that can make or break a trip. But my quest for the perfect vacation has taught me a hard lesson: no matter how well you plan, you can’t prepare for everything.
This year, I was lucky enough to visit Ireland with some of my favorite people. After a solid 8 months of planning (yes, I am That Person), I had a pretty good handle on the history, layout, and noteworthy stops at each destination. I’d researched which “must see” cities were missable, which hidden gems were worth the drive, and even how often we’d find petrol stations along our route.
One thing I didn’t anticipate? A flat tire. At night. With no cell service.
When things go wrong with your digital marketing, it’s easy to feel like you’re stuck on a dark road with no solutions in sight. But with a little help and a lot of luck, my family and I made it to our destination only a little worse for wear. And I learned some valuable lessons along the way; lessons that will also help you on the road to digital marketing success.
7 Lessons to Keep You (and Your Digital Marketing) on the Road to Success
1. Learn the rules of the road (even the unwritten ones).
Whether or not you’ve visited Ireland, you probably know they drive on the left side of the road. But I had to do some major research to learn that many Irish two lane roads aren’t wide enough for two cars. So what do the locals do? Politeness dictates that you pull onto the shoulder if a vehicle approaches from the opposite direction. Fail to follow this unwritten rule and you’ll end up hitting the curb (guilty), clipping another car, or getting stuck in a ditch.
Okay, so what does that have to do with digital marketing? When it comes to the internet, there are a lot of unwritten rules. From what to do when you encounter a troll to how frequently you should post on Instagram, it takes time, experience, and a whole lotta research to learn “the rules of the road.” But once you do, you’ll have a much smoother journey—and so will your customers.
2. Do your research.
Since coming home, I’ve talked to several friends who have also visited The Emerald Isle. Pretty quickly, it became apparent that our flat tire wasn’t a unique experience.
“Front left? Yep, us too.” —literally everyone
Some mistakes are avoidable, some aren’t, but knowing what you’re up against sets you up to succeed even when the road gets rocky.
3. Make sure you have the right tools.
For all my research, it never occurred to me to dig through the trunk of our rental car (except when trying to make our luggage fit). Turns out, we were missing the tools required to replace the tire.
Do you know what tools your business needs to keep your digital marketing presence on the road to success? Consider your website, social media profiles, and SEO services the equivalent of a car jack, spare tire, and lug wrench. You may need extra equipment to truly go places, but these basic tools are needed to keep moving forward.
4. If you don’t speak the language, find someone who does.
Irish is still commonly spoken in the more rural areas of Ireland. But since most locals are bilingual, speaking both Irish and English, we skipped the translator apps. It wasn’t a problem . . . until it was. The language barrier became an issue fast when we pulled into an empty parking lot and the only building in sight was “Gaelscoil Faithleann.”
You may view the world of digital marketing through a similar lens. “Everyone is on social media. I’ll figure it out.” But when it comes to website updates, paid media buying, and the nitty gritty of social media engagement, it pays to have someone on your team who speaks the digital language.
5. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
As it turned out, “Gaelscoil Faithleann” is a local primary school. And when our flat tire stranded us in their parking lot, they were in the middle of a parent/teacher conference. Our new favorite dad in Ireland helped us figure out what equipment we needed, how close we were to the nearest town, and how to contact Roadside Assistance. The pros arrived and fixed the problem in less than an hour.
If you’re feeling lost or overwhelmed in the digital landscape, that’s okay! Find someone who knows what they’re doing. A little help from someone with experience will get you back on the road to success.
6. Own up to your mistakes.
I love you, Dad, but we all know that “pothole” was really a curb or three.
When it comes to getting a flat tire, it may be worth your family’s teasing to save a little face. But when your customers’ trust is on the line, it’s best to fess up, fix the problem, and move forward with an attitude to improve.
7. Remember, it could always be worse.
It’s frustrating when things go wrong, especially when your goals are just out of reach. After driving a couple hundred kilometers, we were forced off the road just 6 miles from our hotel. You may encounter a software glitch after working for hours on your latest newsletter. You may fall short of your KPI (key performance indicator) goals on a Facebook ad that showed promise. When something goes wrong, take a step back and look at the bigger picture. As frustrating as it was to be stuck in the rain a mere 10k from our hotel, it would’ve been way worse to get a flat tire on the Slea Head drive—the last thing we’d done that day.
We all make mistakes, get stressed out, and run into problems we’re not equipped to fix. Don’t let a bump in the road throw your journey off course. By the time we got to our hotel in Killarney, we were starving, exhausted, and ready to scrap our plans for the next day. Instead, we slept in, ate a hearty breakfast, and explored one of my favorite destinations of the trip. Wherever you are on your business’s digital marketing journey, remember that better things lie ahead!
Need a better road map to digital marketing success? Contact TrustWorkz for a free assessment of your digital footprint.