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Building Trust In Client Relationships And The Power Of Saying “I Don’t Know”: An Interview With Kate Morris

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Building Trust In Client Relationships And The Power Of Saying “I Don’t Know”: An Interview With Kate Morris

A big thanks to our Pubcon 2014 sponsor, LinkResearchTools, your off-page SEO toolkit. Link Detox: Recover – Protect – Build.

At Pubcon 2014 in Las Vegas, I had the opportunity to sit down and talk with Kate Morris of Outspoken Media about the relationship between marketing and advertising, and how the two work together.

Well, we started off by discussing marketing and advertising, but the conversation quickly turned into Kate’s other area of expertise: client relationships.

How can you build trust with clients that leads to getting things done faster? Is it OK to say to a client “I don’t know”? These are some of the topics we dive into in the video below:

How do marketing and advertising work together? An Interview with Kate Morris

Here are some key takeaways from the video:

  • Advertising is a subset of marketing. Marketing is the big umbrella that covers PR, advertising, paid, organic, digital, email, direct, and so on.
  • Kate sees advertising as that first push to get the word out about your business, but after that you still have to build your brand, promote your products, and support that promotion. That’s the wider scope of marketing.
  • Throughout her career Kate has worked for agencies of all sizes, as well as for herself as an independent consultant. One of her main takeaways from those experiences is that finding the right client relationship makes everything so much better.
  • For example, if you have an idea for a plan you want to execute, when you have the right client relationship you can get that done so much faster.
  • Ultimately the results don’t come unless action is taken. You can give recommendations to a client all day, but if they don’t have the buy-in to get it done then it’s difficult to get results for that client.
  • Everything is interconnected now, Kate says. SEO doesn’t exist in a bubble anymore, it really needs to connect with the wider marketing arm.
  • Building the kind of trust with a client that leads to getting things done faster starts with getting to know what issues they have internally and where their knowledge gaps are.
  • Keep in mind that a client is hiring you because they have knowledge gaps, but they also know things you don’t know about the inner workings of their company. Your job is to fill in their knowledge gaps so they trust you when they have a question that comes up internally. When that happens they know you’ll have the answer for them.
  • One of the biggest things Kate says she can tell people who have a consultative relationship with a client is don’t be afraid to tell them “I don’t know” when you genuinely don’t know the answer to one of their questions. Own what you know, own what you don’t know, and let the client know you’ll find the answer for them when you don’t know.
  • Another piece of advice Kate shares is to get in person with your client as much as possible. Become their friend and know what their life is about outside of work. That’s the kind of thing that leads to building more trust with the client.

Please visit SEJ’s YouTube page for more video interviews.


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Kelsey Jones

Marketing Consultant, Owner at Six Stories & StoryShout

Kelsey Jones is a marketing consultant, writer, and owner of and Kelsey has been in digital marketing since ... [Read full bio]

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