When it comes to working on an internet marketing project, are you the strong solo player or do you work well interacting with other internet marketing professionals?
Most of us in online marketing feel very strongly that our ‘branch’ of the industry – SEO, PPC, etc. – is the most important part of the process and often believe we each have enough knowledge of the other areas to judge how it should all be integrated ourselves; but throw in a graphic designer, in-house marketing staff, translators, then even more specialists and who decides how the project is run?
If you haven’t come up through the ranks working at an internet marketing agency or as part of an in-house marketing department in a large corporation, you may be used to taking on projects completely on your own. You could work that way your entire career, but many find that there comes a time when you need to either bring in other specialists on a project or you start to outsource specific services of your own that require you to work in a team.
For most of my 10 years as an internet marketing professional I’ve specialized in search engine optimization, but I would normally take on all the aspects of a project because I couldn’t find reliable developers, graphic designers, copy writers, etc, with SEO knowledge, that could work the way I needed them to work, when I wanted them to work, where I wanted… In other words, I am a control freak that’s very set in my ways – but so aren’t we all?! But even in my advancing years I am learning about the benefits of working in a team.
10 Steps to Success as Part of an Internet Marketing Team
- Get clear and specific instruction from the client on what your role is on the team. Who makes the decisions? Do you deal directly with the client or with another person on the team, i.e. marketing staff, etc.?
- Understand the roles of the others on the team. Does the graphic designer provide drafts to the web designer or direct to the project manager, etc? This will ensure that all tasks are addressed without duplication – and also that all parties know what’s expected of themselves.
- Agree on timeframe and order of progression of the tasks in the project as a team. This will ensure that a design isn’t signed off by the client before the web developer has had a look to ensure that it will ‘work’ and the internal marketing staff hasn’t organised a launch and newspaper advertising campaign sooner than a site redevelopment is ready. This will avoid wasting time and frustration within the team.
- Who do you go to if a conflict arises, whether on how the project should be addressed or because of personal differences?
- Communicate clearly — whether it’s how and when you will work on your part of the project or suggestions you have on the overall project.
- Treat all members of the team with respect. You may feel you know better than another member of the team, but each one of you has a specific role to fill and it’s better to deal with one and other with respect and work through issues from a positive angle.
- Accept that you may not know everything about everything. There is probably something to learn from everyone that you deal with on the project – even if it is to be more patient with people that don’t know as much as you do.
- Have an open mind. There is always more than one way to do a task so if a another member of the team comes up with something that you think may not work, have another look and you may find a new way to do something that is even better.
- Give feedback – positive or negative, but be specific and fair. Oh, and you have to take feedback too!
- Enjoy the team experience! The responsibility is not all on your shoulders for a change. You have people to brainstorm with. You may even find new ways to do business and start working with the team on a regular basis.
As an internet marketing professional you may prefer to work alone, or are just used to working that way, but by working successfully within a team, you may find that you can reap even bigger awards!
Photo by Tsutomu Takasu available under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License
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