I’ve had some time today to peruse through some of my old content on LinkedIn, seeing if there’s anything that would be worth reposting onto this website. This was one of those posts I had on my very first version of this website, but the post was lost after the two redesigns I implemented for the website. This is also a client I don’t have right now, but it was still an incredible experience to know even when I was starting out over two and a half years ago that my skills could immediately help someone out then and especially now as I keep becoming more advanced in what I know how to do.
Nonetheless, I still think even though I wrote this post over two years ago, there’s a lot of relevant information that could be applied even now in 2023 and beyond! I will be reposting other content I have on my LinkedIn on here as well. I also took the time to run the post through Grammarly, and it’s fantastic to see how much I’ve improved in content marketing over the last couple of years the more I kept doing it for myself and others.
Finding Your First Digital Marketing Client From Square One
If you’re in the position I am where you’ve been looking for ways to get into the digital marketing field and are looking for your first client, it can be a daunting challenge even for someone who’s hit the books and done their homework on terms which may sound like something out of an alien movie.
I mean to Joe Six-Pack, they’re likely not going to know what you’re talking about when you talk about SEO, PPC, SEM and all the various acronyms and abbreviations there are in this field and that leads me to what I want to discuss.
Communication is Essential in Digital Marketing
How do you communicate effectively to a client you might have just gotten? Is it like rocket science or is it more straightforward than you might have thought? Well, I’d say the concepts are simple, but the balancing act of keeping your client happy and well-informed about what you want to do is paramount to success. You can call it whatever you want, but don’t forget the importance of it. Just take what Harvard Business Journal had to say:
In times like these, your customers and your employees need your wisdom and leadership more than ever, and you have a unique opportunity to move them forward in the midst of uncertainty. As you seek to inspire and motivate them to do the next right thing, don’t forget to include the why.
When you’re talking with clients, always keep the “why” part in the back of your mind and provide tangible meaning to the results you’re giving them. Anyone can look at a spreadsheet and see a buncha numbers, but it takes a real marketer to be able to decipher the data and tell a story about it!
Anyway, so you’ve probably advertised your services somewhere like on Upwork, Craiglist or the many other sites people use to find people to work on their accounts. You’ve gotten some proposals or a job listing in, and you’re waiting a while for someone to reach back to you. Suddenly as you’re checking your email on your smartphone, you get that email or notification or phone call from someone who needs your help. At that moment, BAM – you just got your first client!
Amazing feeling, isn’t it?
You’re so excited to be able to work with them and see what’s wrong with their AdWords account or you’re even the one having to set it up. In my case, my first client I’m working with is an E-commerce client starting her own online store, which I never expected to get out of the gate, but I’m willing to take on the challenge and help this person to the best of my ability anyway.
We communicate by email, and I’ve been asking her questions about the business she’s in and also framing the issues around finding out what her Unique Selling Proposition is. Of course, I’m not outright going very geeky and technical on this client. I’m trying to understand her perspective on what’s going on with her business, and approaching the client this way made me learn a lot about what her troubles were and what to do.
From our friendly exchange, I was able to find out she recently created an online boutique store startup selling shoes and her main problem is she’s been trying her hardest on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram trying to the word out, but traffic has been dwindling over the past few days on her site. She was working with Shopify and received $100 in AdWords credits and came to me when she saw my listing on CraigsList for help setting up the account. She had no clue what else to do with the account, so along the way, I tried to picture myself in a customer service role and talking to the client that way.
Knowing How to Troubleshoot and Solve Problems Independently Will Get You Far in Digital Marketing
I wanted to make sure the client knew what I was talking about, but also tried to make it clear I’m right with her and willing to listen to what she had to say. There were plenty of challenges to be dealt with. One of the biggest was my client having trouble figuring out why she wasn’t receiving an email about my request to add her Customer ID to my AdWords. I did some troubleshooting like you would if you were working with Cisco routers, and found the problem was the client not creating her first ad. I gently told her to try that and gave her an example of what kind of email she should be receiving if successful. I even went so far as to try it myself and make a screenshot of that email, and we were right on track again.
Once we got that problem settled, I continued to follow up with my client to make sure she was okay and asked her questions like “Were you able to create the ad?” or “Is everything okay?” Just simple questions like that to make her feel more comfortable and trusting working with me. That is half the battle right there is gaining your client’s trust in an amiable, understanding way. As our conversation continued, I kept asking questions about her business and giving her suggestions on how to improve her website. I noticed she had a good 10% off offer, but the popup was coming up every time a customer would visit each page on her site, so I suggested she lessen the frequency of the pop-up offer and she listened.
Trust is one thing, but this whole experience so far taught me that you also have to be able to offer value to your client in other ways beyond your stated description of what you do. Not only am I the AdWords guy for her store, but I’m also actively trying to see what she can do herself to get her website converting better. I can bring her all the qualified traffic in the world, but if her site has issues, doesn’t convert well or doesn’t have enough enticing offers for customers to want to buy, the exercise is moot and paid search won’t be enough actually to drive more sales for her company.
This brings me to my final point I want to make.
Make your expectations clear to the client as you’re talking to them. Let them know that AdWords or whatever you’re working with will take time to produce better results. A lot of the responsibility of having a better-converting site lies on the client too. You’re there to guide them in the right direction and making sure your business goals and theirs are in alignment. Excellent customer service makes a difference because if you’re able to produce results for a client and did your job listening and communicating your intentions to the client clearly, you can keep building your relationship with them and be able to charge for services and then help other people they may know too.
Tell me about your experience with your first client and what you’ve learned. Did you come to the same conclusions I did?