Is it writing skills? Insight into human thinking? Creativity? Technical know-how? Yeah, those sure help, but many of the BEST marketing minds have a little something extra. Often it’s an innate ability that has been cultivated. I have my own idea of what makes a good marketer, but decided to ask (via Google+) some of the best marketers I know to tell me what THEY think! What makes a successful marketer?
The hard part is, they were only allowed to give one. If you’re looking to hire an agency to promote your business, you’ll find their insights extremely helpful.
It’s About Attitude
This first one comes from one of the most delightful people online these days, Peg Fitzpatrick. She’s co-author of the recently released Art of Social Media along with Guy Kawasaki. Peg is EVERYWHERE online, has a very distinctive style, and is relentlessly positive – always lifting up others. She makes social look easy (dagnabbit!). Here’s what she said.
“I think having a great attitude is important because marketing is much harder than it looks! Having a positive attitude allows you to ignore the occasional jerk, continue to work hard, and have an open mind to learning new things. Ignoring the Negative Nellies keeps you on track and focusing on the positive!”
Agency Search Takeaway: When interviewing marketers, what’s the overall tone of the conversation? You don’t want a “yes” woman, but do you get the feeling that she’s excited in the potential of your brand and is not a negative Nellie in life? If not, walk away.
Never Stop Learning
Vincent Ng is a Pinterest expert, slated to speak at the upcoming Social Media Marketing World in San Diego. He’s the ultimate gentleman, generous and kind. He knows his stuff!
“I believe a willingness to always learn is so important. If you stop learning, eventually you stop being a marketer that’s relevant with the times.”
Agency Search Takeaway: Ask your prospective marketer if there are any current trends he is excited about that might be of benefit to your business. The response will give you an idea of how current his knowledge is, leaving you confident he’ll always use the newest information for the good of your business.
Jeff Sieh is the host of the Manly Pinterest Tips show and podcast. He’s become the unofficial ambassador of Pinterest for the guys. He’s unstoppable on video and an all-around great guy. You should look him up.
Being the social guy that he is, he added his two cents to the comments above stating, “I agree with some times I wonder if the so-called “thought leaders” actually make any money. They spend way to long talking about what everyone else is doing wrong 🙂
has a great point as well. Following and collaborating with leaders in your industry has never been easier than now. I learn something new everyday!”
And his take on what makes a successful marketer?
“Be consistent. There is no marketing “magic pill” Putting out good content, building relationships, networking, doesn’t happen overnight. “
At which point we all discussed how great that magic pill would be. You can see our whole conversation here.
Agency Search Takeaway: Check out the work your possible marketer has done for other clients and HIMSELF. Are there huge gaps in activity? If so, ask why.
Be a Good Listener
Melanie Kissell is an amazing editor and blogger, but when you connect with her, you’ll see she is first and foremost about helping others. Seriously. To the point where I wonder how she does it all.
“To market with any measure of success, you need to master the skill of objective listening — uninfluenced by emotions or personal prejudices. Good listeners are good communicators. And let’s face it … communications is everything in life! A successful marketer is one who “gets” his or her clients. :)”
And personally? Melanie says, “if someone is void of warmth and wit, forget it. That’s someone I don’t care to work with.” Amen, sister!
Agency Search Takeaway: Is your prospective marketer listening when you talk? If she has suggestions different from what you propose does she at least acknowledge what you said?
Look to the Future
Katherine Kotaw is the ultimate storyteller. Whether you need visual, social, or long-form written content, she will spin a yarn that will captivate anyone! A total breath of genuine fresh air, Katherine is another generous soul you should definitely follow.
“A great marketer must be psychic – or at least believe that she is. Because no matter how much research you accumulate and metrics you study, agile marketing demands a leap of faith. The past and present guide us, but the future is where the opportunities and profits lie. So you’d better be willing to risk your reputation – and your clients’ or employer’s money – on your fortune-telling abilities. You don’t have to be the smartest person in the room, but it sure helps to be the wisest.”
That is so Katherine. 🙂
Agency Search Takeaway: Ask questions that suss out her forward-thinking abilities. “What do you see as the biggest marketing challenges to my industry today? Tomorrow?” Ask about risks they’ve taken that have paid off, or not.
This one is mine, and the one I had in mind when conceiving this project. Honestly, this is what I see in myself as the reason marketing is my professional passion, and something I seem to be good at.
“Marketing is always changing and there are no hard and fast rules, which makes it fun. Be curious and don’t be afraid to try something new. Chances are, you’re not going to break anything. You’re definitely going to learn something which you can then share with others. You might even have an epic success!”
Agency Search Takeaway: Ask if she’s tried anything new lately? How did it work out?
The Big Marketer Success Takeaway
Knowing each of these contributors, I know that the very quality they stressed is exactly their top strength. Thing is, they all possess all the other qualities, too. Don’t settle when choosing someone or some agency to help market your business. Insist on it all. You and your business deserve it.
Your turn: What do you see as the top quality of successful marketers?