Why Most Internet Marketers Suck at Their Jobs (Part 1)


Marketing Strategy

This article is the first in a series on why most Internet marketers suck at their job. At first, I was going to make this a single post with all ten reasons listed. Each reason was only going to have two or three sentences attached to them for a quick explanation.

But then I realized that I had far more to say about each point than I thought. Thus, I decided to turn each point into its own article. Follow us on Facebook, YouTube, and/or Twitter to keep up with its progression.

Each article is going to follow the same format, in this order:

  • What the reason is
  • Keeping myself in check (so as not to be a hypocrite)
  • What marketers should do instead

In short, here are the first ten reasons to look forward to:

  • Thinking their formal education means more than it does
  • They don’t spend their own money to develop their skills
  • They’re not consistent with their self-innovation
  • They’re afraid of competition
  • They’re not good listeners
  • They lack strong reasons for being marketers, to begin with
  • They aren’t able to explain what they do in simple terms
  • They don’t share ownership in the client’s company
  • They don’t use SMART goals
  • They don’t use a content plan

There will likely be more reasons added to this list over time. But here’s an expansion of the first one for this article:

1. Thinking Their Formal Education Means More Than It Does

There is an element of branding value that comes from having a formal education. The fact that I can say that I have a degree in Internet marketing has won me a fair share of clients.

My certifications (such as Hubspot Inbound) have too. I also would not have won my first awards if I hadn’t gone to school. Those awards look nice and add to our branding, which gives me a competitive edge.


But in the back of my head, I know that it only gets me in the door with most clients. It gives them a reason to give my Upwork profile a second glance. But once a prospect opens the door to me, I have to leave my awards there with my coat as I walk in.

What matters most are the results. And you can’t get results without experience.

But even these can be ego-traps in and of themselves. Here’s an example:

In the past, you got 50,000 likes on Facebook for x-client using y-technique.

That may have nothing to do with the current client to whom you’re speaking.

Dull clients will hire you by your formal education alone. Sharp clients will hire you by your past results. But truly insightful clients will hire you by how your past results developed real skills that pertain to their needs now at this moment. With consideration for why you chose to get a formal education, to begin with.

You blind yourself the moment you wear your experience and education as badges of pride.

Keeping Myself In Check

While I count myself as a person who doesn’t need a formal education, I got one anyway. I know I don’t need a degree because I built my business to pay for it. If I built a business to pay for my degree, then why do I need one, to begin with?

I don’t.

The path I took was backward.

The primary reason why I chose to get my degree has nothing to do with being an Internet marketer.

I’m in the lucky, tiny percentage of people who can figure most of this stuff out from its first principles. At first glance, even. I’m a genetic accident, a freak of nature.

But most aren’t like me, though. Nor will be some of my descendants as I work to rebuild my culture. Thus, I chose to get my degree to set the example for future generations, to some of whom things may not come so easily.

I got my degree (working on my second in physics) to show the little guy of the future that it’s alright. Keep pushing forward anyway; you can still contribute much to society.

What Marketers Should Do Instead

Stop boasting. Let out the hot air of your fluff.

I know its counter-intuitive, but let your merits speak for themselves. They will without effort as you deliver true solutions to your client’s problems.

When you speak to clients, listen to them. Take the archetypal role of a doctor in a hospital.

Don’t try to sell them some system.

Don’t try to sell them some standard package.

Every client should have their solutions custom fit for them.

This is why we stopped listing prices on our website, as we’ve evolved as a company. We’re a marketing company that isn’t pushing sales for so much. What we’re doing is producing high-quality content, for free. Then, we’re listening to what people say in response to this content. They send us private messages on Upwork.com, and social media.

We listen to what’s ailing them and then respond with the genuine solution for them.

And them only.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.

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