Authenticity and Relationships; Essential in Digital Marketing

4 Characters to Avoid and Avoid Being: Authenticity and Relationships, Essential in Digital Marketing

Would you do business with someone you didn’t trust?

Neither would I.

Authenticity and personal relationships are essential to success anywhere, and are particularly important in digital marketing. Authenticity attracts clients, builds profitable relationships and establishes a positive reputation.

Start with who you are and who you want to work with.

In digital marketing you’ll run across many characters. It’s sometimes hard to differentiate between who’s in it to provide quality service and who just wants to sell stuff. It can be shady out there.

Why is identifying these characters important?

  1. So you know what not to be like so you can represent yourself well, capture leads, get referrals and sustainable business.
  2. When you can identify these characters, you can keep from wasting your precious time and hard-earned money on poor service.

Here are four characters you want to avoid.

Arrogant Expert

Famously depicted in Saturday Night Live’s Nick Burns, Your Company’s Computer Guy the Arrogant Expert knows more than you and isn’t afraid to tell you. These people revel in their greatness, but while they know everything about their industry, they may know nothing about your’s. That’s a problem.

TIP: If confronted by an Arrogant Expert, ask them to put their expertise into the context of your industry and your objectives. Give them the opportunity to rise to the challenge.

Arrogant Expert

One Size Fits All

Armed with the blinders of production and process, One Size Fits All is very successful and even acclaimed by current and past clients. They get the job done, but it’s the same job done a thousand times over. Working from a standard playbook, One Size Fits All delivers stuff not strategy.

TIP: If you’re being stuffed into a box don’t go quietly. Know your audience; know your objectives. Require One Size Fits All to show how their solution addresses both.

One Size Fits All

Reckless and Irresponsible

No call, no show, no dedication, no care in the world. Reckless and Irresponsible makes promises that couldn’t be kept even with the resources and expertise they claim. This character is constantly behind the eight ball: late, unresponsive and distracted juggling multiple missed deadlines.

TIP: References, references, references. Reckless and Irresponsible leaves a trail that’s easy to find.

Reckless and Irresponsible

Phony Baloney

Warning: Phony Balonies can be creepy – my skin is crawling as I type. These characters would rather stroke your ego than provide anything resembling experience, knowledge or creative thought. They know a little about a lot, and provide unnecessarily complex and oddly nonsensical responses to challenging questions.

TIP: Be curious and ask questions. We enlist experts because they know and do what we don’t or can’t. It’s in our best interest to understand what they’re doing (even at a high level). Great partners want the same.

Phony Baloney


When you’re looking for help (with your digital marketing or anything else) look for these stereotypes. They’re real. Perhaps now you’ll see them more clearly, and have some new ideas on how to respond.

Authenticity is the key – it’s your greatest competitive advantage. People are going to connect with you and do business with you because you’re real. Don’t try to be something or someone you’re not.

Stay true and provide a service people need. Doing so will attract clients, build profitable relationships and establish a positive reputation.