Recently, it has been hard to turn on ESPN without hearing about bullying in the NFL. Thanks to Richie Incognito (yes that’s a real name) and the Miami Dolphins shenanigans, the airwaves and the Internet are full of bullying news. That got us thinking, if the toughest, strongest, fastest men in the most popular sport in the US of A can be subject to this kind of treatment, then really anyone can. And by anyone, we mean your customers or potential clients.
There are many bad habits that are easy to fall into and difficult to break, however, keeping these pitfalls in check will set your marketing plan up for success. You, the client and the customer are all on the same team. Sometimes, football players have a hard time remembering that, but you shouldn’t.We all can trace bullying back to our school yard days. You remember him, don’t you? The oversized, snotty-nosed kid who pushed his way to the front of the line or stole your lunch money? Yeah, that’s the one, Buster the bully. The school yard bully, Buster, was feared by many and liked by none.
Fast-forward to our Inbound Marketing world today. There are many lessons we can learn from both Richie Incognito and our dreaded school yard bully, Buster. We put together a quick reference guide on how to not be a school yard bully in the Inbound Marketing world. It is a really brief and easy read, but one that all Inbound Marketers should take into account.INBOUND MARKETING BULLY: RULES TO LIVE BY
1. Be Likeable – The number-one rule of Inbound Marketing, social media management, and content marketing, is to be likeable. Pretty simple, right? Well, no one likes a bully. In fact, a recent NFL player's poll showed nearly eighty percent of the players questioned would not want Richie Incognito as a player. And, on the school playgrounds across America, no one is selecting Buster the bully to be on their kickball team, because he is simply not liked (plus he has a snotty nose). These same trends take place in the Inbound Marketing world. If your content is too “salesy” and your social media engagement is too forceful, then you will not be liked by your peers. So, take a different approach than Richie Incognito and Buster the bully, and produce content that is likeable and less annoying and snotty.
2. Don’t Force Your Content – In your school days, did the school yard, snotty-nosed bully like to force his way in front of a crowd? Buster the bully would show everyone he is the boss by enforcing his school yard rules onto unwilling particpants. Richie Incognito was reportedly forcing his rules on Jonathan Martin in an unacceptable and highly inappropriate manner via text and voice messages. This forceful approach doesn’t work in the locker rooms of the NFL; it does not work on the kickball fields in the school yard, and it does not work in the friendly confines of the Inbound Marketing world. In any type of marketing, forcing your way or message onto an unwilling audience is a completely ineffective strategy. By producing valuable and remarkable content in marketing, you earn the attention of your audience over time. Bullies are not interested in earning your respect, rather they are engrossed in scaring and intimidating you in order to get what they want right away.
3. Be Patient – School yard bullies cut and force their way to the front of the line with absolutely no regard for the others who are patiently waiting their turn. Whether it’s a lunch line or a line to the water fountain, bullies in the school yard "cut" their way to the front with a complete disregard for others. Richie Incognito was allegedly assigned by the Miami Dolphins coaches to toughen up Jonathan Martin after he missed voluntary workouts last spring. Instead of taking a leadership role by mentoring Jonathan, Incognito tried to force his way to gain attention from Jonathan. Earning valuable Inbound Marketing credit and results takes time. It is not a “get rich quick” scheme. An impatient Inbound Marketer will die a rather rapid death by being forceful and disrespectful with their content creation. And, if this impatient Inbound Marketer tries to bully their way in an effort to gain quick results (Richie Incognito style), they will likely be squashed by someone named GOOGLE.
4. Don’t Abuse Your Power – Back to the school yard analogy, the classic bully, Buster, uses his physical strength or popularity to control or harm others. Because the snotty nosed, school yard bully, Buster, is usually physically bigger than the kids he is picking on, he is abusing his size and power to force his will onto those who are not in a position to defend theselves.Richie Incognito is a 319-pound veteran who has a long track record of abusing his size and power (once a bully, always a bully) to get what he wants. In Inbound Marketing and social media, one should never use their social clout to push around their audience. Your audience and social following can be one of the most valuable assets to your marketing program. Yet, abusive techniques with Inbound Marketing can be witnessed daily in forced emails, social media postings, and even blogs. The quickest way to alienate and lose your audience is through an abuse of power.
Hopefully, this quick analogy of bullying will help you in your Inbound Marketing efforts. With the recent incidents taking place inside the Miami Dolphins locker room, it proves that bullying can take place in all walks of life. So, the next time you create a blog post, push out a social media message or email, think back to Buster the bully or Richie Incognito, and learn from their ineffective ways. In fact, do the opposite of what they would do. Taking the respectful approach in your marketing will always win over the alternate route. BlinkJar Media, an online marketing agency based in Baton Rouge, is interested in leading your Inbound Marketing efforts. If your company is interested in Inbound Marketing, click here for a free marketing report for your review and reference. This is an easy first step for you to evaluate your needs. Thanks for visiting our blog.