The Clueless

“The only thing that gets in the way of good work is the client.” Sure, it’s a cliche. Sometimes it’s a reaction of the ego that the client just doesn’t get it when in fact the client’s poor view of the work happens to be right. For the most part, though, the reason this maxim is such a cliche is because how often it is true.

I recently was interviewed by a company looking for a “social content writer.” That’s all the rage these days, and for good reason. Your social content strategy creates interest in your business and drives potential customers to your website, the ultimate goal of which is to get them to click the “Buy now” button, again and again.  But it’s not simply just a case of “build it and they will come.” You’ve got to build it—and build it right—to entice people to come. 

It so happens that this company has a website and some social media, including a blog and Facebook page, but it wasn’t built right. At all. The landing page of the website is a product picture, with accompanying text of legalese asserting that by clicking  on any of the contents the user agrees to various stipulations.  No kidding. What content you can click to is nothing more than a product sheet. The minimalist stark design of the website is okay, but the blog page in patterned dark red (obviously just a Blogger template) is jarring, not to mention inconsistent with maintaining brand identity. The picture of the office dog on the Facebook page is cute, but hardly promotes the company’s products and services. Ditto for the horse racing photo on the Twitter feed.

Worse, if you Google the products this company makes, its website does not come up. Let me repeat that. Unless you know the company’s name, you won’t find it by Googling the products it makes.

So, with this in mind, during the interview I launch into this discussion of social media strategy, how it works, how it is measured, what Search Engine Optimization does, how it expands your Internet footprint and, most importantly, how it increases sales. And diplomatically point out how the company is currently falling short of doing this.

You’d think this would be music to their ears (to use yet another cliche), right? The problem is some people are just tone deaf.

The interviewer, suppossedly some high muckety-muck in the company, gets impatient, her eyes start glazing over. She cuts me off and says, “We’re just looking for someone to write a blog. Not any of this other stuff.”

Astonishing, is it not?


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