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July 4, 2007

Can’t We All Just Get Along?

In this line of work the goal is to do what is best for the client. The client needs better rankings, a more appealing web site, an optimized web site and increased sales. Unfortunately, there are times when the group of people trying to make this happen just cannot get along.

I think there are some things that marketing teams, SEOs, clients and web designers need to keep in mind when working together:

  • Everyone in the group specializes in different things
  • No one in the group is any less intelligent because they don’t understand what you specialize in. I know about the web, but when I am sitting with doctors and lawyers I know that the people I am dealing with are intelligent, accomplished people. It kills me to see clients talked down to.
    If a client doesn’t know a term our job is to explain it respectfully. I have written 6 law firm’s web sites at this point and there are times I have to ask questions; they don’t talk down to me and I sure is heck am not going to talk down to them.
  • Sometimes, there are two people with the exact same job sitting at the table for a certain project. Stepping on one’s toes is a concern. I think the best way to handle this situation is to try to be friendly, not defensive. Work as a team even if it ticks you off a bit. Again, what is best for the client is the most important thing.
  • If you are web designer, SEO, advertising/marketing consultant, copywriter or anyone else on a team YOU do not have the right to talk down to the other people on your team. If your company makes a million a year and one of the team members makes $50,000 a year you have no right to feel above that person. One day they could be making more than you and it may be that they choose not work as much as you. Don’t be stuck up or feel almighty. I may be a complete moron, but in my book everyone in the group is equal and deserves respect. You may disagree with them and that is fine, but do it respectfully.
  • Web Designers and SEOs know different things, period. Respect each other’s knowledge and get along.
  • If you have screwed up and taken too long to do something- own it. Don’t blame members or a member of your team. Don’t stab people in the back, because they always end up finding out and in the end they will not only resent you for it, they will never forget it. Additionally, if the client finds out they will lose all respect for you. They may not matter to you, but word of mouth is crucial in this line of work.
  • Lastly, if you are genuine, polite, hard-working and honest you never know what could happen. I started working with a guy doing consultant work and we got along. We didn’t understand each other’s line of work, but we were polite and honest and worked as a team. Now we are doing a lot of work together and we are looking forward to what is coming. We have created a very nice and beneficial working relationship. Sometimes, life can surprise you.

So, there is my blurb. If you have any additional comments or suggestions let me know. I think we should all just try to smile more. Life is short, enjoy it and don’t waste time being angry or irritated.

Author:  Melissa Fach operates Panaca Writing and Design and SRQ Web Design in Florida where she waits patiently for the rest of the world to learn to play nice with each other.

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