Want to Work in Marketing? Better Have Thick Skin.
There are a lot of skills and characteristics you need to have if you want to be successful as a marketer. But perhaps no characteristic is more essential to your success (and your sanity) than having thick skin.
Look, I’m a copywriter. And I think I’m a damn good one at that. I’ve helped literally hundreds of clients improve their search rankings, get more conversions, and make more money.
But does that mean that I don’t get criticized on a fairly regular basis? Of course not.
Every time I send out a draft of copy to a client, I’m subject to their scrutiny. There’s always the possibility that they’ll hate what I’ve delivered to them or that they’ll try to tell me how they would do it if they were the copywriter.
Back in my early days in the marketing world, this would make me angry, and it would bruise my ego a little bit. After all, I’m the marketing professional. They hired me for my expertise. They hired me because they didn’t have the skills to do the job themselves. So how dare they try to tell me how to do my job!
Of course, the reality is that I’m not right 100% of the time. And sometimes, there is no such thing as right or wrong; it just boils down to my opinion vs. the client’s opinion.
The problem with having a big ego and working in marketing is that your ego will cause you to stop listening and become overly defensive as soon as someone disagrees with you or criticizes your work. More importantly, your ego can keep you from growing as a marketer. It can prevent you from realizing your mistakes and learning from them.
Now, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t stand behind your work and fight for what you as a professional knows is right. By all means, you need to be confident as a marketer, and whenever it’s absolutely clear that the client is trying to steer things in the wrong direction, you need to step up and inform them of why they’re wrong. Just don’t do it in an overly defensive manner, because all they’ll see is someone whose ego is hurt and who can’t take criticism.
My point is this: If you want to be in marketing, grow some thick skin. Don’t let your ego hold you back, but have enough of an ego that you know when to fight for what you believe in.