What’s Not Your Job?
You’re a freelancer, and you know what your job is. You’re a web designer. You’re a copywriter. You’re a marketing consultant.
Here’s what you probably don’t think about often, but should:
What’s not your job?
I’m not talking about clients who ask you to perform above and beyond the scope of the project. When that happens, you can politely tell clients they’re asking for something beyond what you’ve agreed to, and they’ll usually back down.
I’m talking about when you limit yourself because you’re not clear on what’s part of your responsibility to a client.
For example, I know a marketing expert who frequently gets frustrated that so many people don’t actually take her advice. They don’t put it into action. “What I’m telling them is smart stuff,” she states. “And they smile and they nod and tell me I’m so brilliant. And then they don’t do anything with what I tell them.”
She used to worry about it. She felt guilty. Maybe she shouldn’t offer marketing consults at all if her clients weren’t getting anything out of it. If her clients didn’t turn right around, apply her advice and rocket their businesses into 6 figures, maybe she should just quit. She felt like a scam artist. She promised something – success – and she felt like she wasn’t delivering.
Then it hit her one morning.
“I just realized,” she said. “Putting my marketing advice to work is not part of my job.”
Her job was to give sound advice. Her job was to tell a client the next ten things that person needed to do in order to hit a certain milestone goal. Her job was to analyze what would work and what wouldn’t.
Her job wasn’t to make the client put this advice into action. Or to make sure he’d executed the advice properly. It wasn’t to create a success story.
Her job was to provide good, smart, reasoned, executable, savvy marketing information.
What the client did with that was completely beyond her control.
So What’s Not Your Job?
If you’re a graphic designer, it isn’t your job to make sure that everyone and their grandmother visits your client’s shiny new site. Your job is to make sure the site looks fantastic. That it’s easy to navigate and draws the eye to the right places. That if your client does his part of the job – getting traffic to the site — your design wows people.
Likewise, if you’re an SEO expert, it isn’t your job to make sure your client’s content is well-written. Your job is to tell the client what keywords to use, how frequently, and in which places.
If you’re a copywriter, it isn’t your job to get potential clients reading the web copy you’ve written. Your job is to make sure that whoever comes to read your web copy feels compelled to pull out his wallet and buy the product.
And if you’re a blogger, it isn’t your job to make sure the blog post you wrote lands on the front page of Digg. It’s your job to make sure that the post is good enough to be on Digg in the first place.
It’s important to know what your job is.
But it’s equally important to remember what it isn’t.