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Dear Boss: The Letter We Should All Send (But Don't Dare)

If you're a Dilbert fan, you'll know that Dilbert's pointy haired boss is always coming up with hairbrained scheme to "improve" the company. Today, because SEO is allegedly "free," as is social media... many of us confront bosses who think we can just do free marketing without money. But free doesn't mean easy, and beyond the money budget, there's the time budget (or as I refer to it the blood, sweat, and tears budget).

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Here's my draft letter to send to your pointy haired boss, if you have one.


Dear Boss,

First of all, I want to thank you for barging into my office this afternoon while I was eating lunch at my desk, or as those of us who are Internet savvy call it, 'Sad Desk Lunch' ( Second, I'd like to make sure I understand your perspective on our Internet marketing strategy:

    Internet Marketing Letter
  • SEO is free, and we should really prioritize getting our company to No. 1 on Google.  Please just go "figure it out" and "make it happen."
    • Free placement on Google is waaayyyyy better than paid placements via AdWords, so let's just cut our advertising budget.
    • There's no budget for training, so just "figure this out" on your own.
    • We also have no budget for content creation, nor for any expert help on how to play the SEO game to win.
  • Social Media, like SEO, is free, and if we just set up a Facebook page or Twitter page, people will flock to our company and we'll have not only zillions of fans but zillions of direct sales.
    • There's no budget for training, so just "figure this out" on your own, as well as no budget for anything else.
    • And we can't really create interesting content, or position the company in any interesting way: our sole content options are product posts to sell our products, directly.
Oh, and there's no budget for extra help, or staff to do all this blogging, posting, and traffic... AND we need to do everything: Google, Bing, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Blogging... so just please "get it done, get it all done."

Do I understand your perspective?  (Check here: __ yes or __ no). 

Now that I've grasped your perspective, let me explain a few things about Internet marketing, all in the "can do" spirit that made our company great.

:-) (that's an emoticon, conveying how happy I am to have this project).

First of all, thank goodness that I have copious spare time! Because I not only have tons of spare time to figure all this Internet marketing stuff out (on my own), but I also have lots of extra time to re-launch and optimize our website for SEO, and endlessly blog about our products. I don't need any additional staff to do this because fortunately, I don't sleep and (as you see), I generally eat lunch at my desk. So content creation is officially, handled.

Second, let's move on to our website.  Of course the graphic designers either don't want to change anything, preserving the beautiful look-and-feel of the site (that no one visits) or charge us a ton of money for each and every change. We can't change our platform, which we purchased from your son-in-law in 1999, and upgrade to WordPress or something modern. And the product staff insists on calling our products by esoteric, non-used names, that no one searches for. So (un)fortunately my hands are tied in terms of changing the website, but no matter.  I'll figure this whole website thing out.

Third, let's discuss our competitive landscape. We are in an industry that is ruthless, up against competitors who are spending thousands of dollars and hiring expert consultants to get to the top of Google and Bing. So basically you are saying to me to get us up at the top of Google, for free, using little to no resources. But again, because I am an Internet marketing superstar, don't worry.  We'll trounce the competition simply by being leaner and meaner.

Firth, I want to point out that we are link-challenged. No one wants to link to us, because generally all our website is about is buy, buy, buy our stuff, and we have no budget to reach out and schmooze potential link partners. But perhaps I can get free volunteers from the local college to conduct link outreach to uninterested third parties and via some miracle, they'll spontaneously link to us, crushing our competitors who are of course spending thousands of dollars on link-building.  Don't worry boss!  We'll get a plethora of links!

Finally, just a few words about social media. Despite the fact that you want us to dominate all seventeen critical social media (starting with Facebook and ending up with that bizarre little social network owned by your nephew in Croatia), I can certainly get that done; despite the fact that we have no time, or money, budget for creating engaging content. We'll just throw up a Facebook page, and in no time have zillions of fans, liking out pages and posts, which will generally be low quality fluff about buying our products. Or, if we're lucky, we'll cross-post YouTube videos of you and the other bosses at the corporate retreats reading our annual reports verbatim. The fans will flock to Facebook and YouTube to engage with our informative executive posts.

In sum, I don't need training, I don't need money, I don't need help... I'll get us to the top of Google, and the top of Facebook, all on a shoestring, and by engaging our fans and followers, triple our sales while cutting our advertising and marketing budget.

Do I get my raise now? Oh, just kidding of course not.  Now let me get back to my sad desk lunch.

P.S.: Beyond getting us to the top of Google and dominating Facebook, I will also track in-depth metrics in Google Analytics documenting how our free efforts have paid off immensely, all at no extra charge.


Your embittered Internet Marketing Expert
Susie Marcom

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