Why the Work of Creatives, Marketers, and Digital Experts is Unregulated

At some point I probably won't be allowed to think out loud anymore, but until they pry this 16" MacBook away from me (or you unsubscribe), I'm going to keep harassing you.

For instance, why does my state require 500 hours of supervised instruction and a written exam before you can do massage therapy work...but have zero requirements for being a parent?

That certification thing for the marketing field has long intrigued me. Canada has tried various province-wide solutions, but it doesn't mean much. Instead, the barrier to entry into the digital, design, and marketing field remains painfully low the world over.

I'm not sure I'd support anything different, but it does contrast with the sort of regulation that governments put on surgeons and attorneys and the like, no? What's the difference?

Well, put yourself in the shoes of a government official. The only things worth regulating are the things where (a) there's lots of money to be taxed or (b) malpractice could hurt people.

And there's the truth, folks. There's just not enough money in requiring that you get so many continuing education credits. And by God, they certainly don't think that marketers or creatives or advertisers can hurt too many people with a slip of the knife or an unfounded claim.

In the US, there is actually a self-regulating body with specific procedures, but it's largely bullsh1t. If I counted the number of misleading claims I hear (as a consumer) in a single day, I'd need all the toes and fingers in India to keep up.

If that wasn't sad enough, there's an important corollary to their belief that you can't hurt people too much in your profession. They believe that you can't move the needle all that much, either.

And before you raise your hand and protest that your clients really do believe in the value of what you do for them, try explaining why they cut marketing first when their business suffers. Nope. If people believed that marketing was an investment, they'd do a hel1 of a lot more of it.

Back to where we rank on the professional services hierarchy and how we should feel about that.

A doctor has the power of life and death and the regulations surrounding their profession are thick and persistent.

An attorney's work can land you in jail or set you free, and there are strict codes of conduct. We know this because we've watched Better Call Saul.

If an engineer does her job well, the bridge holds all the trucks. If she messes up, they'll close the road for three months.

Consultant? Puhleeese. They are worthless repeaters of platitudes who are all full of themselves. Except for one or two here and there.

Marketers are even lower than massage therapists. We know that by looking at what the government thinks of us, how non-existent the regulations are, and how quickly clients hire and fire us.

But here's your chance, my friend! If you step outside their expectations and do something really impactful for their product or brand or customer acquisition...well, you've hit the big time and you'll suddenly justify your fees.

So start aiming for that green checkmark in the illustration and reap the results of moving up that ladder.

There's a reason for lack of regulations in our field. Let's not keep earning that sad distinction.

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