Digital marketing as a career (and almost any tech career) is a sphere in which self-improvement and constant learning are absolute musts. As Google, Facebook, and other marketing tools release constant updates to their platforms, marketers need to be up-to-date on these game-changing updates. As these tools and the internet itself constantly evolves, marketers are required to do the same.
Now that I’ve been in this sphere for about a year, I have gained some valuable tips that have helped my skills as a marketer improve dramatically. Most of these tips have been offered to me by various coworkers and bosses. These choices must be implemented daily to create that dramatic self-improvement. Check out these five tips to start improving your own skills every day.
Although the reading of blogs and short articles should never replace reading a good novel, taking 15 minutes every day to study up on recent industry trends is vital to digital marketers. The internet, especially Google, who every marketer is married to, is changing and improving at light speed. With each algorithm change, product enhancement or software update time-tested tactics can become obsolete and incorrect overnight. You have to stay on your toes to continually see results. So, subscribe to whatever niche of digital marketing you focus on. Moz is great for SEO. Social Media Examiner is great for social. Hubspot is great for content. The list goes on, and a quick google search will show you a plethora of options.
Reading fiction, you know, not business stuff, has also been linked to improving empathy, creativity, and overall happiness levels. As a digital marketer, I firmly know that those specific traits can make your work levels better than the selfish, dull and angry digital marketer. A coworker of mine has an innate ability to step into a client’s, coworker’s or customer’s shoes and view things from their side. Isn’t that marketing? Isn’t that why we spend hours creating buyer personas? Empathy can allow us to truly know how our ideal customer thinks and feels, and market to them accordingly. Reading fiction leads to more creative and happy thoughts, it sounds weird but it is true. Read to achieve.
A few months into my career as a digital marketer, I decided to create a content website around skimboarding reviews and culture. When I started I had extremely limited knowledge of Wordpress. I mean, I could post a blog but that was about it. I knew almost nothing about page structures, SEO, website building etc. I spent countless stressful, and I mean baby not sleeping through the night kind of stressful, hours to make my site what it is today. Although my traffic is nothing to write home about, the time spent creating my own website improved my SEO and overall marketing skills exponentially.
The important trick is to find something you are passionate about! I couldn’t write blogs and create a site about underwater basket weaving unless you paid me handsomely. But, with skimboarding being something I love and understand, it made the process less painful and frustrating and actually quite exhilarating. I perfectly content spending time learning how to accomplish technical SEO tasks on my own because I was enjoying the finished product. It was well worth it to me. So pick a hobby or skill and create a site around it. The purpose isn’t necessarily to make millions, but rather to improve your content, SEO, and general marketing skills.
Is anyone a perfect writer? I’m reading a book by Jack Kerouac called On The Road that he entirely rewrote multiple times. Using a typewriter for heaven’s sake. Honestly, the writing is a bit sporadic but the story is captivating. For marketers, writing skills should be a staple you work on every day. Every ad, blog or tweet should deliver a powerful message in a concise manner. People love stories, and stories invoke emotion. Choosing to write each day can push your mind to creative heights you didn’t think possible.
If you haven’t already, choose today to write on a daily basis. If it means writing for that website you are going to create, perfect. It could be writing a simple daily journal of one story that happened to you that day. The options are endless, but writing for leisure is a choice I’ve made that pushes my writing, marketing, and creative skills to higher places. Finding my voice and learning to write what resonates with my audience is still a work in progress, but it’s about progression, not perfection.
This extra tip is something that helped me get out of my comfort bubble and onto better playing fields. When you read every day, you’re gonna realize that some things you do as a marketer are completely wrong or foolish. That’s a good thing. When you create that hobby website, you’re gonna take hours on some tasks that in hindsight will seem like a piece of cake. That’s not a problem. As you begin to write, you are gonna publish some articles that get 3 views, 1 of which is your wife. That’s normal and expected. Don’t be afraid to absolutely screw up along the way.