For the last 9 years of my life, I’ve been trying to “make it” in the online income world… drop-shipping, blogging, influencing – you name it, I’ve tried it.
One thing that remains consistent throughout all of the income generation processes: The need for digital marketing.
How did I get good at it? Most people think it’s because I am creative or have an “artist’s eye.”
Of course, creativity plays a role in it but not as big as you think.
Quit Thinking, Start Doing
People will often say that you learn the most by doing. And it’s true. By trying different marketing strategies on your social platforms and websites, you will learn what works well and what doesn’t work at all.
When I first began in 2011, I would do research all day long on how to optimize my websites, create better visuals, and bought all the premium packages I thought would help.
After a year or so, I ended up with nothing to show for it but an empty bank account. I remember the day I checked my financial app to find $0.13 remaining, and in that moment, I decided it was time to go from research mode to endless action.
How did I flip things around and learn how to market properly?
Learning The Basics
The majority of website marketing will require basic HTML code knowledge. You can either watch YouTube videos or search Google for your specific HTML solutions as problems arise. Many websites these days don’t require the need for coding except for specific plugins.
Reading Blog Posts
Build a list of a few (successful) marketing blogs to follow daily. You don’t need to read ALL of the posts, but you should pay attention to any industry changes and subjects that you know little about.
Search Engine Land or Marketing Land will give you general industry news, while Moz and Quick Sprout will teach you new tactics.
Each of these blogs has email subscription options, which means you can have the content delivered to your inbox for free instead of having to search for the best stuff.
Watching Other Successful Marketers
Online marketing is broken down into a few main categories:
By watching these free videos, you will get a good understanding of how to work on each of those categories for your own business.
At some point, you just need to jump in and see if you can swim but don’t focus on all forms of online marketing at once. Otherwise, you’ll never become great at one thing.
Instead, try to focus on one topic/objective until you feel that you are pretty good at it. Then, add in a secondary topic/objective that is complementary to the first.
For example, I got good at SEO/content marketing first, then Pinterest marketing, and then Twitter marketing. Now, I am focusing my efforts on email marketing & video marketing.
Google Analytics & Google Search Console allows you to track how things are going. If your traffic keeps going up and to the right, you are doing something good.
If it doesn’t, you will have to continually try new marketing tactics so that you can get growth. Pay attention to what keywords you’re dominating on Google Search Console to see if you can expand on any ideas you’ve previously written about.
Leverage Every Process
The best way to take your skills from being an intermediate marketer to an advanced one is through the process.
If you can create a process for every single marketing technique, you are more likely to find ways to improve each tactic. Learning how each new task can be done faster & more efficiently than the last.
Why should you create a process?
A detailed process of what you do for each task requires a notepad and a little bit of thought.
As you grow your business, you’ll eventually hire people to help you out with your marketing efforts, so by creating a detailed process for all marketing tactics, you’ll find that new employees will learn faster, make fewer mistakes and provide better results.
When creating processes, make sure you create an execution plan and audit it to ensure its thoroughness.
What to think about when auditing:
One of the best ways to learn is by teaching others in your area of expertise. It’s hard to level-up quickly if your ideas are never being tested (or reinforced) by others’ thoughts, concerns, and suggestions.
My favorite way to learn is by teaching. From answering complex problems on YouTube to responding to people who emailed or direct messaged me to even blogging about marketing, I constantly try to teach it.
In order to be a great teacher, you have to understand the complex information in your industry and make it easier to understand for those new to the field.
If your students don’t understand the points you are trying to make or the concepts you are trying to teach, they won’t learn anything. Stay patient and seek the easiest ways to word difficult ideas.
Give your students time to grow and implement what they’ve been taught after you’ve given them the information they need. Messaging them every day about a new process or changed information will ensure they’ll forget everything they’ve learned.
You also don’t have to be an expert to teach.
I will have people ask me very specific questions via Direct Message, and I don’t even know what the answer is until after a few Google searches. The other day I had a long-time student ask me how to integrate their Stripe Checkout Button on their Carrd Landing Page.
I don’t even use Stripe.
This didn’t stop me from browsing the forums, finding the right information, and piecing together a complete video walkthrough for him (and anyone else who might’ve had the same issue). A few Google searches and a deep dive into a handful of blog posts can teach you enough to teach someone else.
Teaching others is as simple as helping out your friends with their marketing initiatives or just going to a local meetup group, where you give people free marketing tips.
By talking about marketing and discussing it with others, you will eventually learn more about online marketing.
Answering Every Question You Can
You’ll notice that you get questions from your students about everything under the sun. If you aren’t getting any questions, it either means you are exceptionally good at teaching or you are boring and your content puts people to sleep.
From people doubting what you are preaching to students giving you ideas, you will get a wide variety of questions. By answering these questions, you’ll increase your knowledge. I won’t even know about a specific topic/platform/program until someone asks me for my opinion on it.
On Quora, people post thousands of questions every day on a variety of marketing-related subjects. By answering them, you can stay on top of everything that is changing in the marketing world and expand your knowledge on all things “Internet.”
Don’t get your feelings hurt whenever someone decides to correct you and tell you how you can do something better either. This is actually one of my favorite parts of answering the questions of others. People add their two cents and it ends up being worth a lot more for myself in the long run.
All of us sharing our tips with each other helps ensure that we are all improving our overall marketing skills.