EP49: Basic Education!

Good day, my friends.

I was wondering today as I began this week's podcast, with a question that some of you may be pondering.

And that would be…

“Which mountain are you on?”

Of course, you did not say that exactly.

In other words, “where are YOU in your journey?”

That may be closer, Right?

It may seem a bit strange to ask that question, because shouldn’t you already know the answer?

You may be shaking your head, indicating YES!

But…

Do you?

Online marketing is not your run of a mill business that you can master in a week, two weeks, a month, or a year.

Case in point. [This is where I take you on a journey, hehe!]

As a trained truss designer [you know, the art of designing the structures that hold up your roof and floors], I began learning that skill in 1994.

It took me almost two years to be completely confident in my abilities.

But the other thing is this.

Over the years, I had to learn new software platforms for engineering trusses.

Not once, not twice, but many many times.

Each time I had to learn something new.

The basics of trusses did not change, but the software did. [similar to marketing]

The learning never seems to stop.

And that is good. Because it allows truss designers to create the strongest, and least expensive trusses, keeping a manufacturer competitive, in the REAL world we ALL live in.

Translated to online marketing, once you understand the basics, which could take little time for some, and a bit longer for others, there will always be more mountains to climb.

More things to learn … more things to master.

Let's get REAL for a moment. You will, no, you MUST, learn, and KEEP learning to survive in this great big cruel world we ALL live in.

Knowledge = Power

There are software obstacles like new and yet-to-be-released email platforms that you may need to learn and then set up for your established business.

There is also Facebook, Google, and other platforms that not only change their algorithms but their advertising platforms as well.

Designing images can be a struggle without a good platform. Maybe you’re old school and use Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro, or a similar product to manually create every aspect of your image.

Or you’re like many others and you use Canva to use their templates to quickly create images.

As these products update, you may need to learn new things.

Email platforms, such as ConvertKit. [non-affiliate link]

and

Hosting platforms, such as SiteGround. [non-affiliate link]

Those are the ones I use.

Transferring my business to them was easy, but there is always a learning curve.

In ConvertKit you can use automation to segment people within your emails, so they are tagged based on interest.

I’ve talked [a lot] about raising your hand in emails to demonstrate interest. That is done via automation. A person decides he/she wants to receive a special email or promotional series, they click on a link, and “Boom” they are segmented. [easy peasy]

Now they are included in that promotional sequence. [You did not HAVE to convince them, they decided for themselves. They are a part of the conversation. Cool Right?]

While all those other readers who chose not to click are not. [And FREE for being hammered with UNWANTED promo emails.]

It is a super kind way of respecting people and only delivering to them content THEY want.

As far as marketing goes, learning the basics, and what I mean by basics is the specific knowledge you, for your business, need to accomplish your most basic goal.

For some, that goal is obtaining leads.

For others, it may mean developing a brand.

Of course, ALL businesses must make sales to pay their bills, and hope they are profitable.

But if you lean on sales as your initial goal, you will force yourself to learn a lot of skills at once, where overwhelm will creep in and possibly sap your self-confidence.

In my experience, if you take your time to learn skills as they are needed, instead of trying to learn them all at one time, you will become more successful, possibly even faster, in my humble opinion, than those choosing to do everything.

Like the story of the tortoise and the hare.

The hare was fast, but the tortoise, though slow, won out in the end. [grow slow, learn, grow slow, learn, grow slow, learn. Grow and learn with advancing knowledge and techniques.]

"The journey is never-ending. There's always gonna be growth, improvement, adversity; you just gotta take it all in and do what's right, continue to grow, continue to live in the moment". - Antonio Brown

If I were going to instruct anyone new to marketing, I would start by teaching them how to find leads, prospects, and/or future customers first.

Then, I would train them to use the art of story, and storytelling via email [and other media], to begin allowing the readers to get to know the student.

Through those emails, they would learn how to segment people, through the words they use, so those that want to know more and understand the business the student has, and how the student can help the reader would stick around, but anyone who finds they are not a good fit would unsubscribe.

This would happen also during the initial training to obtain leads.

We CAN NOT serve everyone!

It is crucial, in today’s NEW marketing, that we ONLY talk to people that have demonstrated that they want to learn about us and the way we can serve them.

The old school training of talking, or emailing to everyone is a long-dead strategy. Best left to those that, frankly, have too much money, and can afford to LOSE a lot of it.

First of all, in your email platform, you pay for the number of people you communicate with. The more emails in your account the more it costs you.

So, as a new marketer, funds may be limited, therefore, limiting email subscribers to only those that understand you, like you, and trust you, will in the short and long term save you money, best spent in other marketing efforts.

For you to make sales, you must have a product. Or a service.

If it is a physical product you will need funds to purchase materials, pay for labor possibly, unless you're creating them yourself, and making them ready for sale.

If you are creating a digital product, whether it is an eBook, an online course, or membership, you will need to learn how to do that, along with the software that will host those products.

Now I don’t know where you are in your journey, or on which mountain you are climbing, but I do know, that though the journey is somewhat difficult, it is well worth the effort.

So, let me encourage you to keep up your efforts, doing what so many others can not, or will not do, which is the hard work of moving forward in the face of difficulties.

“The only way up is to step forward” – Seth Godin

The internet is full of abandoned sites, that people once struggled to build into a profitable business, only to give up and walk away.

I don't want that to happen to you.

If you ever have doubts, questions, or need guidance, feel free to contact me.

I would be happy to help you.

I want to thank you for being here.

Until next week, be safe, be happy, be strong.

James "Still Learning" Brown

P.S. - In the event, you DO find that once an episode has been produced and posted, that YOU really would like more information, just let me know. Use the Podcast Questions link, click on the link here. Or you can just leave a voice message here.

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