Consistency and a little Creativity are key
My career started out in telecoms, working for a major supplier to the industry at a time when the mobile industry was in its infancy. At that point, I was hooked on finding out what compelled some customers to buy and why other customers were always on the fence. This is how my client acquisition journey began.
I have a master’s degree in marketing and IT, additionally, I have a teaching qualification along with several ‘bolt-on’ industry standard qualifications in various disciplines. I never really stopped learning and I think it has been a worthwhile investment in me and I consider myself a ‘well-versed’ individual with insights into many aspects and industries. Even though I completed my master’s degree quite late in my career I was involved with marketing in some form for about 25 years before that, so I consider a lot of what I do to be tried and tested before mentioning it to either my clients or on a blog like this.
I think it is important to recognize there is a lot of ‘fluff & spoof’ marketing out there. People, or so-called gurus instantly have the answer to your business problems. I wish it was that simple. I certainly listened to and studied many individuals claiming to have the answers and some were better than others. So let us start with how you don’t learn Customer Acquisition.
1. Marketing for client/customer acquisition is not about one source teaching you everything you need to know. Think of it like a shopping trip to a supermarket. One week you’ll fancy picking up one item. The next week you might fancy picking up another. This will give you a grounded level of understanding by coming at the marketing mix from different angles. Embrace it, it is amazing!
2. Colleges and Universities will give you a grounding in the mechanics and theories behind digital marketing, but it won’t make you an expert. Learning in these places is often an amazing experience but you will at some point need to exercise that knowledge and put it into action. The late Bruce Lee once said you cannot become a quick sprinter by jogging around the track. You must sprint.
3. In the same way as point 2, you will not acquire deep knowledge on customer acquisition by reading books, watching YouTube videos, and reading blogs. Although the pointers are useful, deep knowledge comes from doing!
4. Being accredited with Google, Bing, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram is useful. Relying on it will only disappoint you and any client you have. The best way to become good at something is to do it, become time-served but embrace the fact that experience will be the best teacher, and to do that mistakes can be made.
Create a Learning Platform
Digital Marketing is MASSIVE! If you try and learn everything all at once you will get overwhelmed and eventually quit. Develop a learning platform that you can stick to. Just like crawling, walking then running scenarios you will see results, build confidence, and eventually master your areas of discipline. I create a 3-tiered system to help people gain the knowledge they need.
1. Fundamentals Level
This is to give you a grounding on the basics. The subject matter is general but you must be able to discuss the fundamentals and show you have an understanding of what Marketing is and how it is used.
2. Marketing Tactics & Deployment
These are principles used to gain maximum success out of campaigns. Study the way others use different channels of acquisition. Then, pull it apart. What was good, what was bad, and what could you do differently? Most importantly, what results do you believe you could get from the marketing activity?
3. Expertise & Master
When you have hit this stage you are well on your way. Pick an area that interests you most that is commercially viable but be careful. You cannot be a master of all areas. You could be a master in LinkedIn campaigns, Google PPC, or Facebook ads but specialize! Some talented marketers have been able to become specialists in 3 or 4 channels and I admire them. I would recommend you specialize in one area and move to another only when you have demonstrated a deep understanding of your first.
4. Find a Great Mentor
Never underestimate the power a good mentor will have on your career. Find a mentor that you can relate to and communicate with on a human level. They will help guide you through and around the various pitfalls, (and there are many!) that marketing has in store. Additionally, they may create opportunities for you to develop certain skills that are paid and worthwhile.
What Specialism Should I Choose?
This is your choice, I met one person who was convinced they wanted to specialise in Facebook ads and found out he was a lot more successful with Bing PPC. The choice is yours but a few things to consider.
· What would make you happiest? There is a lot to be said about job satisfaction. If you are not happy or have a feeling or purpose then no amount of expertise can bring that feeling of doing well for yourself. I recommend you answer this question honestly and to yourself.
· Your skillset. Only you know where you are strongest and most skilled. You may feel that you are best with search ads, if that’s the case dig deeper into it. You may feel you are more visually creative so perhaps social media adverts and content is the direction. Only after you have honestly and openly explored your skillset will you be able to answer these two questions deeply enough to have actionable answers.
Tik-Tok was not even considered worthy 3 years ago and now it’s growing faster than Facebook. Consider new channels when making any decisions as being an early adopter can pay massively down the road when every other marketer is playing catch up.
Feel free to Experiment.
You are looking for hands-on experience, theirs is no greater teacher. The learning platforms I will mention are useful however, at some point, you need to roll your sleeves up and get stuck in! Search for a company or product to experiment with as you gain more knowledge. If you are starting out I recommend internships as a method of getting your foot in the door. Alternatively, try affiliate marketing or blogging.
Observe and learn from Others.
Follow quality, not quantity. I recommend using social media, podcasts, blogs, and other material to identify the marketers you wish to follow closely. Create a list of their names, specialisms, and links to their material. It will pay big dividends down the road.
To start you off I will list the following to follow and give you a head start.
The late Steve Jobs ‘Jobs and Marketing’ by Motivation Vault
Additionally read about the ‘I’m a Mac’ marketing campaign.
The Amazing Story Behind Mary Kay Ash by Catson Media
The Art of Copywriting and Advertising with David Ogilvy by Alex Burman
Oh yeah, follow Midas Media too! :)
Examine Online Tools
Once you have chosen your specialism, its time to focus on a few organisations that use those skills extremely well. Study their tactics and strategy. As an example, for content marketing study Hubspot, Moz and leading affiliate marketers. Consider the tools they use and most importantly, why.
Keep A Scrapbook Physical or Digital
I like to make some recordings of what talented marketers have done in the past and make notes on why it’s worked. In the end it will be a valuable research tool for you when creating your own sales funnels and marketing campaigns.
Learning the Quantitative Elements of Marketing
All marketing can be quantitative if you used the right measurements. Make sure you have a basic understanding of how marketing metrics are calculated. Their significance and how strategically you can influence the outcomes of a campaign by way of distribution analysis, regression and confidence intervals.
I recommend the following courses to allow you to start gaining these important insights.
Marketing Analytics (Course)
Statistical Analysis (Course)
Google Analytics (Course)
Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO).
Conversion Rate Optimization is the marketing and psychological tactics we can use to discover why an audience is converting or not. Many will discuss testimonials and cases where it was used. In reality, there are many places to learn CRO and why its so vital for the modern marketer to understand and use the principles. Here is a brief list of some great resources.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
SEO is a skill set that every marketer should be aware of and its become a highly crowded area of expertise with marketing agencies claiming they provide SEO services almost everywhere.
Despite the volume of marketers offering this service its still highly valuable and learn and apply for clients wishing to attract traffic to their website and social channels. I recommend various courses to give you a thorough grasp of the skills required. These are:
Branding, Brand Equity, Positioning your product and Story telling.
Everyone loves a story. That’s why so many successful films use monologues to add context and meaning to a given situation. Its the same with clients. They want to know the company, its values, story and motivations. Learning to tell the story through branding increases your brand equity and position within the market. Learning branding takes time and I found it one of the most challenging skills but once its mastered you can apply its principles to any client..and it works. Start with these resources to get you up to speed.
The Psychology of Human Consumers
Understanding why consumers behave one way towards a product can mean the difference between a landing page that converts massive amounts of sales and a landing page that is ordinary and performs lacklustre. Try these courses to get an understanding in consumer psychology.
User Experience (UX) and Product Design Principles
In the last decade, we have seen greater interest in how design can influence consumer behavior. This has, in part been due to the rapid increase in mobile phone applications reaching the market. Using design as an additional layer of communication between a business, its brand, and its users have become an increasingly important aspect of marketing and I urge any would-be marketer to get to grips with the principles of good design practice. Here is a short list of resources or courses that can help.
Copywriting is Gold
If there is one skill I want to emphasize to any emerging marketer is the skill of copywriting. It does not matter if your writing brochures, adverts or blogs the psychology behind writing good copy cannot be underestimated and is a valuable skill. Here are some recommendations to help to develop a grounding in this skill.
Funnel marketing describes the journey that consumers take when using a business for a product or service. It’s a mixture of IT savvy, marketing psychology, and understanding the mechanisms put in place by advertising platforms. Here is a list of funnel tutorials designed to help get you started.
Adobe and Design Tools
I recommend spending some of the time learning and applying to design and crafting designs using adobe photoshop, InDesign, and other adobe packages. In the beginning, it may seem slow and tedious but I will guarantee you the amount of money you will save on hiring freelance designers or in-house employees will more than makeup for it. Here is some resources to start your learning.
Paid Search (PPC)
Paid search or PPC is a massive chapter within itself and it is slowly becoming saturated as an income stream for Marketers and marketing agencies. One of the reasons for this is the amount of profit that can be made from managing client ads on various platforms from Google, Bing, Facebook, Instagram, and Tik Tok. I recommend you get to grips with one platform and then move on to another before start offering these services as a poor reputation will kill your personal brand fast. Here is a list of options for you to learn the basics before you move into paid search services.
The marketing industry as a whole has been literally rewritten in the last 10 years by how social media has affected consumer habits, the information, and insights that can be gathered about your clients, and popular trends. Placing social media ads aside it’s the best way to connect with potential clients, build a community and generate growth.
I recommend you study businesses that have used social media well to gather an understanding of the strategies they used. One particular company is Innocent Drinks, which has done amazing work developing a really strong community of followers. Gather all the information you can and consider the brand story, tone of voice, imagery, and product descriptions used. This is an amazing demonstration of how a company builds loyalty through a social media strategy that is not overly ‘salesy’ and concentrates on consumer needs.
Email marketing is still alive and kicking. It's effective and cost-efficient and if done right will always get results. Recent consumer habits are making the use of email marketing slightly different in the last 3 to 5 years. Especially with the onset of Geolocation marketing. Small businesses or start-ups should take advantage of free email marketing platforms like ‘mailchimp’ and ‘Sendinblue’. These platforms can scale as you grow but when you reach a database of 300,000 or more possible clients, I recommend a more robust system.
Below is a list of learning platforms designed to help you get started.
The Importance of Sales
Salesmanship or salepeopleship is a massively misunderstood aspect of marketing and some time needs to be developed into the skillset of every business and marketer. I recommend that studying the art of sales from a credible source and understanding how to apply these skills will pay massive dividends in time. Here are some sales skills resources to improve your basic skillset but I also endorse watching good salespeople in action, live in the field.
The Sell, The Secrets of Selling Anything to Anyone by Fredrik Eklund, Bruce Littlefield, (Book)
The Psychology of Selling-13 tips by Sales Insights Lab
How to Sell Anything to Anyone by Jordan Peterson
Public Relations (PR)
Public Relations is a channel of marketing that took me years and years to master. It supports all other channels and done when correctly, will bring your brand to life. In my experience, it's not a fast method of attracting and attaining clients but it does develop customer loyalty and increases the lifetime value of the client when you do it right. I recommend the following sources to develop a grounding in Public Relations and its application.
Of course, understanding the sheer volume of information you can digest and implement should give you the idea that a business owner or marketing beginner cannot become an expert overnight. I have been involved with marketing for over 20 years and I still don’t have everything figured out. But I’m way further down the road than most and additionally have plenty of marketing tools in my bag to pull out to make sure the right message, gets in front of the right client at the right time. I wish every business owner every success in the world and I hope I’ve helped every prospective marketer to find a path that suits them.
That being said if you believe your business could benefit from a free consultation please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or dial 0345 163 2136 and ill be happy to help your business scale for the future.
Wishing the trends and keywords provide you with continuous prosperity,
The Midas Media Team