Marketing Bites: How To Become A Better Marketer

[Marketing Bites is a new content series designed to provide brief insights into Marketing related topics. Often these will be taken from the Growth Marketing Telegram Group or notes from my phone]

I think a lot about how I can become better at marketing.

The scope of a marketer in 2019 is so vast that it's very easy to get lost. That being said, keep in mind that nobody can do everything and it's much better to do 5 things very well, than be average at 10.

The next step for me is learning how to create better visuals and video material. The written word is still important but I've found that visual content is far more appealing to visitors. I can see that both in the data and in my own behaviour.

But this post isn't about me, it's about you.

You might be feeling lost in the big online marketing jungle, overwhelmed with the expectations of your employer and frustrated by meager results.

I've been in your situation and know that gut-wrenching feeling.

Looking back there are four things I wish I'd been more mindful off in times of need. Four simple steps that would have helped me either get through the tough times or avoid them all together.

I want to share them with you so you can learn from my mistakes and become a better marketer.

1. Spend your own money

This is the most important tip I'm going to give you.

No matter what stage of your career you're in you should be running your own campaigns.

Why?

  1. You should be able to make your money back with paid campaigns - If the prospect of spending your own money on Adwords, Facebook, Email, Affiliate or SEO is daunting it's a sign that you still need to grow as a marketer (as we all do). As professionals, we need to get to a stage where we can use any online marketing channel and get a positive ROI on a campaign. Your employers budget should be spent on channels with a high probability of success, which will then maximize your chances of furthering your career. Use your own money to experiment with less experienced channels and focus on improving. The more channels you master the more options you will have going forward. This is much easier because...
  2. You will be MUCH more sensitive about every dollar spent - I believe you when you say that "I treat my employers marketing budget as carefully as I can." Nevertheless, I dare you to put €300 of your own money into a Facebook campaign (if you haven't already). I'll put my money on you being much more attentive to every dollar spent, simply because you're acutely aware of the sacrifice every cent costs. You worked hard for that money. You could have spent it on a nice night out with the wife, or a weekend away. You'll be monitoring your campaign like a hawk and will be much more likely to spot mistakes and improve as a result. And finally...
  3. It gives you the freedom to be creative - Working for the man can be soul crushing. Coming in every day to grow a company which under-appreciates your contributions and inhibits your individualism is draining. When you spend your own money you're free. You can use that funny cat gif as a creative for a remarketing campaign. You can use provocative language to get your point across. You can be creative and that's an awesome feeling.

As you can tell I think it is vital to run your own campaigns in order to improve and really fall in love with marketing. Yes, spending (and losing) your own money hurts, but that's kind of the point.

Pain is a HUGE motivator to improve.

And please don't get me wrong. I'm not saying you need to spend €200. You can spend whatever you like. It just matters that you earned it.

2. Write like the wind, edit after coffee

Writing takes up a majority of my professional life.

When I'm not devising copy for a new landing page, I'm drafting the next blog post or crafting an email.

For years I was doing it wrong.

My approach was FAR too time-intensive and made me horribly inefficient.

I used to figure out my title and essentially start writing. Once I got stuck I would start researching similar articles and problem-solve my way to the finish line - constantly making edits along the way.

Don't do this ☝ Not only does it lead to some pretty unstructured content, but it also takes forever. More time and less quality is not a winning combination.

So what's the correct approach to writing?

The good news is, you can learn from my mistakes. I would highly recommend trying this approach the next time you have to write a significant amount of text:

  1. Keyword research the title and sub-headings
  2. Research 3-5 bullet points per sub-heading
  3. Flesh out your bullet points QUICKLY - write like the wind
  4. Don't edit while you write
  5. Finish the text and go for a coffee (15 minute break)
  6. Come back to the text with fresh eyes and start editing

With this methodology you will not only save time but you'll write much better content.

Speaking of better...

3. Figure out when you make the best decisions

How sound is your decision making process early in the morning?

Mine is dog-shit.

I've needlessly put myself in hot water a number of times by replying to important emails from my bed first thing in the morning. My thought-process was muddled and my decisions poor.

My brain hadn't defrosted, but in an effort to be "available around the clock" and to come off as a star, I shot myself in the foot.

Try to be mindful of when you typically make sound decisions and when you make mistakes. If you find a pattern try to optimize accordingly. Your career will thank you.

4. Read, test and optimize

Looking back at the modest success that I've had so far, I can attribute a significant portion of it down to being informed when others weren't.

I do my best to stay on top of developments and you should to. When a Google algorithm update hits, we need to be ready and prepared. When Adwords changes its bidding options, we need to be ready to test. When Facebook adds a new targeting option, we should be waiting with a creative.

Reading, testing and optimizing play a crucial role in the success of a marketer.

Thanks for reading. Did I miss any? Anything I said made you roll your eyes? Then join us on Telegram and let me know!

Speak soon.