A marketer’s job is never done. There’s always more content to create, more promotional material to advertise, and more ways that we can generate leads and funnel to sales. It’s a busy career.
In spite of this, or perhaps because of it, there’s no reason to let your marketing skills fall by the wayside. Just as there’s always more we can do strategically, there’s more we can do to sharpen our skills.
Maintaining your marketing prowess is as essential to your career as maintaining equipment is for manufacturers’. Here are actions I recommend to cultivate your marketing dexterity:
1. Practice Your Writing Skills
The first step to keeping your writing sharp is — wait for it — to keep writing.
Learn how to set a tone for a variety of target personas. Finesse your skills to the point at which you can adapt your writing to various audiences and prosperously engage new demographics.
You can accomplish this by responding to writing prompts or rewording content that you come across (on the subway, in the newspaper, at your child’s school) for different demographics.Try a new one every day.
Consider taking a writing class. Structure can help if you’re prone to procrastination or are having trouble finding prompts on your own. But be patient. Effective writing skills take time and a lot of practice. Some professionals keep a personal blog or even just a personal scrapbook for inspiration in the workplace to create copy for eBlasts, landing pages, and other content marketing material.
2. Keep Up With Industry Trends
When you consume more examples of persuasive marketing copy, you’ll be better positioned to create similarly compelling content.
There are countless other blogs and publication outlets to follow across the web. Find the ones that appeal to you or are tailored to your industry. Take a few minutes every morning or week to read up on what’s new. Companies frequently test fresh hypotheses and best practices consequently change so we suggest subscribing to email newsletters (click here for our favorite ones on the manufacturing industry).
Keeping an eye out for these developments gives you time to adapt and succeed when others may struggle and fall behind. Always keep the following aspects of marketing in mind:
- Content Marketing
- Search Engine Optimization
- Social Media Management
- Email Marketing
- Lead Generation
- Relationship Building
- Bridging Sales And Marketing
3. Test Yourself
Inbound marketing, inbound sales, and HubSpot certifications will test your knowledge of the inbound marketing methodology that is critical to successful marketing today.
You’ll understand the buyer’s journey and target personas, and you’ll become acquainted with HubSpot, a great resource for educational material related to marketing and sales. (Plus, you'll want to check out HubSpot’s blogs for marketing, sales, and advertising, which discuss such topics as effective web design, B2B and B2C trends.)
4. Learn Skills Outside Of Marketing
To make yourself truly invaluable as a marketer, you should study a few additional topics:
While your marketing agency most likely has departments that specialize in each of these areas, it’s never a bad idea to have a firm grasp yourself. Understanding how different parts of the department work will help you communicate to these teams better and understand how their goals can work with yours.
A number of free online resources teach coding. Blog posts from unique sources online will provide a decent foundation in consumer psychology and behavior. Regarding Statistics, you may need to take a more formal course — check out what’s available online or at a local institution. Similarly, HubSpot offers free marketing courses and certifications.
ABC may traditionally stand for “Always Be Closing,” but it’s also perfect for a different mantra: Always Be Challenging (Yourself).
It’s never too late to improve your marketing skills or get insight on what others in marketing are up to — take a look at our free resources for manufacturing and industrial companies for a start. Thomas regularly publishes free content to help improve sales and marketing skills like:
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