Whether or not you studied marketing in college (or even went to college), all marketers should be perpetual students. There is no end to your education for several reasons. But the good news is that there is also no shortage of areas where you can learn.
Since education is one of GreenMellen’s core values, here are a few of our favorite places to invest in your continuing education.
Why is learning crucial for marketers?
Before we unpack where you can learn, let’s take a moment to understand why. Why should you spend your time learning? Where is the value of continuing education?
- Digital marketing is constantly changing. There’s always a new technology or best practice. You can’t assume what worked last year will work next year.
- There are no experts. We’re all figuring this thing out together. You can still learn from others, but no one will ever have all of the answers.
- It keeps you sharp and curious. Push yourself forward by gaining new skills and insights. Knowledge helps you to be more well-rounded as a marketer.
Books are highly undervalued as a way to learn. That’s true for marketing and far beyond. Not everyone likes reading, but investing time into books generates a greater return.
If you’re not a fan of reading, you can expand your definition of what counts. As long as you’re getting something out of it, audiobooks and ebooks count. The goal is to learn.
- This is Marketing by Seth Godin
- How to Write Copy that Sells by Ray Edwards
- Marketing Made Simple by Donald Miller
- The Story Cycle by Robert Carnes
Podcasts are everywhere—GreenMellen even has a podcast. The real benefit of podcasts is how easy it is to listen because they’re easily accessible and passive to learn from.
However, you can’t be too passive. Practice gaining value from your listening by taking notes and then acting on what you’ve learned. Choose the right shows, and you’ll go far.
- WorkLife with Adam Grant
- Hidden Brain with Shankar Vedantam
- All It Takes is a Goal with Jon Acuff
3. Conferences & Events
Conferences take an investment, especially if they’re in person. But they offer an experience that gets you out of the office and in proximity to real people. These are a quick boost of inspiration and encouragement.
To get the most out of your time at an event, plan out in advance. Know what speakers you’ll listen to. Take notes and revisit with your team later. Put at least 2-3 items you learned into effect in the first week that you’re back. Follow up with people you met at the conference.
4. Email Newsletters
Email newsletters are totally retro—but they’re making a serious comeback. Email is powerful because of the direct connection to your audience’s inbox.
Newsletters are a great way to curate lots of online content. Plus it’s a way to follow brands and influencers you trust outside of social media channels. Avoid content overload by subscribing responsibly—3 to 5 newsletters is probably a good balance to get started.
Mentors are a gold mine of learning because they help you shortcut experience by sharing theirs with you. This is different from the other suggestions because they come with a relationship with a real person, not just another digital channel.
Finding the right mentor is key. Start with looking for people you want to be more like, personally and professionally. Join official mentor programs near you to help get paired. Good mentor relationships are mutually beneficial for both of you.
6. Make it stick
It’s not enough to read and listen to content and then move on. To truly learn, you’ve got to make the lessons stick. Make learning a regular and intentional habit in your daily life.
Take notes in a way that works for you. Review them regularly. Take action on what you’ve learned because this will help you gain your own experience. And share your learning with others to keep the process moving forward.
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