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Top 10 List of Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Marketing

I’m pretty sure this list could easily go to twenty, but I’m going to try to keep it as brief as I can with the hope that someone gets a few nuggets of information they may need from this article. You know what they say: Take the nuggets you need, and discard the rest. So, feel free to cherry pick over the following. Not that you wouldn’t do that anyway, right?

I’m going to count down from ten to one because why not. Ha.

Enough rambling. Grab some coffee or tea, and let’s get to it.

10 – Know Your Audience

I know this may seem elementary, but a lot of folks simply don’t understand what that phrase means when they hear it. For example: Were you aware that you need to have very specific demographics in mind when creating your marketing art? Very. Specific. You need to know: Age, location, race, gender, religious preferences, life preferences, income, and lifestyle (at a minimum). That’s a lot of information to know about someone you’re presenting a picture to, but it’s all necessary if you want to make the connection.

9 – There are Hundreds of Social Media Channels – Choose a Couple

You need to know which of those channels your future customers are on and hit it like Babe Ruth with a bat on a baseball. That goes back to knowing your audience. Boomers use Facebook like a family Zoom meeting, but Gen Xers use Facebook for everything. Millennials post food, fashion, and other life-related things, and good luck finding a Gen Zers on there. So, you need to first know your audience then discover where they hang out. Just choose a couple. No way can you keep up with hundreds.

8 – You’ll Never Reach Everyone You Want

This is a tough pill to swallow, but it’s a hard fact in marketing. You’ll never reach every customer you want to. It doesn’t matter if you pay a million dollars for marketing—you’ll always miss someone. Just take your medicine and move on.

7 – There are No Emergencies in Marketing

If you miss a Facebook post, it’s not the end of the world. Most of your followers won’t even notice unless you’ve made a huge deal about it coming ahead of time. Take deep breaths. It is what it is.

6 – Know How to Plan Well

For the love of Pete, learn how to plan and organize yourself. If you don’t, you’ll be gray in no time, and no one enjoys the red spot of shame on their forehead that appears from banging your head on your desk in rapid succession when you forget something. Plan ahead, and be as prepared as you can be for anything that may be upcoming.

5 – You Need to Know a Little About a Lot

This doesn’t mean you need to know everything about everything, but you need to have a basic understanding of several different things: Web design and SEO, graphic design (Photoshop and Illustrator or Canva or Gimp as basics), video production (scripts, characters, what’s possible and not, etc.), social media platforms and their uses, writing, editing, etc. There’s simply too much to list here, but I think you get my meaning. If you’re starting out in marketing, I suggest you add as many of the skills listed as humanly possible plus anything else you think may behoove you.

4 – Learn How to Use Tools Available

What I’m talking about here are aggregates—those tools that help you publish your content and follow up with people online that share, comment, or tag without forcing you to run to each social media platform and do it all there—and planners—tools you can use to set reminders and plan big projects with collaborators. I know there are several aggregates out there, so try a couple, and find the one that works best for you. As far as planners go, the world is your oyster. There are a metric ton. Again, try a few and find one that does all the things you need it to. Then use both the tools you select.

3 – Don’t Depend on Friends and/or Family for Help

Now, your friends and family members may be the bee’s knees, but that doesn’t mean they want to help you with your marketing. Sure, a share now and then would be lovely, but don’t lean on them for help all the time. There are two issues with this, and the first is that they may not be (or know) your target audience. Naturally, the second is that you end up with resentment when you go in with expectations. Expect nothing, and be surprised and pleased when/if something happens. Your sanity depends on it.

2 – Learn to Outsource

This one was a huge one for me. I have a Type A personality, so I need my hands in or on everything to be sure it’s the quality I expect it to be. It’s difficult for me to let go and trust someone else to handle something. That being said, I have learned to trust the people I work with to do the best they can with high quality, and I trust them to come to me if they have a question about anything.

1 – Branding is Everything

This doesn’t just mean your logo and/or name—while those are equally as important as everything else—it’s everything about your company from the way you present things to the world to the way your employees act. While having a consistent look and feel across all social networks and public documents is important, it’s not the only thing you have to take into consideration. Every single person who creates and/or publishes content that happens to be connected to you in any way is part of your branding. You must control it as well as you can. This can be a nightmare, but having your employees be part of the process can also be extremely rewarding. Set some ground rules, and go from there. If you’d like a tip on the former (logo and name), check out our blog post on How to Nail Your Company’s Branding Without Breaking the Bank.

I hope these tips helped you in some small way or that you at least got one good nugget to add to your stash.

Contributor

Jo Michaels

Marketing Coordinator

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