How to improve marketing skills?

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BookLoverL
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How to improve marketing skills?

Post by BookLoverL »

I'm planning to quit my part time job later this year and pivot back to doing more self employment (I'm doing a bit at the moment but only to the tune of £4000 a year). So in order to improve my future self employment income I'm trying to learn more marketing.

My current understanding of the marketing process is:

1) You need some way for people to find out your product exists
2) You need people to be intrigued enough by your product that they come to visit your website/shop front
3) Your website/shop front needs to convert people from "vaguely interested" to "definitely buying"
4) Once a customer decides to buy they should be able to buy easily with a small number of intuitive steps
5) Your product needs to be good enough that the customer will come back to buy your future products and also recommend you to their friends (taking us back to 1).)

Any suggestions or resource recommendations for how I could improve my understanding of the overall process, or improve my skill at achieving each of the steps I've identified?

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Alphaville
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Re: How to improve marketing skills?

Post by Alphaville »

this is more or less correct in a way but there's a lot more to it, having to do with culture and human psychology etc.

there is always the issue of trust when you give your money away. am i getting what i'm paying for? is this good? is this safe? is this a good deal? this is principally why brands came to be. a brand is a heuristic that removed a lot of suspicion and calculations and comparison. "a brand you know and trust." (before that, there was your trusty grocer/market stall/etc).

but nowadays, maybe since the 50s/60s? and deeper into our age, there are other considerations when it comes to brands. ideological considerations, what the brand represents, or even more, what it stands for, and how that relates to your status and identity, and the meaning of your life even. sounds very silly to me but it is what it is

these days with online ratings we thought we could get rid of brands, and how many stars you get replace brands. but after learning how ratings get manipulated, i think brands still matter. e.g. lately i have been buying hario products for my coffee making, why? i've come to know and trust them :lol:

anyway, brand: try to develop one of you can because you want your customers to use that heuristic to cut through the infinite market offerings. logos, colors, etc make it easy to recognize and project a certain aesthetic. and often brands will develop through your "story." e.g. see seth godin on this.

eta: further, ultimately, marketing is a relationship, real or fake. marx said that commoditization in capitalism obscures the social relationship between producer and consumer. and while old school marketing was about the product alone ("buy buy buy"), some of modern capitalist marketing attempts to recreate or simulate those relationships (eg "fair trade" "humanely raised" "organic" "single origin" "employee owned" "one percent for charity" "veteran owned" etc).

the more capitalism fetishizes consumption and the more we alienate ourselves from friends, family, neighbors and colleagues, from the more people seem to crave a personal connection with their consumption.

BookLoverL
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Re: How to improve marketing skills?

Post by BookLoverL »

Thank you, I will look into Seth Godin.

I have heard that brands are important, but I don't want to accidentally lock myself into requiring consistency in all aspects of my life, because I'm often just not a very consistent sort of person. So I'd have to think of how to make a good business brand that didn't feel restrictive of my personal life. And see if I can build in the trust and the personal connection.

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Alphaville
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Re: How to improve marketing skills?

Post by Alphaville »

yeah i don't agree with putting 100% of your life into your brand, but that seems ro be what's going on with the rise ofmsocial media, particularly small businesses. people love to hate "anonymous corporations," but indon't hate them so much--i'm not really looking for a relationship :lol:

but people do!

anyway, it's a fine balance and it requires study. best wishes with this. there is of course the wholly microeconomic side of pricing and sales volume if the social hocus pocus gets on your nerves.

also just like in the project triangle of fast/cheap/good businesses compete on the convenience/cost/quality arenas. eg walmart is cheap and convenient, apple is convenient and good, costco is cheapish and goodish, the dollar tree is cheeeep, etc. well you get the idea, there are many niches. but study and practice will show you what works for you.

Smashter
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Re: How to improve marketing skills?

Post by Smashter »

Good luck on your journey! I can contribute some thoughts to your first point based on my past jobs.

1) You need some way for people to find out your product exists
You should do some content marketing, which basically means writing blog posts. The goal here is to grow number of people who find your site via search engines (without having to spend money on ads.) Here is a good resource from a good content marketing firm. Their whole blog has helpful info, I'd check it out. You can cross post this content on different social media sites, too, of course.

Consistent writing takes a lot of work but it can really pay off if you start appearing in the first few spots for google searches of terms that are important to your business. And depending on your niche you can start seeing results pretty quickly.

ertyu
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Re: How to improve marketing skills?

Post by ertyu »

In my opinion, thinking about marketing in general is a derail. Focus on your particular industry/business niche. Look for some people who are doing what you want to be doing. What are their shops, websites, and other marketing practices like? Look at businesses that impress you - what about them is awesome? Get on common "grouch spaces" for your profession, e.g. subreddits, etc. - what are people complaining about, what challenges are they mentioning? How do they deal with demands for free work without alienating prospective customers, how do they bill people, where do they find work? etc. Some people in your niche might have youtube channels talking about how-to for their sidegig - check those out. And so on.

BookLoverL
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Re: How to improve marketing skills?

Post by BookLoverL »

Thank you for the further advice!

When it comes to content marketing, how much is a good amount? If I tried to write new content marketing every day I could see myself becoming so caught up in it that I forgot to deal with other aspects of the business, for instance.

I haven't decided which of several possible niches I will be in yet, but I will try to consider what people in the possible niches currently do or want.

I started reading some of Seth Godin's material and so far I have been finding it insightful.

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