If you want to turn your passion into profit, you will need to market your new enterprise online. During my recent tour I explained that there are clever people out there who can help you. You can employ someone to do all your social media, build your website, even make snazzy videos of you to post online. But you might also want to do a lot of the online basics yourself. You might want to upload photos to Snapchat, Twitter to your community, respond to Facebook messages and learn to build a website on WordPress. Some people take to the online world like a duck to water. Other people, like me, take to it like a duck to the desert. It’s just not our scene! But maybe you do have some aptitude for this or you have a young staff member with great potential to run your online marketing campaign. How do you train yourself or your employee to get the most from online marketing?
First up there is an avalanche of information on the internet about how to effectively use marketing websites and applications. If for example you are struggling with Facebook, watch some of the many videos on YouTube on Facebook. You can also search Google for instructions on how to use Facebook properly. There is information out there on WordPress, Wix, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and Pinterest. You can even learn all about YouTube by watching YouTube! And if you are not familiar with WordPress, Wix, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and Pinterest, look them up online. However, when learning any new skill it’s great to get some person-to-person training.
You could start by watching some videos about creating websites on wix.com and WordPress. Sure, you might find them complicated and hard going, but invest time in trying to understand what they are doing in these online training courses. From here you could enrol in a class. Person-to-person teaching helps many people retain information. Also in a classroom there is a teacher to answer our questions. Public libraries offer a number of free courses on how to use social media. Be warned that these courses are generally geared to novices. The information is rolled out at an extremely leisurely pace so that even your great-great-grandmother could keep up. Adult-learning community colleges do run some fantastic courses on using social media. After the course ends, continue using what you or your staff member learnt. Get online and give it a whirl. Build that website, post up photos and articles. By combining both classroom teaching and online resources you will get a fuller understanding of how to operate in a cyber environment.
Get a Mentor
Another option is to find a teacher who will tailor the training to your strengths and weaknesses. This is especially useful if you are time poor. If you are working full-time and turning your passion into profit after hours, you do not want to sit in a classroom spending hours learning only the basics about building websites and social media. Unfortunately community colleges usually teach at a pace that suits the slowest student, never the brightest. That means you have to wait until everyone in the class has mastered the basics. Finding a teacher who will show you how to build and design websites and post content to a range of social media applications is not always easy. Do not expect personal tutoring to be cheap, but if you are time-poor consider it an investment in yourself. Also search among your friends and family for a teacher. There might be a person in your social circle who can do things online you never thought possible. They might be filming and embedding videos all over the place, creating dynamic slideshows with sound tracks, Tweeting to big online community and creating online pinboards every day to share on Pinterest. Young people are usually exceptionally able in this brave-new online world.
Learn at your Own Pace
Another tip for becoming savvy online is to allow yourself to learn at your own pace. People under the age of 20 have a natural advantage in the online world. Think about it, just about every toy young people ever owned had a computer chip in it. They didn’t play with teddy bears and dolls. They played with talking animals and toys that flashed and buzzed – all controlled by computer chips. Kids even start programming in primary school these days. Be kind and proceed at your own speed. Building websites and posting up content can be complicated. You want to get it right and not rush through complex tasks. A 2015 study from the Harvard Business School found that students who were told to stop and reflect on a task they’d just performed improved at greater rates than students who just repeated the task. So by thinking carefully about what you are doing will help you learn more quickly. When it comes to using social media and building websites you need to do as many hands-on exercises as possible. Practice really does make perfect. You just have to keep on using this stuff, preferably every day.
Accept You Can’t Be Good at Everything
Finally, accept that you can’t be good at everything. Perhaps you have tried over and over again to learn these skills, but you remain frustrated and bamboozled by most content-hosting websites and applications. I’ve said many times before that in business you should focus on what you are good at and pay someone else to take care of the duties you cannot manage or just plainly dislike. If you are great at talking to people face-to-face but hate social media then keep talking to people and outsource your social media. If you run your own business, you already wear a lot of hats. You are the CEO, head of human resources and the face of the business. If the internet it not your scene, then don’t force it.