If content is king, then skills are queen.
This is probably the most overlooked issue in all of marketing. It is also the issue that trips up more people in trying to promote their work. Why? Because you can’t DO something you don’t know how to do!
I could sit here all day and say, “You need to be on Twitter.”
But if you don’t:
A) Know what Twitter is
B) Know how to use it
and most important
C) Know how to set up an account and get going,
well, my advice doesn’t really help much, does it?
The thing nobody will tell you is to have a skill you are going to go through several stages:
1) Absolute Ignorance — you have NO IDEA how to make this thing work and no idea how hard it is to do (at least initially). You don’t know how to sign up, how to set it up, how to design it, or how to use it. This is sometimes the easiest stage because in your naïveté, you think, “How hard can it be? Millions of people do this all the time.”
2) Starting to learn — oh, this step is NOT fun! You pull up the page and start to fill out the form and… YIKES! What is that? I’ve never heard of that. What does that even mean? And what do I write for my description? And should I put my phone number on this or not? Which email would be the best to use? Should I pay for the “Upgrade” or will I even use this thing?
My advice for #2 is to try to get as much input from others as possible (and help if they will give it). ASK QUESTIONS! Look like an idiot who knows nothing about this (you don’t, though you are not an idiot. You are new, and it’s okay!)
3) Learning. Sometimes this step can be fun and exciting until you hit the…
4) Making frustrating mistakes phase. Oh, this step will make you want to pull your hair out, bang your head on the desk, or just plain QUIT!
When I was learning to do the bulk upload in Hootsuite, I cycled through 3 and 4 on a daily and sometimes hourly basis. I would get one to work… FINALLY, and think, “Okay, now I know what I’m doing.” Only to find the next one didn’t work for a different reason. UGH! FRUSTRATION!
Understand that any new skill you set out to learn–whether it’s how to run a blog, how to reword your website, how to send a Tweet, how to post on FB, how to bulk upload–is going to take a lot of practice and a LOT of patience with yourself for the mistakes you are inevitably going to make.
So be prepared to put in the effort and time to learn the skills. It probably won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.
5) Mastery. Now even in mastery, you will make mistakes, but you will have seen this rodeo before and know how to fix almost any mistake.
To do all of the promotions we will talk about in the upcoming lessons, you will need to put in the time and practice and effort to learn the skills to work that particular promotion. Don’t go into it thinking you will be able to do this in an hour or a day or even five days. Most of these things take concentrated practice over time, wallowing through mistakes, asking for help, making more mistakes, and persevering anyway.
Look at it this way… you didn’t learn to write overnight either!