There are many basic skills that we should learn as an Internet marketer. Sometimes the list seems endless–especially if you’re not fond of learning new programs.
Here are some of the key skills that I think every Internet marketer should learn (I use a Mac so most of the resources below are for Mac users. Windows users can find equivalent programs to do the same):
Basic Graphic Editing Skills
You don’t need to become a Photoshop expert to be able to draw arrows, borders, and make annotations to your screenshots. Effective marketers use these techniques to draw attention to key parts of their images. I use Skitch and I’m learning Snagit to easily add highlights.
It’s also good to learn how to edit images for your ads and landing pages. In some cases you’ll need to work with layers and need to know how to resize images. I find Pixlr works well for me.
Building Landing Pages
I use Lead Pages and I’m learning Optimize Press to build my landing pages. Lead Pages is easy to use because all the templates are already built for you. For more customized landing pages, I use Optimize Press as a plug-in on my WordPress site.
If you’re going to blog, which I think is critical to your long-term success, you need to learn basic WordPress skills. WordPress is not difficult to learn and there are tons of good tutorials on YouTube that can help you get started.
If you’re not building your own email list, you’re losing the chance to build the most important asset you’ll ever have as an Internet marketer.
I use Aweber and I’m learning how to segment my lists and customize my follow up emails. Learning how to write a good follow up series and how to integrate with your landing pages is a basic skill that all marketers should learn.
Screen Capture and Video Editing
I use Screenflow for my screen captures and to record webinars so I can watch them at my convenience.
I sometimes use it to record complex processes that I want to remember. It serves as a video documentation of that process so I don’t have to waste time hunting for tutorials the next time I need to do it.
I also use Screenflow to make instructional videos where I’m trying to teach a technique or process. I use Keynote to make my slides and record my presentation using Screenflow.
For more complex videos, I use Final Cut Pro. I try to keep it simple and prefer Screenflow for most of my video work. I plan to produce a lot of videos in the next few months so I will be getting deep into both Screenflow and Final Cut Pro.
How To Get Started
The list of skills I covered may sound like it’s a lot to learn, but compared to most other businesses, I think it’s a relatively small skill set that’s required. Imagine if you tried to start a bakery or a social media marketing business. The list of skills you’d need to learn would be much longer.
Here’s my method for learning any of the above skills: First I research the best software in the category and install it. My definition of the “best” software means the simplest solution to do what I need to do.
When choosing a program, I value simplicity and ease of use, more than ultra-powerful, feature-laden software. I figure I can always upgrade to more powerful software later if I need it. In most cases, I haven’t needed it.
My Step by Step Method To Learning New Skills
To start learning new software, I begin by viewing tutorials offered by the software provider and YouTube videos. I perform the activities being taught while watching the videos. I watch, pause, perform the technique, then go back to the video. I learn best by doing, not just watching and trying to remember later, so this approach works well for me.
Next I use what I’ve learned to produce content I can actually use in my marketing. This takes my learning to a higher level because I want things to look good and not turn off my viewers and readers. But I don’t let this desire to have my content look right get in the way of putting it out there. These days I’m all about action, not perfection.
Don’t Stay Stuck!
Two mental blocks kept me stuck for a long time as a marketer. The first was thinking that everything had to be perfect before I put it out into the world; the second was not wanting to make the effort to learn new software effectively. I was willing to learn, but never went deep enough to become proficient.
Today, I don’t wait until things are perfect before putting them out into the world and I no longer shy away from learning new software. I strive for what I call “functional proficiency.” I want to be able to do the most important functions well enough to make my content publishable.
Of course there’s a lot more to Internet marketing than the above skills. There’s also learning to find the right offers to promote, figuring out how to promote them, and all the tactics and strategies involved in driving traffic. I’ll cover these in future posts.
What about you? Are you learning the basic skills you need to be an effective marketer or are you shying away from them?
Please leave me a comment to let me know your thoughts.