#WeBuildWednesdays 59: Marketing For Beginners 101: How to Learn More

Marketing For Beginners 101

R.E.A.R – (Read, Engage, Act, Review)

 

What’s going on guys? Happy Wednesday! This is Mike. I’m here with Richard, one of our esteemed Project Managers here at Youtech. And today we’re going to talk to you about how you can learn more about marketing – which one of the ways is just by watching this video FYI. But Richard and I will throw around ideas all the time throughout the office, we’re constantly reading things, we’re engaging with things. Of course, we’re putting things into action here, we are an agency, and then, of course, we’re always reviewing as well. 

 

And those fall into an acronym that we’ve created which would be REAR r-e-a-r: read, engage, act, review. Once you do those things you will have a pretty good understanding of the topic, you can then take that toss it in the rearview mirror and move on to the next subject. So today we’re going to talk to you a little bit about that acronym, we’re going to break down each of those things individually as to our tips and tricks, what we do, what we feel is successful and some best practices. We’ll show you some good resources that you can check out, some newsletters you can subscribe to, or channels for engaging with people, maybe how to put some stuff into action. Of course, we can talk about how to review too. 

 

Read

 

To begin with the first of the acronyms, read. Read, it could be reading, it could be watching, it could be listening. I know podcasts are kind of a big thing. Some of my favorite sources are going to be HubSpot, I love HubSpot, I think HubSpot is great. Social media, Social Media Examiner is absolutely phenomenal when it comes to social media knowledge, they also have a little bit of PPC stuff mixed in there. Their blog posts especially, they do video, they do audio, and they do blogs. They send a ton of emails too, but their blog posts especially have excellent visuals, they break everything down. Just the other day because TikTok is fairly new I came across an email from them where it talked about TikTok and how to set your business up on TikTok and everything. I clicked into it, I was looking through it and it was just absolutely phenomenal. I mean it was step-by-step as if you’ve never used TikTok and you check out this blog, you know exactly what to do, so I highly recommend Social Media Examiner. But Richard, what would you say? What are some of your sources here? I think we’ve heard enough for me already.

 

Well thanks, Mike, you know a longtime listener first-time caller so I appreciate the invite. So you know I’m on the other spectrum of “read” for me. I like to engage with content or read content, for the most part, I try to absorb everything visually. I’m really guilty about just getting home and propping up my feet and just watching Netflix all the time. It’s really great for me to be able to absorb content visually. So, in making sure that whenever I’m using my computer for personal purposes or whenever I’m even just watching Hulu, I’ll make sure that I’m watching ads and that I’m engaging with other people’s ideas and examining them on a more macro level of “why is this work”. That from an overall strategy standpoint really helps me and gives me creative ideas that then turn into practical thought applications. So, what I actually do want to read, which comes and goes, I like to read resources like Ad Week. I think they have a really great site, I hate that some of it is behind a paywall but you do get several three articles a month. And usually, they have great conglomerates or lists of really awesome ads that have come out recently. They’ll break them down into the technical aspects, but also share upcoming news. And for agencies that really want to thrive creatively, it’s a really good resource.

 

Yeah, I’m a fan of that one as well. I do tend to – it’s funny because like I said at the beginning, everyone kind of has their own different ways of consuming media right? And personally, I like to read but I feel like I’m in the minority on that these days. I feel like everyone likes to watch or listen but, I don’t know, sometimes it’s a little slow for me, I like to skip ahead when I can. 

 

Yeah, also when I read something I want to get to the end as fast as I can so I’ll become guilty of skimming because I’ll get to the point you know? And so when I really want to absorb something I definitely settle myself down. But for the most part, I just take in things better visually and try to – it also makes me think a little bit more critically I think, you know to think for myself a little bit more. And then to be able to evaluate on my own terms before I see someone else’s opinion on it. It’s kind of like when you watch an ad and create your own thoughts for it it’s kind of like watching a movie without reading any reviews you know? You can gauge for yourself.

 

I like that. One more resource that I really want to touch on before we move on here into the next portion. But when it comes to SEO knowledge, I feel like that is one area where – well the communities are great for SEO and we’ll touch on that in a second – but Search Engine Journal is a really good resource there too. So if you’re looking for anything as far as Google updates or changes to Google My Business, or different case studies on “we took 1,000 websites and we analyzed other organic traffic and here’s what we found” those kinds of articles are all on there and they’re really good. They also have a lot of input from the community too, which I think is a good transition because when it comes to

communities you’re going to want to engage with people and that’s one of the best ways to continue learning marketing knowledge is through that engagement. 

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Engage

 

And there are a few places that you can do this, I personally really really like Twitter for this. And there aren’t a lot of things I really like Twitter for so this is kind of the main thing. But the SEO community, especially on Twitter, is especially strong. There are people like Rand Fishkin who is constantly sharing data on searching and all that kind of stuff. Content marketing is also pretty big on there, authors like Ann Handley are on there, and if you just search for content marketing SEO – anything like that on Twitter, you’re going to find all kinds of really big influencers who are constantly posting but engaging with the community and asking people questions and sharing tips and tricks. And that I think is very important because when you’re interacting with people it’s not just a one-way street. You’re not watching a video and then taking what you learn and applying it later, you can actually watch the video that they posted and be like “oh what was this part?” It’s more like 

 

Yeah I completely agree, and especially if you get into those long-winded Twitter threads – those are a great opportunity for you to be able to really follow someone’s train of thought. Another really great one it’s kind of the other beast of social media which would be Facebook. Even though they’ve gotten a lot of flack for a lot of things over the last couple years specifically relating to its advertising policies there are Facebook groups – they’re phenomenal. I’m in, I can’t even tell you how many Facebook groups, and I’ve made so many connections with people you’re just bouncing ideas off of – not only professionally, but also personally. If I’m really into a podcast, usually there’s a Facebook group to discuss that podcast more. 

 

For a professional setting, there are several great groups both for local networking, but also you know more so spreading ideas in a more broad context. So there’s definitely some for PPC and especially a lot of PPC groups are out there. There’s a lot for SEO groups as well for more technical aspects. But there’s also some for even just industry-related things, it’s a really great way to pick other people’s brains and a judgment-free standpoint. In the one area that I can definitely say I’ve learned the most and engaging with it’s been actually since so many of our clients are really heavily into Shopify is reading what people are doing on Shopify in these Facebook groups. Some of these people really are reinventing the wheel and it’s really cool to see the innovation that they’re coming up with.

 

Yeah. And on that note actually we had a guest from Hey Oraca on here, and in a prior episode and they talked about one of their Facebook groups and I joined. Actually this morning I woke up at 5:00 a.m. to work out and stuff. And I am on my phone in between sets and I’m in this Hey Orca group and everyone was going through how they do report and the various different ways that they report on metrics and I shared my thoughts and other people share their thoughts too. And a lot of like-minded people that also learn data studio or use data studio I should say.

 

And I cannot speak to that because I was asleep at 5 a.m. like a normal person. It’s a great opportunity for you when you’re engaging with people when you’re putting yourself out there in a personal and professional context. So it’s a really great way to make friends, you never know how that can benefit you later on in life. It could turn into a vendor relationship, I’ve had specifically with Hey Orca, my previous agency job, I know that I reached out to those guys way before they became super mainstream about using their platform. Now another agency later I’m here and I’m using Hey Orca daily which is really cool, but that’s a connection we made via engaging and I was familiar with the platform coming into this job because of a LinkedIn connection and bouncing ideas off of someone. 

 

You bring up a good point with LinkedIn, I’m sorry I didn’t mean to cut you off, but yeah LinkedIn is a whole nother channel that is great for engaging with other people as well. I would say honestly probably not as much as a Facebook group or as SEO Twitter, but I will say it is good. And depending on if you’re following the right people it’s all about individuals on LinkedIn it’s really not about companies, but if you’re following the right people you can get some good engagement there too.

 

In a professional only context, a lot of people are going to be more prone to share their successes first rather than as a true learning experience if that makes sense. Especially in my ecomm group, there are people coming in all the time saying “hey, I’ve never set up a Shopify site before where do I even start?” The group is super helpful and appreciative. First is, if somebody were to post on LinkedIn, they might get a response of “just hire an agency” or something like that.

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Act

 

On LinkedIn you don’t really want to admit your weaknesses like that I feel right? People are a little more reserved, a good point. Well let’s talk about putting some of this into action too – I mean this is obvious, I think it’s very obvious – anytime you learn anything you can absorb it, you can watch it, you can see it, you can ask questions. But until you actually do it, you don’t really know and theory is always different than the application right? I’ve read so many things and then go to do something for the first time, and it blows up in my face. And then honestly with cooking, I can’t cook anything, I almost just swore but I didn’t thankfully. You have recipes and stuff and then you could put it together, you look at the picture or furniture – putting that stuff together. Well, that’s out there, sorry! I love you all. When it comes to marketing it’s the same thing, you have to do it to really learn. It’s never going to be perfect the first time you do it, it’s never gonna be perfect. And in fact, if you’re trying for perfection in marketing you’re going to move too slow I think always, and you’re never actually going to get any thing done to really hit your business goals. 

 

I think when it comes to marketing it’s one of those areas where you just have to take your best shot at something put it all out there and then revise and test along the way, that’s what marketing is. If everyone knew the exact right way to do it right off the bat the first time, and then you just let it go and you never touch it again everyone would be rich as hell but that’s not the way it works.

 

Right, talking here reminds me of a TV show I really like called Nailed It, it’s a Netflix show. It’s a Netflix show about amateur baking. All these people like put themselves out there that often have never really baked that much period, they put themselves out on national TV to essentially be judged by other people. For me like the act stage is very much like being on Nailed It. You’re in the middle of learning something and there are other people watching, but you know what? At the end of the day you’re in a supportive context, everybody wants you to succeed, and something might get messed up but you never know unless you try. And so for me, to take this analogy even further, amateur baking on Nailed It, the first thing is you get the task and then you get a recipe. 

 

For your recipe for success for the act stage, I think you have to really depend on smart goals. And you talked about this before, for anybody that does not know, smart goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. So whenever you are creating a smart goal you want to make sure that you’re setting yourself up for success. To get the recipe right, you have to have the right ingredients, and being able to measure them out, being able to put a time constraint on it. Unless you have that you’re not really going to be able to do well in the act stage. 

 

Arbitrary goals, maybe not arbitrary goals, just general goals are things that I hear a lot from people just in general you know people say things like “oh yeah, I want to increase my sales” right who’s everyone, that’s not a goal. 

 

Everyone wants to be rich, everyone wants to spend more time with their family, everyone wants to retire at 50. It’s actually how do you get there? We had a 401K meeting today – you need to be saving this much per year at this interest rate to be able to retire at this age. That’s a smart goal, it’s exactly what you have to do. Funny enough, you’ll get to the end and people be like “well how are you able

to do that?” Well, you had a goal and if you’re able to set it and usually you at least have a blueprint for success. Shooting the dark, sometimes you succeed and most of the time you don’t. If you really lean heavily into the goal that you’re setting as well as relying on that community that you’ve fostered in step E, engaged you’ll really be able to I think people learn and really take in and absorb as much as you can from an experience. 

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Review

 

Yeah, and then once you have that goal set, you can determine if you were on point or not. And I think that’s where the review comes in. Let’s segue into that. 

 

Failure is not a problem, I want to make that clear. When you review things, it’s totally fine to admit where mistakes happened and where you could improve upon. Not only, somebody that works at an agency, but I’ve also seen so many times when I’m going or reporting, my natural instinct is to want to gloss over information that does not make me feel great. But part of learning, part of being able to improve, is being able to admit where there are opportunities for improvement. Looking through at the act stage, don’t be scared of failure, that’s what it comes down to. 

 

The people who are scared of failure are usually the ones who don’t act in the first place. And then when they do, maybe they gloss over the weaknesses like you said and that’s not a way to learn. To learn is to embrace it, and to take your pride out of the equation completely. That’s something that I think was tough for me to learn initially as I was getting started in the business world was sometimes you’re just going to be wrong. You just have to eat it, sometimes you’re going to be wrong publicly in front of everyone and it’s like well, all right, I was wrong. 

 

It’s a character-building thing. As long as you had reasoning for what you did, things happen. Especially in the learning phase, I don’t think at least in a supportive work environment like the one that we have a Youtech. No one is going to be mad at you for trying something if you had a good reason for it, you talked about it, and you approached it as a learning opportunity. For the most part, as long as you communicate that, you’re good. I know there’s tests that we’ve done on paid search campaigns, and re-submitting things to shopping feeds or whatever. We have our reasons for it and they’re really good reasons, we want to see the effect of it and stuff goes wrong. It happens, stuff always goes wrong, there’s always fires at an agency and this is the nature of things especially in project management. But you learn from it and then you know what not to do next time. 

 

That’s just as important honestly, knowing what not to do. I can’t tell you how often I’ll just put a stop to trains of thought before they even get too far out of the station. But when you review I think it’s important to be critical, I think it’s important to be critical of yourself, not not to the point where you’re you know hating yourself or anything like that I mean keep yourself esteem high. You went out and did it and it was something you’ve never done before so of course there were probably going to be mistakes, but be critical of yourself. Don’t look at it in some bright joyous light of it’s all positivity and you did absolutely great and there’s nothing more you can learn on the topic. No, look at it and see – okay well when I was reading it looked like maybe they were getting a 200% increase, I got a 100% increase – that’s still great, you’re told what you were trying to do but you could have tripled. So always look at it critically and then maybe go back to those communities we talked about before, maybe read some more, watched more, whatever your method of ingesting information is and do it again. 

 

REAR is a continuous cycle. You’re going to be constantly in this state. I used to think that one day in my job I’m just going to know everything and it’s going to be super easy and this is the wrong job for that. It’s like when you’re a teenager and you’ve assumed that your parents know nothing. When you reach that state it shows how much you still have to learn, and the first thing you have to learn is I don’t know everything. Becoming comfortable in that process, admitting I’m going to continually be growing, I’m going to continue learning new things. Especially in our field, digital marketing, it’s a field that’s continually changing. Google releases updates all the time, Facebook changes our ad policy, you make a change to your admin policy on pages this past week. It’s an election year, so of course, all the policies are going to be changing based on loopholes that candidates find. We have to stay on top of it because it affects everything that we do. Becoming comfortable with change is really the whole goal of REAR. 

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That’s why knowing how to learn things is so important, and then to learn things efficiently. That’s so important because if you’re not constantly learning – how many people have we seen who are just stuck in their ways? Companies come to us and there’s an archaic idea of how things are supposed to be run and people don’t buy that way anymore. Or that’s not how the user or the customer wants to purchase from you, but you’re forcing them into purchasing that way. That’s why you’re not getting any sales. People can’t get themselves out of that rut.

 

Innovation is really the key to success, at least at this time in our culture. You don’t become innovative by just doing things the same way over and over again. Personally, I don’t want to live like that it gets boring. 

 

Well thank you so much for joining us today. To recap for everybody, the acronym is REAR: read, engage, act, review. And if you don’t read, watch, listen, observe, but that’s the acronym. So thank you again, Richard, we’ll see you guys later happy Wednesday.

 

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