As as a new business owner, I was struggling with shiny object syndrome especially within the context of marketing my offerings online. And while I enjoyed social media personally, I found it difficult to use it professionally in a way that felt authentic.
Here I was creating and posting on various social platforms Instagram, Twitter, my Facebook page, even a Pinterest account. I experienced a few likes, shares, and follows here and there, but I felt a lack of vision, purpose... a plan! And I had trouble creating my quality content because I was so distracted by learning all the best practices of these channels. I needed to take a step back and develop a keen understanding of digital marketing as a whole, and develop a content strategy that felt more in alignment with my brand. You know the adage, "work smarter, not harder."
In order to accomplish this, I needed to find an immersive experience that gave me a bird’s eye view of the process. Something reasonably agnostic so I could walk away and apply the frameworks and best practices to suit my own needs.
I recalled an email that I had received from Udacity advertising a course they had on digital marketing. As someone that loves to learn by doing, and as an individual that genuinely enjoys picking up new skills online (I was a learning experience designer for many years, after all!) I did a little research, and I liked what I saw.
The Digital Marketing Nanodegree is for people like me: busy working professionals who crave experiential project-based learning experiences. I felt that the combination of rich content, mentoring, project feedback, in addition to a Slack community filled with other learners all over the globe, met all of my learning objectives. This program isn’t a place to pick up a skill or two; this is a place to build a new vocation. Also, the price was right, so I signed up.
I’m about 25% through with the course, and it has exceeded my expectations. I think it’s important to note that there are a lot of misconceptions about digital marketing out there, some of which I believed to be true. Digital marketing isn't all about social media. Yes, having a social media presence is one piece of the puzzle, but digital marketing is about creating an online presence with quality content and a clear message, so your target audience:
- can find you,
- fall in love with your product or service, and...
- buy your stuff and/or hire you!
Of course, that sounds simpler than it is, which is why I highly recommend the Udacity Digital Marketing course if you’re looking to do it yourself or possibly change careers with a pretty high-demand skill set. I’m excited to share more about my experience in a future post!