Hey guys! My name’s Lewis and I own a successful PPC ad agency, KonvertLab. Today I wanted to teach you how I learned online marketing and what actually worked well for me, rather than going to college as most people would expect.
A Bit About Myself…
Okay, so the first thing I want to get out the way is that college is not required for online marketing at all. In fact, I dropped out of college because I was majoring in marketing. You could actually learn everything you need to know for free, technically.
That being said, I’m also going to be sharing some paid resources that I used because I feel like they can really accelerate your learning curve. If you can afford it, you should go after some paid resources too rather than limiting yourself to the free stuff.
How to Learn Online Marketing
#1 – Podcasts
The first thing I wanted to talk about that really helped me learn online marketing was digital marketing podcasts.
You have “The Art Of Paid Traffic” by Rick Mulready and “Marketing School” by Neil Patel and Eric Siu. Playing these podcasts in the background when you’re driving to work or cooking dinner will go a long way.
You can do it any time of day, that’s why they’re so powerful because it just compounds over time. Yes, you’re not going to retain everything because you’re multitasking. But if you go a step further and take physical notes, you’re going to retain the information better.
All those gems you hear every now and then. You’re like, “Oh damn, that’s a good one.”, and when you eventually need to use those knowledge nuggets, you’ll remember where you got them from.
To begin with, in the first year of listening to them, about six months in there was a point where I’d be posed with a marketing problem and I’d be like, “Oh I could just do X, Y, and Z.”
I was like, “How did I know that? Oh yeah, I heard a podcast episode three or four months ago and it just stayed in my back pocket.”
So yeah, listening to podcasts is definitely something I recommend doing. Even if it’s playing in the background whilst you get on with your day, it’ll still go a long way.
#2 – YouTube
Okay, so the second way to learn online marketing is super simple, very obvious. It’s YouTube.
YouTube is a gold mine for information. I literally searched bearded dragon grooming tutorial, just to see if some random subject was on there. It showed up, there were like 100 videos on it.
So I think YouTube is very critical and can be a great resource for learning online marketing. You can learn pretty much everything you need through YouTube.
There’s a tutorial for everything when it comes to online marketing. Don’t discount it just because it’s free, that’s a huge mistake and you’ll miss out on a bunch of useful content.
#3 – Online Courses
The third biggest resource I used to learn marketing personally was online courses.
By courses, I don’t mean those $1,000 – $2,000 courses you see people marketing on Facebook and things like that. I’m talking about the $12 courses you can find on Udemy, and you can probably find some free courses elsewhere on the internet.
The reason why I recommend courses is that they compile all of the relevant information you need to learn into one neat package. If you’re strapped for time or you just don’t know where to find what you want to learn, this resolves both of these issues.
Information is available on YouTube, Google, and even on Facebook. Better yet, it’s mostly free. But for a small fee (consider it a convenience fee), you don’t have to read through everything just to find what you’re looking for, these courses take care of that for you. There’s also the benefit of these courses being designed with a digestible format and split up into relevant categories too.
The higher-end courses, you don’t really need. I’ve taken some courses that cost $1,000 and up. I already knew about 90% of the information that was being taught from watching YouTube videos and taking the cheaper Udemy courses.
I felt a little buyer’s remorse from this, but it goes to show that although I had already learnt a fair chunk of the information, about 10% of it was new to me. That 10% of new information could be the gem you’re looking for.
Overall though, if you can learn 95% of what you need to know from free resources and a $12 Udemy course, this is the path you’ll want to take when starting off.
#4 – Audiobooks
Okay, so tip four is going to be audiobooks. Again this is what was working well for me – I’m not much of a physical paper kind of reader. Audiobooks just worked really well for me in the same way podcasts do.
Just like with podcasts, you’re not going to retain everything you hear so make sure to take down notes of the best tips you come across. One problem with audiobooks is that they won’t teach you modern online marketing strategies. They’re more focused on the fundamentals of online marketing and timeless strategies that you can incorporate in some manner.
Some great books that I really recommend are:
- Purple Cow by Seth Godin
- Blue Ocean Strategy by Renée Mauborgne and W. Chan Kim
- Influence by Robert Cialdini
There are plenty of others out there but these are the 3 that I personally found the most useful. Sure, you’re not going to learn all about 2019’s marketing trends from them. But they’ll give you the core knowledge that you need for marketing.
#5 – “Doing” Online Marketing
Above everything, the fastest way that I learned online marketing was from actually doing online marketing.
If I’m being completely honest, you could spend a few hours doing research and ignore everything else on this list. Then, after you know a few things, start doing some online marketing yourself. You might think, “Oh wow, what a secret”, but this is hands down one of the best ways to learn.
The fact is that the online marketing industry is rapidly changing. By the time you’ve finished reading an eBook or taking an online course, there’s a good chance that what you’ve learnt is already starting to become obsolete.
Not only that, but your own experience will differ from the person you’re learning from. You could be running a hospitality business whilst the person who created your course was running an eCommerce store. If so, what works for them won’t necessarily work for you. The reality is that learning just the fundamentals and putting them into practice, then working the rest out yourself, is going to teach you more than anything else.
Even if you took a handful of online courses and listened to podcasts constantly, you’d end up here eventually. Throughout your campaign you have to troubleshoot where you’re going wrong, adjust your campaigns, and learn from your failed campaigns. Even a failing campaign, at the beginning of your learning, can contribute to what you learn.
Sure, it would be great if every campaign went smoothly without any bumps in the road and you got perfect results every time. That’s not going to happen. You’ll get better at finding what works, but there will always be stubborn campaigns that require more trial and error.
So, actually doing online marketing and discovering what works and what doesn’t is a great way of learning online marketing. Actually having these experiences will help you more than looking at someone else’s.
How I Started Off
Whenever someone asks me how I got into online marketing my answer is never what they expect.
Back when I was 14 I launched a Minecraft server. With it, I started learning about SEO and how I could rank my website on Google. This worked out pretty well, or as well as could be expected.
I eventually moved onto a different side project which put me in a better place to learn about profitable PPC tactics. After I’d gotten confident with my PPC knowledge I eventually launched a few campaigns and I was able to do some CRO.
So, from my experience, throwing myself in the deep end was what got me where I am today. Rather than spending my time reading through tedious eBooks and finding out what strategies other marketers done, I just started doing it myself and learning as I went.
There were plenty of times where my strategies blew up in my face and set me back, but these were big teaching moments for me. I found out what didn’t work, asked myself where I could have went wrong, changed my strategy, and waited. If it blew up in my face again I’d rinse and repeat until I found what actually brought results.
That’s how I pushed myself into learning online marketing, and it worked!
There you have it. Each of those ways are viable for learning online marketing and although putting my knowledge to the test and doing some online marketing was the most effective learning method for me, everyone’s learning preferences are different.
At the end of the day, you might decide that learning online marketing isn’t for you. If that’s the case, book a discovery call with KonvertLab today and we’ll save you the hassle of learning from scratch!