If you want to have job offers thrown at you like notes in a strip bar 💵, this is an article you won’t want to miss.
A driving force behind my career has been a burning desire to learn new stuff. I used to take apart toys as a kid just to see what made them tick. Once I’d figured it out, I’d put them back together again. Over time, I got good at mechanics and electronics just by fueling my curiosity.
This extended to my career. Whenever I found a new marketing tool I’d poke and prod it until I broke it. Then I’d fix it and learn what every button does.
If you take that approach to your life, you’ll pick up new skills without even noticing.
Ultimately, your skillset is one of your Unique Selling Points (USPs) as an employee. If you don’t keep building it, and move with the times, you won’t be competitive in the job market.
Here are some essential skills to build to become a top tier marketer with a top tier pay check. 💸
I think the recent influx of AI has really highlighted how quickly things can move in tech. We’re already seeing how people’s jobs can be lost and how fragile internet based careers can be.
This is a wake up call about moving with the times and embracing change.
Things are going to change anyway. You can either choose to embrace it or allow it to leave you behind.
I do this by immersing myself in new things when they come along. I recommend you do the same.
Keeping up to date with current trends, tools and software helps you to protect your job and shows you’re on the cutting edge in job interviews.
A good way to do this “by accident” is to read blogs in your niche. Sites like:
There’s an SEO focus in most of those, but these are great examples of the kind of websites your should frequent to stay on top of shifts in the industry.
Other nice sources of info are LinkedIn, and of course, my newsletter – Clarity (Subscribe) 😉.
I bang on about this a lot, but data should be the foundation of everything you do.
Very good marketers read the data and let it lead them to the money.
It used to be the case that marketers could bamboozle their clients with jargon and skirt around poor results (It still is the case in 💩 marketing agencies).
Thing is, clients are getting wiser to this. It’s getting harder and harder to hide behind walls of fluff.
As more clients are demanding solid data, you better be sure you’re in a position to deliver it.
Data analysis is an art – one you learn over time. However, there is no time like the present to start learning the basics and getting set up.
In general, get familiar with Google Analytics and Google Search Console. For SEO, make sure you’re using a tool like Ahrefs or Semrush for analysis. On social media, you can use third party tools like Sprout or Hootsuite. Also get familiar with native analytics like Meta Business Suite and Linkedin Campaign Manager.
For inspiration, check out my recommended tools.
Poke buttons, click things, break stuff, learn it! 🔨
I probably don’t need to tell you that creating good content is a foundational skill for a marketer.
Often when you hear the word “content”, you think of blogs. Realistically, everything online is content – from written words to imagery and video.
Learning how to craft good content is the cornerstone of organic marketing (bringing in free traffic!). A good way to do this is to tell stories and draw people in with a hook.
By a hook, I mean a sentence which grabs attention.
For example: “Here’s how I found out the hard way that [xyz] and how I learned to master it. 💪”
Doesn’t really matter what that’s about, it grabs attention and creates curiosity.
The internet is saturated with content and lots of it is, frankly, pretty crappy. If you take the time to really understand your audience, you can create content which sells.
In fact, just the process of profiling your audience can give you loads of ideas for content!
Here’s a good process to follow for this:
Ah, the dreaded SEO. I know a lot of marketers (especially if you’re new to the game) tend to avoid SEO.
I get it, it can feel like a black hole of infinite knowledge, techniques and loooooooong waits for results.
However, if you learn the basics, it really isn’t that hard to get it right and incorporate it into your usual workflow. If you’re writing content for your website anyway, it’s not a huge leap to make that SEO friendly.
Check out my guide on SEO – it literally covers everything in simple terms.
Or not, if you do it wisely.
Paid advertising is considered a “technical skill”. You need to have a bit of know how about the systems at play to really get results.
However, it’s a skill well worth developing. There are some very big bucks in being a PPC consultant and it’s not that hard once you get used to the basics.
The real key to this one is to read a lot before you even create your first ad. 🤓
Try reading blogs like:
These all cover PPC (mainly search advertising) and social media advertising. Learning the tips and tricks in the industry is a good way to start.
Then, as in item #1, just start exploring. Make an account on Google Ads and Meta Business Suite. See what kind of options are available and play around with dummy campaigns. Get used to the workflow before you start running real ads.
Once you do start running real ads, make sure you’re putting in a daily spend cap and monitor them every day. You want to start small – learn the rhythm of the platforms and algorithms.
I’ve said before that you don’t need to be on any social media platforms.
The reason I say this is that social media should be done properly or not at all.
I’m talking about organic social media specifically – normal posting without paying for ads.
Of course, most businesses are going to be on social media and at least one of the platforms will likely be appropriate for the business/es you’re working for.
As such, learning how to master organic social is a great skill to have.
Lots of people use social media, so they think they know how to leverage it for marketing.
In reality, there is a lot of nuance and skill in a proper organic strategy. If you can develop that skill, you will be in high demand.
One thing to bear in mind is that organic social media is a cold ☃️ channel. This means people are not ready to buy something when they are scrolling through their feeds. In fact, they probably don’t want to hear from businesses at all.
As such, any content you put on social media should really focus on educating, entertaining or informing. This is “Top of Funnel” stuff (again, check out my channels guide if you want to learn about funnels) should be 80% of your social content.
The other 20% can talk about your brand, products or services. But again, try not to be salesy with it.
If you focus on building up a following of people relevant to your target audience, they will naturally start to visit your website and convert over time.
No no, this isn’t about crying at the end of The Notebook. 🥲
EI is about understanding people. More specifically, it’s about understanding and empathising with your audience.
Good marketing campaigns hit you in the feels. You can see this every Christmas, when the big brands whip out the slightly sad, but warming TV adverts. They aren’t selling their products, they are selling a feeling.
They know that their target audience feels “the feels”, so they leverage that appropriately.
God, that sounds so cold and manipulative.
And it is, really, at its core. However, if you can gain that deeper understanding of what makes your target demographic tick, you can pull on those heart strings and associate your brand accordingly.
Emotionally intelligent marketers are better poised to inspire trust, loyalty, and meaningful engagements.
The best way to learn this is to actually speak to your customers. And listen.
Remember when your teachers at school used to bang on about “active listening”? Well, here’s a chance to flex those muscles.
Take the time to really understand your customers. What are their lives like, what do they want, what gives them problems? This is the qualitative data you need to market to them effectively.
Remember though, empathy is the core of this, not manipulation. You have to really feel those feels if you want to create those feels.
Now give me a hug🫂.
It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.
A saying older than Mary Berry, but always relevant.
Seriously though, networking is the skill that will have jobs just landing in your lap out of nowhere.
Networking isn’t about standing in stuffy rooms small talking with stall vendors. It’s about building your personal brand.
Your brand is how you are recognised and respected online and offline. Crucially:
Your brand is yours alone. Your employer doesn’t own your personal brand and should have no say in it. Your brand follows you wherever you end up in your career.
Build it up by consistently posting on LinkedIn about your experiences, skillset and tips. Use X (RIP Twitter) or Threads (God forbid) as a soapbox.
Get to know your colleagues, impress your team, help people out.
You never know, one day, one of those people might offer you the role of your dreams.
The best content and websites look good.
It’s very easy to think whatever you’re making looks good, but the best way to know is to ask the people looking at it, or a designer.
It’s an art as much as a science.
Learning the basics of User Interfaces (UI) and subsequently, User Experience (UX) is the cornerstone of decent web design.
The only way to get good at this is to read about it and practice it. Here’s a list of blogs you can visit for this.
Ultimately, not everyone has the eye for good design. If you don’t, don’t be disheartened. Just employ the services of someone who knows what they are doing – namely, designers.
This can be a scary one, as it’s a whole different ballgame to marketing.
Most people fall into marketing from content based backgrounds, like journalism and blogging. A few come from web development, but not many go the other way.
Also, developers will love you as you will speak their language. It vastly speeds up web changes and reduces miscommunication.
I cannot emphasise enough how much basic web development skills will level up your earning ability.
If you went away and became an expert on all of the above, you would be better qualified than 99% of your peers. As such, the big bucks jobs would be on the table.
None of these are quick to learn and many of them take years to master. Of course, if you don’t start, you’ll never get there, so there’s no time like the present!
For more actionable and practical tips and guides like this, why not sign up for the Clarity newsletter? Get stuff like this straight to your inbox a couple of times a month – no spam, only GOLD 🪙
Founder of Latent Clarity and author of the Clarity newsletter.
I help new and solo marketers be the best they can with practical, actionable, (and sometimes funny) advice.