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Five life skills learned from internet marketing

Five life skills learned from internet marketing

At the end of September, I left Engage Web after 11 great years to start a new career in mental health as a support worker.

Although I have kept my hand in as an editor, the bulk of my working hours are now spent in an entirely different sector, so I can understand why some people might wonder why I’ve spent over a decade building my skills and experience in one career path, only to throw it away and start another from scratch.

I see careers as lateral rather than linear. One job might be completely different to another, but they will have more in common than you might initially realise. Whatever you do for a living, there will be some expectations that come as standard – you should turn up on time, work hard while you’re there, overcome problems, show initiative, get on with people and improve at what you do over time.

The more specific skills we learn in our job might seem unique to that position, but often, a learning can be taken and used in another field if applied differently. Below are five skills I learned at Engage Web that I feel have benefited me in both my professional and personal life.

1. Self-promotion

First of all, I learned that even great work doesn’t sell itself, which is perhaps something you don’t get told during the process of gaining an undergraduate degree.

Internet marketing is all about being visible. Search engine optimisation (SEO) and social media marketing allow you to show what you can do to the right audience. This might help you get a new job, or sell your product or service more effectively – something I’ll have to bear in mind if I want to fulfil my goal of getting my first book published in 2024.

2. Setting mutual expectations

One comment I heard regularly from Engage Web clients is “you do what you say you will”, which many companies don’t! It helps that the Engage Web guys never tell a client they can help with something if they can’t, so manageable and realistic expectations are set from the off.

It’s not the only career where employees need to recognise when they’re being overly accommodating or plain uncooperative. Those working in the care sector will often hear about the need to find a balance being a “pacifier” and an “enforcer”. There are times when you will veer towards one or the other, and that’s OK, provided you are aware that you are doing it and why. Too much “pacifying” leads to a situation where you’re making promises you can’t keep, while obviously too much “enforcing” makes you a misery to work with in the first place.

3. Research, admin and IT skills

Working at Engage Web was my first real experience of the likes of using CRM (customer relationship management) solutions, content calendars and scheduling tools, as well as making everyday use of the internet to research topics and analyse data.

Admin and paperwork aren’t much fun, but they’re a part of just about any position and maintaining good practices is the best way to prove you are doing your job well.

4. Considering benefits, not features

Marketers will be familiar with the concept of promoting what a product does, rather than what it is. If you buy drain unblocking fluid, you probably don’t care what colour it is or what cutting-edge chemicals it contains; you just want it to unblock your drains quickly and safely.

I’ve found that when looking after people, a similar approach can make chores seem more attractive. For example, nobody wants to hear that “you need to tidy your room” or “you should book that driving lesson”, because it’s not the process of tidying or doing driving lessons that people enjoy, but the outcome.
Saying something like “you deserve to have a tidy room” or “being able to drive would give you much more independence” implies the same message, but in a less nagging way that looks at the bigger picture.

5. Grammatical pedantry

OK, this was something I already had long before I worked at Engage Web, but I certainly honed it by working as a content editor for 11 years!

It may not be helpful that whenever I see the “stationary drawer” in my new workplace, I expect it not to move or open. However, possessing a high standard of grammar aids not only your written work but also your verbal communication – a valuable asset in any job.

Whatever you do for a living, consider what skills you’ve picked up and how you’re using them in both your professional and non-professional life. And if you want to chat about internet marketing and its potential, why not book in a free, no obligation discovery call with Engage Web?

John Murray

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