Why Digital Marketing Courses Suck

Let’s play a game.

I want you to get a piece of paper. Would it be too much to ask you to hold a pen, too?

Today we’re going to do some life art.

And our model for this session is like no other.

He’s been here all day, actually. He like to get to know his students before they him.

You haven’t seen him? But how can that be?

Let me introduce you to him.

Please meet the invisible man.

Good luck

How do you succeed in mastering something that you cannot see? Something that you can never truly understand, or picture.

Gravity aside, there are few intangibles over which we have control.

Digital marketing is one of those things. And right now it’s white hot among conspiring academics who can see the opportunity for making money by capitalising on weaknesses and trends.

But it’s just another invisible man. You have the same tools to create an outcome, and the same chance of delivering it.

Why digital marketing courses are balderdash

There’s only one way to learn how to do business online: get closer to your customers.

And at the root of solving that challenge are two traditional, pure-play sciences:

  • psychology
  • sociology

You need to first get under the skin of your customer, to understand who they are and what they want.

And then you need to know how they act. Where they go, and how they communicate with others.

The brutal truth no matter what walk of life we’re in, is that people aren’t inherently comfortable dealing with machines.

They want to talk to mortal beings. To buy from people, not pixels.

So you need to be human.

  • You create value
  • You build a community
  • You offer seamless service time after time
  • You rinse and repeat

The only constant in digital marketing is change

How can you possibly teach or take a course when the sands are shifting daily? How can you sleep at night delivering a syllabus that leaves your students with nothing more than a couple of well-meaning but ultimately useless letters after their names? And take thousands of pounds for the privilege of showing them the invisible man?

That’s if you can overcome the biggest problem of all: marketing.

Noone knows, not even the professors in their ivory towers, the studious types peddling their experiences as lifelong civil servants who have more than likely never operated beyond the entrepreneurial threshold of an incubator.

Noone except the customers. The customers who decide. The customers who do their own marketing on your behalf. And the customers whose decisions rely solely on your ability to make happy, to master the alchemy of loyalty and deliver purple cows.

People don’t want to be marketed to. Let’s get that straight. The most juvenile member of the agency academy knows that.

Even if the instructor is worth his salt he’s selling you the wrong pitch.

I’m not peddling untruths, though. I’m simply saying unless your first lecture doesn’t consist of a revelation you’re part of some crazy trick and after Derren Brown has finished with you you’ll get your money back and a copy of The Bible to continue your reality studies, you might want to spend the next lesson doodling or building a rocket to the moon with cotton buds.

What is digital marketing?

If it was a thing, digital marketing would be defining the goals of your business, defining your customers, finding them and putting in motion a strategy to connect the two entities.

You’d learn the needs of your customers, both of today and tomorrow, and you’d create a website and social networking strategies to be there when they want you.

But most of all, you’d be yourself. Because if you know deep down what you’re doing is right, that you’re positively impacting the lives of others and providing a valuable service in a way your competitors can’t touch, it’s a matter of time.

Time is all you need

The most valuable commodity we have. And when it comes to building a business and touching your customers, it’s grind. Doing it every day, for months and years. Building, slowly. And never waivering from your vision and beliefs.

Getting feedback. Measuring, monitoring. Refining, and bettering.

And donating those thousands of pounds I’ve just saved you to a humanitarian organisation.

Enjoyed this lesson for content strategy success? Get in touch on Twitter @davethackeray and let me know your thoughts.

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