Every marketer wishes they were better at their job. They want to work more efficiently, reducing the amount of time they waste and increasing what they can accomplish in a day. They want to get more impressive results, pleasing clients and superiors with higher ROI. And they want to be on the cutting edge, developing new strategies that outpace the competition and turn them into industry leaders.
The best way to achieve this trajectory demands some patience; only through experience over time will you be able to hone your skills and learn how to become a better marketer. Fortunately, for the impatient among us, there are some shortcuts that can accelerate your abilities as a marketer--and they manifest as daily habits that only take up a small fraction of your time.
Habits for Improvement
Habits take time to form, and even longer to improve your skills, but they'll help you develop faster and more thoroughly than direct experience. These are six of the best ones you can encourage:
1. Read. Reading is an incredibly valuable act, and you should commit to reading at least 30 minutes a day. What should you read? Anything you can get your hands on--news, industry content, fiction, nonfiction--anything you read will help you learn new perspectives, increase your vocabulary, increase your memory and retention, and possibly give you some new ideas on how to market to your target audience. To start, find something that interests you, but try to expand your horizons by pushing past your comfort zone. The more new things you read, the more you stand to learn.
2. Examine your competitors. You should also keep an eye on your competitors on a daily basis. You're moving quickly, so you can bet they'll be moving just as quickly--if not more so. You don't have to do an in-depth research report every day, but do take a look at their sites and social media feeds to see any new announcements, promotions, or changes; you'll want to react to these developments as quickly and proactively as possible, and remaining in a state of readiness will help you stay positioned for that type of response.
3. Stay abreast of the latest news. This can overlap with your reading habit, but you'll want to keep track of the news every day--both in your industry and on a national level. The news is what will inform you of the latest trends and technological developments, which you can then use to direct your marketing campaigns. Taking just 10 to 15 minutes a day to catch up on headlines can make you much more informed, and help you understand the broad-strokes trends that move your industry.
4. Expand your professional network. The size and diversity of your professional network will have a massive bearing on your skills as a marketer; the more people you know, the more perspectives you'll be exposed to, and the more options you'll have when you need outside guidance or when you need something done outside your expertise. Take just a few minutes a day to reach out to some new people--even if it's just through social media. Over time, your network will become enormous, and you'll have tons of possibilities in front of you at any given moment.
5. Engage with your peers. It's also a good idea to engage with some of your peers in personal conversations. Get to know the people on your team and you'll be able to collaborate more effectively together. Just as important, you'll gain critical insights within your industry, and immerse yourself in outside perspectives that can help you see problems from new angles.
6. Seek creative stimulation. You should also seek some kind of creative stimulation at least once a day, whether that's looking at abstract artwork, listening to new music, or engaging in some creative activity like drawing, painting, or making music. Encouraging your creative side will help you solve problems more creatively, which is a significant demand in modern marketing. Keep creatively stimulating objects and options around your workspace if you can.
Starting the Habit
The hardest part about this approach is starting the habit (or habits) you intend to target. It takes discipline to get started and commitment for the habit to form; though everyone is different, it usually takes at least a few weeks of consistent implementation for the daily habit to stick. Still, once you achieve that, the habit will become second nature to you, and you can repeat your routine ad infinitum to keep reaping more and more value.
Over time, you'll grow into a much more skilled, capable, connected marketer.