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Learn or Become Irrelevant June 25, 2013

I’ll admit it. A few years ago, I fell into the trap of thinking I had learned all that I needed to know in my career. I actually found myself saying, at a business networking event, “Oh, all that social media marketing is for the young up and comers. I’ll stick with my 20 years of traditional marketing and let them handle the new stuff.” As soon as I said it, I realized I was wrong. Too late. The response from the gentleman I had just met, “Well, you’d better figure it out or you’ll be irrelevant.”

Irrelevant? Twenty years of marketing, of helping businesses grow their brand and their

customer-base was irrelevant? He was right.

It’s not that I didn’t want to learn. Learning is fun. It’s exciting. It’s also time-consuming and hard work. And the older we get, it seems the harder it is to focus.

KABOOM cartoon

But, learn we must. I personally committed, after that foolish utterance at the networking event, to focus on one of the major growing forces in my industry – social media and website optimization. Some days my brain throbbed as I powered through learning about how best to leverage search engine optimization (SEO), key word rich content writing, and the numerous social media platforms for my clients. I actually envisioned my brain exploding in a Saturday morning cartoons, “KABOOM” sort of way. I may have just shown my age, but you get the picture.

We must never stop learning and growing, especially when

it comes to online marketing for our businesses. If you have a website, that’s a start. But when was the last time it was updated with fresh content? Is that content rich with keywords that will help your website get found organically among the search engines?

social media platformsSo you have a Facebook page and Twitter account? Great! Are you active on both? Do you post business activities like company celebrations, awards, events attended, and new products? Do you actively engage your followers by replying to their comments? What about the other growing social media platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, Google+ and YouTube?

I know, you’re thinking, “Do my customers really use these?” My answer is two-fold. Yes, you’re customers and potential customers are using social media. In fact, 27% of total U.S. time on the Internet is spent on social networking sites (source: Experian) and 46% of online

users rely on social media sites to make purchasing decisions (source: Nielsen). Secondly, and I think this is very important, the more active your brand is online, via SEO’d websites, social sites, blogs, etc., the higher your credibly score goes up with the search engines. What does that mean? Your company will be more easily found online when your customer base (i.e. target audience) is searching on Google, Bing, and Yahoo for the services and products you provide. I will save this topic of “increasing your search engine credibility” for another blog, but suffice it to say, if you’re not actively tweeting, pinteresting, facebooking, blogging and so on, know that your competition likely is and their stealing your prospects by creating a sense of relationship and loyalty.

So, back to the point. Set aside time every month to learn something new about ways you can best market and position your business for growth. If you don’t,

you run the risk of becoming irrelevant.

Power Thought Quote by Louise L. Hay: “I turn

every experience into an opportunity.”

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