July 19, 2018

Marketing Pros: How to refresh your skills and win new clients

Merrilee Parsons
Written by:

Merrilee Parsons

Go beyond what you can read in a book or watch in a video to gain the skills required to pitch high-value work.

With 25 years of marketing experience and the last 12 as an independent contractor – I have to own up – my knowledge and skills in the world of Digital Marketing are not what they should be in this day and age.  While my education and experience as a marketer are rock solid, I have not taken the time in the last five years to undergo significant skills re-training that address this fast-changing and dominating sector of modern marketing. 

Most of my clients hire me to “hold down the fort” for a medical leave or a hiring gap, or to execute a discrete project. And I am increasingly asked to perform digital marketing services and strategies, such as PPC, SEO, nurture, and marketing automation, to name a few.  This is when I begin to feel uncomfortable. 

Am I proficient enough to have a fluent discussion in digital marketing-speak? Sure. Can I really execute these tasks to a standard that I could pitch them as a core component of my capabilities stack?  Not confidently. 

While I know the discipline of marketing inside and out, achieving competency and training in today’s digital marketing in a comprehensive and experiential way has seemed elusive. I suppose I could jump on Amazon and order a bunch of XXX for Dummies books and read my way into being able to have a coherent conversation around Google Analytics or sign-up for online tutorials and try to absorb a slew of videos about this and that as my eyes glaze over. But that just is not the same as actual proficiency, and I would not feel confident telling a client “yes, I can do that” – whatever ‘that’ happens to be if I haven’t done it. 

To me, being able to say I can ‘do’ something, means I have rolled up my sleeves, gotten my hands dirty and actually done it – not just read or watched about it. 

This is why the GreenFig program is so enticing to me as a seasoned marketing professional and contractor – the unique hybrid online and offline learning model forces you (in a good way) to get your hands dirty. You walk away with the certifications that say – yeah, I can do this. A very cool addition to your portfolio, services menu, or whatever you call your resume. So let me share some of the reasons why I think this program is awesome for people like me – independent contractors, marketing consultants, guns for hire, etc. 

A time commitment that is manageable and won’t interfere with your billable hours. 

I get it – finding a program that works for your schedule is tricky. At an average of 10 hours per week, GreenFig’s program is totally doable. Classes are held in the evening and one Saturday per month so you can keep your “day job” humming along without the worry of having to trade-off between income-earning hours and learning the skills you need to stay relevant. 

The return on investment just makes sense.

As they say, the price is right. Earning a microdegree from GreenFig is affordable.  At $2,499 spread across approximately 200 hours – you are looking at an investment of $12.49 per hour to become proficient in today’s digital marketing landscape. With your microdegree and certifications in hand, you can easily bump your hourly rate and increase the number of opportunities you are qualified to pitch. 

Connections, connections, connections.
We have all heard the adage “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.”  While it is not entirely true, knowing people sure helps. GreenFig’s instructors are innovators, market leaders, and field experts passionate about sharing their business knowledge and helping learners succeed. The who’s who list of entrepreneurs, executives, and strategists is not a bad crew to get to know and connect with. While you need to have the skills and capabilities to get the job or project done right – having a few more influential doors to knock on cannot hurt. 

Hands-on learning – or as I like to say, getting dirty.
Nothing says “I can do this” like actually doing it. GreenFig combines both online and offline formats with live instruction and opportunities for team collaboration in a state-of-the-art learning experience. The curriculum includes a collaborative project where you actually “get dirty” by creating, designing and implementing campaigns for a real company – not a hypothetical – under the mentorship of field experts. The result is having the confidence to say to your clients -  “sure, I can help you with your XYZ project – I have done that.” The fall course in Digital Marketing Science is scheduled to start in September. Go to greenfig.com to take a look at the program and a detailed course curriculum. Be relevant. Be 21st century-current.  Be confident in offering these high demand digital marketing services to your clients.

Best of luck! 

Merrilee Parsons

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Introduction to GreenFig Education Series As part of GreenFig’s mission to enable lifelong learning and to accelerate skill development for high demand jobs with our microdegrees in applied business science, we are offering you a sneak peek into the GreenFig experience with our four week Education Series. We provide highlights from the Digital Marketing Science classes taught by Tracy Eiler, CMO of InsideView. She is a marketing pioneer who is passionate about shaping the next generation of marketers. She was recently named a B2B Demand Marketing Game Changer, and is ranked among the Top 30 Most Influential Women in B2B Marketing Technology. Ms. Eiler moonlights as a GreenFig instructor, teaching the same cutting edge topics that she’s advancing at InsideView, including how to align sales and marketing, define total addressable market, and determine ideal customer profiles. We’re excited to offer our blog readers a taste of the job-ready skills our students are gaining this fall to prepare themselves for high-trajectory careers in the digital economy. Putting it together: Turn Total Addressable Market into Closed Deals This is the fourth and final post in a four-part series explaining the concept of total addressable market and providing tips to help you begin identifying, gathering data on, and targeting your company’s TAM. Don’t forget to read part one’s overview of total addressable market, part two’s tips on defining your ideal customer profile, and part three’s tips for turning TAM into your target list. Why are these concepts – the notion of distilling your target market down to the granular level and putting them into practice - critical to growing your B2B business? The answer is simple: ROI. Companies who focus their efforts on these initiatives experience better return on their marketing dollar investment. Put Sales and Marketing to Work by Turning Total Addressable Market into Targets As you look to expand and grow, total addressable market (TAM) is also used to gauge the size of new markets to enter, to justify or expand investments in a current market, or to research new product opportunities. In every case, having an accurate view of your TAM is critical to making the best business decisions. Being able to visualize your market is a bonus that helps with defining and assigning territories, allocating field resources, and focusing marketing efforts. A good example comes from HgCapital, a private equity investor based in London and Munich, who says that “being able to tell a clear story of what truly defines a company’s addressable market is a great starting point for thinking creatively about where to invest for growth”. If, for example, your average contract value is expected to be $25,000 and the total number of potential customers in a market is 1,237, then simply multiplying those two values puts the potential market opportunity at roughly $31 million. If your TAM is inaccurate, even by a small margin, you might make the wrong go/no-go decision. Again, having a “clear story” of the TAM is critical to good decision-making, at every level, from an individual marketing campaign to a strategic business-changing initiative. If you missed the previous installments in this series, you can find them here: Part 1 Maximize Growth by Targeting Your Total Addressable Market Part 2 Ideal Customer Profile Brings Total Addressable Market into Focus Part 3 Put Sales and Marketing to Work by Turning Total Addressable Market into a Targetable List Blog written by Jyothsna Durgados See Tracy in Action GreenFig students not only learn these business-critical concepts, but execute them as well. Our course curriculum includes a mini-internship, providing each student the opportunity to run a real-world marketing campaign for a real-world company. Upon graduation, GreenFig students are then prepared with the skills and experience to make an immediate impact at work. Find out how how quickly you can gain the skills needed to thrive in the digital economy. Drop us a line. Paula Sansburn, COO

Thursday, July 19, 2018

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