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


Related Posts.

How to Optimize Your Sales Funnel With Better Lead Management

GreenFig instructors Sue Hay and Jerine Erice recently taught classes in Marketo, Salesforce and analytics to our lifelong learners in Digital Marketing Science. We share their blog that underscores the value of a well-examined lead management process and provides actionable steps to optimize marketing strategy and increase ROI. Read and learn! Resolved to improve your sales and marketing effectiveness this year? Lead management might be the answer. A good lead management process starts with defining potential customers (or leads) and taking them on an educational and nurturing journey based on their buying persona before ultimately being passed on to the sales team. Lead management measures, tracks and reports on this customer acquisition process, from the first point of contact to the closing of the sale. This allows sales and marketing to work in tandem, with the ultimate goal of increasing conversion rates and ROI while shortening the duration of the process. This process is arguably the most important aspect of marketing. But according to DemandWave’s 2017 State of Digital Marketing Report, many marketers still find that obtaining high-quality leads is their number one challenge. Why do marketers continue struggle with this, and what can you do about it? Here are four lead management tactics that you can adopt now for a more robust lead marketing strategy and better-optimized sales funnel in 2018. 1. Get Sales and Marketing Aligned The alignment of sales and marketing is critical to lay the foundation for an effective lead management process. This ensures that the company as a whole is working toward a similar goal. The responsibility of increasing ROI becomes the responsibility of both teams. This alignment, especially in the case of B2B companies, shortens the sales cycle and makes it more efficient. In order to achieve this alignment, both teams needs to be on the same page -- aware of their responsibilities, as well as the intricacies of the process itself. Call a meeting to go over your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) and the lead management process. Make sure everyone knows the different stages a lead goes through as well as the proper way to handle a quality lead. Some key journey points to remember include Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL), which is based off of lead scoring, Sales Qualified Lead (SQL) and Sales Accepted Lead (SAL), which are identified after a meeting occurs and the lead progresses through the sales cycle. Here is a helpful checklist to get you started. 2. Analyze the Lead Journey Once a lead is created and enters the process, the lead journey is analyzed over time. Tracking can be done through a CRM platform like Salesforce.com, SugerCRM, Hubspot CRM, social media analytical tools and email marketing analytics. Salesforce is one of the major Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools to document and keep track of important information. Through Salesforce, marketers are able to take a well-rounded look at their business and manage relationships with the partners and other strategic alliances, existing customers and prospects. With tracking, you learn that lead’s process and behavior. This knowledge proves valuable when developing content and tactics to use during the lead management process. Even if these leads have been passed off to the sales team, they are still important to track. Through monitoring, you can measure sales performance, and calculate marketing and sales ROI. This information is key because it allows you to learn how expensive each lead is and the proper steps to take in order to get more quality leads while reducing cost. You are able to analyze your marketing efforts as a whole, and make any necessary adjustments to save time and money while increasing revenue. 3. Score Your Leads Next, it is crucial to score your leads with lead scoring tools built into platforms like Marketo or Hubspot. Through scoring, you are able to determine not only the lead’s interest in you, but your interest in them as well. This allows the sales team to only spend time on leads that matter since higher scoring leads are more likely to convert. To have an effective lead scoring system, it is important to look at the lead’s persona, level of engagement and timing. 4. Nurture Your Leads Last but not least, it’s important to nurture high scoring leads before passing them to the sales team. According to DemandGen, leads who are nurtured with targeted content produce a 20 percent increase in sales opportunities. It is important to determine the unique preferences of your leads. What drives their attention? From there, you can create targeted content that is relevant and valuable to them. Some of the most effective targeted content includes email nurture campaigns, promotional offers and call-to-action content. For more information on GreenFig’s upcoming courses taught by industry leaders like Jerine and Sue, check us out at www.greenfig.net.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Contact us

Need a quote.