5 Foundational Skills to Master Before Starting a Marketing Career

If you truly want to excel in a marketing career, you'll need to first master the basics. In this quick marketing tutorial, Eric Siu shares the top 5 marketing skills that will build a solid foundation for any aspiring marketer. Even if you've been in the game for awhile, taking a step back to sharpen your foundational skills can help you grow super fast. It all comes back to the basics, and as the saying goes, how you do one thing is how you do everything. Master these 5 core marketing principles and you're well on your way to running your own marketing agency.


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Full Transcript of The Video

Speaker 1: In this video, I'm going to give you five foundational skills to master before starting in marketing. My name is Eric Siu, I'm the co-host of the daily Marketing School podcast and the host of the weekly entrepreneurial podcast Growth Everywhere. The first thing you need to master before starting in marketing is sales. Wait, what? Isn't sales different from marketing? At the end of the day, me doing this with you right now, let's say this is the first time you're watching me, and by the way, thank you for watching. This is still sales. You're always selling yourself whether you're at a bar, for example, you're looking to talk to somebody else. If you're looking to get a job you're selling yourself. Throughout the rest of your life, you're always going to be selling.
If you want to learn how to get good at selling, general selling, what you can do is read the Ultimate Sales Machine. This is from the late Chet Holmes, one of the best sales books out there. There's a ton of good videos on YouTube. You can search Victor Antonio sales, subscribe to his channel. He's got a ton of great content around there. Now, the second thing is, before starting in marketing, it's good for you to understand general marketing. Wait, Eric, isn't that ... What? You can read a book called Breakthrough Advertising. It's no longer in print. That book is actually a couple hundred dollars now. Breakthrough Advertising is going to give you the general idea around human psychology.
Human psychology has not changed for the longest time. It's not going to change. Humans are very prone to certain actions, that's why you should learn about marketing to understand human psychology, and that's how you can get people to eventually buy. Then, you can learn all the things around search engine optimization, PPC, email marketing, social media marketing. What I see today is too many people will try to jump head first into all these different things when they don't understand human psychology, they don't understand general marketing.
The third thing you need to know is how you can delegate really well. I remember in the early days, I was learning so much around marketing I thought I'm good at SEO, I'm good at PPC, I'm good at email marketing, I'm good at all this stuff. I thought I was the jack of all trades, I was superman. The problem is, you're still only one person at the end of the day. I remember when I was a kid, I watched this one Chinese movie. The guy was holding chopsticks. This is a chopstick, okay. The guy was holding a chopstick to his pupils, like "Here, break this chopstick," the guy snaps it in half. No problem. Then, he gives him a pile of chopsticks and then the pupil tries to break it. Can't break it, right? It's the concept of having a team. You can't do everything on your own. You've got to learn how to delegate. Having an attitude of deference at the end of the day is important. That way you can realize every quarter what 10%, 15% of things can you take off your plate, and then just continue to do that over, and over, and over.
It's not that you're trying to be better than anyone. It's that you're moving on to more important things to do. You have to have an attitude of deference. That's how you can become a superstar in marketing. But, if you're going to try to do everything on your own, you're going to try to be superman or superwoman, you're going to be pegged in that hole, in that square peg, and you're going to be stuck.
The other thing is it's the attitude of openness. You have to understand that marketing is changing so quickly, because technology is changing so quickly, so naturally the two go hand in hand. What works today might not work in the next five years, the next 10 years or so. You have to know what's coming, you have to be very open to what other people are telling you. You can't be a know it all. You're not superman or superwoman, you're just another person at the end of the day. It doesn't matter how good you are, it doesn't matter how smart you are. You need people around you to help you, to guide you, to keep you humble.
The fifth and final thing is having candor. If you're looking to get something done with marketing, you have to talk with designers, you have to talk with developers, you have to talk with people on your team. You have to talk to your CEO, as well. At the end of the day, if you can speak up, you're going to be able to get things done, people respect you for that for speaking up, for being direct. The worst is when you're not being direct and you're not telling the truth. It's going to take people longer to get something done and at the end of the day, it falls on you.
So, these things, you combine all these things together, these skills, these traits. These will help you longterm with marketing. The bonus I'll give you as well is if you're getting started in marketing, let's say you specialize in SEO, become a general marketer. This means becoming a T-Shaped marketer. It's specializing in SEO, but it's having a general understanding of these other areas too, so you're not pigeonholed into one area and again, you're opening, you're expanding your mind. There's a lot of venture capitalists that used to be entrepreneurs. The VCs that used to be entrepreneurs, you can see they're talking about ideas, they're talking about the future, they're talking about moving forward, which is why I like to follow entrepreneurs and VCs.
Very future facing, so, that's going to help you, as well. Being very future facing, following the right people, as well. If you enjoyed this video, you think this is going to help you level up, leave a comment, tell me what you're going to do, and if you like this, hit subscribe. We'll see you tomorrow.

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