How many marketing and business books (and ebooks) have you bought and then promptly … placed gently on your growing bookshelf?
How many have you read, but never used?
Between Amazon, libraries, amazing content creators, email, social networking, and the wild open web, we’ve got all the information we need … and more.
If you’re struggling with finding marketing ideas your business, your problem isn’t one of access to too little information.
What you need is a way to turn learning into action.
Here are five tips you can use to start doing just that, right now …
1. Always have a goal in mind
Don’t buy a business book or course just because it’s the hot new thing.
Be very discerning. Read and re-read the materials you’ve bought from trusted sources in the past.
When you do purchase something new, have ultra-specific goals in mind. For instance:
- Learn more about podcasting to decide whether it’s a good fit for my goals
- Write my first ebook
- Grow my email list
- Increase my sales page conversions
- Improve my search engine ranking
You’ll either spend hours passively consuming information — or you’ll start taking actions on a whim, without any sense of where you’re going.
2. Take notes while you learn
Always be taking notes, whether you’re reading, listening or watching.
Center your notes around your goal.
Taking notes helps you engage with the material: you’ll remember more of it.
When you engage actively, you also come up with new ideas. A throwaway line in a podcast might spark an entirely new product for your business.
3. Remember the cost of “free”
The Internet is packed with free information. Hurrah — right?
Well, “free” has a cost … what you save in money, you spend in time.
It can even result in expensive mistakes.
Free information might be riddled with errors. It could be incomplete. It might well be very valuable — but it often isn’t organized for ease of use.
I’ve read hundreds of articles about blogging and social media, but I still invest in ebooks because they’re more in-depth, convenient, and structured in a way that makes them easy to learn from.
4. Follow action steps
All the business information you consume should ideally lead to specific actions.
That means you need to come up with specific action steps — or follow the ones that the content-creator has provided.
Action steps should be crystal clear, and look something like this:
- Split-test the landing page with two different headlines
- Create a 3-minute video post
True action steps do not look like this:
- Try split-testing
- Produce a video blog series
If you can, get hold of training materials that include activities or specific exercises to keep you moving forward.
5. Ready, fire, aim
You don’t have to have all your ducks in a row before getting started.
Instead of writing the world’s best-ever email autoresponder series, create something simple and valuable and just get it out there.
Instead of writing a $97 ebook, create a free ebook to test the waters and see if your audience really wants the type of content you’re offering.
Instead of having the flashiest sales page in the world, settle for one that clearly explains your product and its benefits (flashy is overrated, btw).
Online, you can adapt fast. You can create, test, tweak and re-create. Your first attempt doesn’t have to be perfect.
So, what now? Take action.
I’d suggest starting with number one in the list above: decide on a specific goal.
What one action could have a real impact on your business over the next few months?
Write it in the comments below and share it with us …
About the Author: Ali Luke is a writing coach and blogger. She’s the author of The Blogger’s Guides ebook series – check it out for straightforward, action-focused support for your business goals. Copyblogger readers get a 25% discount until December 31st with the code CB2011.