Stop Calling Yourself a "Marketing Guru"
I have to give a little tough love here. It seems like everyone’s a “marketing expert” or “social media guru” nowadays. When I tell someone what I do, I sometimes hear responses such as “I can do that” or “Oh I’ll think I’ll go into marketing, too.” It's like me walking up to Stephen Curry and saying, "Pshh! Throwing a little ball is easy. I can do your job." Nevermind the hours of practice, sweat, sacrifice, and pain he put into becoming great at what he does! I can surely do his job with my abysmal jump shot and mediocre dribbling skills. Catch my drift?
It seems that marketing has become a haven for the wayward millennial. The truth is, everyone does marketing in one way or another- whether you're marketing yourself, promoting your product on Instagram, or a small business owner who's been in business for 20 years even without a website or social media profile. On the other hand, when it comes to becoming a marketing professional, everyone thinks they can do it, many are self-proclaimed experts overnight, and very few know what it entails.
I recently read articles by Mallie Hart and Marc Ensign that got me thinking about the lack of knowledge about the field. I’m not talking about those who have studied it, gained years of experience, and have had successful clients/projects. Those are the kind of marketers that this industry needs! But if you watched a movie and got inspired, saw the success of a peer and wanted to see if you could do it, or just thought that this seems like a cool job, I urge you to study marketing, gain an additional skill, find a niche, become great at it, get involved, and gain credentials- not only for your benefit but also for any clients that you might acquire. If you're really serious about starting a career in marketing, are really passionate and not just being obnoxious, then aspire to be a great marketer. Become a great storyteller and aim to be the best marketer that you can be.
Being a marketing manager is so much more than promoting a product through a post on social media or giving a brand pointers on its image- there’s testing, engagement, campaigns, critical thinking, creativity, networking, technical skills like HTML/CSS, data analytics, statistics, graphic & web design, etc. There’s social media, e-mail marketing, advertising, product packaging, placement, and market analysis. You have to be ahead of the trend, know the latest industry news, and be up to date with tech. Oftentimes, the marketing manager has duties that stretch into PR and Sales. It’s a tough job and a busy one but the satisfaction of knowing you’re helping a company or brand grow is indescribable.
At the end of the day, I’m not a guru and I’m not an expert. I’m just a girl who’s passionate about what I do.