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I know how it is. Your company needs new customers. They do hundreds of Google searches for the latest marketing tips and tricks. What's big on Instagram right now? What are the latest SEO strategies that we should be using? What should we blog about to get the most traffic?
You realize – desperately – how little you know.
Against panic and overwhelm, sign up for a marketing course that promises to fix your lead generation problems at lightning speed.
You dive in. Make pages of notes. As you near the end, another marketer will grab your attention. They talk about missed opportunities in your lead generation that you need to learn more about.
So if you buy this course, take more notes. The cycle repeats itself.
You have now invested hundreds of dollars in marketing courses (maybe thousands, depending on how motivated you are.) You have a mile-long list of new marketing tactics, but as you go along, you realize the more you know, the more you don't know. And so it goes. Another course. Another marketing guru is to follow. Pages with notes. The greatest intention. But no implementation.
I've been there more times than I'd like to count. Welcome to squirrel syndrome.
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What is squirrel syndrome?
We all suffer from this at various points on our business trip. After all, there is some security there when you sign up for another marketing course. You are doing something to grow your business.
By investing in your marketing education, you have already broken away from the crowd. But if you don't implement what you've already learned, how does it really help your business?
Learning more marketing won't bring you more customers. Massive implementation will. My old marketing mentor used to say, "Implement so many things that you create a dust storm of activity." This is a powerful image to keep in mind.
So how do you determine which course to take to get more customers?
Here is my best advice from someone who has invested over two hundred thousand in their business and marketing education to date:
1. Choose a marketing expert to follow.
Resist the singing of the sirens to be drawn into the worlds of others. It is difficult to focus on just one expert, especially when others keep suggesting you. But if you focus on one, you have the benefit of following your workout step by step instead of being pulled in different directions or having to choose between conflicting pieces of advice.
When I started my marketing agency, I signed up for every marketing guru training course I could find, thinking the more I could learn, the faster my business would grow. Not only did I sometimes forget which training I bought, but as I remembered and completed course after course, I was so overwhelmed that I hardly knew where to start. So I started simplifying by following expert after expert. Sometimes I stayed a month or a couple of months or sometimes a couple of years to learn from this expert. When I felt I had learned and implemented as much as possible, I moved on to learn from the next.
2. Choose the expert who appeals to you the most, then invest in the course or training that best suits your needs.
That may sound simple, but how do you know if you get them? That's a great question. Whenever I explore someone new, I always register for everything they offer for free. Free book? Count me in. Free weekly email? Sign me up. Then when I search their free resources, I look for those "a-ha moments"; h .: Do you give me any value as a non-paying customer? Or are you someone who puts everything valuable behind a paywall? If I don't learn anything valuable from their free stuff, I'll quickly sign out and move on. But if they care enough about their customers to add value first, then I'll pay much more attention and see if I can pay them to learn a lot more.
Related: 7 Things To Look For When Hiring Experts
3. Decide on your expert and the course you want to take and how you will get the most out of your teaching.
My personal method is to use an exercise book and make pages of good old-fashioned handwritten notes. For some reason, if I handwrite them instead of just typing them out, it helps the ideas reach my brain deeper. While I am giving a training session, I am also making an implementation list so that at the end of the training I will know exactly what to do next.
4. Implement like crazy.
Take your implementation list, prioritize everything, and get to work! Find out what the best and best use of your time is and delegate the rest.
Tackling overwhelming and distraction is one of the biggest challenges we face as entrepreneurs, but your results get exponentially better if you focus on learning from one expert at a time, focusing on your implementation, and leaving it to others to chase after you and the shiny marketing objects. You're too busy creating dust storms of activity anyway!
Related: 6 Important Lessons I Learned As A Startup