Some recent Marketing grads aren’t happy with what they learned or more importantly, didn’t learn. Today Sandro goes over a few ways recent grads or anyone looking to break into the world of digital marketing can learn and keep up-to-date on this always-changing profession.

Episode 347

3 Ways to Learn Digital Marketing in 2019

Liz [00:00:00] Hey there, welcome back to Liz and Sandro’s Marketing Podcast where we cover everything from social media, websites, SEO, reputation management and more. Today Sandro is going to be going over some advice for recent marketing grads.

Sandro [00:00:17] Thanks Liz. So over the past few years I’ve had several family members who have graduated college and a couple graduated as marketing majors and asking questions about what they’ve learned and what they wish they would have learned & classes they took. It became clear that maybe they didn’t get the best marketing education. I’m not going to name the major public university they attended but I will say I was disappointed. And the more we talked, the more they seemed upset and almost angry at how seemingly unprepared they left this college, diploma in hand. Supposedly ready to take on the world. And be fresh-faced great new marketers in 2019. It became clear as time went on that maybe they didn’t learn things that would help them in the real world.

Sandro [00:01:05] So my one cousin, shout out to Luis in Los Angeles, he called me and said, “Hey, maybe you should do an episode on what recent grads, marketing grads, can do to learn marketing. Like to supplement or learn things college didn’t teach them and I thought they’d be a great idea. So here’s three things basically from personal experience, because when I started I knew very little about marketing, three things you can do to become a better marketer.


First: Do Marketing


Sandro [00:01:31] First one, just do marketing. Find a small business you love. Reach out and say, “Hey, I want to help you with your social media, help you build a new website or better website or grow your email marketing. Say something specific you want to help them with. It would help if you go to their Instagram or Facebook or Twitter and find some weakness or area they can improve on. Go in and say, “I want to help.”.

Sandro [00:01:55] And honestly, you’re probably not going to charge a lot of money to start but that’s OK because you don’t know a lot at the start, generally. And in some ways you’re basically in paid training here. Going to a local restaurant or in my case a local chess store, I love chess. I wanted to help them and say, “Hey, how come you’re not on Snapchat?” or “Why aren’t you using Instagram Stories?” The worst they’ll say is “no.” But keep trying. There’s so many small businesses out there that could use some help and may not know where to turn.


Advice from Seth Godin: Merely Begin


Sandro [00:02:25] And I’ve quoted Seth Godin on this before, a marketing guru that I admire. He once wrote, “If you want to teach a kid to ride a bike, training wheels are a bad idea. Research is showing you’re much better off with a small bike with no pedals. All training wheels do is confuse. The same thing is true for marketing. You don’t need to go to school for four years. You need to do marketing. Find a worthy charity or do a promotional event to raise money for them. You don’t even need to ask first. Start a micro business. Sell things on eBay. Merely begin” And I couldn’t agree more.

Liz [00:02:58] I love what you’re saying, because as Sandro mentioned I was a journalism and a public relations major. And we did PR and journalism in school. We had a student run PR firm. I was on a team and then I think I was an account executive and we actually, we did it. We learned it. And I know that if I hadn’t had that experience prior to graduation I would probably be feeling like what your cousins are feeling. Just totally lost.


Second: Read Blogs


Sandro [00:03:27] Second thing is to read blogs. This is how I became self-taught to be honest. One day a week, I’ll read for a couple of hours the latest blog posts from my favorite blogs. And I could list several but one great place to start is SparkToro’s trending stories. We’ll link to it, but it’s You’ll see links to various blogs. The top 25 stories of the day all about marketing. And if you go to the blogs then you can just bookmark them and save those blogs and go to them once or twice a week and just read the headlines.


Use RSS Readers


Sandro [00:04:00] And here’s a protip: I love RSS readers. I’m not going to get into what RSS is, but if you have a Mac laptop, I’m sure they have one of these for Windows too, but a Mac laptop or desktop, I use Reeder, r e e d e r, and I love it. You basically add a feed or a blog website to it, and it’ll just pull the headlines from that blog every day and you just scroll through and read headlines and if you like, want to read the article even more just click it and read it. But it’s a great way to skim headlines and see what’s going on and have things top of mind.


Listen to Marketing Podcasts


Sandro [00:04:34] The other thing that goes with this though is podcasts. Podcasts helped me quite a bit. They teach me new things while I’m in the car or waiting in line with grocery shopping. I love, one of my favorites is the Social Media Examiner marketing podcasts. They have like two or three podcasts but I learned a lot and I love the host, Michael Stelzner. He slows guests down and backs them up when they say something too fast or say something that might fly over people’s heads and he has them unpack things. So that’s a great place to start. The Social Media Examiner podcasts. So blogs, podcasts, great ways to learn things and keep up with what’s going on in the world. And of course, our podcast.

Liz [00:05:12] Always.


Third: Ask the Marketing Community


Sandro [00:05:12] The third thing. The final thing here, my ideas for you to be a better marketer is to ask the community. Marketers are some of the best people who will share their time and wisdom with people who are up and coming and with each other. You can ask questions and learn from them. Some of the ways to do this: One, go to conferences. I know some conferences are crazy expensive especially if you’re a recent college grad but some aren’t. Wordcamps are all over the country and they’re all…

Liz [00:05:40] Just 40 bucks.

Sandro [00:05:41] 40 bucks. Actually those are the two day ones. The one day ones like Detroit, only $20.

Liz [00:05:45] Oh, didn’t realize that.

Sandro [00:05:48] And they take place all over the country like I said. You can go to a Wordcamp or another conference, meet people, hang out in the hallways, that’s a great place to meet and talk, ask questions, go to lunch, invite yourself out to lunch with other people. Put yourself out there and tweet out questions during the event or the conference. People will respond if you’re using their hashtag. Those are great ways. There’s also Meetups. Those are generally free. I’ve gone to several, gone to like Google Analytics Meetups and email marketing Meetups. They’re generally free and you’ll meet a lot of great people that way too.


This Includes Facebook Groups


Sandro [00:06:18] And finally Facebook groups. It’s the best part of Facebook. I’ve said that over and over. Some of these groups are hit and miss. You’ll want to join them and after a while you’ll see they’re spammy. But there are some really good ones with great admins who filter out stupid posts and will kick people out if they say, “Hey, I’ll sell you a link.” They’ll just kick you out right away or they’ll cultivate a great group of members who ask good questions and who give great feedback. And these people are just willing to give you advice for free and help you.

Sandro [00:06:46] So get out there either in person or online. And reach out to the community, a very willing and giving community. So those are my three ways. I believe everyone, whether you’re a recent college grad or just want a change in careers and want to start in marketing, do marketing, read up on blogs and podcasts and get out there and meet people.


Liz’s Journey


Liz [00:07:06] And I’ll add a little bit of insight on my journey. I started my agency shortly out of college & never took a marketing class. I didn’t know too much about marketing. But over the course of the last 10 years we’ve grown this portfolio of services to include email marketing, SEO, social media, all of these different things and we are essentially self-taught. I didn’t go back to school and learn these things. I don’t even really think most colleges teach you what you need to know. Sandro and I have connected with a professor at Baldwin Wallace University also here in Northeast Ohio. We feel very strongly that that university is doing a fantastic job equipping students at being ready when they graduate to actually start doing marketing.

Liz [00:07:52] But he’s right. Not every university or college is doing that for students which is a shame. We won’t get into a rant about how much we’re, how much people are paying for an education and graduating not feeling equipped. Yeah and loans and all of that. That’s a rant for another podcast certainly. But I love these tips that you’ve given because even if you’re feeling not fully prepared when you graduate there is still so much you can do to equip yourself for a fantastic career in marketing.

Liz [00:08:20] So I love it. Great advice. Well I guess that wraps up today’s episode so thank you again Sandro. Don’t forget to show us some love on iTunes. You can also find us on Spotify and Google Podcast. We are on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. If you have any questions send them to us. We will definitely give you a shout out on the show and we will see you next time.