The Paradox of Choice: More is Less

With so many free courses out there, you can sometimes be spoiled by choice.

What course should I spend my time taking?
We'll be covering:
  • What to focus on doing in your limited time

  • Should you be a specialist or generalist?

So what should I spend my time on?

While you can focus on taking courses on everything under the sun - FB ads, Google ads, SEO, design... (the list goes on and on), it wouldn't be the most effective use of your time.
1. In reality, your job/internship would only require you to have focus
This means you would usually only handle 2-3 aspects of marketing
2. You can only have so much time to learn and practice these skills
Ever heard of an Olympic boxer who also swims competitively in his free time? Neither have I. It is difficult for one to be an expert with a proven track record in a broad spectrum of topics.

So choosing to focus on learning and practising 1-2 specific skills at the start would be optimal!
Does this mean you should only focus on developing skill x for now?
No! Don't close the door on something too early.

Dabble in different aspects of marketing while you're still in university because it is the opportune time to do so without any adverse consequences. Try out different types of marketing internships, take introductory courses/modules on different aspects of marketing and take this time to be exposed to everything!

So what should you focus on learning?

1. Inclination

2. Interest

3. Complementary skills

Inclination

You should aim to pick up something and deepen your knowledge on something you have an inclination towards.

For example, I have an inclination towards writing. I would double down on that and sharpen my competitive advantage and pick up copywriting or content writing.

Interest

You should aim to pick up something that is at least of some interest to you.

Think back to when you were a kid. What's your least favourite subject? Probably math.

Would the idea of being a full-time mathematician be appealing to you? Probably not.

The topic you choose to pick up should at least be fun and interesting so that you can sustain the habit of learning and practising it.

Complementary skills

The skills you chose to pick up should complement each other.

For example, I can do copywriting, manage paid ads, create a well-converting landing page and follow up with email marketing.

If you noticed, these skills are complementary because it is all part of a paid traffic marketing funnel.

I copywrite my ads which will attract traffic to my landing page. From there, I get their email and nurture these leads into paying customers.

Think of the different skills you need to pick up to become a more complete marketer!

Introducing the T-shaped Marketer

Learn like the T-shaped Marketer

Who is the T-shaped marketer? They are someone who has deep expertise and specialization in 1-2 subjects but is also knowledgeable on the other areas of marketing.

They are able to see the big picture - understanding the company is more than just the ROI of Facebook ads. They are able to piece together a cohesive marketing strategy.

So learn like the T-shaped marketer, focus on mastering 1 aspect but have knowledge on others.

For example, I can build on my knowledge in building landing pages and email marketing to become a CRM specialist by learning about Salesforce Marketing Cloud.

I could also double down on my knowledge in Facebook ads to become a performance marketing specialist by picking up Google ads and display advertising

I hope this helped you deliberate on what aspects of marketing you want to focus your time on!

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Check out previous articles on what are the available marketing courses and how to practice your marketing skills with side projects!

Free Marketing Courses

Check out some courses you can take before starting a side project!

Starting a side project

Check out how you can incorporate your side project into getting your next internship!