Prepare yourself: there is more to learn and it MIGHT well be overwhelming

Last week I did a webinar AND real world presentation at the SheerLuxe Digital Conference on FB ads. 

And afterwards a couple of people said to me that they felt overwhelmed, not just by my presentation (thank god) but by the new world and the new norm of all the ‘stuff’ they need to know and all the things they needed to learn.

One person said to me ‘How is anyone meant to have time to understand how to do all of this as well as run their business?’

I think they wanted me to say ‘Don’t worry, you don’t need to do this, this stuff doesn’t really matter.’

But I can’t say that as you do need to do this. 

If you run a business or are building your personal brand, you do need to master online and that means (right now) mastering all sorts of different systems. Maybe one day everything will come together right now, yes there is a lot to it. 

But the outcome of not doing this is that other people in your space will march ahead, and you will fall behind. 

You might not realise this right away but one day you’ll wake up and you’ll think ‘Why is that person getting all the attention/work, they don’t know half as much as I do/haven’t worked as hard/aren’t as talented as I am.’ 

I already hear this from people a lot.

However, the one thing this person-who-is-infuriating-you-by-popping-up-in-your-Facebook-feed-being-more-successful-than-you most likely does know is how to generate leads and grow their business online. And you will have been left behind. 

That means you have two options

  1. Pay someone to do your online marketing for you
  2. Learn how to do it yourself.

And for many SMEs and especially solopreneurs, number 1 is not an option which means number 2 is the only route to go down. 

Listen, I know how it feels to learn new things, particularly tech things.

Right now I am learning Infusionsoft. And you know what, it makes me feel irritated, frustrated and annoyed! I hate it when I’m in the learning curve. 

But there is a lot of Deja Vu for me because since starting my first online business in 2008, I’ve been down this route with lots of different software, processes and ways of thinking (because online you need to think a bit like a ball inside a pinball machine rather than in a straight line).

I remember during my ‘maternity leave’ with my son, I’d just set up my online business Talk to the Press (I put maternity leave in brackets because obviously you don’t really take maternity leave when you are self employed particularly if you have just started a business).

Back then, you lived and died on SEO and I wanted my website to rank number 1 in google for my main keyterms. I didn’t just want it to rank, I needed it to rank otherwise I wouldn’t get as many leads as I wanted.

So I bought a book called ‘Get Into Bed With Google: 58 Things To Do To Your Website Right Now’ (it might have been 51 things I can’t quite remember).

In between feeds, I read that book and tried to do every single thing in it over the course of about 6 months. 

Cue: huge irritation, overwhelm and frustration. Some of those pages I read about 120 times in order to understand them. It didn’t even work straight away!! My website wasn’t ranking. I was thinking ‘Does this mumbo jumbo stuff even work?’ and I wanted to give up. 

But by the end of my time off, there were only two things in that book that I hadn’t managed to do myself and had to get someone else to do.

AND – my website was now on page one of results. Over the next few months it went up to the top 5 positions for ALL our main keywords (reaching number 1 – 2 for most of them) and it never lost its position since. 

It’s been the same ever since with everything I’ve learned since: Google PPC, WordPress, iMovie, Final Cut, FB ads….. reading, reading again, irritation, frustration and annoyance. 

The FB ads interface and FB ads principles: I couldn’t even UNDERSTAND it in 2015. 

The most annoying and irritating thing is when I want to be able to do something immediately and can’t because I’ve got to learn it! Argh the frustration, the longing for a short cut, to skip the learning curve and to just ‘know.’

Right now i just wish someone could insert the ‘Infusionsoft’ disk into my domain so I could just ‘be’ an infusionsoft ninja rather than having to learn the blasted thing.

The good thing is I do now recognise it just as a process. And an extremely necessary process! 

The one thing I know is that the world is changing. BIG. TIME! 

The whole industry I’ve come from (journalism) is being blow apart – along with many others. When I started in journalism 20 years ago, us journalists were kings and queens of the media world and gatekeepers of visibility. 

I haven’t been a journalist since selling my online business 3 years ago now, but look at the influence of the mainstream media. It’s evaporated! The general election shows us that.

No-one (well – increasing fewer people and that’s in a downward spiral of numbers) reads the papers or really gives that much of a cr*p about the negative view points stuck-up editors are trying to brainwash their readers into. The papers that used to rule the country are now being exposed again and again AND AGAIN for their misogynistic and backward rhetorics. 

I’m not necessarily ‘happy’ that the world is changing (although I am happy about the above paragraph) but I know it is.

There’s no point yearning after the good old days. Personally I think the moment you hear any words about the way things were coming out of your mouth it’s time to review yourself!! Or else its a slippery slope to nowhere.

When I used to work in newspapers, there were a few colleagues who bemoaned the fact that I could get a job as a journalist on a national paper when I’d ‘only come from women’s magazines‘ (jeez I hadn’t exactly come from the moon).

How could I be a news journalist when I didn’t have a journalism degree and had never – horror of horrors – worked my way up at a local paper – this (someone daring to join a newspaper who had only ‘come from magazines’) would never have happened in the ‘good old days’. As an aside to this, ironically I would be the one who set up my own news organisation which trained a number of graduates in journalism, many of them who now hold senior positions on national newspapers!!

Now so many of my former colleagues, both journalists and photographers, constantly talk about how things were and how good it was back then. The money they made, the jobs they went on, the ‘real stars’ of times gone by versus today’s (somehow less real?!) stars.

When I hear talk like this I block my ears and go ‘nahnahnahnahnah’ in my brain because all this says to me is that they are totally stuck and on a slippery slope to diminishing returns. 

So look. I can’t tell you (sorry!) that you don’t need to know this stuff because you do!

There is a ton more that I still need to know about too! 

There’s a crowd surging past your front door. Don’t open the door, peek your head out, slam the door shut again and put a bucket on your head. Open the door, walk out into that crowd, join the march and see where it’s going. 

You honestly have nothing to lose and everything to gain. 

Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Honest Mum says:

    Such wise words as always. The world is evolving and it’s digital, exciting, creative and most importantly, democratic! Love your honesty about learning. It can be tough but it’s always worth it. Knowledge is power x

  • Great Blog! It’s inspired me to write on a similar subject for my health audience today. Thank you!!