From Generalist to T-Shaped Marketer: My Learning Plan to Creating Killer Web Content
So..it’s hard out here for a marketer, especially if you are the self-taught type who stumbled into it when you couldn’t find a job after almost (but not quite) graduating.
I’ve managed to survive (including a stint which I need to let go of in retail) as a generalist who can write snappy headlines, blog posts, and hard-to-ignore (unless you hate email) emails.
But, I want more.
I want to build a career out of this side hustle of making magic with words. I don’t need to be ballin’ like those 8-figure hustlers who get paid to make money from their laptops with their model girlfriends and Bugattis.
I just want to make something out of the thing I stumbled into.
That “something” is a career ladder where I can gain mastery of new forms of conten creation.
But there really isn’t a career ladder, if you’re a “blogger/email marketer/I’ll write that for cash” kind of marketer.
This has been one of my gripes about advice for bloggers on the Internet. It’s still surface levels. There are so many “how to get start blogging” and “why you should blog” posts…but there are very few blogs that teach what you to do after you’ve been blogging for a while.
How do you evolve?
Enter the T-shaped Marketer
I stumbled across the concept of a “T-shaped marketer” while on the Internet one day. Essentially, it involves a learning path for marketers to grow beyond their current role.
Will it guarantee you a better-paying job? I don’t know.
Is it “official” yet? Probably not.
But I don’t care, I like the idea of a learning path for marketers to get a broad base of skills couple with some specializations. This is what marketers need in a world where anyone can claim a marketing credential if they watch one YouTube video and the field is crowded with agencies, experts, blah, blah.
In this world, where careers and technology are shifting like the wind, it definitely pays to have a flexible career built on a solid foundation.
My Next Steps
Now that I’ve decided to follow the T-shaped marketer, I had to make it my own.
After reading a few articles on becoming a T-shaped marketer, I realized a couple of things:
- I don’t have a lot of money to take any course that I want (College dropout, remember?)
- I don’t have a lot of time either. (I already am hustling to make a dollar out of 15 cents).
- I am also under a deadline. (I can’t wait for years for a career to develop.)
So, here’s what I’m going to do:
For the next year, I’ll be taking free or low cost coursework (and developing projects) in these 4 marketing areas:
I will spend the next year (unless I get bored or distracted) dedicating one course or project a week to each area.
The goal is to learn and rapidly use what I know to make money and create better content overall.
At the end of this year, I want to have taken at least 12 courses (or created a project) in each area. If I need more time to finish a course, I’ll have space to do that.
If I remember, I’ll update here.
I start off as a marketing generalist with specialist tendecies and (hopefully) end this year a richer and smarter T-shaped marketer.
Feel free to provide feedback, criticisms, hatemail, resources, or whatever, I really have no idea where this journey is going (I have really tried building a career in a year, either!) and could use all of the advice I can get.
My courses from January:
Graphics/Design: Learn UX Design (Springboat)
Copywriting: The Strategy of Content Marketing (Cousera)
Analytics: Social Media Analytics (Quintly)