I believe that we can all learn from things around us, we can look at ourselves and learn from our own mistakes or we can look at other people and learn from theirs.
But sometimes we can get in this trap where we only want to learn from others and when we can learn from ourselves, it’s very difficult to do so.
But learning in the content marketing industry is a vital behavior. And the most precious lessons you can learn come from yourself.
We can also learn from our colleagues, even the ones that are not involved in the marketing department. For example, you can learn a lot from designers, from the sales person and even from the customer service department.
But today I want to point out what content marketers can learn from designers and how they should approach their work.
In this article you will learn how to look closely to your own project, how to accomplish your mission and how to look at the trends in your industry.
So are you ready to see what a marketer can learn from a designer? Let’s get into it:
1. Research and have a watchful mindset
At one point in my life I, myself, was a beginner in design and created a lot of flyers, brochures, logos and other design projects. I knew that I wasn’t a designer but I needed that job so I did it. In the meantime I worked with a lot of designers and I learned a lot from them. I looked at them while they were working to see how they go about doing their own research to get to what the client wants – a logo, a flyer, a brochure, a banner ad, a magazine, a website.
Everything started with the research.
[Tweet “Great designers research before they start designing.”]
They don’t just surf the internet for inspiration. They do research on the industry, on what the latest trends are, they look at the competition and then they might also search for inspiration.
So one of the things content marketers can learn from designers is that the first step in any project is research. Whether it’s a marketing campaign for a new feature they want to launch, a content marketing project or a social media campaign.
Research is important as it can provide insights into content trends and how we can improve our content to generate better results.
[Tweet “Research everything before you start working.”]
2. Publish your best work
There are 2 types of designers I met in my life. The ones that publish everything they designed and the ones that publish only their best work (or something that is very close to their heart). Why is that?
Because the first category might be at the beginning of their career and they want to be recognized for their talent, so they need a diverse portfolio.
But the second category are the ones who publish only the work they’re very proud of it.
I believe that content marketers can learn a lot from designers that are being very selective about the work they publish. Why? Because, as marketers, we need to know how to filter the best of our ideas and use them in our campaign so that when we are ready and get to our best, only then we’ll publish it. Whether it’s a content marketing project (blog post, infographic, e-book, guides or other) or a marketing campaign for our brand.
[Tweet “Marketers need to publish only their best work so that they can get the best results.”]
So how do you know if the work you did is the best you can do?
You start with your colleagues. Ask them what they think about it. If you wrote an article, let them know first about the article and give them the opportunity to criticize your work. Then ask them if they learned something new, read something interesting in it or if they would share it on their personal social media networks?
But what do you do if you are a solo-content marketer and you don’t have any other colleagues? Well, here comes the hard part you need to do. Go deeper and try to be objective about your own work. First, start with the headline and test it on Google. How many articles have the same headline? Click on the first 5 links you get on Google Search and read all of them. Now look again over your article and see what it’s missing. Do you want to go deeper into a specific topic or do you want to cover a wider one? Do you have more case studies or is your writing style different, or better?
I recommend you take a break between writing the blog post and publishing it. Take a break and do something else. Why? Because you need rest to keep your mind clear. Sometimes we don’t see the mistakes we made right away or we are just too tired to adjust the content or make it better. So don’t forget to take a break!
And I know that this is a hard work for a lot of you, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do it.
I believe in the power of experimenting, this is why I recommend it to every marketer. Try new things and try new ideas but only publish your best of the best when you get the results.
3. Every project can help your skills develop
I have designer friends who started working in Photoshop just for fun. Then the first project they got into was a flyer for school. Then they wanted more, and they started working in Illustrator, creating logos from scratch. Then they wanted more and got into the web design industry. And now they are UX designers for great products.
Every project they ever worked on, was an opportunity to develop their own skills and reach onto the next level.
This is what a lot of content marketers don’t do. They think they are good at SEO or social media, so they don’t bother developing a new skill. But they should. You know why?
Because everything you do in content marketing is related to everything your other marketing colleague is doing. And let’s not get into the “a marketer must be good at everything” theory – because that’s a big stupid lie.
A marketer must know about everything in the marketing industry but they must also be the best in what they are doing. A marketer must have the T shaped mindset that Rand Fishkin is talking about.
[Tweet “Don’t be afraid to try new things, tactics and dive in new opportunities.”]
And with every project, a content marketer can develop new skills, get to the next level using his already acquired skills and grasp a better understanding of other marketing skills.
So, if designers with marketing skills can stand out from their competition, then marketers can definitely do a better job using their design skills.
Here are the 3 ideas I wanted to point out to every marketer that will read this blog post.
I know there are many other things a content marketer can learn from a designer, but I believe they can do a better job in their daily work by starting with just these 3 steps.
And I only pointed what content marketers can learn from designers, but I believe that even if you are a SEO or a Social Media marketer, a community manager or a growth hacker, you can still learn a lot from designers.
So my marketer friends, if you have a colleague that’s a designer, give them a call and ask them out for lunch.
[Tweet “Dear marketer, give a call to your designer friend and start learning!”]
Now back to you, if you are a marketer, let me know what did you recently learn from a designer. And if you are a designer, you can also tell me what is something you learned from a marketer.