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  • Sophia Ehrlich

The 1 Piece of Advice For Young Entrepreneurs To Grow Their Skills As A Content Marketer

When I was 14 years old, I received the best advice in my life from a taxi driver. That piece of advice I still use daily almost 10 years later.


My family and I were vacationing, and a taxi took us to our dinner location. Our driver, a man from Nigeria, started up a conversation, which I engaged him in. When I asked him where he was from (because of his clear accent), he replied Nigeria. He then asked if I knew where Nigeria was.


Now, at fourteen, my extent of knowledge was limited. (I have learned much more from that time.) But pride made me want to sound smarter than I am. Instead of admitting my lack of knowledge, I said, 'I knew it was in Africa.'


He then made an offhand comment that has stuck with me ever since,


"People always ask me where I am from, but when I tell them, they know nothing. They should learn more."


At that moment, I felt my ignorance.


I hated it.


I hated feeling stupid and, worst yet lying that I was smarter than I was. This man and I knew the most information could fill a Post-it note.


But after our conversation, I strove to change that. My freshman year I dedicated myself to my Geography class. I found games online where I could practice naming every country in different parts of the world.


The real lesson that inspired in me is to be a veracious learner and honest when I don't know.


It inspired me to look at the world around me and learn as much about it and my interests as possible. It created within me a forever student, always learning and growing. I do this in the minute area of my life. For example, I would surprise you with how many YouTube videos I watched to learn to paint my nails with Gel Polish.

Now, as a solopreneur, I count this to be the biggest reason for my success.

When I started my business, I was ignorant of the world of content marketing.

But I took to learning with a gusto. I found courses, Podcasts, YouTube Videos, courses, books, articles, and newsletters. Every day, I spend at least 30 minutes dedicated to what I call "My Learning."

There is a danger for what I call fondly 'forever students' to stay in the trap of forever learning. It is easier to listen to the resistance of, "I need to learn more, and then I will be ready." You can never learn enough to be ready. Instead. you become more and more ready through learning than taking action daily.


The education that you learn daily applies itself to the work naturally.


When I meet with clients, I'm comfortable knowing that I am not speaking from assumption. I am speaking from hours of learning about content marketing and from applying what I have learned to the work. And when I don't know something, I admit it and add it to the list of things to figure out.


It creates honesty and trust with my clients. It also creates a state of perpetual improvement in my skills. Daily learning is for those who wish to advance and aren't satisfied with the status quo.


My best advice if you want to learn something new:


Start by consuming as many free resources as possible on your subject.

 

We are lucky to live in the age of the information renaissance.


It's up to you to take full advantage of it. On every social media platform, begin to research and follow creators on the topic you wish to learn. Follow YouTube channels. Go to your local library and access paper of digital e-books and audiobooks. Listen to podcasts. Follow newsletters. Accept every freebie that you can.


Not all resources are equal- abandon the ones that don't serve you.


What ends up happening is that our digital algorithms learn our interests. Then, it will continue to suggest more and more resources for you. Your goal is to create a large digital library of educational content online.


Then, get to watching.


In your free time, play a YouTube video or scroll through accounts. I create reading lists of articles, Watch Later YouTube playlists, and a queue in my Apple podcasts app.


That way, you have a list of content ready to go for your viewing.


Start applying what you are learning to your daily work.


Facing a problem? Direct your learning towards it.


Let what you learn make you retackle the problem with new gusto.


Go back to the new resources you have found, and search for the problem you are facing. Problems that you face, others have. Your resources will write information about it. If you can't find any resources on your problem- then ask a question to your favorite creator.


Creators are always looking for more content ideas. Your question can be in their future podcast, article, or social media post.


Analyze how your work is going.


Are you noticing that you have one area of your work down, but another needs work?


Then, it's time to research that particular area. I found that when I was learning to sketch, I could master seeing shapes. Yet, applying that to portrait drawings was difficult. So, I researched portrait drawing to improve.


For content creation, I found that I could write a decent body paragraph, but my hooks needed work. So, I went down the rabbit hole to learn how to write a compelling hook for social media.


Analyze and adjust your learning based on the skills that you are obtaining.


Finally, and most importantly...


Don't Stop.


While the interest in your topics changes, the act of learning never does.


There are always ways we can continue to learn and improve ourselves. Even the experts keep learning. Learning is not for the young, it is for everyone. That is why those in the health profession renew their license with continuing education.


You will become an expert in your chosen interest if you keep learning. And you will do it faster than your peers.


Let me know what you are learning!

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