You Ask, I Answer: Where Do You Go To Get Smarter?

Jeremy asks, “Who are your communities? Where do you go to get smarter?”

In the context of business and marketing, getting smarter in a useful way requires focused learning. Once you’ve become competent in the basics, you need focused lines of inquiry in order to grow. It’s very difficult to just “get smarter” in general – you need a goal. The number one place I and every marketer should be going to get smarter is: the customer. Watch the video for full details.

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Machine-Generated Transcript

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In today’s episode, Jeremy asks, Where do you go to get smarter? Who are your communities? In the context of business and marketing, getting smarter in a useful way, requires focused learning.

So in the beginning, you go to conferences, you take courses, you get a degree in something, and you get the basics down, right? You, you may not be a master of the basics, but at least become competent in them.

From there, you have to have focused lines of inquiry, right? If you are a creative person, maybe there are places that you go for creative inspiration.

But ultimately, what compels you to learn more or do more is a need of some kind of something that gives you a focus and a reason to be doing that dynamic.

One of the reasons why so many marketers don’t make progress, so many people don’t make progress is because they stop learning.

And they stop learning because there’s no reason for them to continue learning to continue growing, or at least they don’t perceive there’s one, there’s always a reason for it.

It is very difficult.

to just get smarter.

In general, you need to have a goal, you need to have something to be aiming at.

And now this is my opinion.

The number one place that all of us, you, me, every marketer, every data scientist, all these folks should be going to get smarter is the customer.

Because only customers give us problems to solve.

Certainly, as someone who works in marketing and data science, the more interesting the problem from a customer, the more challenge the problem, the more I have to grow, the more I have to get smarter, because my customer forces me to get smarter.

And it’s really easy, really easy to get complacent to say, Oh, I you know, I know how to do SEO or I know how to do this.

Yep.

But if you’re not getting the best possible results all the time, then there is room for you to get smarter.

And that’s when you Yes, you go to resources, like private groups on Facebook, or like the slack group that I run analytics for marketers, shameless plug, go to trust insights.ai slash analytics for markers and join our slack group.

People ask questions in the slack group all the time.

And if I’m not working on a customer problem right then and there.

And I have a few few moments or something that would be fun to explore.

After hours on a Saturday night, that group is a great place to get problems with people who may not be customers right now, but could be customers.

So once you have a problem, then you can start building and growing and acquiring the knowledge you need to solve that problem.

Somebody was doing some customer work the other day and said, and they brought out this, this theoretical model of how they think a certain part of their business works.

That’s a really, really cool, interesting problem to try and solve like, Okay, how do you validate the that model is actually true.

And that sent me down this line of inquiry about things like hidden Markov models and all these data science terms, to see if, in fact, their model could be validated through practical real world means.

And so that’s how you do this, you know, sort of generic getting smarter, it is going after a goal trying to achieve something trying to solve a problem.

And your your best problems, the ones that will be most useful to your career, we are certainly into your company, will be those problems that customers bring up.

Now in terms of places to go, I mentioned groups, obviously, you have search engines, which are quite possibly the greatest contribution to human knowledge in general, because people search for things.

And as long as search engines are functional and useful, they deliver places to go to acquire new knowledge.

There are a number of YouTube channels that I follow, and of people who are doing good work.

And sort of being really far out on the cutting edge learning from them, I spend my Sunday mornings and you know, that couple of cups of coffee, and a YouTube channel, where to watching what people are doing, watching how people are getting their work done, watching the code that they build, and using that to solve problems I have.

And now if you’re not a coder or a technical person, these are still valuable resources, you can still get a lot from, for example, conference sessions that have recorded, there are tremendous numbers of conferences, and speakers who publish their talks online, that you can watch and learn from.

There are dozens of different course sites, if there’s a particular line of inquiry that you need to go down.

You can take courses in that line of inquiry, if it’s something you need a full, formal structured set of information about, take a course edX, Coursera, Udacity, you Demi, LinkedIn learning lynda.com, all these different publications have give you the ability to build those lines of inquiry in a more formal way, especially if you want to have a little sheet of paper to hang up near your cubicle after you’re done.

So those are all kinds of different places you can go.

But it all begins with that problem that you’re trying to solve.

And if you don’t have that you don’t have a source of interesting problems and challenges, then you’re not going to grow.

So focus on your customer.

If you’re if you don’t have a customer or you don’t have a very challenging customer, then find a group to participate in that has people asking for help.

I’m in a whole bunch of these your Facebook groups and things like that.

And there are people asking for help every single day.

And most of the problems are pretty easy to solve.

You know there are challenges but every now and again one will come and go wow Hmm.

I have never thought about trying to solve that problem.

That’s really interesting problem to solve.

And now I have a line of inquiry that can go down.

Now this methodology for how I how my brain works is not right for everyone.

There are some people who absolutely need a structured environment like a course do that know yourself know what works for you know what does not work for you.

Some people given a problem and no apparent solution, just freeze like that’s not how they work.

Some people need to have a person or persons mastermind or community or advisory board whatever you want to call it to bounce ideas off of because they need to talk through their problems.

So figure out what how you solve problems best first.

And that will help you get smarter faster.

Really fun question Jeremy.

Interesting question.

As always, please leave your comments in the comments box below.

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