Marketing is an integral part of just about every job. Even if you’re not technically in a sales, marketing, or communications position, you’ll always be selling yourself or your company to clients as you go through normal interactions.
And employees who work in behind the scenes roles regularly have to market their skills to new employers or colleagues to build trust and grow as leaders. To put it simply, at the end of the day, all business is sales and you need the skills to stand out from rival brands or competing coworkers.
If you feel like your ideas deserve a little more attention, it’s time to give your marketing IQ a boost. These three skills are must-haves for any modern professional, so why not give your knowledge a resume-ready polish?
Sell With Storytelling
At its core, storytelling is a traditional art; we’ve used it for centuries to relay history and build connections. In today’s marketplace, though, this tradition has taken on a new role. When we embrace storytelling, we engage deeper emotional nuances and motivations, which can make a big difference when attempting to convert new clients.
The essential anatomy of any story is the story spine, and if you can master this framework then you can sell ice in the Arctic. Try applying the story spine to your favorite books or movies and then give it a whirl with your standard product pitch.
This new narrative will impress your boss and your clients; the story spine might even earn you a bonus.
Run The Numbers
Very few people realize that marketing involves a lot of math, from financial reports and budgets to sales projections and customer statistics, but this social field is also highly analytical. If you want to stand out as a number cruncher – as someone who can manage a team based on both emotional insights and solid data, one option is to pursue a degree in business administration.
Business administration degrees cover both marketing and management skills, which means you’ll be exposed to the math skills and software needed to run an office with confidence, as well as mastering the art of the sales campaign, from SEO to social media. Few associate’s degrees will give you as flexible of a skill set as one in business administration because the skills are transferrable between fields, leaving plenty of opportunity for growth.
Write It Out
Business writing is the type of skill most professionals think they have, but that few have fully mastered. Instead, many misinterpret basic literacy skills for polished professional communication, so it’s worth studying up so that you can demonstrate real competence.
Unlike much of our day-to-day writing, which may be generic or scripted, business writing should have a clear purpose and audience, use vocabulary and syntax appropriate to that audience, and should provide clarity, reducing future miscommunications, as those can be costly or even dangerous in professional settings.
Ultimately, honing your business writing skills will also improve your public speaking skills, another key skill for those interested in marketing, because the focus, tone, and vocabulary used in writing transfer to your oral communication, and help boost your negotiation and analytical thinking. As the E.M. Forster line goes, “how can I know what I think until I see what I say;” in other words, writing is the best way for us to articulate our thoughts and work through them to gain insight and clarity.
Marketing is so much more than just advertising or pitching clients – it’s an entire world that exists at the nexus of communications, management, and mathematics and its complexity can’t be downplayed.
If you’re looking for a chance to boost your career, then make 2019 the year you focus on marketing. The benefits will extend to all aspects of your work and help you sell yourself right up the ladder until you land in a corner office.