Back in 2013, I went to back school to upgrade my philosophy degree with a post-grad certificate in Entrepreneurship.
The courses I took in the one-year program spanned most major categories of business, including finance, tax, law, marketing, management, HR, accounting, import/export—you name it.
The benefit of taking such a program was that I learned how to operate all major departments of a business. I knew enough to think about, hire, and manage people in each area.
It wasn’t enough to be a specialist in any one area—each could have its own PhD program. But I felt confident enough to manage each area with a reasonable degree of competence.
That’s all you really need to start running a business.
As an independent strategist, your job is to do the same when it comes to your knowledge of marketing and business in general.
You have to understand how businesses work to help get your ideas implemented across multiple stakeholders and actually produce measurable results.
But you don’t need to be an expert in each area of business.
You also have to understand all of the marketing channels, how they work together, how to measure results, and how to determine good work from bad.
But you don’t need to be an expert at executing every single channel.
Sure, it helps to go deep in the areas you’re good at and slowly add skills in the adjacent fields so you can collaborate and/or advise on the big picture.
I’ve been building websites for more than two decades now. That’s my thing. It eventually led me to content marketing, email, design, SEO, and eventually paid media and so forth.
You don’t have to be an expert on every channel. But you do want to know enough about all of them to do your job as a marketing strategist.
The learning never ends.
Until next time!
P.S. Later this month, we have a guest expert, Rod Burkert, coming to speak to Mindshare members about how to think about equity compensation, how to value the equity being offered, and how to value your time in exchange. Sign up for access to this training and all past workshops.