In the online and digital marketing space there are millions of things you could buy to help you with your work and your life. Hardware, software, gadgets and gizmos, all with the promise of doing a thing better.
But, we’ve all been there. The thing we bought doesn’t live up to it’s hype, or you just lose interest in the gizmo. Worst of all is when you buy something and then you learn that it’s quickly become obsolete. In this post you’ll learn about the top five things you may not want to waste your money on.
Marketers are like restaurant owners. Sometimes, the only person that makes money in the restaurant business are those that sell equipment like mixers, ovens, etc, to the restaurant. I think we all can relate here.
These days in marketing, to learn a new skill or a new method you don’t need to go to college to learn it. You simply have to find a course online to learn it. Places like Udemy, Coursera, and certainly Thinkific and Teachable, all house courses that you can take to learn.
But, my experience has shown that I have rarely completed a course that I’ve paid for. Now, some courses were inexpensive, but some were not cheap. I hang my head in shame knowing that I haven’t completed something. My recommendation is to be intentional about completing the course you sign up for and maybe think harder about whether or not to buy that course.
I have dozens of apps that I have downloaded to my iPhone or my iPad. Some are free, some paid, and some have a subscription model. Close second to digital courses, a marketer should be a little judicious in their buying of apps. I really wish that the App store for Apple would allow you a trial run on some of the apps they host and sell, to let you see if the app would be worth your money, but they don’t…
I love going to conferences and meeting new people and learning new things and getting fired up about your industry or cause. But, consider this, that conferences cost a lot of money. Airfare, lodging, and the cost of the ticket adds up to some pretty hefty expenditures. And, once you get there you have to eat and often appear at bars and after parties, so you have to factor that in too.
Costs of conferences became such that many conference organizers decided to do online conferences or “summits” online where it was virtual to lessen the costs to “attend”. But now, I’m seeing that live in-person conferences are coming back. My advice is to be super strategic on making the conference worth going. Who are you going to meet? Are you hoping to land a job with someone? Are you looking to ink that big deal or work with that influencer?
If you take one look around my house you know that I and my wife both love books. Hers are fiction, mine are non-fiction and nearly every book I had bought during college. We have a sizable library between the two of us. Books provide a wealth of information, encouragement, mentorship, and life coaching, for a relatively small price. But, as I will be the first to admit, the books on my shelf all have a bookmark, dog ear (ugh…) indicating that the book isn’t finished. I rarely finish a book. Blame it on my ADD or shiny object syndrome, but I know I need to finish some of them.
I think what I should do is look through my shelf and put a list together of all the books I’ve not yet completed. Next, start reading them again. One of my most loved activities was to read a book with a sharp pencil in hand to highlight key phrases or write in the margin of them either resonating with the author, arguing with them, or ideas as a result. Finally, I should catalog those things. Maybe I should create a reader’s guide for myself in Evernote with all my notes in them? Who knows.
Office Furniture / Creature Comforts
Don’t get me wrong, I love a nice office, well furnished, lit, and decorated. The more Instagrammable, the better. But even if your office is nicely appointed and styled, does that have a positive effect on your work and your marketing. Do you really need all that stuff in your office?
The trend is now to be minimalist. Even to the point of going paperless and not having excess “stuff” around the office. The less junk you have around the less likely you will have opportunity for distraction and frustration.
Saving the money you’d buy for that nice ottoman in your office would be cool, but does it help you make money? I doubt it. I kind of pride myself in saying that to get work done all I’d need is a laptop, folding table and chair, and an internet connection. Pretty sparse.
Everything I listed above, with the exception of office furniture could have a great impact on ones business and marketing pursuits. Courses, books, applications, and conferences can often unlock untold wealth, ideas, and concepts that radically change one’s work. Conversely, they can also suck the bank account dry.
My best advice is to be intentional about what you do with your money. Set aside a line item in your department’s budget for professional development in the form of books, conferences, and courses set aside an amount for technological purchases too.
Now it’s your turn. What would you say are the biggest items that you should not waste your money on? Let us know in the comments below.