Many libraries hire librarians with very little marketing experience to do the marketing. If you’ve found yourself in this position, don’t panic. Anyone can learn to be a marketer. It’s not an easy profession, but if you are new to the job, you can get really good at the work if you commit to seeking and following the best advice and immerse yourself in the world of marketing professional development.
If you’re a trained marketer working for a library, you should always be looking for ways to grow your skills. We can really only hope to compete with our for-profit counterparts if we know what they know. Don’t ever stop learning.
Here are my seven favorite ways to learn new stuff about marketing.
Lynda.com: Your library may have a subscription, as mine does. What a fantastic resource! There are dozens of video tutorials on all topics related to marketing. They range in length from 45 minutes to three hours or more. They’re all created by experts, easy to understand, and paced in a way that’s easy to digest. And Lynda.com is always adding new courses so you can learn new skills no matter how long you’ve been a marketer.
Hubspot: Hubspot has a whole range of marketing classes available for free online. There are even tests you can take at the end of each course to become certified a Hubspot marketer. When you’re certified, you have access to a nice widget for your email signature and LinkedIn page. It’s a great way to show your supervisor that you’re seriously committed to growing your knowledge base. And it’s a great way to let anyone you’re working with to know, subtly, that you know what you’re talking about!
Content Marketing Institute: CMI is one of my favorite places to learn new marketing skills. They have a ton of free webinars that can teach you everything you need to know about content marketing. Their Chief Content Officer magazine is a must-read for marketers. And their blog is chock full of new insights, research, techniques, and tips that will expand your knowledge of the inner workings of marketing and make you a more-rounded marketer.
Read Everybody Writes by Ann Handley. I think this should be required reading for all marketers. It is simply the best book on the subject of writing… easy to understand with lots of practical advice. It will make you want to write even if you dread the thought!
Watch Amy Schmittauer on YouTube. So at first glance, it seems that Amy is “just” an expert on video and video blogging. She’s so much more. If you subscribe to her YouTube channel, you’ll also be treated to regular posts about strategy, creativity, and finding your inner marketing voice. As marketers, we get so focused on churning out content that we forget the other essential pieces that require more thinking and less doing. Amy will remind you to pay attention to those pieces. Her posts mix practical video advice with inspiration, and that’s an important combination for anyone who works in the marketing space.
Follow Andrew and Pete on YouTube. For a dose of practical advice mixed with plain old fun, these two English marketers are just you need to grow your knowledge base and to remind you of why marketing is one of the most rewarding parts of library work. I also recommend you follow them on Twitter. They do a remarkable job of responding to Twitter mentions and comments and that personal interaction makes for the best kind of marketing!
Listen to the Social Media Marketing Podcast from Social Media Examiner. Social media is a mostly free and effective way to reach library audiences and Michael Stelzner and crew do the best job of explaining big ideas and introducing new techniques for maximizing the time you put into social. I’ve met Michael in person and he honestly cares about his audience, which shows in the way he interviews his guests each week. And when Michael and his team try something that DOESN’T work, they share that too. You will get a ton of value out of this show.
And… if you have never watched “30 Rock” and don’t understand the title of this blog, please watch this.
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