If a 12 yr old can see more in 15 minutes than the richest king from 19th century could have in his lifetime. What else can he access?
Today you can learn from the professors at MIT or from practitioners on YouTube or even from a reel or a tiktok. We are at the bleeding edge of learning with text, multimedia, cohorts or personal training with someone on the other side of the world.
The common thread is that everyone starts from knowing absolutely nothing, but with a lot of curiosity. Here are 7 exagerated levels of self-learning marketing from my personal observation. But it could just as well be cooking, math, or art. Do you relate to these in your own learnings?
Level One – The Noob
All you have is an intent at this point. Someone or something caught your interest such as SEO or social media. Maybe someone told you that you can make some easy money with content writing or a YouTube channel. Now you are all fired up about the potential of digital marketing and dream of minting money sipping margarita at the beach.
But boy, you have questions, tons of them! Mostly “How to” and “what is” Questions. But what you actually do it just “Fooling around” with the tools and reading a bunch of “marketing porn”. You may follow the pioneers of the field, like Seth Godin or Gary Vaynerchuck and try what they do today. But it would not work and it makes absolutely no sense to you. But believe me, keep at it and you will soon see why it doesn’t 🙂
Level Two – The Beginner
Now you are executing like an enthu-cutlet. Excitement. Sleepless nights. You are now building up the dots of knowledge. You may end up buying a outdated course at this point to find out the “secrets” and “shortcuts”.
Essentially sifting through noise, finding less Gordons and Rowlings and more Johns and Janes who are two three steps ahead of you. Less strategy and more tactical. Your questions evolve from “what do I do” to “I did this, how do I improve?”
Level Three – The Novice
At this stage of learning, you are following recipes and step-by-steps that are not done to death. Operating from a scarcity mindset, some campaigns works, most things don’t. Further analysis leads to numbing paralysis and no actionables. 90% of people are stuck in this loop and exit the journey altogether. But the those that stay on and invest, reap and how!
Level Four – The Intermediate
You now have the first green shoots on your learning. Better CTRs, higher conversions, better rankings. Now you are running campaigns on inspiration than copy pasting from recipes. Frustrating lows and euphoric highs. “Could I use this technique from this idea and use it with that twist there.” You are now recognizing patterns and dots begin to connect. More successes than failures!
Level Five – The Thinker
You are focusing internally rather than external noise. When you stop asking and relying on others for answers, you realize that people who are VERY successful at this take initiative and make things happen for themselves. Scale is an important part of this phase. Your questions are no longer what or how, it is more why, challenging status quo!
Level Six – The Leader
You are now relying strongly on your own initiative and take much more of an ‘alpha’ approach to the business. Long term thinking in terms of risks, efforts and rewards for your projects.
You now operate entirely from an abundance mindset. You get progressively more innovative with your execution. It is no longer about the goals you had set for your self as a noob here.
Level Seven – The Zen Master
You have now made some frankly ludicrous progress. But this is the peak. You strangely have become a little disillusioned with the whole thing. You can talk about the subject in your sleep. You know enough to sell shovels to the miners just for kicks.
I hope this light hearted approach to self-learning was entertaining. But on a serious note, we learn through a variety of processes including observation, experience, instruction, practice, and feedback. But sometimes it’s hard to see how this is going to work when you’re not getting the instant gratification of results, but if you persevere, you will eventually get to where you want to be. Even if you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel just yet, I can assure you it’s coming.
The only way that you can lose this game is by not playing. Just realize that everyone has had to go through the process at some point. Don’t give up.