A journalist recently asked how digital marketing professionals like me keep up to date, how much time and money I dedicate to training, and what I prioritize for staying current.
So in case you have the same or similar questions: here’s my digital marketing career advice:
What is your current digital marketing role, and what do you do?
SP Home Run
(Digital Transformation Go-to-Market Consulting for IaaS, SaaS, and Fintech Companies)
I’m a digital marketing strategist and revenue growth consultant for small business CEOs -- and co-founder of SP Home Run with 20+ years of experience keeping up with digital marketing.
What industry do you work for?
I work with CEOs and sales directors of B2B technology companies.
(Primarily LinkedIn Industry category: Information Technology and Services)
The common thread -- nearly all of my clients are small companies (10-50 employees) in IaaS, SaaS, or Fintech. They sell to mid-market and enterprise-sized companies across a variety of industries.
How do you keep up to date with digital marketing?
I invest 4-6 hours a week on professional development, totaling 200+ hours in a typical year.
How do I find so much time for digital marketing training?
My favorite piece of digital marketing career advice:
For years, I've made training part of my morning workout routine. Whether it's on the elliptical machine, walking, or jogging, I spend a very significant percentage of my 60-90 minute daily workout time learning and growing professionally.
As someone who also produces video content and webinar content that blurs the line between video podcasting and audio podcasting, I had a big revelation a few years back.
While most digital marketing training is in videos, you can typically absorb 80%+ of that content -- even if you just listened to the audio part of the video. At the same time, while your phone remains in your pocket.
So when I'm on the elliptical, it's safe to watch and listen. But when I'm out walking four or five miles, where it wouldn't be safe to watch, I just listen.
Usually, when I'm preparing to take a related exam/certification test, I download the slides to review. And very occasionally rewatch a segment where I'd benefit from seeing the training -- as opposed to just listening to it.
Because this is a streaming video, you'll still need an excellent mobile broadband plan with unlimited or similar bandwidth even if you're not watching the video. And you'll need good tower coverage where you're walking/jogging.
But overall, this allows me to consume a ton of training content each year while staying in shape.
Regarding my specific training for my digital marketing career, I'm a huge, very long-time fan of HubSpot Academy's training library. In leading a HubSpot User Group for four years, I've enjoyed getting to know many of the current and former HubSpot Academy professors. And I've continuously held just about all of their end-user and partner certifications since the very first launched in 2013.
To date, I hold and maintain 31 HubSpot Academy certifications. See my LinkedIn profile for the full list.
In addition to HubSpot Academy, I also "attend" most digital marketing webinars that I want to attend on-demand by listening to the recordings during my workout.
And I also have about a dozen podcasts and YouTube channels that I listen to regularly -- nearly all for professional development, most related to digital marketing.
(Similar to the HubSpot Academy course catalog, I also have varied professional development interests in related areas such as sales, digital marketing agency best practices, entrepreneurship, and SaaS, for example.)
I'm also a huge believer that training others forces you to learn what you know SO much better. Consistent with being a digital marketer, I create a ton of video, audio, text, and live event thought leadership content related to digital and growth.
How much do you dedicate to training?
As mentioned above, I dedicated 200+ hours a year to training.
As part of keeping my skills sharp on HubSpot, I've had a paid subscription to HubSpot since 2010 that's used for a combination of professional development and running inbound marketing/inbound sales for my own professional services business.
In non-pandemic times, I also travel to some national conferences -- especially HubSpot's flagship INBOUND conference in Boston.
In addition to the 200 hours/year, I budget for about $20K-$30K+/year in professional development directly related to direct marketing training and implementation for my own consulting practice.
If you had to choose one thing related to your digital marketing career to learn or keep up to date per year, what would it be?
HubSpot Marketing Software and HubSpot Sales Software are incredibly core to what I work on with clients.
HubSpot Academy typically expires their product-related certifications every 12 months. and their product-agnostic certifications every 24 months.
Do you work in digital marketing? If so, what’s your favorite digital marketing career advice? Let me know in the comments.
Topics:- B2B Digital Marketing Strategy