What are the most important skills for an online marketer, blogger or professional?
I am going to list my response to that, but I would be interested in hearing your thoughts in the comments. I’m intentionally keeping this one short so you can dive in and tell me where I am wrong!
This post came about because I was just asked this question in email, and after responding briefly, I couldn’t get the question out of my head. After pondering on it, I realised it’s not quite as simple as it first seems.
I realised that some of these are traits you are born with, but can develop, and others you can simply learn and practice.
Although I often say I am not a natural born entrepreneur to excuse myself of deficiencies in certain areas, it makes me think that perhaps nobody is particularly born with entrepreneur DNA. After all, I haven’t added “natural risk-taker” or “born with wads of cash” to my list!
Enough preamble, here is my top 5 list:
Top 5 Most Essential Skills for Online Business:
- Empathy and understanding – If you can’t understand the people you are hoping to serve, then you won’t be able to deliver what they really want and need, in the way they want it. You need to be able to solve real problems, you need to get to the root causes, and communicate in language people understand.
- Communication – You need to be able to communicate (as mentioned in the previous item), especially written, but speaking too. It doesn’t matter if you are an entry-level employee, a solo entrepreneur, or a CEO of a large corporation, clear and compelling communication is vital. The days of having a room full of typists is gone. Nobody will be able to escape email, but of course there are all the social networking tools too.
- Networking, relationship and people skills – So I mentioned networking in the previous point. I mean actual networking, not spamming Facebook and Twitter with your links! Human interaction. Building relationships. Getting to know people, and having them get to know you. It’s difficult to get anywhere without other people around to help you. People who can build and grow teams will have an advantage over people who burn out relationships almost as soon as they connect. I realised you don’t need technical or craft skills yourself if you can partner and communicate effectively. Let me know if you disagree …
- Failure – The willingness and ability to fail repeatedly is an odd one but I really believe it. I was talking to Ben last night and he was telling us about a talk he gave at a school where he said it was one of the most important things to learn. Ben is an engineer and inventor but I think it applies to everything. See projects as experiments, not pass or fail, and you will have a much better time.
- Stamina and staying power – A lot of people give up too soon. Seth Godin calls it “The Dip”. When it gets difficult is often right before you succeed. Of course, you also need to know when to give up. Know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em, as the song goes.
OK, that was my list, what do you think?
What skills do you need to succeed today?
Please share in the comments …