About a year ago I applied to Praxis. I had been following their team for over a year and found tremendous value in their blog posts and other material. After realising I had to get out of school teaching for the sake of my sanity I could not have wished for a better transition into the real working, learning and value creating world. Now heading into my eighth month of Praxis, I’ve been reflecting on the skills I’ve gained and how far I’ve come.
Curriculum and PDP Progress
One of the first things I learned was to setup a website using WordPress. I then got some basic HTML and CSS down for making necessary modifications to themes and templates. I went even a further into the technical side and figured out how to evaluate my own and other websites using Google Page Speed Insights and other webpage testing services and put that information into practice to make improvements.
Related to websites, another area I have managed to get a reasonable grip on is SEO. It’s both relevant to my work as well as future entrepreneurial interests (as well as this website itself). I now know about most of the relevant elements Google uses to determine search rank as well as bad practices that can result in search penalties, as well as how to use Yoast SEO to evaluate my keywords, meta tags and other aspects of each post.
I’ve created and used Facebook advertisements to specifically target niche markets. Unfortunately my project on this topic – selling t-shirt designs – was also a colossal failure. Whether I revisit t-shirt designs or something else next time, social media advertising will be something I return to, alter my approach and try to improve on in future.
Although others have said this about Praxis, it’s said often because it’s absolutely true. The network itself is incredibly valuable. Participants and staff post the most interesting and informative content I could hope for both on their own Facebook pages as well as in the Praxis group. This isn’t just limited to blog posts and articles either, I managed to snag 96% off a 40+ hour web development Udemy course recently (thanks for the heads up Zak!).
Progress on the job
Coincidentally, today is my 4 month anniversary since starting my internship/apprenticeship with my business partner – Practice Paradox, a business that teaches and provides marketing services to accountants.
Over the past few months I’ve learned, and continue to learn more about copy writing, creating sales pages, sales videos, email marketing campaigns and other content.
The major project I have spent the bulk of my time working on is the Modern Marketing ImpleMENTOR – a service that takes business owners through each and every step of the marketing process. I’ve created approximately 130 short guides to help teach business owners (or their marketing team) how to: define and document their strategy, build an online presence, produce and publish quality content, attract and target visitors, convert visitors into buyers, automate business processes, nurture subscriber lists, invite visitors to buy, close sales and maintain relationships with onboarding processes.
More specifically, I’ve learned how to think about marketing strategy. How to think about and target an audience as well as a host of ideas about how to speak to and connect with a target market. I’ve also gained an understanding of content marketing and how to use it to develop an online presence that will enable me to attract, connect with, provide value and sell to those within my tribe. This collectively provided a slightly more tangible foundation to what I got out of Ash Ambirge’s You Don’t Need a Job, You Need Guts (which I highly recommend to anyone with entrepreneurial aspirations).
Now that I have a better handle on the basic theory (and continue to learn more every day), I am working on putting the contents of the ImpleMENTOR into practice, producing sales pages, working on sales videos, email marketing campaigns and retargeting campaigns.
One of the most eye opening books I’ve learned from so far has to be Ryan Deiss’ Invisible Selling Machine (along with his website). This has been tremendously useful in conjunction with information from webinars and email campaigns from Yaro Starak, Daniel Levis and Chris Record around the topics of selling via email as well as producing sales and launch pages.
Another great book full of tangible advice has to be Jeff Walker’s Launch detailing his ‘Product Launch Formula‘. He explains the most effective, tried and tested practices and ideas around product launching using content marketing (primarily videos), coupled with effective emails to do the heavy lifting.
This is only the tip of the iceberg of what I’ve been up to over the past few months, more to come in a future post!