Who would you rather hire to work on a specialized project with you: a guru or a practitioner? It seems that many people want to hire someone who’s already done the same project before, someone how’s proven their skills in a particular area, and knows exactly what to do in every situation: someone who’s the “guru”.
Here’s the thing about gurus (and I say this with love): if you’re calling yourself one, then it’s unlikely that you are one. 🙂 So many people claim to be an expert in their particular field yet can easily be stumped by a new question, new idea, new strategy.
There’s an old saying which has been paraphrased by many people and I like how Tony Hsieh says it here:
I’ll never choose a guru over a practitioner.
With this idea in mind, I tend to prefer practitioners. You’ve likely heard people who are well educated in their fields say that they “practice” their work: doctors practice medicine, attorneys practice law. If they can practice such important work, why can’t you?
I encourage practicing marketing with every client I meet. Marketing encompasses so much more than just a new strategy on social media, a new way to organize your blog content, a new way to structure your newsletter or e-guide or website. Practicing marketing is about building on your prior knowledge in order to get better at what you do. It’s why you hire an expert to do your marketing for you and it’s why you’d be better served by working with someone who can teach you how to market your own business.
I practice marketing and I encourage you to do the same. Approach your marketing as if it were a conversation with your followers, with your subscribers, with your site visitors. Use your analytics features to see what’s pulling them to your site, what’s keeping them on your site, what’s inspired them to click your newsletter, to engage with your posts on social media. They’re telling you what they want, you just need to listen.
You’ll need to practice marketing to hear them.