Leave a comment

The link is to a hard to read (easier if you have a Mac and can zoom in on the track pad) email screen capture that Craig Miller posted. It's actually great, simple, clear advice. Worth a quick read. Even more worth actually taking his advice and turning it into action.

  • CM

    Craig Miller

    almost 7 years ago #

    Here's the text of the email I sent. Had I known it would get shared, I probably wouldn't have just taken a screenshot.


    Sorry for the slow reply to your email. Here are my answers to your questions:

    > Can you take me through the marketing tools you use? And how do you use these tools?

    Data: Google Analytics, Google Keyword Tool Suggestion Tool, Excel, our internal reporting system
    Learning: Twitter (from others), Optimizely (from myself)

    My focus on Internet Marketing is by looking at numbers, and trying out a lot of stuff. Read: http://www.bvp.com/blog/bessemer-cloud-computing-law-7-online-salesmarketing-core-competency

    > What are some critical decisions you made early in your marketing career? Why was it critical?

    Never ever focus on your career. Focus on making the company you work for better. Read/watch: http://www.businessinsider.com/sheryl-sandbergs-full-hbs-speech-get-on-a-rocketship-whenever-you-get-the-chance-2012-5

    If you want to be a great marketer, focus on becoming a T-shaped marketer. Learn a bit of development, a bit of design, a bit of support, etc. Start your own business, if only to gain a better understanding of how all the dots connect together.

    > What would you suggest to gain marketing experience (e.g. landing page, a/b testing, email marketing) as quickly as possible while looking for a job?

    Start your own business. I did this in 1998 and taught myself SEO and AdWords. The costs are basically zero ($14 with Shopify), and then focus on making money. Throw as much spaghetti against the wall. See what sticks, then focus on that. Learn how to to make money for yourself. Then when you have trouble scaling that, join a company in that role and learn how that company scales. Eventually re-start your own business once you know how to scale.

    > What would be the top 3 advice for me to enter into the technology startup space in marketing? Please explain if necessary.

    Learn how to code. It’s a great way to organize your brain, and being able to speak to a developer in their own language will pay off in spades.

    Run your own business. If you can’t figure out how to make money yourself, why should any company expect that when they hire you that you will be able to make them any money?

    Learn things on your own. The best way to be amazing at something is to try things and fail millions of times. There’s really no instruction manual for any of this anymore. Lean to love trying things and ignore 'expert' advice (probably my best advice).

    > Do you know of any small technology companies looking to hire a marketer?

    Everyone is looking for marketers. But they are looking for someone to come in and be a needle mover. Learn to be a needle mover and you won’t need to look for a job.

    > Do you know any great marketers I should get in touch with?

    99% of the people you speak to will give you bad advice. This too could be terrible advice as I don’t know you at all. But if you were a young me, this is what I would advise you.

    > Look forward to reading your thoughts. :)

    Hope this helps.


    • TD

      Tiffany Dasilva

      almost 7 years ago #

      Eeep! So happy to this on here!

    • BH

      ben hoffman

      almost 7 years ago #

      @craigmillr you say 'learn how to code' .... do you consider this an essential step to becoming a marketer?

      what language is the most important for a marketer?

      • BD

        Brad Dubs

        over 6 years ago #

        Craig's answer may differ, but knowing your way around a basic front-end stack (HTML/CSS/Javascript) is what I've been told and started learning. So far, it's been pretty good advice, as most of what I touch is on the front-end and customer facing. These are the languages that you'll be operating in if you building on top of platform like Wordpress or Shopify too. Those languages also serve as foundational knowledge for common front-end frameworks (Angular.js, etc) and compilers (HAML, SCSS/Sass) used in larger web apps.

        As for the back-end, that kind of depends what you're building on top of. If your company/you use a Rails app you'd want to learn Ruby. If you're built on top of Wordpress, you'll want to learn PHP. If you're building an online store with Shopify, you don't need to know any back-end language, but knowing Liquid (their templating language will make your life much easier).

  • BP

    Brandon Pindulic

    almost 7 years ago #

    This is great advice.

    For awhile, when I was really just getting into this stuff, I pretty much did what the young marketer did in this scenario -- asked a bunch of people questions and tried to understand as much as I could.

    ..then, I smartened up a bit (or just was frustrated at my lack of progress) and started making money on my own.

    I figured companies would take 'small bets' on me w/ contract work, and it worked. Plus, I learned how to sell, communicate with clients, and get shit done <-- when someone's paying you, and expects results, it gets real and it kind of just clicks.

    I had previously run a business which helped me build these skills before, but it wasn't a digital business so aside from selling, I had to learn from scratch. So, I'd say starting an internet business would be ideal, but not 100% necessary.

    • TD

      Tiffany Dasilva

      almost 7 years ago #

      Yeah and it doesn't have to be a business that's going to make a ton of money. Just play around, guess the outcomes of different changes, test it and learn. My first "business" was created at 9 and I never cashed a check from it, but still use a lot of the basic stuff I learned then (talking to customers, testing different options, removing friction, SEO) to this day.

  • AM

    Adrien Montcoudiol

    almost 7 years ago #

    Great one, thanks for sharing!

    He's so right about starting your own business.