I recently partook in a discussion among some fellow community managers on the best ways to learn about the industry and how to train its future generations. When the conversation reached the point where we all shared the “training” we went through ourselves, the answers began getting interesting.
“I studied marketing in college.”
“I studied communications and the art of rhetoric.”
“The job I’ve had that contributed most to the development of my community management skills was being a community manager.”
“My social life and interactions with others have been one of the biggest contributors to my professional skill set.”
It’s no secret that there just isn’t a degree to be earned in social media or community management. In fact, I graduated college one short year ago, and never even knew that this extensive professional field existed until I was thrown into it.
The reality is, this isn’t only the case for community management. It’s the case for SEO. It’s the case for entrepreneurship. It’s the case for social advertising and Internet marketing. We’re living in the transition phase from analog to digital; from broadcasting to social conversing.
How, then, can we find the proper education and training to become experts in these fields? Though there’s not one training program fit for everyone, there is one thing we can all do: learn how to learn.
Following this conversation, I was inspired to start a new journey for myself: I’m going to learn to learn. Whether this means learning how to learn or learning for the sake of learning I’m not sure. Maybe it’s both. What I do know is that both of those goals are extremely important today and I’m sure there will be great value to be found in the process.
Step 1: Get a Notebook. Or Three.
Call me old fashioned, but I love to write things down. There’s a mental reaction in our brains when we write things down with a pen that simply can’t happen from typing things out. It helps us better process information and remember it, and makes it easier to go back and reference.
What’s my “notebook strategy,” you may ask?
-One large legal pad for outlining tactical things I learn and can put to use immediately.
-One smaller notebook for To-Do lists and short-form notes.
-And, most importantly, one pocket-sized notebook that can be taken anywhere and everywhere, because you never know who you’re going to talk to. This notebook is already halfway filled with random tidbits, names of authors to explore, short pieces of advice, etc.
In the coming weeks (months, even), I hope to go through at least five or six rounds of these notebooks as I continue my mission to learn to learn.
Until next week! If you could learn about anything, what would it be? Let me know in the comments.