Self taught or formal education?

19 replies
Hey WF! I'm new here and to marketing period. I think I've fallen in love with the the digital marketing (affiliate) concept but still have some questions. I have been reading tons of books, watching videos and searching the web but still feel a bit confused (or maybe overwhelmed). So my first post/question is how many of you have gone through formal university training for marketing and/or self taught through books, mentors or online courses? Do you feel there are any benefits to one over the other? When you were a noob trying to learn where to start, what helped you most? Any books, programs or even formal education do you recommend? Any and all guidance and opinions are greatly appreciated.
#education #formal #taught
  • Profile picture of the author MValmont
    All the people that I know that went through formal education in online marketing don't know shit about making money online.

    Honestly. On top of that, they are all really cocky and think they are expert but they are not. They are literally making ZERO.

    Believe it or not I learned most of what I know here on the Warrior Forum, in the WSO section. There are a lot of good products out there.

    I also learned by doing and asking questions here, by reading threads.

    Basically, just listen to people who are making money online and you will do good.
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    • Profile picture of the author Aperez626
      Thanks for replying. What mentors do you recommend for actual action plan style learning?
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  • Profile picture of the author LocalSEOTwins
    I was self taught and even though I have a computer engineering degree that didn't play a role in my online marketing success. If you work hard you can have anything you want.
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Meaney
    A lot of questions there.. but to answer your first.. I'm self taught.. with the occasional person giving me inspiration along the way.
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  • Profile picture of the author Tom Addams
    Disease.

    There is a disease in the online marketing industry. I'd be happy to tell you about it . . .

    Picture the scene. You have a marketer, we'll call him (randomly) John, and John has written an eBook, priced at $27, that describes a system that supposedly led him to earn $500 a day from Instagram. We all picturing the scene? The eBook has a lovely cover, clearly a professional design, and as we begin to do our due dilligence, first reading the sales copy, going on to pour over the testimonials, perhaps finishing up with the odd Google search (of his product, followed by the word "review), we feel quite capable of making a sensible purchase decision. Don't we? Well, let's the both of us decide.

    The headline of the sales copy reads as follows:

    Listen up. This system is SO SIMPLE anyone, and I mean ANYONE, CAN DO IT. Dumb as a bar of soap? Come from Manchester? Recently lost your prefrontal lobe in a game of tiddlywinks? I say again - LISTEN UP. You Listening? Any sodding idiot - yes, EVEN YOU! - can do this. What the hell ya waiting for? BUY BUY BUY!

    How could we not buy it? I know, I know. So, the disease. John has just spent minutes upon minutes upon minutes, tirelessly toiling away on his grand opus, and let us not forget the investment not just of time and effort but of (I'm rubbing my fingers together for emphasis) money. The snazzy cover design. The listing fees. The processing fees. In sum - likely a great deal of advertising fees. Money. The disease is this: John feels that he must make his eBook available to the widest possible audience in order to maximize his returns. Makes sense? Well, I suppose in an utterly horrid way, yes I suppose it does. But ethical? Right? Not - so much. And of course I'm understating, because it really is very horrid, and it really is very wrong, and yet (as tends to happen with diseases) it really does happen a lot, and if we look around the industry, it really does pass from one marketer to the next.

    So. Point, Tom, point. Point is this: IM is hard. And you know what makes it harder still? It is paradoxically hard. (I'll explain.) To become very good at IM, you need to master quite a few different discliplines, and quite of few of those are rather complex (such as the English language), and yet when you have mastered enough, of the right collection, IM can often become very easy indeed. And that is the paradox, and I think the germ that spreads the mentioned disease. Yes, indeed, for some people (like myself) IM is very easy. Not all IM of course. But, yes, IM does become easy, earning money becomes easy, and doing a number of other things, yes, yes, it does become easy. But. Easy for you? Easy for the eBook buyer? At a guess - 9 times out of 10, I would say no. Even the simple systems, you see, often (I want to say always) require a great deal of knowledge as a foundation for you to be capable of running those systems. And the disease is not just limited to eBooks. Open your eyes. Look around. Clickety-click-click-click. This is a virulent disease, present on blogs, on courses, on squeeze pages, even in forum signatures. Boy oh boy - some bright spark really should make a digital condom. Ah. I even have the slogan.

    Strap it on! Don't be conned!


    If anyone ever tells you different? Assume they're trying to sell you an eBook about Instagram . . .

    Light.

    All a bit doom and gloom the above, isn't it? Looks like you're buggered, really, doesn't it? Better push off then. Ba-bye. Don't let the door hit your bottom on the way out. So long! Thanks for all the fish!

    Wait. As Willy Wonka would say: reverse that. The above is very far from doom and gloom, because if the above is all entirely new to you, good news, your Uncle Tom has just saved you a pile of money, a pile of time, and (sorry about this; I suppoose there is some doom and gloom) all the fun you might have had writing emails to that useless bugger John, calling him all the colourful expressions under the sun, making quite inventive suggestions for ways that his mother might occupy herself, and - well - moving on.

    The good news.
    • A university education in any field, marketing or otherwise, is not required.
    • A great deal of the information you need to learn is freely available, and certainly enough to help you to earn very well indeed.
    • IM is hard, yes, but IM is not - not, not, not - sodding rocket science. Anyone tells you different - again, trying to sell you something.
    • IM is replete with thriving IM communities, and while the vast majority of people in those communities has not a sodding clue what they're doing, enough people do, and most of them are quite helpful and free with their time.
    • IM is also replete with a great many Johns. You know, if you're ever in need of a laugh . . .
    I come from a privileged background. Went to the right schools. The right universities. And, despite words to the contrary above, I would not trade my time in those institutions for anything. No, not even for a dozen donuts. (Two dozen, maybe.) I believe those places helped me. In fact - scratch that - I know they helped me. But are they required? Will you need to take the same path yourself to better me? No, and no.

    In 22 years (almost) I've seen all manner of people come and go. (You can probably imagine.) I've seen big mouths using their big mouths one month, never to be seen again. I've seen quiet and unassuming chaps (and chapesses) listen and learn and work hard and go on to dominate an industry. Seen all kinds; tons more I could mention and bore you (and me) with. But, when I consider who has made it, it is always the very same person, really. That person is smart enough to meet the challenge of IM, and smart enough to know a challenge exists, and hard working enough to succeed. It does not matter if you're poor. The colour of your skin makes not one iota of difference. Your background, your education. If you're smart enough and work hard, you have a chance at being that person. I once wrote a post on this subject, 10 reasons to quit IM, and here are the reasons:

    1. You're Lazy
    2. You expect fast returns.
    3. You expect easy returns.
    4. You're a poor communicator.
    5. You have an inability to adapt to change.
    6. You dislike education.
    7. You believe you can make money without first spending some.
    8. You have a below-average IQ.
    9. You lack passion.
    10. You lack belief in yourself, and in others.

    I could have summed up the above much better, though, by writing about 2 reasons to try IM:

    1. You're smart enough.
    2. You're going to work hard.

    How.

    I've bored you far too much already, but just let me finish off by explaining (in brief) how I made it. I think I was designed for IM from birth. And that helps. When I encountered IM, I knew zilch, but I was lucky enough to fall in with the right group of people, and Lord knows why, they decided to take me under their wing. Years of learning and doing and lost weekends and 18 hour work days (and much more I could mention) later, and here I am.

    You need to enter IM and think to yourself: I'm in this for the long haul. To think otherwise, to base your hopes and dreams on John, well . . . leave now.

    - Tom
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    • Profile picture of the author Steve B
      Originally Posted by Tom Addams View Post

      1. You're Lazy
      2. You expect fast returns.
      3. You expect easy returns.
      4. You're a poor communicator.
      5. You have an inability to adapt to change.
      6. You dislike education.
      7. You believe you can make money without first spending some.
      8. You have a below-average IQ.
      9. You lack passion.
      10. You lack belief in yourself, and in others.

      Tom,

      The sad thing is . . . Internet marketers are mostly to blame for purposefully marketing to the "lazy side" of people . . . the "no work big profits anyway" dream of easy and sure wealth for anyone that buys their money-making opportunities, products and services.

      We have met the enemy and they are us.

      Internet marketing is especially attractive to people on your list who are least suited to becoming business owners.

      Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author trobo
    Count me as one of the self taught.

    One thing you have to keep in mind is that things change very quickly in this industry. What worked two years ago might not work today.

    Chances are, a big university would not have time to keep up with the changes and update their curriculum accordingly. By the time a student graduated, half of what they learned would likely be obsolete.

    This is just one of the few reasons why I believe being self taught, and also learning from those that have actually done what they teach - is just about the only way to learn internet marketing successfully.
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  • Profile picture of the author Isaiah Nixon
    I'd go with self education. It helps your adaptability and you're able to make things work in a particular way that suits you.
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  • Profile picture of the author MartinaK
    Hi,

    I have always admired successful people and human at the same time. I have been so lucky that I found them and they teach me step by step exactly what to do. They teach me not only about online business but also how to become that person I want to be to achieve everything I want.
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Meaney
    Originally Posted by Aperez626 View Post

    H Any and all guidance and opinions are greatly appreciated.
    It's easier to tell you what to avoid..

    When people proclaim to be experts.. or present themselves as ones.. yet have little to prove it.

    You see it all the time.. the ones who run blogs where nobody comments.. who have no social presence.. etc..

    Basically, the ones who don't have the skills to even market their own projects properly, yet spend their days giving 'advice' to people on forums.

    Take all advice with a pinch of salt.
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  • Profile picture of the author go4wardnow
    It's been my experience that following Marketers who offer value is key.

    I am subscribed to many lists, and many of those lists offer only pitch after pitch for a new product. Now don't get me wrong here...sometimes these suggestions by marketers are good products. I've purchased many products through promotions of these and learned a great deal. However, some people abuse their subscribers and never offer value. Just be aware.

    The Key is that You have to take Action on methods that you are exposed to! Find a method that you have interest in and start implementing! Don't buy another product unless it is related to one that you are implementing. Keep on keeping on until you see some results. Jumping from method to method will cripple you!

    For me, Video Marketing was very interesting. I found a way to have an impact in a local business market, and then continued building my business beyond.

    Stay focused and you will find success!
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  • Profile picture of the author aizaku
    let your mistakes answer your questions...



    yup, i bring with me a barrel of cliches...

    but it's true,, stop looking outside in and get your feet wet...

    -Ike Paz
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  • Profile picture of the author ChrisBa
    Originally Posted by Aperez626 View Post

    Hey WF! I'm new here and to marketing period. I think I've fallen in love with the the digital marketing (affiliate) concept but still have some questions. I have been reading tons of books, watching videos and searching the web but still feel a bit confused (or maybe overwhelmed). So my first post/question is how many of you have gone through formal university training for marketing and/or self taught through books, mentors or online courses? Do you feel there are any benefits to one over the other? When you were a noob trying to learn where to start, what helped you most? Any books, programs or even formal education do you recommend? Any and all guidance and opinions are greatly appreciated.
    The biggest advantage of training is it saves you lots of time.
    It can also save you money in the long run (less trial and error and you can learn from others mistakes. )
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  • Profile picture of the author Edwin Torres
    I don't think you need a formal education to get good at marketing and make money online. Barely any of the big-time gurus like Frank Kern or Ryan Deiss have an MBA and got all their marketing knowledge from trial and error, reading tons of books, and going through a bunch of marketing courses.

    What you'll learn in college is mainly theory and not really from people who have their own businesses.
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  • Profile picture of the author st0nec0ld
    I pursue SEO before, like you I feel like reading blogs, ebooks and watching videos aren't enough. So, I decided to enroll myself on a crash course in a known university here in our country; to also have some people around me that are familiar with it (you know SEO is not that popular to people). After that, I still feel like I didn't learn that much. Fortunately, someone gave me an opportunity and there I was able to understand deeply how SEO works. I think it is more about having a basic knowledge about something and at the same time a hands on experience where you can apply your knowledge.
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  • @ aperez626 , You caught on to a nice path of asking 'why?' , 'why not?' and 'how'?. Which is a good start for self learning.

    This only indicate that you don't need formal degree but on the way you will learn better than the degree if you keep the 'fire' up always.

    One more point is "selling" is one of the basic attribute of every human being survival.

    By taking education you can only learn few 'new terminology / invention of sale' but the bottom line is still selling. So its up to you to realize where you want to stand and start now, tomorrow , month later, year later or decade.

    Best wishes.
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  • Profile picture of the author megalinktraffic
    you can learn a lot being a member here and participating in discussions as you had indicated its the love which brings forth success.. and a small suggestion is that become a war room member sooner and you cannot afford not to be success anymore..
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  • Profile picture of the author DIABL0
    I'm 95% self taught. The other 5% comes from making connections with other marketers that do what I do and and getting info from them. So that I didn't have to go figure it out through trial and error.

    By no means do you need a formal education to do IM. I doubt there are any college classes that would even teach you what you need to know to do it
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  • Profile picture of the author DenEdBiz
    Definitely self educating is the way to go, especially when it comes to Internet Marketing. If you take a business admin class at College, I would pretty much guarantee you the bulk of it will be useless with zero crossover whatsoever.

    My advice to the newb just starting out would be to just dive right on it and learn as you go. That's what I did at least.
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