Can you be an expert in everything

by Alex Stone 24 replies
I've been successful in the Internet Marketing world and have been asking myself this questions lately.

"Can I be an expert in all aspects of Internet Marketing"?

The amount of knowledge required to be successful in this business can be overwhelming sometimes. If you are doing it all yourself, you need to be an expert in:

1. Website design
2. Theme usage (If you are one wordpress, using OptimizePress, Elegant Themes or whatever theme you use. If you are not using wordpress, there is a whole other level of knowledge required!)
3. Graphic design
4. Video production and design
5. eMail marketing
6. Landing page optimization/conversion (split testing)
7. Adwords expertise
8. On page and off-page SEO (This are alone is a HUGE amount of knowledge)
9. Google Analytics (or other analytics software)
10. Content writing including blog posts, website content and article writing.
11. Keyword research
12. Content creation (eBook, something to sell)
13. Product creation
14. JV parnerships
15. Navigating different websites (Clickbank, Majestic SEO, Warrior Forum, etc...)
16. Knowing what products to sell or promote that will convert and be profitable

One of the biggest hurdles is figuring out how to separate all the NOISE from what information is important. It's easy to get lost in the process.

So my questions are:

1. Is there anyone doing it ALL by themselves and are making it successful?

2. What parts of this are being outsourced, what parts should never be outsourced?

3. Is there something that should be added to the list?

Alex
#main internet marketing discussion forum #expert
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  • Profile picture of the author Rose Anderson
    Personally, it's not cost effective for me to try and become an expert in everything. I love to write but I'm not a techy person. I'd rather make money writing and outsource building websites. In the time it took me to learn how to build a website and then do so; I could have made far more money writing then I paid the tech person. Plus, my frustration level would be through the roof.

    However, it's a good idea to have general knowledge of all aspects so you know that the person you're hiring is doing a good job. But that's not the same as becoming an "expert".

    I guess my philosophy is play to your strengths instead of your weaknesses.

    Rose
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    • Profile picture of the author HeySal
      Originally Posted by Rose Anderson View Post

      Personally, it's not cost effective for me to try and become an expert in everything. I love to write but I'm not a techy person. I'd rather make money writing and outsource building websites. In the time it took me to learn how to build a website and then do so; I could have made far more money writing then I paid the tech person. Plus, my frustration level would be through the roof.

      However, it's a good idea to have general knowledge of all aspects so you know that the person you're hiring is doing a good job. But that's not the same as becoming an "expert".

      I guess my philosophy is play to your strengths instead of your weaknesses.

      Rose
      I'm a writer, too - and am a severe research addict. Those are what I am expert in, and actually love to do. I could probably learn to do the technical ends. I HATE marketing. I'll write my point of view (articles, yadda yadda), and I'll design an ad.

      Don't stretch me further than that though, because I didn't get online to do what I have not one whit of interest in doing. There's outsourcing and JVing to take care of the ends of business that I have no intentions of having to deal with.

      The question of how much can you load onto yourself before you break isn't really what I consider a valid question. The valid question to me is whether you can make money doing what really gets your nose open and makes life a gas for you without having to put up with the crap ends that make you want to sit in a corner and drool.
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  • Profile picture of the author laurencewins
    Do what you know best and outsource what you don't know because it's generally more cost effective. However, finding the right people to help you can be hard so once you do, hold onto them as they are treasures.
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  • Profile picture of the author martimoney
    Good advice Rose. I'm a type A personality and have serious control issues : ). I've spent the past couple of years learning how to do most of that list above, all though I wouldn't consider myself an expert in all of them.

    Today I outsource the parts of my business which don't involve any contact with my customers. I still want control over the emails I send to my list, the customer service aspects, the content I put on my sites, the products I sell, etc. This is because I'm constantly trying to build relationships and won't trust anyone else to do this for me.

    Now I know my business growth has suffered because o these choices but I can live with that. Basically I outsource traffic generation activities and some website design work. At times I will outsource copy work but have also studied copy more than any other skill the past two years and feel this has become a strength of mine.

    I don't think it is possible to do it all. If you're highly organized and type A you can do a lot of these steps. Scaling up my business is a goal for me the second half of 2013. The only way I can make this happen is to bring on outsourcing (employees). I've been researching this concept the last few months and will look to increase this in my business soon.
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    • Profile picture of the author Sinistar
      OP,

      You forgot Facebook Ads, Media Buys, PPV advertising, Social Media fan pages, and well...the list goes on and on.

      It's defintely not worth it to try to master it all. In fact, I have to tell myself this every day because I too want to be able to do everything. The fact is, there just isn't enough time in the day to keep up with all the trends or to master every traffic source available.

      Like the saying goes, "A jack of all trades is a master of none."
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  • Profile picture of the author yestyle
    Banned
    Can not be expert in all things you showed above but may be good at all those factors. In 16 things you shared, I did 15 and got successes from them.
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  • Profile picture of the author JohnZ
    There are so many different things that go into running an online business and I want no part of most of them personally...just a general knowledge so I have some idea what's going on but sticking to what one enjoys the most and finding others to help with the rest would make life much more enjoyable in my opinion...not to mention most efficient!

    John
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  • Profile picture of the author Devin X
    Banned
    You need to be proficient in all those things, but by science, you don't need to have expertise in them. There's a little thing called outsourcing, or employing, and it can do wonders for you...especially in areas that you're not proficient in. It's like that old saying...something like, "people with skills work for people with ideas." But yes, on that note, too many people have zero skills and think they can make millions.
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  • Profile picture of the author prem khaira
    Banned
    It's a PLUS to have those skills. Most definitely!

    I started off 2 years ago knowing nothing. Now i'm quite good at every mentioned above except point 7 and 14, which i will soon find some time to understand and implement.

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  • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
    Banned
    Originally Posted by Alex Stone View Post

    Can you be an expert in everything
    No.

    But one way or another, you have to learn enough and develop enough judgement to be able to make two sets of decisions ...

    (i) In which skill-areas to acquire real expertise yourself, and ...

    (ii) Which people in the other areas really are experts, on whose skills/opinions/information you should rely.

    It seems to me that for most people, their ability to do that is a primary determinant of "success". Outsourcing is a far from trivial matter - it's a specific skill set all of its own.

    It also seems to me (and here I'm in a very small minority indeed, especially in the Warrior Forum, where it's a really unpopular thing to say) that people with extensive experience of formal, academic education (regardless of subject) are typically far better placed to do this than others.

    Originally Posted by Alex Stone View Post

    1. Is there anyone doing it ALL by themselves and are making it successful?
    I don't know. I'm not. It was difficult for me to delegate/outsource and it took me a lot longer than it would have taken most people with my business, because I don't trust people easily and hate being dependent on others; but eventually I "got there", as I had to, and I now employ two full-time VA's with quite an impressive range of skills between them (and I do some other outsourcing, too).

    Of course, it's much easier to outsource things you do know how to do yourself than things you don't know how to do.

    Originally Posted by Alex Stone View Post

    2. What parts of this are being outsourced, what parts should never be outsourced?
    This depends on a huge number of variables, including the person, their existing skills, their learning skills, the availability of reliable outsourcees, and the nature of the business itself.

    Originally Posted by Alex Stone View Post

    3. Is there something that should be added to the list?
    See the answer just above.
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  • Profile picture of the author sscot
    "How to manage things you have to do as Internet marketer" <- Be expert only with this.
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  • Profile picture of the author Shenpen
    Originally Posted by Alex Stone View Post


    1. Website design
    2. Theme usage (If you are one wordpress, using OptimizePress, Elegant Themes or whatever theme you use. If you are not using wordpress, there is a whole other level of knowledge required!)
    3. Graphic design
    4. Video production and design
    5. eMail marketing
    6. Landing page optimization/conversion (split testing)
    7. Adwords expertise
    8. On page and off-page SEO (This are alone is a HUGE amount of knowledge)
    9. Google Analytics (or other analytics software)
    10. Content writing including blog posts, website content and article writing.
    11. Keyword research
    12. Content creation (eBook, something to sell)
    13. Product creation
    14. JV parnerships
    15. Navigating different websites (Clickbank, Majestic SEO, Warrior Forum, etc...)
    16. Knowing what products to sell or promote that will convert and be profitable

    ...
    1. Is there anyone doing it ALL by themselves and are making it successful?

    2. What parts of this are being outsourced, what parts should never be outsourced?

    3. Is there something that should be added to the list?
    I do B2B and for that you need most of the above.

    1. Going through your list im still no expert on Adwords, eBooks and JV. The rest is down to a usefull level or better.

    2. Off page SEO is really simple and could be done by someone else. Also you probably need more software to do it yourself than you have.

    You can outsource most if you can find cheap and reliable sources. But its good to know how its done and what you need.

    3. I would add cold calling skills as essential and depending on what you sell, actual sales skills. Like in how to do a complex sale with a company, including writing proposals, programs and presentation. Plus actual presentation skills.

    On top of that is knowing what a company actually needs and ability to deliver.

    I should add while it could seem a tall order, most of the items are related and your learning will flow smoothly from one area to the next.
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  • You don't need to be an expert in everything. In fact, I've seen some people get things wrong and they were still successful because they either got enough things right, or did one or two things that much better than the competition.

    Plus you can outsource what you don't know. Leave those tasks to the people that do them all the time.
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  • Profile picture of the author NewRiseDigital
    It's good to have an understanding of all aspects of your business, so that you can explain to others what you need when you outsource, and also to evaluate whether they've done the job correctly.

    Definitely play to your strengths, and if you don't know what your strengths are then I'd recommend buying a copy of the book Strengthfinder 2.0 from Amazon, it has some great tests and insights that will reveal what areas you should be focusing on and which you should be leaving to others to help you with.
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    • Profile picture of the author Shenpen
      It should also be mentioned that while you can see that list as 16 separate items it not really like that in reality. Market research and/or keyword research is needed for any writing (if writing is a business project at least). I learned my graphics skills from doing video editing (I still use after effects instead of photoshop ). Adwords and keywords are not really that different. And being a dick will screw up your costumer relationships, sales and any JV equally.

      All of it might seem a bit overwhelming if you are used to doing some specialized work only. But its really not that complicated when you get used to it.

      Also: If you dont want to live outside mainstream civilization you will have to learn most of it anyway, as these skills will be more and more mainstream as time goes.
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  • Profile picture of the author Craig Paulson
    Originally Posted by Alex Stone View Post

    I've been successful in the Internet Marketing world and have been asking myself this questions lately.

    "Can I be an expert in all aspects of Internet Marketing"?
    Not in my opinion. And why would you even want to? I've been in the info marketing business literally since 1981 (white papers, VHS tapes and yes, Betamax delivery). Things were simple back then.

    There's just too much to know today to handle it all yourself. I'm good at big picture planning and marketing stuff. Everything else gets delegated to fully vetted outsourcers or employees.

    I think the biggest secret is knowing what 2 or 3 things you're good at and becoming world class at them.
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  • Profile picture of the author Moneymaker2012
    Very easily,
    I am doing website design, seo, graphic design, logo design, affiliate marketing. And everything mentioned above is going very good so far. What it needs to be perfect is my time and devotion.
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    • Profile picture of the author Andyhenry
      Originally Posted by Moneymaker2012 View Post

      Very easily,
      I am doing website design, seo, graphic design, logo design, affiliate marketing. And everything mentioned above is going very good so far. What it needs to be perfect is my time and devotion.
      And THAT is where you will come unstuck.

      Sure anyone can learn to do all things - but you are only human and have only 24 hours in a day.

      If you choose to do everything - you will not have time for a life.

      Do not make the mistake of starting out thinking that doing it all yourself is a good end goal.....

      The most powerful word in IM is ----- L E V E R A G E
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      nothing to see here.

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  • Profile picture of the author Jarrett
    Banned
    you don't need to be an expert at anything.
    just get really good at emailing the guys who are experts and paying them the money to do their expert stuff ;0

    seriously bro.. you've got a choice right now to make... so choose wisely..

    Do you want to work your ass off, bang your head against the wall, live in frustration, do stuff you hate doing, be filled with pain and agony all the days of your life? And try to do EVERYTHING yourself?

    great. you may make nothing, or a little bit of money, or at max 6 figures...

    Want to make 7 figures?
    Pick 1 area that you enjoy doing.. focus on that alone.. and get people to do the rest..

    Want to make 8 figures?
    Do nothing. lol. what I mean is.. the secret to 8 figures is to take yourself out of the picture more and more.. completely take YOURSELF out of the picture... replace yourself.. surround yourself with guys who are the best at what they do and let them do it.. and just pay them whatever it takes.

    So which will you choose?
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  • Profile picture of the author USA
    The short answer is, no.

    But... you must have a working knowledge of everything that you delegate or outsource to others. At least enough to manage deadlines and quality control.

    You must also understand how all of these different skills and disciplines work together as a whole in the overall scheme of things.

    Ultimately, you should strive to be the owner of your business, not the operator. Hire someone else to do those things. Every single thing you do to further your business should be with this objective in mind.

    For the small business, or sole proprietor, focus on what you're best at, and outsource the rest. The cost of paying an expert far out weights the costs of making mistakes, losing clients, and the time wasted on the learning curve, etc.

    A jack of all trades and master of none will rarely excel in any one endeavor.
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  • Profile picture of the author isadoregregory
    you know the old phrase "jack of all trades, master of none"? i think it applies. it will be rather hard to master something if you are learning to do a lot of other things at the same time. and who says it is a requirement, right? more than being an expert, i think knowing enough of a number of relevant things is so much more ideal.
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      The bad news is that, no, you can't be an expert at everything. At least not for long.

      The good news is, you don't have to be. Even if you insist on doing everything yourself, either through economic necessity or an overactive inner control freak, there are things where you only have to be "good enough to get by".

      For example, I'm far from an expert at php programming. But I am good enough to take a publicly available script and hack it to suit my purposes. I don't have to write the code, I just need to be able to figure out which things to change. And I can find plenty of solid references online to help. I'm also good enough to, as Dirty Harry Callahan liked to say, know my limitations.

      Add that to Alexa's fine take on the subject above, and you are set up for success...
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  • Profile picture of the author WillR
    Originally Posted by Alex Stone View Post

    The amount of knowledge required to be successful in this business can be overwhelming sometimes. If you are doing it all yourself, you need to be an expert in:
    I don't agree. You don't need to be an expert in things to be able to do them satisfactorily. I'm no HTML expert but I know how to do simple edits of HTML pages so I don't need to rely on someone else everytime I need to make a simple change. I'm no graphics expert but I know enough to create simple sales pages and most graphics I ever need so I don't need to rely on someone else.

    So don't worry about becoming an expert in things. Just pick up the skills you need as you go along.

    I actually think there are far too many people in this industry nowadays who rely too much on other people to do even the simplest tasks in their business. The amount of people I come across who don't know how to do simple things such as FTP files to a web server amazes me.

    I'm all for smart outsourcing and it's definitely a good idea in many circumstances but I am also a big believer that you should know how to do simple tasks such as FTP, simple HTML code edits, etc. If you always have to rely on others for simple tasks like that then it slows down your progress big time.
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  • Profile picture of the author GoldPro
    Typically, when you create something yourself, you'll develop all those skills anyways. You don't have to focus on becoming an expert in every single topic. Just go out there and bring your idea out into the world; the skills will develop as a by-effect.
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