I attended a networking session a week ago at a co-working networking event in Singapore. I went in with some fears. I knew that digital marketing in Singapore had a bad reputation in amongst start ups and entrepreneurs.
If you asked me what I did 1 year a go, I would simply say, I provide SEO as a service to small medium enterprises in Singapore.
However, many business owners and people (strangers mostly) have feedbacks and said:
- You mean you’re scamming people?
- Is SEO a scam?
This is because of the black sheep in the industry. You can read about online marketing scams article I wrote awhile back.
This is why I hate to say: I am in digital marketing. Or I provide ‘SEO consulting’. It almost always seems like I’m a snake oil salesman.
With that being said, I sat down with a friend over drinks and we discussed about entrepreneurship. Both of us were in our twenties. Both of us didn’t have rich parents or rich friends to fund our projects. However, both of us had a blazing desire to be entrepreneurial for the independence.
I told him blankly: the majority of people and business owners don’t appreciate the power of digital marketing. Just take a look at Google and Facebook advertising revenues. They are billion dollar companies in their own right.
This is why it was so frustrating as someone who sees the potential in digital marketing, and be in an industry that’s extremely cynical to the true value of such skillsets.
With all being said. If you’re looking to be an entrepreneur, here are the 3 skillsets I recommend you to pick up. All of them do not require any form of formal education.
3 Entrepreneurial Skillsets to Pick Up in Your Twenties
- The ability to read basic financial reports
First, you must have basic accounting knowledge.
This not only helps if you’re looking to start portfolio as a retail investor, this will also help you understand where the money is being spent/ invested on in your own company.
You can pick up basic accounting books in the libary. It’s not as complicated as you think.
- The ability to negotiate and persuade
Secondly, you’ll need the ability to negotiate and persuade in person, which requires social skills. You’ll also need the ability to persuade, online. This requires copywriting skillsets. This is why I often stress to my clients and students: SEO rankings isn’t enough. You need to be able to convert the traffic into hungry buyers.
- The ability to launch and test your products without rent or high costs
In most businesses, start up costs almost kills everything.
When I bought my first domain name, I operated my first website with no office out of a four room HDB flat. I kept everything lost cost. When I was a freelancing as an SEO consultant, I registered a sole proprietorship which was the cheapest form of legal structure. I used my direct phone line to contact clients and my home as office address.
Okay, aside from keeping your start up costs low. There’s another magic concept. It’s called frontloading your work. You must be able to validate and test out your products at low cost. This means doing your customer research, securing paid contracts far before hand, and planning out a 6 months marketing campaign.
Execution wise, you’ll require a website, digital marketing skillsets, and you’re good to go. You’re able to run operations that are extremely low cost.
This was why I invested 5 figures into SEO courses and digital marketing mentors. I knew the potential of digital marketing. I was determined to figure this out.
To further break this down. There are many types of digital marketing skillsets to get good at.
You can get good at:
- Google marketing, mainly content marketing, search engine optimization or pay per click
- Copywriting, how to write persuasively to get your audience to purchase/ trigger an action
- Facebook marketing, how to drive paid traffic from Facebook to your site
I personally ignore all other forms of marketing: LinkedIn Marketing, Instagram Marketing because I’ll like to dive deep into the major marketing channels, namely Google and Facebook.
These skillsets, even though they’ll take time, effort and money upfront to get good at, will pay huge dividends later in your entrepreneurial process.
Ultimately, these forms of skillsets do not require huge huge capital cost or investment, hence, you should good get at them in your 20s.