In this digital age, we have an abundance of tools available to facilitate all kinds of tasks and functions. Because of this, it has now become essential for professionals such as marketers to expand their roles and become independent in their line of work. This is important because not only is this an expectation from most organizations nowadays but because it helps you grow and stay relevant as a marketer too.
Read on ahead to learn more about what steps you can take to expand your role as a marketer.
Why is it important to become self-sufficient?
We mentioned earlier how it has become necessary for marketers to take more things into their own hands to stay productive. But what exactly has changed in the last decade that has made becoming self-sufficient so important? Here are some factors:
- If you are working at a startup, it is somewhat of an unspoken agreement that employees will be taking on multiple roles. Startups are very fast-paced and have limited resources, which is why employees working in a startup are expected to multi-task and do much more than performing their core job function. For marketers, this means that you will have to spend time doing some graphic design and customer support – two supporting areas that are most relevant to a marketer’s role.
- Becoming independent helps you greatly speed up your work, especially if you have dependencies on others for your marketing material. For instance, if you are understaffed or don’t have graphic designers on your team, you can save time by preparing your own design content rather than having to wait for someone to get free and help you out.
- The availability of self-service, intelligent tools allows you to do things that are outside your area of specialty without having to go through a steep learning curve. For example, there are customer support tools out there such as Freshdesk that lets you automate support processes and create intelligent bots for answering customer queries. Similar tools exist for graphic design, sales, and other business functions that marketers can use to take more things into their own hands.
Why should you learn graphic design as a marketer?
As a first step towards becoming autonomous, our recommendation to marketers is to learn graphic design. Why? Because design is everywhere in marketing.
From social media to communication with design teams, good design is a key ingredient in marketing that directly affects how and what customers think about you and your business.
Here are all the areas where learning design can be helpful for marketers:
- Social media: Social media is an integral part of digital marketing. Almost every business nowadays posts and markets itself through social media, and the visual element is key to running a social media campaign. Learning graphic design to your skillset can help you prepare eye-catching pictures and thumbnails that can boost engagement levels.
- Presentations: Whether it is internal meetings or customer-facing marketing campaigns, giving presentations is one of the key responsibilities of a marketer. When making a presentation, having some graphic design skills will help you add that wow factor to increase engagement and make you look more professional.
- Email marketing: No one reads long, text-filled emails anymore and to counter that, you need to convey your message in as few words as possible. We know that a picture is worth a thousand words, so why not take your email marketing to the next level by adding some nice graphics and visuals to drive conversion? Here’s a good example of email marketing from Sephora with the right balance of graphics and text:
- Communications with designers: Even if you take on additional design responsibilities, you will not be the replacement for a team of professional designers. There will often be a lot of projects where the design will be handled by designers. So, what good are design skills in such cases? Well, having some knowledge of graphic design can help you communicate your ideas and thoughts much more clearly to designers since you will be familiar with the terminology as well as the principles of good design.
This list is not complete in any way, of course. You can make use of graphic design to do a lot more than what we have listed here. But overall, there are many simpler design tasks that marketers can handle on their own; not just expanding their job role, but for improving their marketing material as well.
How can you take design into your own hands?
Let’s move on to how to actually get started with design as a marketer. Here are three effective steps that you can take to start out with graphic design:
- Watch graphic design tutorials and videos
The internet is full of learning opportunities and you will find countless online tutorials and courses on just about everything. Therefore, the first step that you can take towards design is to find some good design tutorials and courses that you like. This will help you develop an understanding of graphic design and how designers think and work.
If you are looking for a full-fledged design course, we recommend going through the options available on Udemy or Coursera, two of the most popular online course providers.
On the other hand, if you are looking for something smaller and quicker, we recommend watching this comprehensive graphic design tutorial series. This series covers how you can use PosterMyWall, a graphic design tool for marketers, to create stunning graphics and visuals. It covers all kinds of design topics (including how to prepare marketing designs) and is geared towards beginners who are looking to take the first step towards design.
- Find an online graphic tool you are comfortable with
Once you are familiar with the basics of graphic design, the next step is to get your hands dirty. For this, you need a good design tool that you can use to start creating your own marketing designs.
How to choose the right design tool? Here is a list of things that you should look for when choosing a design tool to work with:
- The tool should be simple and easy-to-use without much of a learning curve. You don’t want to be spending weeks and months just learning how to use the tool.
- There should be a variety of pre-built templates and graphics available that you can choose and customize. This is particularly helpful when you are learning how to design since you get inspiration and ideas from the templates and can quickly change them as per your requirements.
Our recommendation is to check out PosterMyWall, a design tool that was made with marketers in mind. It has a great variety of templates for social media posts, email marketing, blog headers, and other marketing material that you can use to start showing off your design skills.
Take full control of your marketing
Design skills can be the secret weapon in a marketer’s arsenal. It gives you the edge over other marketers and helps you become independent, taking full control over the marketing material that you work with. What’s important to know here is that you don’t need to have exceptional artistic skills to be successful at graphic design neither do you have to be an expert in computers and design tools. With graphic design tools such as PosterMyWall, taking design in your own hands is much simpler and easier than you think.