By Neil Patel / Forbes.
Today’s entrepreneurship environment is…complicated. Never before have you had such an extensive array of methods, techniques, tactics, strategies, and ideas for growing your business.
The landscape is bewildering in its variety and astonishing in its complexity. And in this brave new world of entrepreneurial advancement, there are several crucial things you need to know and do.
I’m assuming you’ve read enough “essential skills of entrepreneurs” articles. These are the articles that tell you how important it is to make great decisions, mentor others, manage your time, and not get discouraged. Those are, of course, very important.
But what about the technical skills? Entrepreneurs need to possess the technical savvy to move their businesses forward in this digital age. Here are those skills.
1. Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)
Conversion rate optimization, or CRO, is the process of turning more website visitors into customers. The goal, basically, is more sales and revenue. The better your website can encourage users to take a specific action, the greater your business will grow.
Since the bulk of modern businesses do marketing online, this skill is one of the highest-ROI tactics in your marketing arsenal.
The full array of CRO tactics is complex, but the principles are easy to grasp. First, you must have a solid understanding of your customer. Second, you should be able to work with your existing data for some actionable tactics. Then, you run split tests to find out which variation converts more visitors.
From that point, you can interpret test results, make changes, and iterate even more tests.
2. Search engine optimization (SEO)
Far from being dead, SEO is alive and well and more important than ever.
It’s important because it’s easy to veer into one of two extremes. Extreme one is neglecting SEO. Some marketers think that ignoring SEO is the best approach because the algorithms are smart enough to figure out what your site is all about and how to get users to find it. This is incorrect, since targeting user intent and optimizing a site’s technical SEO are still crucial to online success.
The second extreme is doing SEO wrong. Old-school SEO tactics will put your website in the penalty box, preventing users from even being able to find your website.
Knowing the essentials of SEO and acting on them is integral to a modern business’s online success.
3. Content Marketing
Content marketing has been around for a long time, but it’s taken off in the last five years in ways that no one anticipated.
In a 1996 essay, Bill Gates wrote,
Content is king.
Little did he know how true these words would be.
Content marketing is a $200+ billion dollar industry, and growing. There are no signs of decline. For modern entrepreneurs to succeed, they must learn to embrace and advance this marketing method.
4. User Experience
Also known as UX or UXD, user experience is “the process of enhancing user satisfaction by improving the usability, accessibility, and pleasure provided in the interaction between the user and the product.”
User experience is at the heart of SEO, CRO, and content marketing. If you can learn the why and how of user experience, you can drive your business to new levels of success.
Facebook, Uber, Slack, and many of the other silicon valley unicorns have achieved their remarkable growth, in part, from a powerful UX strategy.
UX is far too important to ignore.
5. Email Marketing
An emphasis on email marketing may sound like a blast from the 2005 past, but here’s the thing: Email marketing remains one of the most effective forms of marketing available.
One of the reasons email marketing is still massively successful is due to the rise of mobile. Take your own experience as an example. How do you interact with many of the messages you receive on a daily basis? On your phone, right?
Successful businesses know how to combine content marketing methods with growing an email list, with split testing, and with user experience to engineer powerful marketing methods.
6. Social media
Hopefully, you’re familiar with the basics of Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
Since most of us are already part of these social networks, we’ve shortened the learning curve. When it comes to monetizing these social networks, however, there’s still some ground to be gained.
Social media isn’t going away, even if its algorithms and methods change on a weekly basis. It behooves entrepreneurs to know its power and potential.
Some of the best entrepreneurs I know are also great writers.
Why do entrepreneurial success and great writing ability go hand in hand? Part of it is the sheer marketing power. Creating great content generates loyal customers. Another benefit of great writing is the ability to think analytically and creatively.
Entrepreneurs will always be writing — business plans, emails, proposals, headlines, and guest articles. Improving this skill can benefit you in untold ways.
Do you really need to master all these things?
Now for a quick interlude. How important is it that you as a modern entrepreneur be able to master each of these skills?
Don’t sweat it.
There’s a lot to learn in each of the categories above. A lot.
What’s crucial is not that you master them all, but that you respect their importance. Specifically, I recommend these four things:
- Understand their importance.
- Know the basics.
- Benchmark their successes.
- Assess their ROI.
A little knowledge of each skill will bring you much closer to success.
Now, the final technical skill of modern entrepreneurs.
8. Outsourcing or Delegation
There’s no way that you could do all these things on your own. You shouldn’t even try.
Outsourcing or delegating these tasks is the solution. Finding talented workers and putting them to work is the key to absolute success.
Technical skills are important for every entrepreneur. But in addition to knowing these technical skills, you must be able to synthesize them in such a way that you can drive your business to greater success.
Which of these technical skills do you feel the weakest in? Which could make the biggest positive impact on your business?