My understanding of the coding and development world is fairly new. I mentioned in this article that I am planning to learn coding and becoming a full stack developer. The plan is going strong. I have a clear road-map and I started running too.
However, this article is not about me learning to code.
This is about the concept of a ‘full-stack marketing expert’.
What is a full-stack marketing expert?
Alright, as you can imagine, the idea of a full stack marketing expert, comes from the idea of becoming a full stack developer. A full stack developer is someone who knows everything when it comes to a development project. You go to him with an idea and he’ll know what to do at the front-end, what to do at the back-end, what language should you use and how the databases should be prepared.
Yes, a full stack developer is more expensive, and often they are not the best solution for your projects – however, most of them are a joy to work with and it often makes the whole project much simpler for a newbie who doesn’t have much understanding of the development world.
A full stack marketing expert is someone similar.
You go to him with your business and he/she tells you what to do, how to do, which marketing strategy to use, how to go about the whole marketing campaign for your business – and he not only creates the strategy but also executes it for you.
In the case of a full stack developer, he’ll still need help from other devs who are expert in niche fields. Similarly, a full stack marketing expert will also be taking help from niche experts – it can be a graphic designer who will help to create the banners or the ad creatives for you, might be a SEO guy who will execute the SEO strategy for you or create links and so on.
Should You Become a Full Stack Marketer?
Well, it is a yes and no.
I consider myself as a full stack marketer. I am good at content marketing, FB ads, SEO – at the same time, I am terrible at email marketing, Google Ads and other social media.
However, even if I am not an expert on Google ads, I have the understandings to make sure that I hire the right person – whenever I need one to get parts of a project completed.
You see, hiring requires skills and you can’t hire a niche expert if you don’t have a basic understanding of the overall topic. That never works.
So yes, I will definitely recommend that you become a full stack marketer (if marketing is what you are learning and planning to build your career around).
How do I become a full stack marketer?
Like anything, you will have to start small and pick one of the sub-segments of marketing and then grow slowly. So the right question should be, how do I become a marketer – and then if you are persistent enough, you will end up being a full stack marketer in a few years.
I would start with the basics at this stage. Buy Philip Kotler’s marketing books. learn marketing 101. Forget blog posts at this stage- as the books will teach you way more than any blog post or YouTube video out there.
I know 0 marketers who became brilliant marketers reading blog posts or watching YouTube videos. That never happens. Yes, both of these options are great for tactics, however, when you are learning the basics, a book is the way to go.
- Read every book of Philip Kotler
- Read everything that Seth Godin wrote
You will know more about the basics of marketing than 90% of the world if you can complete Step 1. It should take you about an year to complete this step.
If you have done step 1 right, you now will generate interest for some specific sub-segments of marketing. Not every doctor is an expert of everything. Some are heart specialists, some are surgeons, some are dental specialists.
You will have to find your ‘expertise’ at this stage.
What did you like most when you were researching about marketing in step 1? I am not naming any examples to avoid bias. Close your eyes and think about it. There should be 4-5 niches of marketing that you now think you would be good at.
Alright, let me be a little biased here. Though there are 100s of niches within marketing, some of the popular ones that I can think of are:
- Content Marketing: As an expert content marketer, your task is to bring a blog content, a YT video, a piece of content – to millions of people.
- Social Media Specialist (FB + Instagram Specialist, Pinterest management specialist, YouTube manager, LinkedIn management and etc.)
- Google Ad Specialist
- Other Paid Media (Bing Ads, Reddit Ads etc.)
- Search Engine Marketer
- Email Marketing Expert
- Copy-writing (not content writing)
- Podcast Marketer
- Blockchain & AI Marketing
- Voice Marketing
- Marketing Strategy Formation
- IMC (Integrated Marketing Communication)
The list goes on and on. Don’t spend too much time on Step 2. Simply pick something that you like (try to avoid crowded spaces like SEO, Social Media marketing as these are easy to get started with).
It is time to learn and apply the knowledge that you are learning on the go. Watching a million videos on a topic is not working. Working is when you watch or read 1 thing and then apply that on an existing business. In my career, I always had a business (I created one when I didn’t have one) to implement the marketing strategies and tactics I was learning.
If you don’t have a business, don’t bother creating one like I did- as it would take too much of your time. Offer free work to someone with an existing business. Reach out to 500 entrepreneurs and offer them your free service and one of them will definitely agree.
If you were good at Step 2, you now have the required skills to wow the person that you are offering free service on step 3.
Do that for a few months, and you will have a career in marketing with a full time job. If it doesn’t work out, offer free service to someone else and continue the process.
Now, that’s good and all. But you are still not a full stack marketer. How do we become one?
This is a tough question to ask yourself at this stage because you might not have to become a full stack marketer.
A niche expert marketer might make lot more money than a full stack marketer who’s a generalist. It all depends on what you want from life.
If you are an entrepreneur in heart and eventually want to run your own business, going for a full stack marketer would be ideal. If your goal is to be a solid marketer and earn a big 5-6 figure living, becoming a niche expert and sticking to step 3 is good enough.
More money doesn’t always equate to more happiness – after a point.
If you still decide to become a full stack marketer, the goal would be to pick the another skill (2nd one) on Step 2 and either find another company to offer this for free once you are an expert or putting the skills on your own business.
A business is not marketing (most people confuse this). You becoming an email marketing expert or a SEO expert- doesn’t mean that you now have a business or you are an entrepreneur. You still need to find a problem to solve, setup a business around that to use those email marketing or SEO skills. Or you need to find someone to work for them (getting a job works too).
If everything goes well, you should be able to call yourself a full stack marketer in about 3 years from the first day.
Questions? Leave a comment.