Summer School: Learning from the Experts: Bill Slawski
This summer we are taking you back to school! We are focussing on education in Digital Marketing: what is the best education, what background is important? Questions you will see answered throughout the summer by those you can learn from the best: the experts. Those that already earned their stripes and are now willing to share with you how they got there and what you should do to get that far as well.
Today we listen to Bill Slawski. Bill is the President of SEO by the Sea and Director of Search Marketing for Go Fish Digital. He has been involved in internet marketing and web promotion since 1996, providing consulting services to help people make their web sites easier to find on the internet, and easier to use, and increase revenues and conversions.
Let’s ask some questions!
What type of education did you have?
I attended the University of Delaware and earned an undergraduate degree in English. Most of the courses I selected to take were writing courses, where our grades were based upon writing papers for the classes. I decided a couple of years after graduating to go to law school, and went to the Widener University School of Law.
Is your education related to what you do now?
There really weren’t any classes on online marketing available to me, but I do write everyday, and I use methods of arguing and of creating relevant content everyday that I learned in my classes.
How did you get into digital marketing?
I put together a website for a couple of friends for a business they were starting and started to promote it for them.
Did you need extra schooling? If so, what type of extra schooling did you get?
I learned an incredible amount from writing about patents that I read, so most of that schooling was self motivated. Being involved in a Forum on web promotion and design was a good learning experience. I did attend a seminar on usability from Jared Spool, which was helpful when it came to making a website easier to use. A book on Web Marketing from Roger C. Parker provided a lot of good ideas.
How do you think the state of education in marketing is these days? Do marketers learn what they need to learn?
I’ve been seeing more classes offered, but I think the best educational experiences for marketing online might be hands-on.
How do you feel about online training courses?
I haven’t had the chance to take too many online training courses, but I’ve watched a few. They do provide a nice change of pace from trying to teach yourself a topic.
What is your tip for those that want to learn more?
Different people learn differently, and sometimes the structure of an actual class can really help some people. The difficult part of trying to teach yourself is that you may not have any idea of what you should target when you’re trying to do that.
What resources are best to learn marketing?
A supportive atmosphere and community can make a big difference, as can mentors who might be willing to share their experiences.
What’s the last lesson in marketing you learned?
I’m not sure that I could easily segment the things I’ve learned into separate lessons, since I’m a firm believer in trying to learn as you go, and as you grow.