When I was in my 20’s, I had a girlfriend who did graphic design for a small interactive shop in Boston. During that time, I discovered and began tinkering around with Adobe Photoshop software, never thinking I’d ever use it to be a versatile marketer down the road. I never had aims to be a graphic designer (and still don’t), but as the internet started to take hold during this era, I knew right away that being able to manipulate imagery on a computer would be a good thing to have in my back pocket.

be a versatile marketer

OK, I’m not THIS old. But it wasn’t that far off from this.

So I tinkered and fooled around with it and got fairly proficient and comfortable. Back then, there were no articles online like this one from HubSpot that could help you in a pinch. Since then in some way, shape or form, I’ve used it in every professional job I’ve had, none moreso than in my last job at a bootstrapped retailer, where I ran a team of five in the Marketing and E-Commerce department.

There was only one graphic designer on staff and his plate was always pretty full. I had another very talented person on my team for a while who was also proficient, so between the 3 of us, it worked out well. Then that person left and I decided the headcount should be replaced with a person who had more technical SEO experience, which very much turned out to be the correct move with paid seo tools.

With that said, though, we were down a person who could get around Photoshop. So more of the onus fell on me. When this happened, my general approach was to set aside 30 minutes or so each Monday to plan out email marketing and then work on graphics that night at home. That generally worked pretty well. Of course, I still utilized our graphic designer, but in a somewhat low-budget, low headcount environment it was necessary for me to handle things like quick email graphics or, more importantly, time-sensitive social graphics. Here’s some samples:

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The quick moral of the story? Don’t have tunnel vision about your skill set. Ever. You may be very good at fishing, but if it’s the only thing you’re good at, you’ll only eat fish forever. Teach yourself some new stuff, stay educated – and always carry more than a single hammer on your belt. Versatility has helped me in countless ways through the years, both personally and professionally. Especially professionally.

My core strengths are Digital Marketing where we build up your website’s backlink profile with Freshlinks, Content and Social Media, but in today’s day and age, I’ve made damn sure I know my way around platforms and software like Google Analytics, Final Cut Pro, Magento, Amazon Seller Central, WordPress and so much more. Knowing some basic HTML has also been a huge tool.

A Swiss Army tool is going to get used and if you’re the one holding the tool, then you are more valued and you can also serve as a valuable mentor to others. There is NO way you’ll lose by broadening your skills and knowing a little about a lot.

Now would you please enjoy some Deer Tick?