I love to learn new ideas and new skills. The phrase Lifelong Learning truly defines the way I live my life.
Last week I wrote my “learning plan” for the next 12 months, in terms of business and marketing topics I want to study … I also plan to learn to play the guitar! By asking a series of questions, I came up with a plan for what I want to study next year, which helps me to keep focused on specific topics and not go running around trying to learn everything at the same time, which leads to poor absorption and implementation of what I learned.
Here’s how you can figure out what to focus on for your learning plan:
- Ask the question: What are my big goals for the next 12 months for my business? (My answer: fine-tune my information product marketing system for my business.)
- Ask the question: What topics do I need to study to attain the goal in Step 1?
- Of all the thing I can study, which ONE THING is the most important to start with?
- How long do I want to devote to studying that topic?
- What resources do I currently have available to study this topic? (What do you have in your bookshelf or on your own hard drive right now?)
- Where can I get further resources for studying this topic? What books are available? What classes are available? Who do I know who is a whiz-bang at this topic, so I can pick their brains?
My personal learning planning came down to one focus topic for January/February: Copywriting. I had taken a copywriting class five years ago, so I pulled out those recordings to re-listen to them. I have three books about copywriting on my bookshelf, so they got moved into my office within easy reach. My hard drive yielded a pay load of ebooks and audio programs on copywriting (or had a copywriting lesson in them), so those all got moved to a new folder accessible from my computer desktop.
Then I looked around for a juicy workshop on the topic of copywriting. I realized I had already taken a class on that topic, so I opted for the larger study topic of “information product marketing,” and signed up for a 4-day workshop in Atlanta called Niche Affiliate Marketing System (NAMS) in January. (Aly signed up, too. As my business partner, it’s important that we learn strategic topics together so we can plan campaigns.)
Then I repeated the process to pick a key topic for all the remaining months for next year. For instance, in March I’ll be studying the psychology of marketing, in April I’ll be studying traffic conversion, and in May I’ll be studying how to create instructional videos. Then I’ll collapse in a puddle of happiness, with a full brain and lots of ideas to implement in June – August! 🙂
Special Tip: Having a hard time keeping track of all the notes you take on a certain learning topic? My friend and colleague, Pamela Wilson, turned me on to Evernote (www.evernote.com), a great web-based AND PC-based tool to help with keeping notes, including a way to tag each note with keywords, for easy look-up. Neato!
Take a moment right now: What topic do you want to learn more about next year?
Best of luck to you as you design your own Learning Plan for next year! It’s exciting!!