6 Skills to focus on in 2019

We’ve rounded up the top 6 skills to help you grow your career in 2019. Whether you’re a freelancer that runs their own business, or a creative mind marketing your work to the masses, here are 6 skills we think might be useful for you in the coming year.


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Negotiation skills

A recent study by Harvard University showed that men tend to get better economic results out of negotiation, and that whilst women negotiate assertively on behalf of other people (or their company) they’re less likely to be as forceful when negotiating for themselves. 

Whatever stage of your career you’re at, negotiation skills are crucial- whether you’re bartering down a third party provider or sat in front of your boss, asking for a payrise. The study also showed that the gender gap when it comes to negotiating narrows when women have been on a negotiation training course… if you needed another reason! 

 

Analytical skills

Analytic skills aren’t just for digital marketers and finance managers, they’re for anyone responsible for calculating business growth, forecasting results or problem-solving an issue. Having a solid analytic foundation is key as you work your way up the career ladder and are expected to be more and more involved with big-picture business plans.

You don’t have to be a numbers-whiz either: data analytics skills can help you calculate things like employee turnover, identify fraud and manage your own business.

Strategic skills

Honing your strategic management skills is a great way to ensure you’re ready for the jump between middle management and being part of the senior team. Despite this, Forbes reported that less than 10% of leaders exhibit strategic skills, and tend to fall-back on fire-fighting operational skills, which can lead to a lack of overall direction for the company or team they’re working in. 

If you can sharpen your own strategic know-how you’re putting yourself in a very strong position versus your competition. 

Entrepreneurship skills

Did you know that in 2018 only one in five small-to-medium business were run by women? And that in the UK, there are nearly twice as many male entrepreneurs than women?

If 2019 is the year you strike out of your own and put your business-nouse to use for your own projects, then an entrepreneurship course might be just the thing to give you a the competence (and confidence!) to make it on your own (and balance out those statistics).

Whilst you can’t learn the passion that entrepreneurship demands, you certainly can learn how to manage every aspect of your business (as likely you’ll start as your own CEO, CMO, CFO and office administrator). 

Writing skills

It might sound basic, but excellent writing is one of the most common skills asked for by employers – and it’s also one of the biggest employee skills gaps according to a 2018 report. 

This doesn’t just mean writing in a way that’s grammatically correct: different industries needs different types of writing. For example, you might need to learn shorthand in order to take business minutes accurately, or you might need to learn how to write bid proposals, reports, white papers or specifications. 

Think about your current career path and whether there’s any writing elements that feel like they’ll push you out of your comfort zone, because those are great places to start building your skills.

Presentation skills and public speaking

Public speaking seems to evoke one of two reactions in people: either they shrug, or they immediately break out into a cold sweat. If you’re in the latter camp, then you’re not alone. In fact, nearly 25% of people say they have Glossophobia, the fear of public speaking. 

A study by Psychology Today suggests that a large part of the fear comes from how skilled you perceive yourself as being at public speaking (and on the flip-side, being a confident public speaker does not entail being a skilled public speaker). So whether you’re a shrugger or a sweater, put public-speaking on your “done” list in 2019.

 


Penguin in the Room @prartsmarketing is a group of creatives with an arts marketing dream: penguin stepping our way into the arts industry and helping other creatives flourish! Specialising in online marketing, social media, branding, copy writing, media coaching and web design for actors, artists, casting directors, agents, production companies, theatre companies and creative individuals.

Contact us any time for penguin chats via email:info@penguinintheroom.com or Facebook.com/penguinintheroom or waddle over to our website: www.penguinintheroom.com

Grow your know-how: 3 Free Online Writing Courses

We all like to think we’re good at what we do. But that’s not to say we can’t get better!

We’ve rounded up 3 of the best free (yes, totally free) writing courses for you to grow, develop and generally become more awesome.

An Introduction to Screenwriting – UEA (Online)

Why You Need To Be Guest Posting

So you’ve got a blog. Or perhaps even a whole website. And you’re using it to build your brand, build your audience and try and get your fans engaged.

But who’s reading your blog? Who’s looking at your website?

If you get a lot of repeat visitors, but not a lot of organic, new traffic, chances are you need to cast your net out a bit wider.

So now the big money question: How do I get new people to come and visit my blog?

The answer is what is always is: good quality content.

But if your blog is already full of lots of great, valuable content and it’s still not attracting the amount of new traffic you want, then you need to start thinking outside of the box.

Or, thinking inside another very exact box: Guest Posting.

What is Guest Posting?

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Guest posting is when you give someone else some of your content to host on their blog. That’s right. You write a killer post that’s going to get tonnes of engagement and then you give it to someone else.

Why would you do this?

Because they then send your awesome blog out to all of their hard-earned subscribers and BAM. You’ve suddenly got a whole new pool of readers for your content.

Add into this that they’ll backlink to your website (which literally just means they will link back to you) meaning you’ll have a new funnel of traffic coming straight through to your blog.

This is especially good if their website has a higher domain authority to yours. A domain authority is basically a measure of how awesome Google thinks your site it. It’s based on how old your website is, how popular it is and how big it is. You can use a tool like Moz to figure out what you DA is, and what the DA of your targets are. A rule of thumb is this: always seek out websites with a higher DA than yours for guest posts.

How Do I Start Guest Posting?

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Chances are, you already write some content. So you already know how to write witty, engaging blogs that people like to read. Which is great, because this is half the battle.

Now you need to start this process:

1. Seek out potential guest post opportunities

Think about what your fans might search for, or wider interests your fans might have. After all, you’re trying to appeal to a wider audience.  Let’s say, for example, that you talk a lot about marketing, but you’re also a keen traveler. So you could look up traveling blogs as well as marketing blogs, and start making a list of some of the biggest ones.

2. Make a thorough list

You’re going to want to do a few guest posts, ideally, so it’s good to keep a list. My list looks something like this:

Site Name Domain Authority Amount of Traffic Summary Blog Post Idea Blog Post Pitch
Best Blog Ever 31 125k They blog about blogging How To Write Great Blogs Hey (Name),

Etc.

You can use a tool called Moz to find out what the Domain Authority of a website is. You can also use a website called SimilarWeb to figure out how much traffic it gets.

Then you want to write yourself a little summary. This is basically a quick summation of what the website is about and what kinda things it talks about. It serves as a self-reminder, so when they reply you can check back at your notes and remind yourself this is the cat blog, not the dog blog (so no terrier jokes anyway they are terrier-ible! 🤣).

3. Come up with a great idea

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Arguably, the hardest part. Have a quick scan of their blog and see what kinds of posts they’ve covered already, because it’s no use you writing something that’s a carbon copy of something they already have. I don’t mean you need to trawl through every post, just check the titles. See what kinds of topics they talk about and have a think about what you can contribute. The key is that whatever you write has to bring value to their readers.

4. Write a killer pitch

This deserves a lot more of a detailed look, which is why we’re going to cover it in the next post. Needless to say, after you’ve put all the effort into selecting your targets, figuring out their domain authority and done the research on their blogging styles, you don’t want your pitch to let you down.

Check back next time for our post on How To Write A Killer Guest Post Pitch.

5. Hit send… and get ready to write

You need to be able to turn your content around quickly. So it’s no good pitching a piece of work you know it’s going to take you months and months to pull together. Keep it within your realms of expertise, something you could knock together in a day – or less – and make sure they know that they have very little (or even better, nothing) to do at their end.