A friend recently asked me to teach them Hootsuite, the multi-platform social media marketing system (it helps you plan tweets for Twitter, basically). What I revealed to them was something far more valuable...
The thing is, with an ever-widening selection of fantastic programs and systems it really is a question of opening up a can of worms with any of them. They have become worlds within themselves looking to expand and gobble up ways to 'improve', interact, work on different platforms and operating systems and generally monetise it's name and related products and services. Whooh. And relax.
Even when you use them regularly, you realise how much more there is to learn and the experience you would need to utilise them well. And by experience I mean the work put into a chosen profession over years.
This is not to stop anyone, but it is to reveal that then teaching these things is a full-time job in itself, not the least because you know there will be a barrage of questions about every tool, that will in turn reveal twenty more. I had to decline, as I'm far too busy as it is anyway, and I didn't want to make false promises.
Mainly questions about 'enabling programs' relate to 'what can be done with this'? And this still only leads us back to experience.It's as if the user wants the shortcut or the 1,000 hours upfront and understood.There are no shortcuts.
You have to put the work in to learn, then the work in to know from experience. Another more techy person than me - they do exist - looked at me with my questions when I approached them and they said deadpan:
"Read the manual". They had put the work in, was I prepared to?
As I recently pointed out in my talk on Resources, there will always be an explanatory book out there that reads well or that speaks to you, so it gets easier.
The key factor with learning a multi-platform suite is the constant worry that you are only working towards finding out how to deliver an impersonal message. You don't want to be a robot spamming everyone. And the best social media practice is like the best learning, it comes seemingly without struggle and frustration, where genius is naturally born from enjoying being tenacious.
Again, it get's easier.
Because the best general advice you will read for any business or enterprise is to remain tenacious. Giving up is giving up. Not knowing. Keeping going is the key. Keeping going is the road to knowing.
Such is the way with social media platforms, because all they are are reception rooms for your brand, an extension of you in real time, 24/7, one on one. If you are tenacious with your ventures, then expanding that or incorporating that as part of what you do is not a struggle, it's actually what you do.
My best advice is to teach yourself, if you've been using computers this last decade, then you know enough to cross-pollinate your learning. Ctrl+S means Save, doesn't it? Yes, well that pretty much works with most creative programs for a start. And what about experience, well haven't you had other ones that reveal their usefulness in the work in front of you. Keep going, you already know.
So a link for self-teaching? Let's begin with Hootsuite Academy.
Oh,and here's the 135 more self-education courses as promised in the title.