How To Stay Current In Your Industry
One of the challenges for a business is staying current.
Do you struggle with staying current in your industry?
I remember I was fresh out of school and working in my first job. It was in a corporate setting and my peers were all about 10 years older than me. At the time I thought they seemed maybe just a little out of touch, but I quickly learned that they were very smart and very good at their job.
Today, I try to remember that lesson and I watched them to see how they stayed current with trends in the industry even as they kind of grew older and remained a little set in their ways…so to say.
Now I’m getting into my thirties and I can already see it happening to me a bit. So I’m working to make sure that I can still keep up to date with things going on in the industry.
Here are some tips.
1. Follow Industry Leaders On Social Media
This is a big one for me. I joined Twitter in the Fall of 2008 and it’s been great.
Many business leaders, especially marketers, like to look at social media as a great way to get the attention of people. That is a great attribute of social media, but that’s only one side of it.
Social media is great for staying up-to-date on what’s going on in your industry if you follow the right people.
Look for influencers in your industry like writers, guests on podcasts, consultants, business owners, business leaders, etc. They’re the ones that will know what’s going on in your industry.
Follow a few for a month and see how often they update. See who they’re following and work to get a good mix of people that will provide regular updates and commentary on what’s happening in your industry.
Oh, and make sure to check-in on your preferred social channel (I recommend Twitter for this) daily.
2. Subscribe To New Industry Content (podcasts, videos, etc.)
The same here as in the previous one, but for this one it’s good to subscribe to other forms of content outside of Twitter. It could be blogs, podcasts, video channels on YouTube and more.
I like to rotate between a few podcasts and a few video channels. I subscribe to a few email newsletters as well and have even subscribed to newspapers in the past.
A good tip here is to not overwhelm yourself with too much content. That can lead to you just deleting the content and not paying attention after awhile. And that can happen anyway if you subscribe to one channel for too long.
So every few months kind of audit your subscriptions and change things up a bit to keep the perspective fresh.
3. Spend Time With Younger People
This is a big one and I’m a fan of it for sure.
I wrote recently about the value of spending time with older people. There is so much you can learn, but it’s not just those that are older than you.
You can learn so much from people that are younger than you. It was good at that first job I had to have a mix of age groups in the office. Everybody was learning different things from everyone else.
Make an effort to spend time with people outside of your age group. You can learn from everyone in different ways and when it comes to staying current it’s usually the younger ones that can keep you updated on the latest trends in the industry and all the “cool” things.
4. Try New Things
When you hear about “cool” new things from younger people in the office or from anywhere then go ahead and try them. You don’t have to go all in right away, but kind of try them out and give it some time.
I know people that heard about Twitter and they signed up and gave it a try for a day and now their accounts are just dormant. One day, one week or even a month might not be long enough to figure out those new things.
I think part of it is that we as adults are kind of raised to be afraid of failure. Because of that we’re afraid to try new things because we don’t want to be bad at it.
But kids are right in this aspect of life. They try new things all the time. It doesn’t mean they master it or love it, but they try new things and give it some time before they move on or dive in deep.
Take a nod from the kids on this one.
5. Don’t Jump In With Big New Strategies
One final note on this one is that it’s good not to jump in fully with big new strategies. My boss at that first job was really good at this. He would listen to people that came with new ideas. He would let them kind of dip their toes into things, but he always pumped the brakes on big new strategies.
New things are great and it’s good to be current, but usually the best strategies don’t come from the times when you dive in first and put big effort into something brand new. You kind of want to see how others do first.
Staying current with the world can be tricky. I’m realizing it now and I’m only creeping into my upper thirties. I have to do a few things to make sure that I’m able to know what’s going on with the online marketing industry and a few other industries.
If you want to be seen as an industry leader and be respected in your industry you need to stay pretty current. Hopefully the tips and insight here will help you do that. They’ve helped me.