Learning about FBA is fascinating. But if you spend all your time passively learning stuff, and you’re not putting it into practice, your effort won’t do you much good. You need to find ways to help ensure you get a return from your investment of time and money in education.
One way is to remember the four letter “JFDI”, standing for “Just … Do It”. Doing needs to follow learning.
Every time you take a course, read a book or a blog, or listen to a podcast, note down five things that you’re learned that you can actually do, right now, to help your business.
For instance, if you’ve just learned about how to optimize your product listings, they might be;
1. Ask for feedback from an expert,
2. take some lifestyle photos because you don’t have any,
3. go through the keywords and see if you have can add better ones,
4. rewrite the product descriptions in bullet points,
5. start with the five slowest selling products and fully optimize the whole page for those.
It can be useful to have a small notebook dedicated to noting down these action points. For instance if you’re at a training course, take notes on what you’re actually learning on your big pad or your laptop, but if you think of something you can actually do using what you’ve learned, note that in the small book. Then you won’t forget those practical applications when you get back.
This is particularly good for those moments when you’re listening and you suddenly think “Hey! I could use that idea to launch a whole load of complementary products!” or “Yes, I need to find some good long tail keywords for advertising”. Then you won’t forget that insight before the end of the course.
If you’ve spent time learning, but you can’t actually come up with those five points, you might want to ask yourself whether it was valuable learning. Sometimes, the answer is yes, but it’s deeper learning that you need time to think about and process; sometimes, though, the answer is no. You didn’t get anything that was useful to you out of the process. That can be useful when you’re looking at how to budget your training money and time in future.
Don’t be scattergun in your approach to training; think about what you need to learn right now. For instance, if you currently have difficulty understanding how keywords are using in advertising, you really need to get yourself up to speed on that. It might be more fun to listen to a podcast about innovative products in your market, or plan what your next product will be, but if you haven’t got your head round PPC, you can’t sell your products effectively.
You might have two or three sticky areas like that, so consider what is the priority to address.
Another way to make sure you’re learning stuff that can make a difference to your business is to look at benchmarks and see where you are falling short of the competition. For instance, are you falling short on organic sales, in which case your product listings and keywords need attention, or on advertising? Is your social media involvement coming through in terms of sales, or do you need to learn how to make it work better?
Aim your learning at your skills gaps and check if it helps to improve your business.
And of course, as you learn the things you decided you needed to know, you can go through that exercise again of noting down the five things you can do right now to put that learning into action.