Some time ago, I had to learn how to use Amazon Web Services. It’s Amazon’s cloud storage which I was considering using to store my videos. (They were taking up too much space on my hosting server. I’ve since decided to just use YouTube.) Well, I consider myself a fairly tech-savvy person and even I felt overwhelmed. I was watching these videos of Amazon engineers talking way over my head. Then I hunted a bit and found some of their webinars on YouTube that were way easier to follow and felt more comfortable learning technology.
I also figured out a cool trick...
I was trying to pause the video, switch over to my account and apply what they just explained. That became a pain. Then I thought of putting my laptop with the video next to my big computer. It was easy to pause, apply, continue. (This would also work with a tablet and, of course, two screens.)
There were 3 aspects of their cloud system that I had to learn. I blocked off a Saturday to learn it all, but my brain was literally fried by 4 pm! And I still had 1 more portion to go! I had to stop.
Yes, even I can fry my brain learning technology!
Here are some tips to help you get over the tech learning curve.
- Use two devices if you can. One with the video and the other to apply what you’re learning.
- Go at your own speed. Don’t feel obligated to grasp everything fast. You might have to pause, rewind and watch it several times before it sinks in.
- Apply what you learn as you go or as soon as possible. If you wait much more than a day, you’re going to forget. So make sure you set enough time to review the material, understand it, then apply it.
- Once your brain is fried, quit. Usually, no more than 2-3 hours at a time, then take a break.
- Realize that you either have to learn all this or hire someone to do it for you. If you don’t have the budget to outsource your technology to a qualified person, then you have no choice but to learn how to do it yourself. Nevertheless, you should be familiar with how everything works so you know what the person you hired is doing.
Each person is different, so find what works for you.
Learning anything new takes time, and you’ll be slow at doing whatever it is until you get used to it. But like learning how to drive a car or a bike, once you’ve mastered it, it becomes second nature to you. Moreover, it will take you less time get done what you need to do.
With online learning, you go at your own pace and it’s not embarrassing if you need to pause, rewind and view it as many times as needed. Even if you sit through a live webinar, it usually is recorded and you can watch it over and over again.
That’s why I do 1:1 tutoring via Skype. I go at your speed and we record the session. We can cover all aspects of social media, blogging and online marketing. How long will it take you? It depends on how quickly you grasp the technology. I can usually tell after our first session. One guy kept saying, “I’m terrible at this stuff!” As it turned out, he knew more than he thought he did and picked it up quickly. A few people I’ve worked with had a tough time.
I recently took two, one-hour live tutorials from Giselle Aguiar on Skype. I was an absolute, know-nothing novice at SEO and Social Media. Giselle was a dream to work with – patient and very knowledgeable. Instead of simply explaining, or having me watch while she did things, she had me click all the buttons and links and do each operation on my computer, while she pointed the way. I learn best by doing, and it worked. After her tutorials I was able to successfully SEO over 50 articles in my blog and post them on social media. Social Media WIZ is a very apt description of Giselle Aguiar.
Alan Tarr, Write Like a Madman
The best way to learn, is to watch the video or do the 1:1 session, then take a break and practice what you learn so you don’t forget it. If you wait a few days, you’ll forget it.
You’re Never Too Old!
Not surprising, most of the people I work with are over 40. Furthermore, age has nothing to do with how fast they grasp technology. Most importantly, you must be willing to learn.
If you’re learning all this stuff to better market your business and get ahead of the competition, that should be incentive enough to find the self-discipline to learn it.
So, are you ready to take control of your marketing? Then check out my 1:1 tutoring and coaching services here.