There’s nothing quite as pleasing as coming home from work, kicking back with a glass of your favorite beverage (throw in some snacks if you’re really adventurous), and relaxing in a corner with a good book.
It’s no secret that reading a book daily has many benefits. And for marketers, there can be even more benefits than the average Jane.
For a field that is equal parts creativity, equal parts analytics and all parts mentally challenging, grabbing a good book, whether career-related or not, is a great way to unwind and improve your skills. Here are just a few ways reading daily will help you.
1. You reduce stress.
Did you know that it only takes 6 minutes of reading to reduce stress levels by as much as 68 per cent? Well, it’s true.
For marketers, a day at the office can be highly stressful. Between juggling multiple media channels simultaneously to handling public relations crises, you never know what will come up next. And work never seems to stay at work. Social media and news channels run 24/7 and you’ve always got to keep up with the latest.
A great way to unwind and de-stress from all this is to just power down all electronic devices for a while and curl up with a good book. A few pages in, you’ll be immersed a different world, forgetting about all that’s going on around you.
2. You become better at storytelling.
The ability to tell a great story is fast becoming one of the most sought-after traits of a good marketer. This is not about weaving fiction or selling a fairytale. Rather, it is about being able to find the elements of a brand that will resonate with audiences and putting them together in a logical and appealing way that communicates instantly and effectively with the right audience.
The more frequently you read – both fiction and nonfiction – the more you begin to see the patterns of how writers tell stories, from chapter order to headings and details they include and ones they omit. Soon, you’ll be able to do the same with your own material.
3. You gain knowledge and insight from those before you.
Imagine you had the ability to pry into the brains of some of the great marketers who have come before you – Philip Kotler, David Ogilvy, Seth Godin – and just take their knowledge and use it for your own pursuits.
That’s exactly what books allow you to do! As avid reader and popular investor, entrepreneur and advisor, Tai Lopez believes, “In order to become a better and more successful person, it would be best to learn from those that succeeded beforehand.”
You too can be mentored by the greats of your profession. All you have to do is pick up one of their books.
4. You get innovative ideas and inspiration.
“The more you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” — Dr. Seuss
This may be a strange place to quote Dr. Seuss, but he has a very valid point that’s worth just as much to adults as it is to kids. The more diverse your reading pile, the more likely you are to come across topics and ideas that you hadn’t known about before. Before you know it, you’ll be able to connect seemingly unrelated concepts in interesting ways and come up with solutions you never thought of before.
Just like persons switching fields in the middle of their careers can bring innovative insight others who’ve been in the field their whole lives can’t, exposing yourself to other doctrines and disciplines outside of the marketing field or that of your industry might inspire to think about things from a whole different perspective.
5. You improve your writing skills.
The more you read, the larger your vocabulary becomes. And having more words at your disposal means you are able to communicate more effectively.
While this is a general benefits for anyone who reads a lot, it’s way more beneficial to the marketers of today who find themselves writing a lot more than usual. From press releases to blogs to social media posts and captions, you have to have a way with words to capture the attention of your audience.
6. You can get ahead of the curve.
The better you know your brand and all the elements that affect it – competition, public perception, customers, etc. – the easier it is for you to market it. The only problem is, when you switch jobs, you might be responsible for marketing something completely different than before. Sure, you’re using the same skills, but you’ll need to gain knowledge about the industry and its players to do an effective job.
That’s where books come in. Grab what you can – from general books written about the industry, to those that mention your brands or your competitors, to those written by stakeholders in your industry. Read them all! Soak up the insight they provide and watch how your brain slowly formulates plans based on the wealth of knowledge you’ve gained from this exposure.
Before you know it, you’ll be able to run circles around your competition with the information you have at your disposal.
7. You learn consistency.
Most of the benefits provided here tell you why reading is important, but not why it’s helpful to do it every single day. Here’s why – it teaches you to be consistent.
Experienced marketers know that to get great long term results takes a lot more than a few one-off tricks. Sure, some guerilla marketing tactics and media blitz campaigns might work to your favor in the short term, but they won’t provide the longevity most brands want. In order to see long term results, you have to put in the work constantly and consistently.
By setting aside a few minutes each for something as simple (and relaxing) as reading, you are developing discipline and consistency that will pour over into other facets of your life.
On top of the numerous benefits of reading each day, it’s something that you will enjoy, which is the best reason you need. Additionally, the more you get into the habit of reading regularly, the more you’ll want to read in the future. There’s definitely no harm in that!
Don’t worry about picking the right book, or focusing on marketing-related or industry-related books. You can get benefits from reading almost anything on the shelf. Just grab something you think you’ll enjoy, set aside 30-60 minutes and allow yourself to drift away into a different world. You’ll be glad you did.