When Charles Dickens penned “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”, he could well have been talking about today. Look around you. While there’s a lot in our world that is presently far from ideal – like critical environmental issues and natural disasters, there’s also the ever-advancing technological innovation that makes this a great time to be alive in. Peek under its broad umbrella and you’ll discover that digital technology, one aspect of it, is giving us opportunities never imagined before. It is, indeed, the best of times. And we must become more tech savvy to enjoy it and leverage it to the maximum.
But what does it mean to be tech savvy? Quite simply, it means knowing technology and how to use it in your personal and professional life. It also means embracing what is relevant to you and improving your skills in that area through learning.
The fact is, most of us can use the latest apps and work on a computer with relative ease. However, there is a whole tech world out there that we do not even know about. In fact, we don’t know what we are not aware of. We run into this only when we have specific needs, and go searching. Yes, “IDK, ask Google.” [I even have the t-shirt]
For instance, as a business owner, you may want to build an e-commerce website for your product. Or, need to use social media platforms to promote it. In such cases, you will encounter new technologies that you will have to first understand and learn to use. The good news is, it’s possible to begin the learning journey.
Most technology comes with straightforward instructions. Start it, run it, and voila, you’re already using it like a pro! If there are specific features you are doubtful about how to use, there are YouTube videos that can walk you through the process. However, is this really how it happens? Did you know that learning from YouTube videos helps you gain knowledge of only 13% of the functionality? In fact, the remaining 87% is yet to be discovered! So, if you’ve wondered why you can’t have certain privacy settings on your social media page or thought it would be great if you could concurrently work with a team member on an online document, there’s a good chance that those features already exist (they do) – you just don’t know that yet. Think now – between the 13% and the 87%, where would you place yourself? Just how tech savvy are you?
Again, the fact is that technology seems vast and limitless, and we cannot really quantify what we don’t know. Which is why we need to assess our level of proficiency and stay curious. But we do know that there is always a better way to do things; an easier, faster way. Technology has been created for that very purpose. There are many ways to become more tech savvy. Here are some ways by which you can find what you’re looking for:
1. Ask Google
Google is a lifesaver. Start with your area of relevance and run related searches. ‘What is”, “how to” – it works wonders. This will start your process of discovery. First, to identify the technology that will be of use to you, and second, how to use that technology effectively.
2. Ask questions in support chat windows
You don’t have to worry about sounding dense on an online chat with anonymous support staff or a chatbot. You can put forward all your doubts and learn from the answers you receive. As accessible and available as it is, many still don’t use it! I believe that we learn only by asking questions and not being afraid to admit we don’t know something. There is no such thing as a stupid question, so ask away.
3. Use the help function in the program
There’s a reason why the help function is given. Use it. You will realize that you’re not the only one facing such a problem. Take advantage of what others have asked before.
4. Find tech forums
There are various discussions on almost everything on the Internet. So, find the tech forums that are discussing the technology that interests you and start a conversation. There is much to learn from the feedback and advice of the people who are already using that technology.
5. Subscribe to tech channels on YouTube
There’s a bunch of information out there, and you may get confused by the numerous results that your search engine throws up. Instead, try a YouTube search to find a channel that talks about the tech you wish to learn about and subscribe to it. You will also be continuously updated in your required area and stay informed of new trends.
6. Sign up for classes and webinars
To become more tech savvy, you could attend classes – both online and offline, or attend webinars to enhance your tech knowledge and skills. The more you understand, the better choices you can make.
7. Find a mentor
If you look around, there will be someone who can mentor you and guide you in using the technology you need. Learn first-hand from them for best results.
Once you’ve identified the source of your information, the next step is to actually dive into the learning. The best way to do this is:
1. Assess how much you already know and how much further you need to learn
As aforementioned, you can start by figuring out where you stand in the spectrum between 13% and 87%. Once you have an idea, you’ll have a clear picture of where to begin. List down as soon as you face a blockage and make it a point to find the solution on a regular basis.
2. Take baby steps
You cannot learn everything in a day. That will only leave you confused and overwhelmed. Take it slow and steady. Remember, technology is ever-evolving. So, play the long game and go with the flow.
3. Practice continuously
Confucius said, “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.” It makes so much sense! Practicing what you learn is the only way you’ll gain mastery over it. For instance, if you want to build a website, and are learning how to use WordPress, begin by creating a single, simple page. This will give you confidence and enthusiasm, to surge ahead till you design and create a fully functional, efficient website. Realizing that you can actually do it will encourage you and make you want to learn more and more.
4. Stay updated
Learning never stops. This is especially true for technology and its rapid evolution. Stay on top of new versions, alternate platforms and tools…everything that will give you an edge in your business.
This is of special importance in these times. In fact, for the last few years now, everyone and their uncle has been wanting to “go digital”. But what does going digital even mean?
For certain enterprises, it could mean a new way of doing business. For others, it could be the answer to increasing their reach and engaging with customers. The problem arises when these various perspectives prevent your team from maintaining a common vision about where the business needs to go, resulting in missed opportunities and improper strategizing. It is thereby necessary to understand what digital means, and what its implications are for businesses.
While digital is clearly an important element of technology, it should be seen as a way of doing things rather than as something to use. So how does digital help businesses?
1. Helps discover new frontiers
Being digital offers new frontiers through the use of technology and innovation to grow your business. However, it requires a complete overhaul in the way you have previously been conducting your business and an understanding where these new frontiers lie. You could discover new possibilities in existing services and redesign and deliver better customer experiences. Or, you could find more meaningful ways to engage with your audience and create long-term relationships.
2. Encourages finding new ways to improve customer service and experience
Digital tools help give you an insight into customer behavior, their evolving expectations, and their purchasing journey, regardless of the channel. The possibilities are numerous. The starting point is, of course, defining your target audience. Today, it’s all about relevance, and your insights about your customers are the basis for delivering personalized customer service and experiences that are relevant to them.
In fact, digital technology opens avenues to design and deliver the best customer experiences, across all parts of the business. Data and metrics are other important aspects that give you further insights that drive marketing and sales decisions. Of course, it should be remembered that digital isn’t just about providing a one-off customer journey. It’s about creating sustainable processes and capabilities that evolve with customer input.
3. Enables agility
Digital helps businesses make faster, better decisions, and develop a more iterative and brisk way of doing things. A digital mindset creates an environment conducive to new ideas, encourages collaboration and generally offers a better way of doing things. Digital tools help you to be organized, monitor your team’s activity and measure your progress.
Digital is all about unlocking growth. It is the clear next step for businesses who are yet to leverage its potential.
At Them You & Me, we speak friendly digital and assist with the digital transformation of your business. If you’d like to discuss digital marketing strategies for your brand, or ways to become more tech savvy, give us a call.
To know about what we do and the services we offer, please visit our website.