Collage of social media icons.

Time for some spring training

Spring training isn’t just for baseball players. It is also a good time to learn new skills. Brush up on Twitter best practices. Refine photography skills. Learn to code. Each years digital skills are being democratized more and more. Tasks that were done only by professionals with expensive equipment can now be done by following simple tutorials on YouTube. Use the skills below to jump start your own spring training.

COB – No, this has nothing to do with corn. It stands for Cut Out Background. Ever wonder how the Crying Jordan face gets added to things so fast? COB is the answer. Removing the background from an image can be a good idea for highlighting individual items. It may not be a skill that you use all the time. However, knowing how to do it will save you a ton of time. Photoshop allows for the most control. The more precise the cutout the better the final product will look. There are at least five different ways to cut out a background in Photoshop – here is one. This tutorial is helpful. Not everyone has access to photoshop. Here are some apps that will do it for you.

Learn to code – Before you freak out, this doesn’t mean you need to learn to to create a website from scratch. But spending a few hours learning the basics will help you understand how the process works. Code Academy is a good resource. It is free, and Code Academy really starts with the most basic building blocks of coding. Spend a rainy weekend on the site and you will be amazed how much you can learn.

Become more social – New social media platforms pop up so often it is nearly impossible to keep up. Most may not be right for your store, but you never really know until you try. Maybe you create a SnapChat account to try and capture younger customers. Want to show off your cake designs? Maybe Instagram is good fit for you. Live broadcasting is all the rage right now. Facebook Live and Periscope are the top platforms. Your website has tons of recipes, but what if you broadcasted how to make them? The barrier to entry for these apps is very low. Give them a try and see what happens.

Use this list as a starting point. There are plenty of other little things you can learn to improve yourself. Regardless of what you choose, it is important to remember to always be improving. The digital world is constantly changing and your customers expect you to keep up. If you aren’t reaching your customers where they are someone else is.

Sean is a web specialist. He runs the email marketing program, helps in website design, manages social media accounts, and uploads weekly ads. In 2017, Sean started Grocer Podcast, a month show that intends to be another way to get information to retailers. Prior to joining AWG, Sean spent three years as a high school teacher. Sean is an avid cook, sports fan and Kansas Citian.