I echo the answers already given - but add that the skills in most short supply today are an understanding of data and analytics and how to tie these into the customer journey.
Educate yourself using Avinask Kaushik's blog and newsletter. He wrote this blog post and it's invaluable as a starter primer for the topic of content marketing measurement framework.
Skills that you can grow and be trained
1. Analytics - you need to analyze campaigns, landing pages, keywords and bunch of other data to be successful
2. Creativity - you need to be creative to write some interesting content, or be able to judge the work of the designers and creative team
3. Curiosity - you need to test lots of staff and be curoius to learn more staff every day. The industry is changing very fast.
I recommend you also checking out my latest article on 10X marketers. A 10X marketer is an individual who is thought to be as productive as 10 others in his or her field.
This will help you also to find what skills you need to have that are normally hard to be trained for!
Not a skill, but a personal quality: persistence.
Loads of people figure they're going to make their millions on the internet but lack the persistence to stick it out for more than three days.
No exaggeration. Three days. The energy is based on the shiny object they think is going to make them the money, and it runs out quickly. Instead, the energy has to come from belief in yourself.
Learning how to create and run systems is a far more important skill than, say, leadership in this field. You have to get past the belief that some whiz-bang techie thing is going to do the work for you. It's not.
Online marketing is very much like offline marketing. You still need four systems:
> a lead generation system
> a qualification system
> a closing system
> a fulfillment system.
The technology hardly matters. Tech is syntax. Figure it out in plain language first, and apply the specific technology later. For instance, you need a lead generation system. OK, where are the people who are likely to use what you offer hanging out online? How can you start drawing them off to your own web real estate, or list?
We could easily switch this to offline: how can we get a list of people who fit the demographic of your target market?
Either way, you need a method to reach them, get in front of them, and start sorting them.
When you get a consistent process in place, which you can measure and manage, that's when you start having your system.
Technology is glue. Apply it last. Don't get caught up in it. Business is business, and there are still live human beings at the end of the tech, whether it is a direct mail piece or an opt-in page.
The map is not the territory, and every single time you go into a new marketplace you are going to have to figure it out for yourself. Leads right back to persistence, doesn't it? Even if you have the map, meaning a coach or instructions on how to do the thing, you'll still have to make adjustments, fine tune the thing, and get it working specifically for you.
I've never needed fancy keyword tools, but I made money online right away from my start in 2011. How? I got in front of a hungry market and figured out what they wanted that I could provide. Then I packaged some of my knowledge up and gave it to them. You can complicate things as much as you like, but that's all online marketing is. So maybe learning how to keep things simple and your perspective clear are a couple of those valuable things.
What I'm about to mention is just 1 skill among many that a marketer ought to have – and not, by a long shot, the most important. But, since it is my own narrow area of specialization, the lack of this skill among marketers is something I notice daily as a glaring omission.
Domain names – the internet is built on domains. They're how we name websites, protect brands online, navigate directly to a site from a billboard or a radio ad, shorten URLs, recognize email messages, and trust that the page we're viewing really belongs to our bank.
Yet marketing professionals, for the most part, don't understand domain names adequately. I know VPs of marketing who mix up basic terminology like "URL" and "website" and "domain". Most marketers don't value domains adequately, seldom realizing there's a whole property market in which domains are trading daily.
Most professionals – including very smart people – rarely think about domain names strategically as assets to leverage in marketing campaigns. Usually I see entrepreneurs naming their startups and blundering badly because they don't think about domain-related issues.
Among established organizations, half fail to protect their brands by registering the right domains. And the other half wastes money maintaining domains they don't need. It's a rare company that knows its way around the domain industry or which plans ahead with any kind of domain portfolio strategy at all!
Marketers know by now that they can't neglect social media or PPC. So everybody knows they ought to know something about those topics. Domain names are important in a similar way – as another tool in the toolkit.
Your employers won't tell you to learn about domains. You won't be asked in job interviews. But they weren't asking about your social media acumen years ago either. If you want to be ahead of the curve, learn about domain names.
There are a lot of great answers here but at the core of your question is "how do I become great?"
How did Michael Jordan become great?
How did Steve Jobs become great?
How did Tom Brandy become great?
My question to you is why do you want to pursue online marketing?Are you passionate about it? Or are you wanting to pursue this because you think you can make alot of money doing it?
I know many people that make great money offering online marketing for business but are miserable. I also know many people who love online marketing but can't make a living doing it.
Hope that helps!
Lets get on a phone call soon!