Where You Invest Your Love, You Invest Your… Career?
As I began my career search with an Integrated Marketing Communication and Management degree, I had my fingers crossed. I hoped a great company would scoop me up so I could show off all the knowledge I accumulated throughout my college career. Well, I got it: a job as a Digital Strategist for Launch Digital Marketing, one of only three such companies listed on Agencypimp’s list of exceptional digital marketing companies in Chicago.
While digital marketing is now essential for companies to survive in today’s advanced technological business environment, it was not essential for my Marketing degree. The terms SEO, Google Analytics, PPC, and SEM never crossed my textbook path. (Sorry professors if they did!). Lets just say like any new career, starting at Launch has been full of learning — A LOT. There is an entirely new ecosystem in my life, The Digital Ecosystem. I now live, breathe, and eat all things SEO.
Whether I am called a Digital Strategist, Account Manager, or a Warrior of the Digital World, my job description essentially boils down to that of a translator. Our clients tell us their goals and missions for their company, and we in turn translate this into a digital campaign to help them achieve success. Obviously there is quite a bit more under my job description, but you get the picture. Throughout my numerous meetings and trainings, I have come across a few insights and tips for those newbies joining the Big Bad Digital Ecosystem.
As Mumford & Sons elegantly sang, “where you invest your love, you invest your life.” This could not be more true. You need passion and drive to get through those extra hours at home researching and developing your digital craft. You have to immerse yourself daily in this ever-changing industry. I set aside time each day to look over industry blogs, news, and trends. In this career field, you have to stay on top of your game or risk becoming a thing of the past. Things like attending your first SEO conference or reading an SEO book for beginners will start to become fun, I promise.
Asking questions is part of the communication process. You need a clear understanding of your client, their trade, and your company’s talents. Asking questions is harder than you think. Remember that time someone repeated something for the third time and you still didn’t understand? If you are like me and numerous others, you gave the half smile and laugh answer. Aka: you still have no idea what they said. Do not be afraid to ask!
This seems like a no-brainer, but it is often the one most overlooked. It is important to stay completely transparent with your clients. You need to not only follow up with them, but you also need to follow through. It is better to bombard them with CCs than have the General Manager come to you first and ask what you have been doing with their money. Regardless of your busy schedule, an email or phone call once a week will show your commitment to them.
On this same topic, positive communication is also important. There is no need to wait for the next meeting to let them know their conversions are up — tell them! This type of communication will only improve your relationship.
Ask for Help
It is simple to be a jack-of-some-trades; however, a jack-of-all-trades is fairly difficult. While it is my job to understand various concepts, strategies, and trends, I cannot know it all. A great digital strategist knows when to reach out for help from the team. Launch built a great team that allows for questions and concerns to be answered any time of the day — whether it is regarding Facebook or Google Analytics, someone will have your back. Confidence in your team, company, and ultimately yourself will lead to successful development.
It is expected that at one time or another a client will be perplexed, frustrated, or lost, and a great Digital Strategist will be able to thrive at this time. SEO is not an exact science; sometimes leads can be down for no apparent reason. Accept that you don’t know why, but that you will try your hardest to find out and make a positive change. Maybe it is time to use a new strategy and take some risks. Honesty will not degrade your expertise, but rather will build trust and show authenticity.
Bottom Line: Bring the best of yourself to every opportunity!