Seven months ago if someone was going to tell me I would be a digital marketing manager at one of the fastest growing startups, I probably wouldn’t have believe them.
Becoming apart of the Silicon Beach community in LA has taught me many things about how the digital world is evolving and growing at such a rapid rate. The truth is, the digital marketing industry is still very much in the unchartered territory stage. Pretty much everyone that I have met, either at work, networking events, trade shows, etc. has labeled themselves as “entrepreneurial.” I believe that this is a term that gets thrown around way too often and nonchalantly; however, I do believe that in order to succeed in the digital marketing universe you truly need to be entrepreneurial.
Working at an agency like Hawke Media requires an entrepreneurial mentality that will put your work ethic to the test. Every time I am in an interview I explain to the interviewee that although working in an environment like this seems really cool, young and laidback, there really is a massive load of work to be done and there is no one that is going to stand over your shoulder and tell you what to do. The free reign that is given to you in an industry like this is there to test your true ability to set your own route and GET SH*! DONE. Most people will say that this is exactly how they work and how they can definitely operate at their own pace. The truth is, this particular work environment will either make or break you.
Below I have provided some wisdom for new graduates if they wish to work in the digital marketing world.
GOOGLE IT FIRST
Before you ask one of your coworkers a question, Google it. This is something that I have found to be really helpful in a collaborative work environment. Understand that your co-workers all have deliverables to get done and deadlines to meet. If you are asking someone to help you out with a problem you cannot solve, it is better to explain to them why you are having that issue and what you have already done to try and solve it. Also, just learning how to figure things out on your own is a strong quality you can carry with you in life.
I don’t care how many times your boss or coworker has told you to stop asking so many questions, keep doing it. Yes, still google it first and try to figure it out for yourself, but if you can’t find the answer, don’t be afraid to ask for help. In my experience I have found that I would rather be the guy who reassures and makes sure that things are being done correctly, rather than being the guy who acts like he knows it all, but is actually skeptical and unsure about making that move. If you still get things wrong after it has been explained to you multiple times, it might be time for you to reconsider your career choice.
DO IT NOW OR WRITE IT DOWN
When that idea or reminder light bulb pops up on top of your head, either write it down or do it immediately. There are so many different tasks, reminders and ideas that fluctuate around in your brain throughout the day. It is important to keep yourself organized and write things down. Even if you’re certain that you won’t forget it, write it down anyways. You never know, that one idea that you forgot a couple weeks ago could have been a million-dollar idea 😉
USE YOUR CALENDAR
Using your calendar is a quality and a skill that will forever pay off in regards to both your personal and professional life. Some days I find that I may have so much to do, that even just blocking out an hour to go to lunch, or 15 minutes to surf the web can relieve a lot of the stress and a weekly/daily basis.
READ A BOOK
I know many of the recent graduates think that after college their learning is over. On the contrary it is just beginning. There is so much more to learn from digital marketing then what you gained from a textbook. One of my favorite strategies is to ask a coworker about a good book that he or she has recently read. Currently, I am reading a book called, Crossing the Chasm: Marketing and Selling High-Tech Products to Mainstream Customers, by Geoffrey Moore. I am also reading another book that has nothing to do with digital marketing, Harvey Pennick’s, Little Red Book. This is a short book about the lifetime techniques and lessons of golf. I have found that reading a book that doesn’t relate to your everyday work life can be very pleasant. Besides understanding the technology adoption curve, the point is you need to be constantly improving yourself. Reading books or blogs. Taking yourself out of your comfort zone. If you are not learning, you are not improving.
These are some of the tools that I recommend, recent graduates, to work on if you truly want to make a career in digital marketing.