Choosing a career is one of – perhaps the – most important decisions you will make. Some people are drawn to one pursuit or another, while others take the time to cycle through careers before they settle on the perfect fit. How do you know which path is right for you?
Here are ten signs you were born to be in digital marketing:
You Know Communication Skills Rule All
As a digital marketer, every second of your day will be occupied with creating, communicating, synthesizing, organizing, and digesting information. From phrasing a sensitive email tactfully to presenting a new campaign proposal to brainstorming copy to reading about updates in your field, every single day is a see-saw of content input and output. The average office worker receives
The average office worker receives 121 emails daily. The average active web user sees an average of 490,000 words per day, more words than The Lord of the Rings trilogy. The average person spends more than 50% of their time online looking at content, be it news sites, social media, or email. One would expect that these figures are even higher for digital marketers who conduct almost all of their business online.
The ability to communicate your message clearly, succinctly, and engagingly reigns above all else. On the flip side, your ability to draw out the main message from material that is imprecise, long-winded, and dull will serve you well. Communication skills operate in both respects.
You can take courses to improve both writing skills and reading comprehension, but it ultimately boils down to practice and influence. Write often, read always. Devour articles, books, and yes, even tweets, by writers who inspire you.
You Have a Creative Spark Waiting to Be Unleashed
Digital marketing is a creative field, and few things in life can compare with the feeling when you zero in on that perfect tagline after hours of tedious back-and-forth – or when you’re struck with an unprovoked lightning bolt of inspiration at 4 am. You know you were born to be in digital marketing if you have an unquenchable desire to share your creativity with the world and see your work bring recognition (and sales) to your clients.
Creativity is often inborn, but it can certainly be nurture. In a survey of CEOs, creativity was highlighted as the #1 most desired skill. It may not seem it, but think of creativity like a muscle that needs to be trained, and creativity in your free time can reap benefits in your professional life. Play an instrument, sketch artwork, attend plays, and listen to comedy routines. Surround yourself with creative expression and tend to your inner creativity.
You Can Change Your Voice
One minute, you will be designing sober and serious PPC ads for a transportation and logistics law firm, the next you’ll be writing sassy tweets for a lifestyle brand. One day you’re doing research for a case study on data security for financial service providers, followed by a playful email marketing campaign to drive registrations for a childcare center. You were born to be in digital marketing if you can be a chameleon and quickly and enthusiastically embrace many different voices. You must be able to turn the switch on and off in an instant.
You can fake it ‘til you make it, or you can be proactive in embracing different voices and roles. Sign up for industry newsletters, read niche websites, and create Twitter lists with influential voices in each sector. You want to be on top of it when DropBox is hacked or a postal strike affects gift delivery, not find out weeks after the fact. Immerse yourself in each world and never assume you’ve learned enough.
You Have an Insatiable Hunger for Knowledge
You need to be constantly updating your knowledge about digital marketing, and about your clients and their industries. There’s always a new feature, algorithm update, or hack. You need to have a desire to seek out, read, and digest news, studies, year-end reports, and case studies about digital marketing.
Follow influencers and digital marketing experts and learn from their insights about developments, best practices, and digital marketing resources. At least 64% of marketers use social media for 6+ hours each week; 41% are active on social media for 11+ hours weekly. Supplement your communication skills and creativity with unending scholarship, learning about SEO, web design, graphic design, PR, sales, and the vast number of other fields related to digital marketing.
There is no end to the resources available to aspiring digital marketers, and most of them are free. Take Lynda courses. Get Google AdWords certified. Watch YouTube videos from the world’s leading digital marketers. Attend workshops and seminars in your city. The only limit is your willingness to invest in your future.
You Thrive in an Ever-Evolving Environment
One week, your sole job will be to do keyword research for a new e-Commerce client. The next, you will be knee-deep in a Facebook Advertising campaign to drive downloads of a stock trading platform. You’re spitting out content by the page to cover for a co-worker on vacation, then meeting with a client to discuss the quarterly analytics report.
Fingers crossed this never happens, but you might have to handle a PR crisis or chase down a client with an overdue account. You may be smooth sailing, and a new Google algorithm update throws everything into chaos. According to an Adobe survey, 76% of respondents believe marketing has changed more in the past two years than in the previous 50.
Even though you work in digital, you also need to integrate traditional marketing techniques. These ever-evolving environments don’t scare those who were born to be in digital marketing – these scenarios excite them. You get to wear many hats, and impress no matter your role.
You Can Hack It On Your Own…And Play Well With Others
You were born to be in digital marketing if you can work on your own, and succeed in doing so. You need to be extremely self-motivated, organized, and independent. You need to be productive even when no one is there to guide you, and troubleshoot your way out of every dead-end. This is especially true if you set out on your own as a digital marketing consultant.
There are a number of productivity and organization tools you can use to stay on the ball, whether you use Google Calendar, Evernote, Swipes, and more.
At the same time, you need to work well in a team environment. You need to be able to collaborate, delegate, take orders, give orders, and excel whether on your own or as a small cog in a big marketing machine. You need to form a productive and healthy partnership with every client as you work toward shared goals.
You Can Cede the Spotlight, or Step Into it With Poise
As a digital marketing manager, you do work on behalf of your clients. Your best work will often be published and promoted under the names of other people and entities. You were born to be in digital marketing if you are comfortable working in the background and can take pride in your hard work and accomplishments even if you don’t get public recognition. At the same time, you may be asked to take a public role at times, like presenting at a conference or leading a webinar. You are prepared for these instances and approach them with confidence and poise.
You can take courses on public speaking and watch tutorials on how to look more confident and prepared on camera. When you believe in what you’re saying and have a strong understanding of the subject material, it’s a lot easier to buy what you’re selling.
You Embrace Data
Digital marketing is a mix of art and science. You believe in measuring and analyzing the data and making tweaks to improve performance. You aren’t scared of what the numbers say; you welcome them with open arms because they draw a picture of where the results have been and where they need to go.
You learn the terminology and the meaning behind it. You were born to be in digital marketing if terms like CPC, CTR, and ROI feel like home. As much as 42% of B2B marketers point to a lack of quality data as an obstacle in lead generation; you’re eager to change that.
You Never Give Up in the Face of Adversity
You’re going to encounter obstacles in the course of your career as a digital marketer. You will have disappointing campaigns, obstinate clients, creativity slumps, and days/months/years where things don’t go your way. There will always be too little time, too much competition, too little budget, too little data.
You were born to be a digital marketer if you focus on solutions and learning from mistakes, not wallowing in self-pity and doubt. If you take a proactive approach to preventing miscommunications in the first place, even better.
Finally…You Love It
If you flat out love digital marketing, this is a surefire sign that you’ve chosen the right path. From that first meeting with a prospect through the discovery, creative, deployment, and review phases of a digital marketing campaign, you love what you do and can’t imagine enjoying or excelling at any other career path as much. Choosing a career is a difficult decision process, so don’t ignore or mistake the signs that you were born to be a digital marketer.
Even if you weren’t born with a soother in one hand and a copy of Gary Vaynerchuk’s latest marketing book in the other, you can still embrace and hone these qualities to become an exceptional digital marketing professional.