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Getting into my first digital marketing job – how did I get there!

Getting into my first digital marketing job – how did I get there!

June 8, 2018 By Anatoliya Petrova

Whether you are out fresh from university or trying to change a career, we are all constantly in pursuit of a dream job. A dream job is one that fulfils you, energises you, motivates you and helps you pursue your passion.

Here is my story of how I got my first digital marketing job – the dream job!

 

Finding my passion

Surprisingly to my family and friends, after graduating with bachelor and master’s in marketing I had little or no direction what career path I was willing to venture down. I have spent nearly 5 years working in hospitality management, going through a career path, I became a Duty Manager of a 5-star hotel. I have learned a lot and worked with great people. I was great at my work – people told me all the time! And while being in a comfortable career path I still was not fulfilled from what I was doing. Coming from a creative background, I longed for a role that would allow me to utilise my skills at their best.

 

The journey

Back in university, I have found that I had a natural ‘common sense’ when it comes to marketing and advertising and I set my heart on securing a job in the marketing industry. After a couple months of reinventing myself, and not giving up, I finally managed to get my foot in the door. I am now working with a creative and experienced team here at White.net! Although I did not have any relevant experience, I got in by demonstrating that I was capable of learning quickly in my 3-month internship with the company. Luckily for me, White.net has a great culture in investing in people and is generous with sharing the knowledge that comes with their experience.

 

From an Intern to an Executive

The company took me through a month of training straight after my induction day! During my training, I was given an individual project where I could broaden my skills in different areas of digital. I had the pleasure working close with most of my colleagues and learn from their unique approaches. It took me two months of a hard work to complete my project which equipped me with the knowledge and experience I was striving to. It was after my project completion when one day my manager asked me to have a meeting. I was offered a digital marketing executive position at the company!

 

Mondays at White.net

A career change could be a huge event in your life! Getting out of your comfort zone might be challenging and difficult but the results at the end worth so much all the hard work you will do! And believe me, it is not that difficult as it looks, you just have to really want it!

Today, I am still learning at White.net! The learning journey in digital marketing never ends as the industry is changing all the time and you need to follow it and be on top of everything!

While writing this blog I realize tomorrow is Monday! I can’t wait because I will roll my sleeves up at work, learn something new and contribute to everyone’s work! Bring it on Monday!

Moving from Retail to Digital

Moving from Retail to Digital

June 8, 2018 By Jenna Tallis

I made the leap from retail to digital over a year and a half ago now and I can still say to this day it was the best thing I ever did. Looking back at the working week in retail versus a working week at White.net it doesn’t even compare. Not only has my paycheck increased, but my happiness within my job and work satisfaction have doubled! Working for White.net has allowed me to develop new skills, learn and progress in a career that has a vivid future rather than just a mundane job.

Transferable Skills

Moving from retail into this industry was very scary at first as I had a lot to learn, however now I have grown into the role I can now see and appreciate how my background in retail and hospitality (mainly customer service) has really helped me progress. I can use my previous experience to offer a unique service to all our clients and communicate on a level that creates warmth between both business and client. It also has helped me give limited (granted) but still some information into the workings of retail when helping with some of our E-commerce clients.

 

Managing/Organisational

 

  • Some of the skills I didn’t even realise would be transferrable have really helped me within the team at White.net and my new role. Managing a team within retail meant I had to be on top of organisation and this has been one of the biggest skills I have taken over with me. Being able to assist the rest of the team and use my managing skills to organise meetings, calendars and events.

Communication

 

  • The communications skills you acquire being in retail speaking face to face with customers day in day out is actually one of the skills (it’s funny for me to call it a “skill” as most people would just call me a chatterbox) is probably the best transferrable skill and yet for me the most natural.

 

  • My ability to be comfortable around new people has allowed me to really fit into the networking side of digital marketing. Once you are in the industry you realise it is a major aspect of making your agency successful. It’s definitely very highly favoured on “who you know”. During my time in retail, I developed my own style of communicating with customers which, once I began to know more about the digital industry this allowed me to have the confidence to talk to potential and existing clients with little to no further training.

 

Breaking it down

I used to think I had no transferable qualities from retail and yet when I break it down there is so much that relates so easily, just the ability to solve issues, build relationships and generally handling queries are instantly transferable.

 

New Opportunities

Within Digital I have had some great opportunities to attend brilliant conferences such as Brighton SEO, Journey 18, Search London just to name a few. I have also been a part of some great Twitter chats and attended training days and smaller talks that have all helped me progress and learn to network with the digital industry. If there is one main thing I’ve learnt that I would pass on to anybody wanting to run a digital event or even just run a networking evening if you supply alcohol and pizza its sure to be a guaranteed hit!

Just go for it!

Sometimes taking that leap of faith, or in my case having someone else notice a quality in me and asking me to take that leap of faith is the best thing you can do. Was I scared as hell? Absolutely. Was I so worried I would fail? Without a doubt. But after a year and 2 months, I am still here and loving it more than ever.

 

 

 

The Curse of Knowledge in Digital Marketing

The Curse of Knowledge in Digital Marketing

June 6, 2018 By Ed

A subject which is grossly overlooked, something that not only affects digital marketers deliverable work or a client’s organic performance, but also impacts how we communicate on a daily basis. The curse of knowledge is not spoken about enough, so here’s why it’s imperative to look into and how it may impact you.

 

So, what is the curse of knowledge?

A concept dabbled with for many years, but it was Chip and Dan Heath’s explanation of the idea in Made to Stick which resonated with me. The book explained the idea that we all have insider information or knowledge about something that others do not.

What is meant by this is that when we’re delivering information, either in the form of written text or verbally, we instinctively believe the person receiving the information is also in the know. More often than not, they’re not. This creates confusion and the critical thing we’re trying to get across is entirely not received.

Why tapping out a song sounds like nonsense to others

The best example of the ‘curse of knowledge’ is the tappers and listeners exercise. We’ve all tried to tap out our new favourite song using just our fingers, but, shockingly, the people hearing this very rarely pick up the tune. This is because that when we’re tapping, we have the song playing in our head, the person in front of us does not. The same thing happens when we’re communicating our skills to someone without our skill set. We’re met with blank looks every time.

 

How the curse affects communicating with customers

Blog content for customers

If you work in an agency, it’s more than likely that in the initial stages you have very little knowledge of your clients’ target audiences. So, if you’re producing content for them, you may well be the ideal person for the job as you have no previous knowledge or impartial views. Your mind is a blank canvas.

For instance, Forex Trading was never high on my list of skills, let alone having any basic knowledge of it. But this was great for marketing purposes. We wrote a series of blog posts that targeted a broad audience, high up in the purchase funnel that essentially just wanted to know how forex trading worked. Had I had ten years of forex trading experience, my written content may have explicitly targeted to the seasoned spread betters, and in turn, narrowing my target audience.

Keyword Research for customer’s and client’s benefit

One of the most satisfying parts of my job is finding a relevant, targeted set of keywords for any of my clients. But what happens if you have previous knowledge of the industry you’re finding keywords for? For instance, if you have worked with furniture clients all your life and you’re finding keywords for a furniture e-commerce brand, you may fall into product buying-specific keywords

It is all about finding those search queries for both knowledgeable users and those first discovering your website. ‘How do I clean my sofa’, ‘why buy a leather sofa’, ‘how do I choose a sofa style’; these search queries are as important than the ‘best corner sofas in brown leather’. Yes, the latter I a search query with a buying intent, but the former will make sure your business is gaining new customers.

Digital PR

So, you have a drilled list of contacts to outreach your content to. You’re a niche brand in a niche industry and you want to let people know about your fantastic new product through emailing potential bloggers and news sites. It’s imperative those emails are not too jargony. If you have a glow in the dark mug for camping, don’t talk about its new technology, instead, explain how this will significantly benefit the user.

You may go for: ‘Gone are the days of finding your mug of cocoa or soup in the dark, this product takes away all the hassle.’ The receiver of the email will then make a judgement call on whether this is ground-breaking enough to write about. If they agree to the perfect, you can then send them detailed press release of all your mug knowledge until your heart’s content.

 

How the curse affects communication with clients and peers

Speaking to a potential lead

If we’re speaking to a potential client, we don’t bombard them with SEO technical jargon even though at times these skills may be on the tip of our tongue. Instead, they want to know how your expertise will affect their business goals; not the ins and outs of your expertise.

Speaking to clients

Communicating verbally has the same principles as the written word. The curse of knowledge can have a profound effect on speaking with clients. You’re a digital marketer who’s built up a substantial knowledge of the industry, but will a client understand anything you’re saying when first speaking through your SEO strategy?

I’ve had calls when content marketing jargon starts to seep out on the phone, and, quite rightly, it’s invariably met with silence and then a ‘hmmmm… sorry, could you explain that again, please? It’s awkward, there’s no doubt and a time waster. Instead, before the call, understand what they are likely to know then adapt your explaining and questioning during the call.

Speaking with your peers

Whether you’re in-house or agency, the team you work with is not likely to know as much as you in your specialist area. If you’re a year into content marketing and you’re next to a paid media specialist with three years’ experience, it’s likely they’ll need things explaining from you despite their longer industry experiences.

There’s no doubt that sometimes it comes down to vanity. Instead of helping our peers, we may think it’s an opportunity to parade our skill set. This is in no way beneficial. Communicating with your peers comes down to mutual respect and the way you speak with each other; condescending or patronising them with your slightly greater knowledge is not best practice.

How the curse of knowledge impacts teaching methods

I’ve only tried my hand at teaching for the first time recently, but it’s something that has taught me so much about communication, and particularly the curse of knowledge. My first presentation was a mess; I was attempting to explain everything I knew in two hours. This is a) not possible, and b) not the point of teaching.

If I had put myself in their shoes – a mixed group with relatively little digital marketing knowledge – then I would have done things very differently. Making sure they understood one area of content marketing with the help of engaging group tasks would have been much more efficient than me reeling off things to blank faces.

 

The importance of user intent and knowing your audience

Understanding user intent

Everything I’ve spoken about really comes down to thinking about your audience before engaging with them and understanding their intent. This both means to have a grasp of their knowledge of a subject as well as what they want to know about it.

Whether it’s verbal or written communication, if you have never met your audience before then it’s important you use all the tools you can access to create a persona around them. Potentially ask all of the questions below:

  • Who am I communicating with (is the key target audience experienced in the industry?)?
  • What is their previous experience of what I’m offering (whether someone reading your blog post or a peer asking for digital marketing advice)?
  • What information do I have that’s unnecessary and hard to understand for my target audience? (Is it worth mentioning the technical specifications of a new product to prospective journalists? Probably not)

These are just a snapshot of questions you need to answer, the more you think about them, the more they will start to expand.

Lift the curse by creating personas

How to combat this and lift the curse of knowledge upon you? Create personas for your target users. It’s one of the greatest clichés, but put yourself in their shoes.

For example, you’re writing a blog for your new client – a small online wine business based in the UK. You have years of wine experience, both researching and tasting, home and abroad. A knowledge built up that is far above the norm. However, your end goal is to make people aware of this British-produced wine.

Create the persona of your core target audience:

  • Andrew
  • 35-year-old office worker
  • Lived in Britain his whole life
  • Likes to drink wine but bored of the same stuff

Once you have this persona in your head, you’ll write for Andrew, you’ll no longer write from the point of view of someone with above average knowledge of wine. Your initial title before thinking about the target persona might have been ‘how the age of grape affects its dryness’. This is great for wine enthusiasts but what about Andrew.

How about ‘British Wine: Same Quality as European, But Half the Price’. If this is true, which I have to be honest I don’t know, then this will resonate with a much broader audience than the initial title.

 

Final word on lifting the curse of knowledge

Always understand your audience. Never let the curse of knowledge rear its ugly head. If you do, there will be heaps of confused faces and unproductive dialogues – either the written word or verbally. Time will be wasted, money will be lost, and there will be lots of sad faces.

It’s not rocket science, it’s more how rocket scientists should communicate with us lesser individuals.

My First Brighton SEO

My First Brighton SEO

May 1, 2017 By Ed

If you’re reading this, you’ll probably be aware of the SEO industry’s biggest gig of the year. Held in sunny (most of the time) Brighton in a large conference hall hugging the coastline, Brighton SEO is the UK’s largest free SEO conference.

With the top names in the industry delivering talks on a broad range of digital marketing topics, it is a no-brainer for any agency or search enthusiast to attend.

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Finding your Path in Digital

Finding your Path in Digital

April 10, 2017 By Ed

When you first start out working in digital marketing, you’ll find that eventually there’s a need to specialise. The amount you can learn and do is so broad that it’s very difficult to be an expert in every element. Whilst at first you’re going to want to keep your knowledge broad and learn about all the different sides to it, as you gain more and more experience it’s likely you’ll begin to prefer one side of things more than others. So how do you make that choice?

Have an open mind

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