Over ten years ago I felt this calling towards digital marketing. Back in the early days of social media, YouTube, and smartphones, I fell in love with this industry and found it irresistible. These new tools and platforms gave power to everyone. We could all go out and make whatever we wanted, with only ourselves to stop us.
I’m a firm believer that anyone is capable of anything. You, me, or anyone else can achieve our dreams and we only need three things to do it.
- The will and desire to do what it takes.
- A teacher, coach, or mentor to help us get there.
At the time, I was the manager of a wholesale distribution warehouse. But, I saw the potential small businesses had with the power of digital marketing. I dove in head first, soaking up any and all information I could find about marketing. Lucky for me, the internet was my teacher.
Being self-taught it is also important to me to continue to inspire others to join the digital marketing industry and connect with all the great information out there made by some incredible people. For the last year I’ve created and curated a newsletter all about digital marketing, being a coach and a leader to other marketing professionals, and how small businesses can use these digital tools to help them grow.
Marketing is more than just my career, it is my calling. Whether its newsletters and YouTube, or social media, I’m always finding a way to talk about it. With each tweak to an algorithm or the latest tool available on the platform, I’m dig in and find how to leverage each for layer of the funnel.
This could be using Twitter for pure top-of-funnel impressions.
Or deep-diving on LinkedIn to transition from awareness to activate prospects.
Each step in the funnel requires not only the ability to use each platforms tools to reach and an analytical approach to data. One of the hardest parts of being a marketer is trying to provide great content while also appeasing everyone asking about ROI. We know our work doesn’t always have a direct route to sales, instead we’re creating a journey.
Being in digital marketing isn’t just a single skillset. Focusing all your effort into a single skill can work for some people, for others its okay to be good at many that when combined makes you a real powerhouse.
A constant battle in marketing departments is proving the ROI on digital. For people outside of digital marketing, specifically decision makers on Executive teams or in the C-Suite, want a direct path from digital channels to sales. This often leads to poor metric measurement and too much emphasis on last click attribution.
Any digital marketer will tell you that its a long game. There are no quick tricks or hacks. Social community building, SEO, keywording and link building all take a long time.
And that is where the fun is.
In no way am I a digital native. After graduating high school, my only internet experience was making my MySpace page as loud as possible and finding websites that explained how to get viruses off my eMachines Windows XP desktop. I had a vision to where I wanted to be, and I had to get much better with modern technology.
Luckily both Linux and the open-source world were there to teach me. For hours I taught myself the ins-and-outs of computing. The open-source world is full of people willing to help and I quickly grew to managing servers on my LAN then to the cloud. With Linux, apps, software and pretty much everything else in the FOSS world being free (as in cost and free as in freedom), I was able to explore endlessly.
Growing up with little resources and then starting my own family on tight budgets has taught me a lot. When I first started learning about tech I would go to the Washington State Surplus store and purchase old Dell towers. Each tower would be converted into a Linux desktop or Kodi box. I’ve never had a budget for the latest and greatest, but I know what tech makes possible.
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