I started my career in digital marketing five years ago at a local business helping them build their presence with Local SEO. Fresh out of college, I didn’t have any real proper training. I had to teach myself everything I possibly could about digital marketing and search engine optimization. I remember reading and bookmarking countless blogs from Search Engine Journal and Search Engine Land. I used my time to study up, and listen to the most recent Whiteboard Friday from Rand Fishkin. I started following tweets and blogs from the likes of Barry Schwartz, Matt Cutts, Larry Kim and Danny Sullivan.
While I learned a lot from blogs and videos, I could not help but think of the first time I actually had some real life lessons in digital marketing. To my surprise, it wasn’t from any of the above mentioned resources. In reality, my mom inadvertently taught me a few lessons that I still use today in digital marketing. They may not be direct lessons on creating strategies and processes, but they are core lessons that translate directly to the fundamentals digital marketing.
Lesson #1: Be An Active Listener
One of the best lessons my mom taught me was to always practice active listening. She said in every conversation, try to summarize what the other person(s) said. It not only shows them that they have your undivided attention, it also shows you are truly invested in that person and what they have to say.
Digital Marketing Lesson: As digital marketers, the most appreciated service we can offer is our undivided attention. Sometimes we are so eager to throw our ideas at the client that we forget to truly listen to them and understand their needs and concerns. It’s not enough to just listen, we need to practice active listening to our clients. The more we can practice active listening with our clients, the better we can build our relationships — giving our internal strategies better precision and overall effectiveness.
Lesson #2: Be Open to Constructive Criticism
Constructive criticism can sound like your worst enemy and can make you feel uncomfortable, but my mother often reminded me that it can also be your greatest tool and asset for growth. I used to struggle so hard with taking constructive criticism in a positive way. I used to think that all criticism was the same, but looking back I can now see that my mother never gave up on showing me the value of (humbly) giving and openly receiving constructive criticism. The ability to do this could very well be one of my most valuable assets in life, both personally and professionally.
Digital Marketing Lesson: In the professional world, we know the value of giving constructive criticism to others. Sometimes our best work can come from receiving constructive criticism. When we receive constructive criticism we open ourselves up to different angles and points of view. We tend to forget that this is the true purpose of constructive criticism. It is meant to improve the outcome and help raise and maintain our agency performance standards.
Lesson #3: Always Be Resourceful
At a young age, I was always told to be and stay helpful to others. Being a resource is one the greatest qualities you can have as a person. My mom always tells me, “In life you will never have all the answers to questions or challenges. But if you keep an open mind, maybe the person next to you can help you find the answer to your question or vice versa. On the flip side, maybe the person next to you doesn’t have an answer to a question or challenge, but you do.” Help others find the answer by sharing your knowledge and experience. Be a resource, and utilize the resources around you.
Digital Marketing Lesson: We are only as strong as our coworker next to us. Working in an agency, our experience can level out and that’s okay, diversity makes a team grow stronger. Don’t let varying experience levels be a handicap to your team, instead allow it to be a strength. Build upon these strengths by encouraging further education. Hold internal training sessions that cover topics they have expressed interest in learning. Or if you can only teach in small groups, just hold one-on-one workshops. Not only will this help make your team stronger, but it makes you a stronger team member.
Lesson #4: Stay Humble
Out of all my lessons in digital marketing, this lesson has always been near and dear to my heart. My mother always tells me, “no matter how successful you become in your field or in this life, never lose sight of who you are and the people who helped you to get there.”
Digital Marketing Lesson: I know it can be hard to see how this relates to a digital marketing strategy. It’s more of a universally applicable life lesson. However, digital marketing is a very competitive field. From learning and using new digital marketing tools, to keeping up with the most current changes in the field. With all these changes, one thing will always remain constant, and that is you, me, and everyone else in the digital marketing field. We all have goals and achievements we want in this field, but on our way toward achieving those goals it’s easy to forget about the people who helped get us there. Take a moment to reflect on the individuals who have helped you, reach out and thank them for all the help and/or guidance they gave you along the way. Let them know that you still remember the talks, the lessons, and maybe even the coffee walks, that helped you get to where you are today.
I know these may not be direct digital marketing lessons you can run to the whiteboard and create new strategies with. These are core life lessons that you can tap into and utilize with all of your digital marketing experiences. While my mother was the catalyst for these amazing lessons, I’ve learned these lessons over and over from others throughout my career. I regularly put them into practice to further my growth, and become the best digital marketing professional I can be.
Whether you’re already familiar with these lessons or are just now hearing of them, you can start to adapt them into your everyday work. They could very well have a direct, or indirect, influence on your work ethic and ultimately affect your agency’s culture in a positive way.
I would like to leave you with one last question — has your mom or dad inadvertently taught you any digital marketing lesson? Please share with us on our Facebook page or in the comments section below.
If you found this information helpful, be sure to check out our post “Why Team Building is Important for Business.“ Organik SEO is passionate about helping businesses grow by tapping into the power of social media and SEO. To discuss how we can help you grow your business, contact us today!