This week marks four years since I officially started my career in digital marketing. I say ‘officially’ because I did work part-time at uni running social media ads for my student’s union, but it’s four years this week since I actually started agency life. In honour of this, I’ve compiled four key life lessons that I’ve learnt.
So, without further ado, let’s dive in!
Not everything is going to work and that’s ok
One of the main things that I learnt as an absolute perfectionist is that not everything that you try is going to work. Whether that’s a social strategy that worked amazingly for one client, which then flops for another, or an idea that you thought would go viral and ends up having one like.
Fast forward to me now and I will constantly tell my clients how important it is to test and optimise your strategy based on results.
What’s more important than everything working the first time is that you’re proactive in your approach and make changes if things aren’t going to plan. You actually end up learning more from these experiences than those times when everything just goes right.
This can be a tricky thing to learn, especially as a grad who’s used to getting high grades or being told exactly what to do to succeed, but it’s a huge learning curve.
Ask as many questions as possible
Following on from the previous point, there is no such thing as asking too many questions. Ask questions to your clients, your colleagues, your boss – whoever can help you! There are so many instances where you can very easily sit and think “oh god I don’t know how to do this” and you’re too scared to ask.
It can be very daunting to admit that you don’t know how to do something or that you’re unsure about something. But remember, you’re not there to know everything. No one can possibly know everything.
As a manager now, I find it really encouraging when a new starter is always asking questions. Not only does it prove that they are engaged, but also shows that they are interested in learning more and upskilling themselves.
Take every opportunity that you can
On my first day at my first digital marketing job, I was invited to a networking event. I was 22 and had no idea what a networking event really entailed, but nervously I said yes. I actually really enjoyed it and met lots of new people! Then, I wasn’t so scared to go to my next event and meet even more people.
It’s so important to take every single opportunity. Not just because a lot of them are really fun (such as award parties which I’ve found out are just an excuse for adults to get drunk midweek) but also because it helps you build your confidence and your personal brand. Go to talks, meet with people who also work in your field, take up a training course on something you’ve never done before. What have you got to lose?
Learn from those around you
Having worked with a number of different people over the years, the main thing I’ve learnt is to learn from every single one of them. Whether that is in a positive way or in a ‘what not to do’ kind of way. I’m really grateful that at Embryo I work with some extremely talented people. Since joining Embryo, I’ve learnt so many analytical skills and client services skills that I actually shock myself sometimes. And it’s only the beginning.
Our Director James always has a saying that you should always hire people that are going to challenge you. This is so important. Don’t see other people as your competition, learn from them. If someone is better than you at data analysis, ask them for guidance on how to upskill yourself on data analysis. If someone is better than you at handling tough client calls, observe how they do it and ask them what’s the best approach.
At Embryo, we’re really good at giving training sessions to anyone who would like to learn more about a topic. If you’re really interested in what the SEO department do, why not just ask them! I’m sure they’d love to tell you all about it. Again, it’s scary at first but it really could help in the future.
The past four years have gone really fast. I’ve worked at three different companies, learnt so much about not only social media marketing but also myself, and met some amazing people that have helped me along the way. The key takeaway from these past 4 years is the importance of learning and finding a good team that will allow you to learn. We’ve got some great roles available at the moment in Embryo so if you’re looking for a role to help you grow, take a look!