What I’ve Learned During 4+ Years of Marketing

a blackboard that says "success go get it"

While scouring and researching online to find a new topic to cover, something clicked. I don’t like writing about things (especially on this blog) that don’t interest me. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’ve drafted compelling 10 page whitepapers about the most BORING topics before with no sweat. But, today felt different.

This week felt different.

Nothing snagged my attention and nothing that I could think of really stood out again the crowd. So, I decided to do something a little different (after all, this is my blog and I can write what I want to).

This week, we’re getting “a little” personal, and I’m sharing what I’ve learned so far during my marketing career. Compared to others, I may not have that many years under my belt, but I have learned tons. And, I remember what it was like first starting out, having an idea of what the “real marketing world” is like would have been really helpful. This is why I’m killing (figuratively) two birds with one stone.

What I’ve Learned So Far During my #Marketing Career!

You Don’t Always Start Where You End Up

In very early 2015 I got my very first marketing internship. I was surprised. I had (only slightly) exaggerated about how involved with social media I have been for a few small businesses in town. It wasn’t a lie, but I had only done the work for 3 months, and honestly only really knew just as much as other 20 year olds at the time. But, I did have a degree in media and I knew that I had ideas.

So, I started my journey as a “Digital and Social Media Intern”. I ran and created social campaigns, looked at data, handled PR, created videos, the works! By the end of the year I had created a presence for this company on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. And, managed to increase Facebook traffic alone by almost 30%.

Then, after asking for a full-time position, they let me know. I was devistated. But, it turned out to be one of the best things. It taught me that:

  1. That work place wasn’t for me. I wanted to learn so much more and they wouldn’t nurture that.
  2. Social media wasn’t for me. I started out thinking that marketing was very “in a box” but the more I was exposed to what it really was the more I wanted to venture out and do other things.

Ironically, my next internship was also is social media. And, I still do social to this day. However, I have since gone to do far better things. That next internship pushed me into SEO and Growth marketing, and now I manage an entire marketing department. I have a passion for inbound, growth, SEO, and content. I love data analysis and I’m actually really good at it!

It amazes me all the time that this all started almost 5 years ago working with a company to grow their social media. Crazy right?

Agencies and In-House Are Completely Different

In my short(ish) time in marketing I’ve worked both in-house and agencies, and I’ve done in-house FOR agencies. Basically I’ve covered it all. This has it’s obvious benefits as it means I can adapt and have worked through a variety of problems. But, one thing that never ceases to amaze me is how different these two platforms are. And, I prefer agencies if I’m honest.

First, let me say this – every company is different. For example, the agency I work with now is very slow paced. However, that isn’t the norm. In fact, it is usually the other way around. Agencies are full of energy, collaboration, and fast-paced days, while in-house companies sometimes take a longer time to get things out the door.

Personally, I like things a little more fast-paced. I enjoy have a list full of things to-do. And, more importantly, I enjoy being able to cross each one of them off. Moving from this type of environment to one where a simple web fix can take weeks made me realize just how much I love being in a high-stakes environment.

Now, don’t get me wrong, life is all about balance, and you need some down time to relax. But, I much rather have a continuous list of things than only have 2 days worth of work, ya know?

Any Environment Can Be Toxic

When I really got into growing my own brand earlier this year, I hate to say it, but I was naive. I had followed a few marketers on Twitter, etc. for guidance and thought leadership. However, the more I immerced myself in the community, the more people I followed, the more I realized it wasn’t all sun-shine and rainbows.

This community that I thought was helpful and knowledgable was full of racism, sexism, assault, and just plain rudeness. It took me by surprise and I wasn’t sure what to think of it. But, then I realized that was the minority.

Seeing this helped me understand that “bad” things exist even in the most innocent of places, but that doesn’t make the place as a whole “bad”. So, I filtered who I followed and supported those who were trying to be positive. This was one of my biggest lessons so far, and it’s something I try to remind myself of every day.

There you have it, a few things I’ve learned so far in marketing. Probably not what you expected, but I plan on continuing this. I want to share my experiences along the way of becoming my best self within an industry as vast and as competitive as this one.

Stay tuned for more updates. And, if you’d like to work together, head on over to my solutions page to see all that I can do. Tootles!

Published by Stevie Howard

I am a digital marketer that has experience in a variety of fields including social media, SEO, SEM, lead generation, content strategy, and more.

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