A Day in the Life of a Digital Marketing Consultant.

Having explored different areas of the creative industry this week, I decided to focus on marketing for this week’s Day in the Life Series.

This week I talked to Lucy Kirkness who is 26 and is a Digital Marketing Consultant.

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Here’s an insight into marketing courtesy of Lucy!

How did you get into your job?

In a very convoluted manner! Post Cognitive Science degree, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life but knew I wanted to use the skills I had learnt in Computer Science, Psychology and Philosophy.

After a short stint as a Private Investigator (I know! Being a detective was always a childhood dream), I found an internship at a boutique digital agency, which is where I first fell in love with the industry.

I then moved to a larger digital agency in London where I worked my way up to SEO Account Manager, and fell in love with the industry even more. While I gained a huge amount of experience, I wanted to broaden this by working as an in-house SEO.

I went to work at a few startups where I started developing skills in the broader digital marketing industry; Social Media, Content Marketing, eMarketing etc, and also learning how to set up and run my own business.

I’ve always been a very ambitious person, and have wanted to build a business from the ground up – so I decided to set off on my own and offer my skills and experience to my own clients. This is what lead me to going freelance, and now working as the Director and lead digital marketing consultant at Little Digitalist.

What do you like about your job?

I love the variety that comes with digital marketing. The industry is so fast paced, which means I am always learning, trying out new tools and continually developing my skills and knowledge. There’s no chance of getting bored in an industry that’s always changing and evolving.

What are some of the challenges of your job?

The reason I love digital marketing is what also makes it a challenge. But I love a challenge! Unfortunately in the fast-moving world of digital marketing it’s difficult to predict how things will evolve with any degree of certainty.

What do you think are some of the challenges in the creative sector?

As digital and creative roles merge, competition pressures increase, often leading to higher client expectations. Most employers now tend to seek candidates with a ‘full stack’ skill set, a combination of technical, creative, strategic and softer skills. This means constant training and education, which can be difficult if you’re self-employed. There is also a need to constantly adapt to new technology, otherwise you can be left behind.

If you did a degree, how has it helped you? 

I did a Cognitive Science degree, an interdisciplinary scientific subject including Artificial Intelligence, Psychology, and Philosophy. The skills have helped me in obvious ways as they are directly transferable to a digital marketing role. My degree, being a mixture of 3 disciplines, has also helped me with multi-tasking, prioritising, and project management – which comes in very handy for agency/consulting roles where you have to manage multiple clients.

Why did you pick to work the sector that you work in?

Because I love it. It provides me with daily challenges, and is perfectly suited to my skills. It’s also perfectly suited to remote working, and flexible lifestyles. I often work on weekends and take a Thursday or Friday off – when walking through the centre of Brighton doesn’t involve pushing and shoving or crawling under legs to get anywhere!

Describe a typical day in your job?

There is no typical day in my job. Most days (once in the office at around 10am) start with checking emails and addressing any of the quick/small tasks. 10am might sound late but I try to squeeze in some Pilates to set me up for the day, or play with my kitten! I then usually spend a good amount of time catching up with the latest industry news/blog posts. If I don’t have time to read them I’ll save them to Feedly to read later.

As I work as an independent consultant, I don’t have the typical morning meetings with ‘the team’ – which actually saves me a hell of a lot of time to get on and do my work! Mornings are usually spent touching base with clients, actioning anything planned for that day, whether it’s working on a new digital strategy, auditing a clients site, researching prospects for a link building campaign, or monitoring analytics dashboards and putting together progress reports.

Lunchtime usually consists of me eating at my desk while browsing through social media again and catching up on any news. Sometimes I’ll chip in to a relevant Twitter Chat if there is one scheduled.

The afternoons are usually spent continuing with any tasks planned for that day and creating a list of actions for the following day.

If I ever have a spare hour or two in my day, I’ll spend it learning a new skill, testing out a new tool, or looking for ways to evolve my offering and marketing my business.

Any advice for people wanting to get into your sector and/or the creative industry? 

I personally think the best way of getting into the industry is by working on your own project. Have a marketing degree and internships under your belt? Great. But taking the initiative to create your own website or blog, test out marketing techniques, or generally running your own creative / digital related project I believe really sets you apart. Go to conferences and meet-ups and connect with other people in the industry. Last but not least, build you own online presence, show that you can build your own personal brand.

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