Old Millennial, New Tricks
I’m late to the party. But better late than never.
If you would have asked me a couple of years ago about digital marketing, from content management to software to SEO, I would have looked at you like a deer in the headlights. Of course, like most of us from the 80s side of the millennial generation, I've been actively using digital & social media for over a decade; but primarly for entertainment purposes—more or less ignorant about the why and how behind the what.
In 2018—agnostic about strategy, analytics, and even best practices—Creatis President/CEO Kathy Hollenhorst handed me the reigns to the Creatis social media presence, under her oversight. One of Kathy’s goals was to bolster the Creatis digital marketing efforts and outreach, and step one was to simply engage with our clients and employees on social media, on a consistent basis. Did I feel like a fish out of water? Most definitely. But diving into the unknown is a prerequisite for growth.
My entire skills toolbox at that time consisted of an understanding of how to hit “Tweet,” how to attach photos, and the ability to string words together. Ok, that's not the whole truth. I also brought a geniune curiosity and desire to learn about the inner workings of digital. I wanted to start piecing it together for the first time!
It's way more beneficial to be curious and wrong than it is to be close-minded and right when it comes to learning new digital tools.
Over the next 2 years, through work with Creatis and our client H.B. Fuller, my digital Dark Ages gave way to a period of Enlightenment. Though I’m by no means an expert on all things digital, I’ve gained confidence in my ability to drive digital engagement, craft effective social & blog content, and now have a newfound understanding of using software to make marketing easier (which is what it should always do!). I also learned something about how to learn: It’s more beneficial to be curious and wrong than it is to be close-minded and right when it comes to learning new digital tools. Maybe there’s a life lesson in there, too.
I’m proud to have contributed to the content management & marketing for the new Creatis sponsored podcast, “In the Key of D: Using Digital to Transform Your Business." This process involved a lot of time spent learning the language; borrowing strategies and tactics from other related podcasts, and relying on my teammates for input and collaboration. Over 2 months, I learned about RSS feeds, measurement tools, SEO, marketing software & automation, digital toolkits and so much more. But take heed: though knowing the ins and outs of a software might look shiny on a resume, guess what? That software is going to eventually change, so you must be prepared to change, too. That's the key takeaway for me.
But take heed: though knowing the ins and outs of a software looks shiny on a resume, guess what? That software is going to eventually change, so you must be prepared to change, too.
One thing I've learned from listening to the expert guests on the podcast is that people are often the barrier to change and transformation because of a fear of the unproven and unknown. But there's no reward without risk. Digital is evolving and it offers an opportunity for professionals to evolve with it and build a new world. Pretty cool, right?
Advice on diving into the digital unknown:
- It's OK to be Wrong!
- Don't let your ego boss you around. You're going to get some things wrong at first, but that will show you what's right. A dose of humility & some patience from your teammates helps, too.
- Treat It Like A Puzzle—One Piece At A Time
- Sometimes all the bells and whistles of digital technology and software can be overwhelming. Ask yourself, "What do I need to know right now?" Start small. Find out where one button leads and why. Start connecting the pieces to the whole. Remember, software should make your life easier, not more complicated!
- Learn By Doing
- Mind muscle memory is important. You'll grow as you do, not just as you read and research (though those are important aspects, too). Use as many "test" features as you can along the way.
- The Internet is Your Ally
If you're looking to put your newfound marketing or creative skills to work, learn more about joining the Creatis team below.