As we move forward into 2016, many of us will have no doubt started to think about some New Year’s Resolutions: get fitter, lose weight, learn something new, spend more time with family… Well while you’re at it, why not include one or two that will help your digital marketing career? To give you a helping hand, we’ve suggested five resolutions for digital marketers.
CPD is the real king
The digital marketing industry is fast changing and just when you think you’ve got to grips with one area, it changes. Multiply this across all areas and disciplines within this sector, then it almost becomes a full time job just to keep pace – let alone get one step ahead of the game.
It can become quite a daunting challenge and you can feel easily disheartened that it’s never ending. We don’t have the answer for accomplishing everything you want to learn, but there’s one thing you can do which is to take a measured and controlled approach to your CPD. Start the year with a plan! What skills do you want to improve? Are there any short courses or webinars you could book this year?
As the digital world evolves, so does the depth and breadth of knowledge that is available. Content is available in a multitude of formats, on all sorts of devices, 24/7. Take some time each month to plan a little training and development into your week. You may not have in depth knowledge of every subject, but by the end of the year you will have ticked a number of boxes and feel much more in control of your personal development and confident in your digital marketing role.
Here’s a colleague’s initial draft of her CPD plan:
Dust off your social networks
As social networks have taken off, I think we have all been guilty of joining a few, possibly all of them, to see what they’re about. In many cases, that’s as much as is done until a need arises to update our LinkedIn profile, or share a company tweet.
Make 2016 the year that you dust off your social networks. You don’t need to be using all of them. LinkedIn and Twitter are probably the networks of professional choice for the digital marketer. Plan in time this month to ensure:
- You have a professional looking profile photograph – particularly important for LinkedIn
- Your profile is current and includes any updates to your job description
- You start following people or join specific interest groups on LinkedIn
- And allocate just 30 minutes, 2 or 3 times a day, to check your networks
Managing your own social networks shouldn’t be onerous. If you’re working in the digital marketing industry, you should be seen to be actively involved. There’s nothing worse than an occasional social media user with no profile… so get your duster out!
Do something for the greater good
It’s a great feeling to do something good, don’t you agree? The easiest way to do this is by supporting a charity. You could tie this in with a New Year’s Resolution to get fit and sign up for a few Fun Runs, or bake a few cakes for coffee mornings. Getting involved with local or national charities will also keep you up to date with how not for profit organisations make great use of their social networks; this also provides you with the perfect way to engage with them – and helps you to improve your own networks!
If that’s not for you, you might want to consider joining a mentoring scheme, either as a mentor or mentee? The latter will provide you with plenty of opportunities to develop professional and learn from other successful marketing professionals. The former will enable you to give something back to your professional community as you help guide a budding marketing professional on their career journey.
Be brave and try something new
CPD will help you enhance existing skills, or perhaps learn a new one, but why not try stepping out of your usual learning comfort zone. If you’re usually stuck at your desk, why not try a networking event? We host
Digital Futures events for senior digital marketing professionals, but there are many others that take place during the year. Use some of your connections or groups on LinkedIn to find out when events are being held in your area.
If you’re already busy with events, or you just can’t get out of the office, why not start your own blog? It’s a great way to share experiences or knowledge and engage with your peers. LinkedIn offers a publishing option and it may well be coming soon to Facebook - otherwise there are plenty of other places where you can easily set one up (WordPress, Blogger).
Don’t be shy, be proud of your work
We can all be a little guilty of not taking time to reflect on some of the great work we do and it’s got nothing to do with being shy. We would all love to shout our successes from the hilltop, but it’s finding the time to climb it. We say let this year be the year that you put on your boots and start climbing. There are lots of awards, locally and nationally, which take place during the year. We’re certainly going to be putting this on our “to do” list this year and recommend you do the same. You won’t necessarily always win, but you won’t know unless you try.
We hope the above has inspired you and 2016 is a year full of exciting new plans for your career. Have a great 2016, and if we can be of any help, don’t hesitate to
get in touch. Happy New Year!