Written By: Adam Dince
This past Friday, I had the opportunity to speak at AD2’s Student Advertising Summit about earned media and the incredible career opportunities for advertising majors who might be interested in organic search, social media and content strategy. I spoke about my career, how its evolved and what I’m doing now at Deluxe. After the session, I spent a good two hours speaking with students about what they can do to best prepare themselves for a career in advertising.
Later in the evening, I started thinking about the kind of advice all of us can take on how to grow in our advertising/marketing profession and increase our value, regardless of whether we’re a new grad or a seasoned veteran. And to those of us who care, this post is for you.
When you apply for a job in digital marketing/advertising, you’ve got to be seen as a rock star. And once you’re hired, you’ve got to keep playing that proverbial guitar. What does that mean? It means that you’ve got to be at the top of your game and be recognized by the community as so.
Many years ago when I started working my way up the digital ladder, I found myself struggling to find a voice outside of my agency. And while I got pats on the back from my bosses, it didn’t help grow my career. My co-workers and I had been stuck at the same salary for a while and promotions were few and far in between.
Yet so often, I’d be on calls with my clients providing strategy on how to boost their brand visibility, affinity and revenue and I sort of felt like a hypocrite. Who am I to be giving a Fortune 100 brand marketing advice when I can’t even improve my own situation? And after a while, I got fed up. I’d had it. I got tired of giving advice that I wasn’t taking myself and decided to take a little of my own medicine. Here’s what I did-follow as you wish:
Register your domain name, host a blog, and start writing
So, I registered my blog site http://www.adamdince.com and I started writing. I’d always said that I’d never write because I’m no good at it. I didn’t think anyone would care what I had to say, so why waste my time? I’d heard a stat once that the average readership of a blog was one person. So why would I spend hours writing when no one would see it?
Nevertheless, if the advice was good for my clients, then damn it, it was good for me! It’s been a few years now, and I write all the time. Not just for my blog, but guest blogging for highly reputable industry sites such as Conductor’s blog.
The icing on the cake was having an article I wrote getting picked up on Oprah.com. Go figure!
My advice: Write! Register your personal name as your domain. Connect your social networks to your blog so that your audience can easily share it with their networks. And have patience. Success won’t happen overnight, but it will come if you persist.
Get active in the social community
I created a Facebook brand page and started sharing my content. I asked my digital marketing friends from my regular Facebook page to join my fan page. Not everyone did, but it was a start.
I had a Twitter account that saw less action than the #thekiss dude in the GoDaddy commercial (although, I would have traded places with him for that moment in time in a heartbeat). So, I started proactively finding industry people in the community to connect with. I met Kelly Kim and her husband/business partner Eric Kim who’d started an incredible Twitter marketing technology, Twylah. A few weeks after I started using Twylah I wrote an article on how to SEO your Twitter account with Twylah. Kelly loved the article so much that she sent it out in a newsletter to her audience. Growth!
Not only did we develop a social network friendship, but Eric, Kelly and I have become friends in the real-world as well.
Kelly and Eric are two amazing people that you should follow immediately!
I also followed writers for Fox Business and other business blog sites. Once I’d follow them, I’d introduce myself and let them know how much I enjoyed their content. Guess what? They followed me back and started sharing my content.
There are many other examples of how I connected with the community, but this post is already becoming the digital version of War and Peace.
A side not: I personally find Twitter to have the greatest impact of growing my social gravitas. But, I also spend time on Google +, Facebook, Twitter, About.Me, LinkedIn, Quora, and a bunch of other sites that are important to my career.
My advice: Go be the social butterfly you are capable of on relevant social networks and build your community.
Google +, Yeah, I said it—Google +
Despite the negative things you might have heard about G+, it’s important! I was on Google + as soon as it launched. And I was the first person at my ad agency to receive authorship from Google. If you’ve not heard about Google Authorship, you’ve got a lot of catching up to do! Here is a link to a few articles I wrote on Google Authorship way back after I first got recognized.
Since then, I’ve been publishing everything on my blog with authorship credentials and have built-up my Author Rank considerably.
Grow your influence
Let’s face it; influencer measurement isn’t a perfect science. Don’t get me wrong-I’m not saying to make your end goal be focused on becoming an influencer. However, it’s good to know where you stand. If you are writing and curating good content, sharing other’s content, and being a good steward in your community, you will become an influencer without sweating it. I recommend using Kred and Klout as they’re free and seem to be the industry standard at this point.
And you better love it!
If you don’t get excited about the types of things I’ve listed above, then you’re in the wrong career field. If you’re going to succeed as a digital professional, you’ve got to eat, sleep and drink it. This industry moves way to fast to be a casual observer.
So many benefi