What is success?
An uphill path made up of goals, expectations, trust, patience, great commitment, and constant falls.
There is no universal path to building a successful career in digital. The life of each of us is unique and punctuated by unpredictable events.
There are, however, some constants and advice, which listening to stories of professionals in the field, have been fundamental for them and could be useful to you too.
The digital market
Digital offers great opportunities to build a successful career, the data tell us. According to joint research by EY, IAB, the Italian digital market, in fact, in 2018, increased by 11.6% compared to the previous year with a value of 65 billion euros.
eCommerce and online advertising are the two sectors that are contributing most to the growth of digital. The number of digital employees also increased by 12.7% in 2018, and 9 out of 10 companies are looking for digital profiles.
The most requested professions are a data scientist, digital strategist, user experience designer, digital media manager, e-commerce manager, robotics and automation engineer, social media manager.
Having structured goals is the first step to building a successful career.
The objectives must be clear, action-oriented, meaningful for us, inspiring, challenging but achievable, measurable, limited in time, and built-in a process made up of small steps. On the contrary, there is a risk of perennial frustration searching for an island that does not exist.
For example, ” I want to be a social media manager !”
First of all, let’s ask ourselves why starting with the right reasons. What do you do then to become a social media manager? How to get started? What training to follow? Who to contact? In which network? Each question generates other questions until the “how” to move is clear and concrete.
The objectives are not eternal and immutable. Indeed in the digital professions, it is prevalent to change to build a successful career, especially when in a position and role obtained, you realize you are no longer learning and even get bored.
In this case, the process begins again, with new goals, new whys, and knew how.
2. Continuous training and information
With the web, we can train and inform ourselves in a constant, economical, and flexible way without impacting our daily working life.
Continuous training means improving qualification and professional development, increasing one’s own safety, competitive capacity,y and adaptability to technological changes both as an employee, entrepreneur,r and freelance.
A practical tool to stay up to date is Zest, a Google Chrome extension that presents you with a series of tips and posts useful for digital marketing, social media, UX, etc., when you open the browser, which you can read every day before diving into activities. Another good method is to follow the pages, profiles, groups that publish and comment on what is happening daily or subscribe to newsletters for the field of interest. There are also certified podcasts and online courses, which you can also listen to on the commute. Google, online, and free certifications are also particularly considered.
“We are looking for a candidate of 20/25 years with at least 3 years of experience in digital marketing, SEO, sem, social media, marketing automation, spinning football. Guaranteed reimbursement of expenses.”
In digital, you need experience and results. Listening to the stories of digital professionals, repeated advice, especially in the beginning, is to create something of your own. Many started from a blog, others follow-budget projects and invested time, hope, sweat, and this, even if it did not translate into successful projects, allowed them to express themselves and gain experience, even making mistakes.
Another tip when we propose to a client and we have little experience, to be honest. We show the knowledge and the processes we want to implement without promising high and low because betrayed expectations are dangerous and a bad business card. Another fatal mistake when starting is to sell out. Of course. You are not Leo Burnett, but not to be underpaid either.
4. Personal Branding
Is it more important to be good or to be able to communicate it? The correct answer would be to be good and know how to communicate, but we know very well that very often,n the conjunction “and” turns into “generating a host of junkinsightt and hidden treasures.
Knowing how to communicate with your target and make yourself visible is as important as building a successful career in digital (and not only). When you apply for a job offer, your resume integrates with your online presence,e and the recruiter will most likely search the web for your profile, your activities, what you post. Not to mention the freelancer and the possible client. The online presence cannon, therefore, be left to chance to build a successful career. For example, start with a quick Google search with your first and last name. Is what you find what you would like to be perceived of you?
A central element of personal branding is the creation of content. Creating, sharing on social networks and commenting on contents (of quality, of course), talking about what you face in your work, points of view, experiences, advice, allows you to create contacts, trust relationships with your audience, position yourself on the market as a professional and gain authority. The contents require perseverance, time, study, a bit of talent, and a lot of commitment, but working well, the results will not belong in coming, and you will expand your network.
Create content involves having a strategy upstream and beyond consistency is also important consistency. If your goal is to position yourself as a social networking professional, why are you posting all kinds of content instead of focusing on the topic? What is the target to reach? Are you on the right platform? Questions like these allow you not to waste energy unnecessarily. You don’t need great tools, just a simple blog, where you can tell “stories” by finding your voice most naturally and transparently possible. Or you can give updates on Twitter or a daily post on Linkedin. It depends where your interlocutors are, both professionals like you, clients, and employers.
Linkedin is a useful tool for building your professional network. Having a curated and active profile on the social network, highlighting the keywords to attract and be found by recruiters and customers is essential.
5. Passion, patience, risk, courage
“Choose a job you love, and you won’t have to work a day in your life”
Passion is the real engine for building a successful career. Passion means making sacrifices, going back to studying, carrying on two jobs, giving up a few hours of sleep, and all without even being a burden, because that effort makes us satisfied. Passion allows you to take risks and make bold decisions, even if they currently have disadvantages. Passion does not mean, however, that competence, structure,e, and objectives are not necessary. Different elements and an analytical look are needed to achieve results.
One factor contributing to success is patience, understood not as slowness or simply waiting, but rather as a vision, setting yourself long-term goals and achieving them following a process.
Patience is also constancy. ” Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba, was turned down 10 times at Harvard before founding his company and became the richest man in China.” Patience and perseverance allow us to be tolerant of mistakes (ours and others), make up for the time that got out of hand in the digital world, and continue learning.
6. Chew the data
The digital world is driven by data. Every action is tracked, every euro spent in a reasoned campaign. The data allows us to negotiate an investment, to implement a strategy, to experiment, to correct the aim of a campaign, the text of a copy.
Whatever digital profession you fac,e there will be data, even in the most creative. The advice is to pay attention to this aspect in training and practical activities whether you want to become a Content marketing Manager or SEO guru.
No man is an island, and the network is a resource for your professional development and the best way to advance in a successful career. Creating a network will allow you to confront yourself if you encounter doubts or difficulties in your activities, to complete a project, to find new opportunities, to increase the visibility of content and your personal branding.
How to create a network?
- Clear goals. Having a clear idea of where you want to go will allow you to understand who your target is and build your own tailored network.
- Reciprocity. For example, if you like a piece of content and appreciate the author, let them know, comment, give your opinion, share. People will be more likely to return the “favor” and connect with you.
- Registration and active participation in social groups. Participating in groups with other professionals will allow you to stay updated in your sector and meet new contacts.
- Content creation. Creating content allows you to establish a relationship with the network and confront yourself on common ground. You will also increase your visibility;
- Participation in events. In Italy, there are many digital events, not only in big cities. Just one question asked the right person can change your life path. If you know someone offline, then try to continue the conversation on digital channels, not letting too much time pass from the meeting.
- Dare. Digital diminishes distances, which were unthinkable until some time ago. We are often afraid of disturbing a professional we follow and admire, but on the other hand, we will most likely find people willing to give good advice and “join their network.”
Competence not Carelessness
In digital, there is a lot of improvisation and superficiality.
The frenzy completely and immediately we think success is guaranteed and as easy as opening a social account. Success takes time and expertise.
Regardless of what your path will be, try to start with the right foundations: objectives, quality training, practice to gain experience, networks, and some risks. Then ask yourself the right questions and never take for granted what you have already managed to achieve today.