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We All Make Mistakes: How To Keep Your Digital Career On Track

Whether you’ve taken on the wrong job or had a bad experience with a client, here are some ways to keep your digital career on track

digital career

In the ever changing world of digital marketing, it’s all too easy to slip up from time to time. Whether taking on the wrong role in your career or using an outdated marketing solution for your client, however, it doesn’t have to mean the end of the world.

If you have a time machine, we suggest you take a little trip back a decade or so. Does anyone remember Netscape? Do you recall waiting for your telephone line to connect to the internet? Remember when slow speeds meant you had to wait a week for a music track to download onto your computer.

We’re so used to the here and now that we forget it wasn’t always so great.

No one is more aware of how the digital landscape has changed in the last few years than digital marketers. 7 or 8 years ago, copywriters were working hard to produce as many inbound links to their businesses as possible through spam blogging. There were marketing managers who thought keyword stuffing was the Holy Grail for getting to the top of the rankings. Both of these practices are now seen as big no-no’s in the world of SEO.

If you think the digital landscape we see today is going to be the same in five years’ time, you’ve learned nothing from the past. Because of that, and because of good old fashioned human fallibility, marketers are almost always making mistakes.

Maybe you just produced an email marketing campaign for a customer and it’s fallen flat on its face. Perhaps that PPC campaign wasted more money than you expected. Perhaps your old fashioned approach to SEO requires a wakeup call.

You’re probably not the only one to get it wrong. The rules change so fast in the world of digital marketing, it can mean your tried and tested methods may suddenly lack the penetration you are looking for without any warning.

Here are just a few ways to make sure you stay ahead of the game:

Be Critical of Your Own Performance

Once you get into the swing of a digital marketing job it can be pretty easy to settle into the routine. That can mean, however, you also get a little lazy. Stepping back and reviewing your performance, even if you don’t have a digital marketing manager hanging over your shoulder, is a good practice to get into.

  • Did you give your client 100%?
  • Could the results of your digital marketing efforts been improved in some way?
  • Are you lacking a bit of knowledge or skill that might make the difference between an OK ROI and a brilliant one?
  • Have things moved on? Is there something important that you should be adding to your marketing provision?

Being critical isn’t about being negative. It’s about having the self-analytical tools with respect to your performance that helps keep you at the top of your game.

Learn From Your Mistakes

As we said, if you make a mistake, it’s not the end of the world. Some people look at it as some kind of catastrophe, others see it as a learning opportunity. Try to be in the latter group. If you’re working for a small marketing company, you might want to seek some feedback and talk about what went wrong with your colleagues.

A bigger company may offer online and other learning tools that you will be able to access and use to improve your performance. Most managers accept that mistakes get made. It’s what you do afterwards that counts.

As Bill Gates once said: “It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.”

Keeping Your Digital Skills Up To Date

One of the main reasons that mistakes get made in the first place is because people don’t keep their skills and knowledge up to date. In some cases, this comes down to plain laziness. But many of us in the digital marketing industry simply find we’re too busy. No sooner have we completed one bit of marketing copy or rolled out a campaign the next job comes flying along.

But is this a good enough excuse?

What you need to do is make time in your day to catch up on things. It’s easy enough to do and most of it’s free and available online.

Our advice is to sign up to any social media or digital marketing site or guru who will help keep you informed. There are plenty out there and all you have to do is subscribe to the site to receive updates right to your phone. Set aside a few moments (perhaps while on the way to work or during your lunchbreak) to have a read through some articles and watch videos about your subject area.

Here are just a few good digital marketing blogs you can plug yourself into right now:

  • The Moz Blog: If you only have one site you subscribe to, this should be the one. It includes articles by the top influencers in SEO and inbound marketing.
  • Kissmetrics: For anyone who wants to understand analytics and metrics better, the blog for this site produces a whole host of interesting, current articles.
  • Unbounce: Building those marketing campaigns can be a big challenge and helping your clients stand out from the competition is fraught with difficulty. This blog gives you plenty of info on how to nail your next campaign.
  • Convince and Convert: This site includes everything you want to know about social media, influencer marketing and customer experience, all rolled into one.

Most of the blogs are short and having a quick read through will give you plenty of ideas but also ensure your knowledge remains current in the fast changing digital marketing environment.

Accepting You’ll Make Mistakes

Finally, we can all be shy when it comes to making mistakes. We all make them but not fessing up (at least to yourself) should not be an option. If you’re heading out for an interview soon, understanding your weaknesses and the mistakes you have made in the past is important. It also allows you to show that you have a critical mindset and are willing to put in the processes and implement solutions that improve your performance.

This attitude of being more positive about failure will contribute to driving your career forward. If we don’t admit our mistakes and learn by them, we tend to repeat those errors. So, the next time you get it wrong, make a conscious effort to be self-critical and use that power to improve your performance.

Make it a habit and you’ll soon find that it has huge benefits not only to your current job but your future digital marketing career.

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