DIARY OF A DIGITAL MARKETER. INTERVIEW 1.
The idea for this series came about after hearing a few common predicaments among digital marketers and those on the outside considering the field. There was a pattern, clearly as questions like:
- Should I specialize in a subject matter or learn how to be a strategist?
- Should I work for a company?
- Or, should I launch my own company?
I tried to help those who came to me weigh the pro’s and con’s of all scenarios. And then, a lightbulb went off.
What if I could curate a place where those who are working steadily–either as entrepreneurs or employees—could share some more insights into HOW they got to where they are today?
What if we could breakout different marketers based upon different verticals and day to day functions?
What if we could provide some advice, research and insights to help those straddling the decision making process be a bit more well informed from an insiders perspective so they could loudly, boldly, and confidently listen to their guts and go forth?
And so, I reached out to my rolodex of Digital Marketers in LA (for now) and will be posting their interviews week after week. First up is Email Marketing expert and consultant Jennifer Nelson.
JMMedia: What’s your title, length in current position and favorite social media channel?
Jennifer Nelson: Marketing Consultant, Self employed for 2 years now (jennymiranda.com) My favorite social channel is Instagram.
JMMedia: What time did you wake up today? Which social media platform do you check first in the morning? Why?
Jennifer Nelson: I usually wake up at 6:30a. The first thing I check is WhatsApp. I love to read articles in the morning. And I have three good groups I’m connected with on Whats App, friends living throughout the US. We share content with each other. Personally, I like the small zones rather than the big Facebook world. We trade email newsletters, marketing pubs, blogs and articles from the NY times. I love staying in touch with my friends in NY. The group catch never ends. It’s like we’re always at BBQ.
JMMedia: How did you end up where you are work wise? And you mention friends in New York but live in LA. How did you end up out here?
Jennifer Nelson: I’ve always wanted to work in advertising & commercial advertising, and pursued that in college. My first real job was working for the Sun-Sentinel’s advertising department in South Florida. That lead me to moving to the Big Apple and working for The New York Times ad department. After that, I moved on into the AdTech world. About 2 years ago, I figured I could take all of this knowledge I have and make it into a consultant profession for all the small businesses that are out there today. I have transitioned from advertising to email marketing automation–more on that below.
Around this time, I also moved from NY to LA. I left my job, left a guy I was dating, I quit everything. If you don’t want to be stressed out about something, just give everything up. That way, NOTHING CAN GO WRONG. I didn’t know anyone in LA! People connected me with people. I met people here through networking.
LA definitely has a great community, a small hustlers vibe. It’s a big little town.
JM MEDIA TIP: You don’t have to overwhelm yourself with networking. CONSISTENCY is key. Instead of networking 3-4 nights per week, try to find 1-2 groups you can connect with and participate in consistently. I do this via Ellevate Women’s Network. Work on the quality of those relationships vs the quantity of people you meet. This is a surefire way to meet others in your city, uncover strategic alliances, mentors and more.
JMMedia: Walk us through a typical day in your work life : )
Jennifer Nelson: I wake up, wash my face, etc., turn on the news, check social media, check email, open laptop and usually complete one pending task before 9a, then I make my morning smoothie and get to daily tasks and work activities.
JMMedia: What 2-3 things were the most impactful in being able to work for yourself?
Jennifer Nelson: My role at large companies and the diversity of knowledge and structure I obtained with large teams. My role at startup companies and the agility and nimbleness that I had to obtain working with small teams. Also, the cities I previously worked in impacted me. For Digital Marketing in NY, you have to be FAST and efficient. No one’s waiting. In New York, you learn to be quick, if you’re not, people run you over. You can’t be on your B game in NYC. That helps me have a sense of urgency out in LA while also being able to relax according to the LA pace of things and focus on slowing down.
JMMedia: What is your current, biggest marketing challenge?
Jennifer Nelson: Systemizing things. Marketing really can’t be systemized since every client is different, but there are ways to do it with planning and strategy, but it takes time and consistency.
JMMedia notes: Want to work on this and break your bad habits? Read, “Work the System.” I’ll be writing a review on this book–it’s a game changer.
JMMedia: How/What can others learn from it?
Jennifer Nelson: Setup goals for your clients and for yourself. Remain strict on what you do and how you do it. Clients will ask for a lot and for deviations from what you do, but learn to hold your ground or find outsourced help to do those tasks. Marketing is a big job, and 1 person can’t do it all. Form a system and process for yourself and adhere to it.
JMMedia: What does someone need to strengthen, skill set wise, to work in your current area of the industry?
Jennifer Nelson: Confidence! How do you build that up? Always keep learning and reading from the industry trades. Network with your peers in the space. But also network with other industries to learn the common challenges and marketing needs.
JMMedia: How do you overcome self-doubt or being critical of your ideas/skills when things take longer than necessary or don’t go according to plan?
Jennifer Nelson: Just make a decision. The more you dwell on making a decision, the more doubt you’ll install in yourself. Trust your gut and move forward.
JMMedia: Share two pieces of advice: one inspirational, one tactical.
Jennifer Nelson: (Inspirational) You have a unique skillset and knowledge that no one else has, dig deep within and find that knowledge and offer it out to the world, be different, be unique.
(Tactical) Find a marketing company or marketing tool that you believe in, and use their product. Make note of what you love about that product and discover how it changes your own business. Then find ways to interact with that company and become their super-user or expert. That company is likely to acknowledge you and help bring you up in their ranks as an expert on their product or field.
My Marketing tool of choice: Drip by Leadpages. As an Email marketing tool, it literally changed my life. It changed the direction of my business when I signed up thinking, “I’m going to use this for myself” and now, my consulting services are all about email marketing automation. I chose this aspect to focus on as it falls in line with my personal mission to work and be free so I can spend time with friends, family and have personal freedom.
JMMedia: Final thoughts?
Jennifer Nelson: No one tells you entrepreneur life if hard. Spend less time trying to do it all and find the path that allows you to do more of what YOU want.
So, there you have it. Work experience inspired Jennifer to become an entrepreneur in due time. She honed her chops in advertising, then quickly shifted gears for her consulting practice towards something more manageable: email marketing automation services.
Have a question of your own for Jennifer? Drop it below!
And stay tuned for next week’s interview featuring Podcaster and Writer Extraordinaire Jonathan Small.
**Full disclosure, both the link to “Work the System” and Leadpages are affiliate links. Meaning, I will make a small commission if you purchase either one of these items. I want to be 100% transparent on this blog and share that I will NEVER recommend products, services or books I haven’t used, read or experienced myself. Your trust is of the utmost importance to me and a portion of my Amazon proceeds go back to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.