Sophie has been at iThinkMedia for just over 2 years working as a project manager in the content team. Sophie gives advice to graduates looking to start a career in digital marketing, how she got into her current role and her top tips for managing projects. Enjoy!
SE: When I first joined iThinkMedia I only expected to stay for a month or so whilst the project I came in to work on was running. After a few months, I was offered a full time contract and started to work on a variety of different projects across Content and SEO. I was then given my own projects to look after and my responsibility within the company started to grow.
My current role fell into place at the start of the year when I was given the responsibility of managing the largest content project we have ever tackled as an agency. This was when Chris and my manager Katie realised my skill set is suited to the organisation and management of projects, which is how I ended up in my current role as project manager.
SE: Working here is completely different to anywhere I had worked previously and I really liked the laid back nature of the company. Also, I was given the opportunity to quickly progress and find my role within the business. So although a relaxed atmosphere, you really can make a fantastic career at the agency if you show drive and passion to succeed.
SE: My degree is in history, which may not seem like the most obvious choice for a career in digital marketing, but it taught me so many transferable skills that are valuable for the type of role I am in. I went to uni with the aim of going into a marketing based role but I didn’t want my degree to be in marketing just in case I decided I hated it after the 3 years!
SE: Myself and Katie recently went to a graduate fair at Hertfordshire University and it was fantastic to see so many grads looking to pursue a career in digital marketing. So, my first piece of advice would be to start reading up on industry news. The digital world is constantly changing and evolving and there is always so much to learn. My top tip would be to keep yourself up to speed with the latest trends and developments.
Once you’re more familiar with the industry, my second piece of advice would be to identify the area of digital marketing that is most suited to your skill set. If you enjoy writing, have a passion for social media or are more of a creative thinker, Content Marketing would be best suited to you. Alternatively, if you are more data driven and enjoy the technical elements of the industry, your skill set might be better suited to a career in SEO or PPC.
SE: I always keep a daily tracker monitoring the project’s progress from the start to end. If daily deadlines aren’t being met the tracker allows me to quickly identify what is holding the project back. It’s also important to start the day knowing the status of the project. It is easy to quickly fall behind and lose track of everything so ensuring you have an overview of the entire project on a daily basis is key.
SE: Being highly organised is one of the most important features but you also have to remain productive at all times. Often you will have multiple tasks to complete within a day so it is important work is completed efficiently to ensure you are getting the most value out of your time.
A project manager should also stay extremely driven and remain positive throughout a project. We worked on a really tough, large scale copywriting project earlier in the year and there were times when we didn’t think we would hit the deadline. If you start doubting the success of a project the quality of work you and the rest of the team produce will reflect this, so remaining positive is an important factor.
SE: We regularly take on large copywriting projects so maintaining a good relationship is vital for the business. I always make sure I respond to any emails as quickly as possible and keep the writers updated with the latest copywriting projects we have running.
I also think it is important to work closely with the writers and provide them with constructive feedback throughout a project. This not only helps the writers understand the projects better but also helps to speed up the editing process internally.
SE: Digital Day was the first event we had ever held here at iThinkMedia so working on it was completely different to anything I had worked on previously but I loved every part of it.
I enjoyed the whole process of running the event, from helping with the design of marketing materials, inviting attendees and choosing what went in the goody bags. I also got to manage the event alongside my colleague, Amy which was an added bonus!
SE: Initially, the biggest challenge was getting people to sign up for the event. In the first couple of weeks, we didn’t get a lot of interest and were worried that we wouldn’t have enough people to fill even 10 chairs! We created some great marketing materials and really started to push the event out across our social channels and interest started to grow. As it turned out, we had over 30 businesses attend and every single person who registered to attend the event turned up, which was a fantastic outcome.
Since the event, we have had a lot of enquiries from local businesses looking to find out more information about the services we offer, which proves that all of our hard work has and is continuing to pay off.
SE: I grew up in the 90s so obviously I wanted to be a Spice Girl!