Heather joined TMMPDX.COM last year after completing PSU’s Digital Marketing Certificate Program. Heather was reliable, resourceful and full of GREAT ideas. She started her TMM journey by writing in-depth articles and connecting with some of the biggest names in digital marketing. She very quickly became the ‘go-to’ girl when we needed to get something done. She was fast, eager and always willing to help out. Today we are proud to call her our Director of Marketing and can’t wait to see where she takes us.
Over the last several months, Heather has transitioned from a full-time role that wasn’t meeting her career needs to landing a gig at one of the hottest marketing agencies in town, Sparkloft Media. Her hard work and determination have paid off and we couldn’t be PROUDER. Below Heather shares how SHE defines success and overcame the obstacles that stood in her way.
1) What challenges have you faced moving from being a recent graduate of the digital marketing certificate program to a working professional marketer?
Passing along the knowledge I’ve learned in the program back to my team at work. I face many challenges with internal education. Overall there is a gap of knowledge in social media and digital marketing, which is difficult for companies used to traditional marketing methods to fully adopt. There are so many great things going on in our industry that I was eager to implement in my own position. However I was faced with breaking down strategies and tactics, creating a road map and educating along the way from current practices to where the company could go.
2) What have been the biggest factors leading to your success?
Diving in, taking risks, and never looking back! I essentially have become a sponge, soaking up everything I can learn. I also chase any opportunity that presents itself. Portland is the biggest little city, as they say. Same goes for the local digital marketing community. By attending regular marketing events, conferences, and revving up my networking skills, I started making invaluable connections that have made a huge difference in my career.
3) If you had to give ONE piece of key advice to young digital marketing enthusiasts and students, what would it be?
Take a first step, in any direction. This is the hardest part, however more often than not you won’t regret your decision. If you don’t try new things, you’ll never get to where you want to go.
4) What skills have you developed that were essential to your new positions?
Writing, more specifically writing tighter (concisely) for the tech industry. Advanced analytics and analysis in Google AdWords, focusing on accurate reporting for social media performance and campaigns. SEO/SEM tools and techniques. Most importantly, creating an effective digital marketing strategy. Without a solid plan, you’re sailing blind.
5) How have groups like TMM and PSU’s certificate program helped you be better at what you want to do?
I like to say that TMM and PDXDMS are digital therapy, and the amazing people in these communities are my digital therapists. This is the most supportive group of people I’ve encountered to date in my young career. Participating in these groups has enabled me to refine current skillsets, discover new passions, and craft an action plan for my career. I’ve also gained much more confidence in my abilities, allowing me to take on bigger projects, pursue freelance opportunities, and continue advancing in the industry.
6) As you anticipate the next 5 to 10 years of your career – what do you hope to accomplish?
I hope to take my passion for writing and big data to the next level. I’m particularly fascinated by influencer marketing and social media sentiment analysis. I definitely have my eye on a few companies such as Tellagence, Branderati, and Crimson Hexagon. I would be honored to join the ranks of such great agencies.
7) How do YOU define success?
From the very wise words of the one and only Lisa Peyton “Failing Big”. Taking educated risks, but always trying something new. Not being afraid to make mistakes, yet embracing them as learning opportunities. Chasing your passions and never losing site of the end goal. Standing up for your beliefs and ethics, even though you may be the only one. Doing whatever it may take to pursue what ignites your inner spark throughout your career and life. Making sure you’re having fun along the way. These are the guidelines I’ve set for myself, and so far, it’s leading me to amazing places. Can’t wait to see what’s next!