I recently spoke at Moxie Camp, a women’s leadership conference and I can say, and I think many of my digital colleagues would agree, it takes Moxie to be in Digital. A lot of it. When I think of having Moxie, it’s about being courageous to go into unchartered territory; being comfortable with having to say “Let me get back to you on that” and having get-up and go. Dictionary.com’s definitions are: vigor; verve; pep; courage and aggressiveness; nerve, skill; know-how. Yep, that’s what I’m saying.
You’re paid to be an expert in “All Things D”. From digital strategy to CRM; from social media to product development. It’s a broad term, which has its advantages and disadvantages.
I can speak from personal experience as someone who works in an agency setting — “Digital….moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” ~ paraphrasing Ferris Bueller
But yes, it’s true. It’s a challenge to keep up with it all, and so, I’ve amassed some go-to best practices that I lean on that aid me in being the best D-Strategist that I can be. I hope they will be of use to you. I’d also love to hear from you if you’ve got some sound advice as well.
1) Being Comfortable With The Uncomfortable — I recently was listening to an interview with Branford Marsalis on WNYC’s Leonard Lopate. Branford is considered one of the best jazz musicians of all time. He’s now exploring playing classical music. He talked about how he always challenges himself to become a better musician by putting himself into a new arena — and wanting to make mistakes. It’s how he grows. It’s how I grow too. I’m always looking for a new challenge to grow. If you subscribe to that theory, then Digital is a good place for you.
2) Establish Filters For Yourself – As an executive digital coach, my clients hire me to act as a filter for them so they can focus on how digital can enhance their business, without being overwhelmed by all of the Digital/Electronic news (or noise). Think about what you need to know that affects your business and only read articles and publications that focus on these areas.
3) Always Vet Vendors (A.V.V.) – I had a terrific professor for my NYU Digital Strategy course. As a part of his curriculum, he brought in vendors to talk to us about various tools and technologies. What I also figured out, that, in his day job as head of digital strategy for a major cable network, he was constantly vetting vendors. He learned a lot from those vendors, and thus I do the same.
4) Do Your Research – My colleague and friend, Lisa Schneider, recently blogged about when to use buzzwords. As she notes, you need to research case studies and know the real story behind the trends. Make sure you understand and can communicate confidently and effectively what people need to know. Don’t just steamroll them with buzzwords.
5) Have Go-To Experts – I’m a digital strategist by day, Executive Digital Coach (or digital mistress as I call myself) by night. So, I am more of a generalist, with knowledge and experience across the board from developing websites, to implementing SEM campaigns. But I couldn’t possibly have the time to know all there is to know about UX — but I know there are a few people who I can call on who do. I don’t place Google AdWord campaigns, but I have the resources who do that day and night. Point is, identify what you need to know and make sure you can call on credible practitioners when the time is needed.
Technology; life; the economy; it’s not a perfect science, but if you establish these go-to practices — these, and a little Moxie, should help you be successful.