We’ve talked about how you can practice digital marketing as a professional. In a time when brands and corporations appreciate digital marketing more than ever, there are plenty of market opportunities to seize in the field of digital marketing indeed. You have the option to work alone or as part of a team of freelancers or practitioners, so the flexibility is there too.
Becoming a digital marketing professional and starting your own consulting service is exciting and challenging at the same time. You have complete control over the projects you work on and how you approach those projects, but there are also a few challenges to overcome, including the challenge of finding potential clients to handle.
A clear vision is needed in this field, which is why setting goals for yourself is a must. Before you get started with planning your digital marketing career and living life as a professional, there are a number of tips and tricks you need to understand.
Flexibility Is Your Friend
Having extra flexibility is always a huge plus, but only if you can manage it properly. The last thing you want is for the flexibility to affect how productive you are in the long run. Just because you can be flexible with your time, doesn’t mean you can be as flexible with deadlines from clients or the timeframe of your projects.
A good way to start is by having clear goals in mind – we will get to this part in a bit. Once you have clear goals in mind, you can define the timeframe you set for yourself as well as a clear plan on how to achieve those goals. The rest should be easy from there since all you need to do is stick to the plan and have some discipline.
Visualize Your Goals
For many people, defining goals is not an easy thing to do. I know, because I struggled to set goals for myself when I was just getting started too. I know how tricky it is to imagine the objectives to achieve within different timeframes. Here’s what I ended up doing: I visualized the goals I want to achieve and picture myself achieving them.
What do you want to achieve in one year? How do you see yourself in five years? Do you know where you want to be in 10? Continue building those visualizations and setting goals will become easier.
You can also visualize how you will achieve those goals as a way to measure if they are reasonable enough. There is nothing wrong with aiming high and hoping for the best, but you still need to plan for the worst and prepare yourself for the challenges to come. Be strategic about your mid-term goals (usually goals you want to achieve within 3 to 5 years).
Find a Methodology That Works
With clear goals in mind, it is time to define a strategy to help you achieve those goals. For this challenge, you need a methodology that works best for you as a professional. There are plenty of methodologies to choose from, but the Hoshin Kanri X Matrix is one of the best to consider.
Using the X Matrix template, as explained by Kanbanize, you can begin plotting your strategic goals. The matrix is designed for organizations, but it can also be applied to your professional life with minor adjustments. Besides, you will be working with fellow freelancers and other stakeholders as you go along. Kanbanize has a useful blog post on the subject if you want to learn more. When setting goals, for instance, the X Matrix template allows you to consider the capacity of your team. Since you are aiming to enter the digital marketing field as a sole professional, you only have your own capacity to consider.
Set Actions and Metrics
Sticking with the X Matrix template, you can also define the actions and metrics you want to monitor in the short-run. These are the elements that govern how you enter the industry and the kind of projects you handle along the way. They are also crucial to performance improvement and evaluation.
Find metrics that reflect your performance as a digital marketer. Use them to measure your success in every project you handle as well as the general metrics for constant evaluation. Whenever you fall below the requirements you set for yourself, you can immediately make changes and get back on track.
The Hoshin Kanri X Matrix methodology is particularly unique since it allows you to monitor both long-term and short-term performance. Transitioning from developing these strategies to implementing them as you begin life as a digital marketing professional is a lot easier when you already know the goals you want to achieve, and the metrics used to measure your performance.
That’s it! You now have clear goals waiting to be achieved and a clear plan on how to achieve them. With the evaluation metrics in place, staying true to your original objectives and adapting to market challenges are certainly easier to do.