As a recent graduate of English Literature, I had past experience with writing in an academic setting, as well as writing digital content. I was curious, however, about moving into the marketing side of the business I'd only briefly been exposed to previously. This internship with ElementIQ gave me the perfect opportunity to apply my current education and build upon it, with practical work-related experience - to eventually enter the field of digital marketing.
I knew that I would have a lot to learn, as most of my colleagues had been practicing in the field for much longer than I had, but you have to start somewhere! Therefore, in early March I left my hometown of White Rock, BC behind and moved to the city to pursue an intern position with ElementIQ. The following are my first impressions and experiences during the first week of my journey.
10am - The team immediately greeted me warmly. Ramesh started off by introducing my training schedule. I was given a tour of Spacekraft, the open concept, co-working space that was our office for three days of the week. The other two days are spent working remotely from home.
10:15 am – 12pm - I got to create my ElementIQ email address and was able to log in to my accounts on Quip, Google Drive, Teamwork and Slack. All of these are different programs that everyone uses to communicate. These programs hold all of the information with regards to clients and projects that the team is working on.
Teamwork is so highly efficient that I learned you would actually log everything you do through it to keep a record of what you need to complete and what’s already been finished. It also tracks the amount of time it takes for you to work on each project. The existing communications between employees helped me learn about the history of the company and how the group interacts.
I learned about the schedule that ElementIQ follows:
9:08am - Daily Huddle: Accessed online through Quip/Slack/Hangouts.
Weekly meeting - Thursday’s at 4pm: Here each of the team members shares their wins, numbers (financial) employer feedback, deep dive (20 min) and final thoughts.
Weekly check-in - Every Monday by 10am - We email all of our current clients with updates on what we have completed for them in the past week, as well as what we are currently working on for them. We outline all tasks and communicate with them weekly to keep them updated, and allow time for client feedback. The weekly check-ins are largely related to the 90 day plans that we outline for clients. They’re a way of keeping on track with client expectations. We also have monthly reports, which we aim to have out to clients by the 5th of every month.
12pm - 1pm - Lunch
1pm – 3:30pm - Ramesh led me through the SEO elements that contribute to an optimal blog post and we met with my subsidy advisor to further discuss my training process as an intern. Everything was highly organized and I made sure to take extensive notes, as the sheer amount of information would be hard to remember on its own.
I downloaded multiple app extensions for Google Chrome, and subscribed to Marketing Land, Search Engine Land, Moz Top 10 and the Hubspot blog. We also checked out the DistilledU website and logged in through the company profile. There were a lot of useful instructional videos on these sites and information that I knew I would need to look into further.
3:30pm – 5:00pm - In the afternoon I was able to put some of what I’d learned into practice at the end of the day when I logged my task schedule into Teamwork. I added all of my homework tasks including writing a bio for the website, writing a blog post on my first week, downloading more apps and following ElementIQ on social media, along with other helpful websites. I also noted that I will need to brush up on NHL legacy...
There was so much to remember on the first day but I was reassured that it would fall into a routine soon enough. I was worried about forgetting something for the following morning so I outlined a basic schedule in my notes for the next day.
I started the day off by observing my first morning huddle. The team went around the table and stated their tasks for the day. We talked about goals for the week and goals for the company. These were my tasks for the day:
9:00 - 9:37 - EIQ
9:37-9:52 - First Huddle
9:52- 12:00 – Client overview with Ramesh
12:00 - 1:00 - Lunch
1:00 – 3:00 – Digital Marketing Overview with Ramesh
3:00 – 5:00 - First week blog, continue to familiarize self with Slack, Quip and Teamwork, read the wiki pages on Slack, classes on DistilledU
On day two I was also able to sit in on a link building discussion and got to learn about backlinks and started a project on title tags.
Today was my first workday away from the office. I actually found that it ran quite smoothly, despite some technical difficulties… for example finding the link to Google Hangouts for the morning huddle. Ramesh was very helpful with this and showed me via his computer screen, how to navigate the Slack page and find the huddle link. He also gave me a thorough outline for my day.
My biggest fear was that I would forget how to do something or do something wrong, and not have someone close by to ask questions, but I was able to communicate easily with Ramesh and my other colleagues over Slack.
With efficient messaging, I had a clear plan for my day and went about completing a graph of quick wins for a backlinking project with Caleb. I also was able to search title tag and meta-description formats and proceeded to correct some of the title tags for a client's blog posts, to better optimize their blog posts for search engines.
To end my day I worked on the social media-sharing calendar for a client with Jackie, adding written content as he edited photos to post for their Facebook page. It was fun being able to research the client and thinking of content to post for them on social media.
I also spent time looking over notes that evening because there’s so much information in the first week that it’s easy to fall behind or get confused. I wanted a clear understanding of all the concepts I’d learned that day. It was also terrifying to close my computer tabs that evening. I was worried I wouldn't know how to navigate back to them!
9:00-9:08 - EIQ
9:08-9:30 - Huddle
9:30-11:00 - I worked on title tags for a client website.
11:00- 12:00 - Digital strategy and introduction to Google Analytics with Ramesh and Jackie. It's important to have a digital strategy for each company we work with. It helps us stay organized and ensures we meet goals. An intimate knowledge of each client and their customer base is essential, so we use Google Analytics to monitor website statistics and track how content is received.
12:00 - 1:00 - Pho
1:00 - 2:00 - I learned about website hosting from Lincoln. He demonstrated how to choose a domain name and how to create a website for a company. I also learned where an IP directs and how to direct it. He showed me why it's important to run an email separate from your website account incase it ever crashes. He also taught me how to select a static homepage for a website, rather than having the homepage change after each new post.
2:00 - 3:00 - Edit blog post and new ElementIQ t-shirts!
3:00 - 4:00 - YouTube video run through with Jackie. I got to learn about all the different editing programs that we use for clients who want videos posted. They send us the raw material for the video and we can edit it and post it across social media channels, for optimal exposure.
4:00 - 5:00 - I was able to sit in on my first weekly meeting. The team went over the wins of the week, the important numbers, employer feedback, and the deep dive - where we delve into one specific topic of interest. For this weeks deep dive Sam told the group about his experiences at a summit meeting in California that he attended recently. Top secret stuff. We ended with final thoughts and a team photo for #DigitalAgencyDay on Twitter.
9:00 - EIQ, I added tasks to the huddle documents to discuss during the huddle.
9:08 - Huddle! Via video chat on Google Hangouts
9:30 - 12:00 - Ramesh taught me how to optimize blog posts for clients and I was able to test out what I’d learned by optimizing two blog posts.
1:00 - I made a list of ongoing tasks that I need to complete on a Quip document. This was very helpful, I will be able to stay organized and up to speed as my workload increases over the next few weeks. Teamwork is also where I keep a record of tasks but Quip works well for an easy reference.
2:00 - I subscribed to our ElementIQ YouTube channel and was able to learn a lot from the existing videos posted.
3:00 - 5:00 - Blog edits!
This first week with ElementIQ has taught me more about digital marketing and how to practically implement successful SEO tactics that I’ve ever known previously. Getting to work hands-on with things I’ve only learned about before was an invaluable experience to my overall education. I know that I still have a lot to learn after this week but the team has been really helpful and patient, introducing tasks little by little, each slightly more challenging than the next.