As it currently stands, we are a group of 5-7 members who sit in one large enough room with 8 tables joined together, glass windows on one side and a giant whiteboard on the other. There is also a boardroom, the main office, an entertainment room and a kitchen.
Apart from the core members of the team, we also work with freelance content writers, web designers, and AdWords specialists. With over 20 clients, the one unanimous need that echoes around the company is the desire to have more hours in a day. Welcome to the world of a growing Internet Marketing Start-up - one which has hustled and bustled its way through a competitive Industry and is starting to gain traction, reputation, and credibility.
A Month In And This Is How It Feels
Having joined the company in the middle of December 2014, I was lucky to be part of a grand Christmas dinner hosted by Sam (the founder). The post-meal conversations drifted into reminiscing the previous years and articulating the goals and focus for the New Year. Everyone at the dinner other than me had been with the company for over two years and they all consensually agreed that the company has done better year on year.
Each person felt the quality of clients and the quality of work has consistently improved and moving into 2015, the strategic focus of the company is better defined. The goal for the New Year, Sam emphasized, will be to streamline operations and be better organized. Those words were like music to my ear as it played right to my strengths and I will, with pride, reflect on my contributions in the month.
Once a week, normally on Monday morning, we all get together for a ‘Huddle’. This is a team meeting where we discuss priorities for the week and each member is asked to share his/her big Wins in the prior week. Sticking to that note let me share my big Wins over the month:
Big Win Number 1
The first major project assigned to me was to learn, build, and manage citations for clients; a key component of Local Search Engine Optimization. Citations, in the context of SEO, are having your business information listed on the various directories like Yellow Pages on the Internet. They help Google determine the online authority of your business. Doing so requires you to be meticulous, prudent and attention oriented. It's nicknamed ‘the Citation Hell’ in our company and every Intern has had to go through it before being baptised and redeemed.
Hell, however, is not all that brutal with well-designed spreadsheets. Managing citations has helped me score my first big win in this company. The approach I took to it has built on the legacy of my ancestors. We are now on the brink of a comprehensive system that would ensure consistency across multiple directories and enable more effective management of information. I have also created a Citation Bible that would accelerate the learning process of the ones after me to whom this legacy will be passed on to.
Big Win Number 2
When you work in a start-up, you have to be prepared to wear multiple hats. So of course, citations have not been my only job responsibility. The next big responsibility assigned to me was to generate monthly reports for all clients. In doing so, I have gotten better acquainted with all of our clients and their expectations. What I have enjoyed most is that people are open to suggestions for improvements and they always welcome your opinions.
Reporting is another extremely important aspect of what we do and we are looking to get more efficient in being timely and qualitative. With the help of Spreadsheets (again), and using Raven (a software that connects to Google AdWords, Google Analytics, Social Networks and various other platforms), this will be yet another Big Win for me. I foresee a radical improvement in the process with the work I have done in collaboration with the other members of the company.
Big Win Number 3
It is my understanding that companies get successful when they are able to create SYSTEMs that work and are easy to duplicate. A wise man defined SYSTEM using an acronym – Save Yourself Time Energy and Money. With so many documents floating around containing various forms of information, I took it upon myself to create a Centralized Information System.
This is yet another major accomplishment and I have received positive feedback for the spreadsheet (yes, you heard that right) that I created. It holds a lot of important information in one place and has internal links to other useful spreadsheets and documents that we refer to - making it yet another Big Win.
Back To The Inbound Marketing Training
The Inbound Marketing Internship is as much about contributing as it is about on-the-job training. Of late, we on-boarded a client with the vision, belief and potential to go from zero to a billion dollars in turnover in 2-5 years. We run their Inbound Marketing Campaign - designing and developing their website, creating landing pages, and managing social media. Needless to say, every member of our company has gotten busier than ever before managing all the other clients and the multitude of expectations of this new client. This back-tracked us a little in terms of the training goals as time is a limited commodity.
However, we are starting to get back in line with our goals and have started scheduling training sessions again to learn more about Social Media Management, Content Marketing and the technical side of Search Engine Optimization etc. I have also begun preparing for the Google AdWords certification and hopefully, by the time I publish my next blog post, I will be certified and can reflect on the same as a BIG WIN.
In the beginning, when I began my internship here, I was uncertain about what I could bring to the table and how I could be valuable. I had never published blogs on HubSpot or WordPress, never done SEO audits of Web sites, never worked on Google AdWords, never created landing pages and had no real experience in providing any of the services that the agency offers to its clients.
During my first week, the training and the introduction to the plethora of tools and software was a little overwhelming. However, it did not take me long to find my place in this company and I would credit that to the people in this company who I find to be extremely friendly and supportive. Nobody is micro-managed here but the guidance provided has helped me make positive contributions to the company.
Digital Marketing is becoming a growing focus for businesses of all types and sizes and there is hardly a better place than a dedicated Digital Marketing agency to learn about the tricks of the trade in the digital world. This is the primary reason that I pursued this Internship as a career choice and with over a month having passed, I have had no regrets whatsoever.
I am grateful to Sam and every member of the team here at ElementIQ Internet Marketing for having given me this opportunity and taking the time to nurture me. There is still a long way to go, a lot to learn and much to accomplish and as suggested by my friend J.Walker, I shall keep walking!