ElementIQ Internship: Gregory’s First Week

Who am I?

Let’s go back to the summer of 2008 for a moment. I had just completed high school, full of big dreams and an even bigger lack of direction. As that summer ended, and I headed into my first year of post-secondary, I came to an immediate realization. My lack of direction left me with an impossible disconnect between my dreams and my current reality. I dreamt of a career built off of personal passions, but I no longer knew what my passion was, or meant to me.

After 2 years of general studies, reality sat on my dreams and sent them home crying

I spent the following years working retail at a hockey shop and teaching ice skating lessons. They were jobs I could create a routine for. I didn’t have to think about it. I didn’t have to think about my passion, my goals, or my dreams. It just kind of worked at the time.

Fast forward 5 years, to the winter of 2015. The routine became monotonous. The monotony reintroduced thoughts about the future. Passion and dreams are hard to ignore when thinking about the future. All I could think about was my lack of them.

I didn’t look for it, but it found me.

During the 5 years of complacent, monotonous routine, I dabbled in photoshop and cartoons. At the time I considered them to be messing around. Little did I realize, that messing around can be a very indirect way of finding your passions.

Photoshop sparked my interest in the Graphic Design world. I had no clue what it was, but I was determined to find out. That spark of curiosity ripped me from my mundane routine and took me on the rollercoaster of events I currently find myself on today.

I started with a Graphic Design program at BCIT. I followed that with freelance work before heading to RED Academy to learn about User Experience. A few Graphic Design contracts later, I found my way to ElementIQ.

How I found Element IQ.

After RED Academy, the school kept me (and other students), interconnected through social platforms such as Facebook. It was in this RED Academy Facebook group that I found the job posting. The poster (Joseph L), stated that their Digital Marketing Agency was looking for a Graphic Designer and a Developer. I was curious about the position and immediately reached out to Joseph. After meeting with a few of the staff, and then the CEO (Sam A), I was convinced that this was the right place for me.

Thankfully, they agreed.

They offered me an internship position, and I eagerly accepted.

Are you a reliable self-starter looking to kickstart your digital marketing career?

Day 1: Orientation – Mar 12, 2018

The day started at 10 am at CMPNY’s Spacekraft co-working space in Burnaby. We had the luxury of 3 interns with different skillsets starting on the same day (Kevin: Developer, Sagar: Account Management, Me: Graphic Design). Led by Joseph, the day consisted of Element IQ orientation. A quick tour of the workspace, lunch (courtesy of Sam), and a whole lot of onboarding of programs and apps.

The tone of the day revolved around the company culture. There was a strong emphasis on self-improvement, self-motivation, and transparency in communication. Work hard, learn lots, enjoy.

“What you put into life is what you get out of it.”
-Clint Eastwood

Overall Feeling

Excited, eager to learn and grow while working with new people in a new environment. Initially, there were some nerves with meeting new people, but those quickly went away. I found it easy to connect well with everyone I had met.

Day 2: Company Lesson – Mar 13, 2018

Every morning at 9 am, EIQ (Element IQ) host a huddle amongst their staff. The huddle focuses on discussion of any Wins (positive work/personal things), blockers (tasks that require an action outside of the owner of the task to move forwards), and big rocks (large tasks for the day). Huddles are meant to be short and to the point (15 minutes).

Communicate what everyone is doing for the day to avoid inefficient workflow.

After our first huddle, we spent the rest of the morning getting a brief history of Digital Marketing. Led by Lincoln C, we learned about EIQ’s origins, what they specialize on now, and where they plan on heading. It was a nice way to get everyone inline with the company’s goals and mentality.

The afternoon was spent auditing the EIQ website with Joseph. The exercise/task allowed for all 3 of us interns to get a sense of how working with one another would be.

Day 3: 1st Remote Work Day – Mar 14, 2018

At EIQ we get 2 remote work days (Wednesday & Friday). We are allowed to work from wherever we please, so long as we stay within digital communication with the rest of the team.

Day 3 marked the first day that I had Graphic Design related tasks. My task was to redo the iconography for the EIQ homepage (a task created from our group audit the previous day). I was also tasked with learning more about a brand that I would be working on a logo for (with Joseph) down the road.

The day was smooth sailing. Nothing notable. I worked on my couch, avoided waves of sleepy comfort, and had a great day working from home.

Day 4: Party in CMPNY Coquitlam – Mar 15, 2018

CMPNY, the organization that runs the co-working space EIQ works out of in Burnaby, also has a location in Coquitlam. Their Coquitlam location happened to be turning 1 year old on this day. As a result, we were headed to CMPNY Coquitlam for Day 4. I was not, and still am not very familiar with Coquitlam, but I heard the space was super cool and was very excited to see it.

My transit time to Coquitlam was 1 hour and 15 minutes. A far cry from the luxury of my usual 15 minute bike ride to the Burnaby location. However, the longer commute was worth it. The space was beautiful.

Coquitlam had Foosball, Ping Pong (Burnaby has one as well), large meeting rooms, a coffee/espresso machine that rivaled R2D2, and a pretty nice view. We spent most of the day discussing File Sharing procedures, and finishing tasks from the previous day.

Low key let down of the day – Coffee robots do not guarantee enjoyable coffee. Just the idea of an enjoyable experience with it.

Sam, came by for a one on one with each of the interns to check in with how our first week was going. I told him how my week had been a great experience so far, and that I was excited to begin/continue working on upcoming projects.

Lincoln then led a deep dive, where each of the team members discussed a certain topic. The topic was passion. Each of us shared what we were passionate about, where we wanted to head career-wise (and somewhat personal wise), as well as little snippets of our past leading up to this point.

When we finished, the party began. I ate a sandwich, drank some drink, and then we headed home.

Day 4 theme = Your team at EIQ genuinely cares about you.

Day 5: Remote Work Day (Return of the Couch) – Mar 16, 2018

Day 5 marked the first full day of individual Graphic Design work. The big task of the day was to create a concept homepage for The Hive: Bouldering Gym that would combine their current websites (they have 3, one per location). Using an early concept (Joseph started the prior day), I spent the day working on refining a concept.

By the end of the day, I had completed a polished concept of the homepage. The completion of the task caused me to come to this conclusion: Remote work days are prime for individual tasks.

I also came to another conclusion on Day 5. Remember to eat. I usually bring a lunch to work. I don’t usually bring a lunch to remote work at home. Making lunch mid-workflow is easy to forget. Remember to be hungry.

“Remember to Eat”
– Gregory Ma

Week 1 Final Impression

  • YOU matter to your company
  • Your team cares about YOU
  • Work smart, and have FUN

Week 1 flew by. The team at EIQ, evidently a tight-knit one. The laughs, the struggles, and the bonding all paint a wonderful picture for the future (in a short sample size).

My first Week at EIQ has peaked my interest for a future with this company. I’m excited to be a part of this group, to see where my growth and career take me, and to see where this company’s upward trajectory takes it.

Learn more about ElementIQ’s Internship Program

Sagar’s First Week at EIQ

online marketing internship

It’s crazy to think how my professional career began. I was meant to go to an airline head office but ended up at an ad agency where I met the general manager. I tried my luck and asked for an internship, which I landed, which then led to a full-time position as an Account Executive. In this position, I regularly met with clients to help design multiple forms of media to meet their advertising needs. Whether it be print broadcast or digital, I aided clients with the best possible, attention-grabbing advertising strategies that make them memorable while garnering new customers.

When I moved to Canada in November 2017, I hoped to find a place where I could play a similar role. I ended up networking with Vikram Shivahare during a pickup soccer game amongst friends and learnt about what he did at Element IQ (EIQ), a digital marketing agency in Burnaby, BC. As luck would have it, EIQ was looking for recruits.

Are you a reliable self-starter looking to kickstart your digital marketing career?

After two rounds of interviews, I was fortunate enough to be offered a 3-month internship with an account management role similar to my last job.

Day 1 – Monday, March 12

This was more like a “Day 0.” I am joined by two other interns; Kevin: Web Developer and Greg: Graphic Design. Together, we are introduced to the workplace and the communication apps used on a day-to-day basis. The last part was a bit over-whelming as there are a lot of apps/programs that we use. Each app is used for a specific form of communication. I’m sure with time I will get the hang of it. I also got to know the guys better over lunch (Courtesy: Sam).

Day 2 – Tuesday, March 13

Every morning we do a huddle at 9:08am for 15 minutes.

Huddle: A team meeting where we lay down the agenda for the day. It is done in the following order.

  • Wins: Achievements in your job/personal life.
  • Blockers: Items that are keeping you from completing your tasks that need to be shared with the team.
  • Big Rocks: A very brief overview of the items you are working on, and if you need any collaboration on anything.
  • Chatter: Items that are not task specific that need to be shared with the team.
  • Share: An inspirational or motivational quote or message.

My Big Rock: I’m provided with reading material, a study guide for online marketing, to better understand different facets of the business.

Day 3 – Wednesday, March 14

First remote day. This is the first time I’ve worked from home.

Day 4 – Thursday, March 15

It’s a party! (Well, kinda.)

EIQ works out of Spacekraft by CMPNY, a co-working space located in Burnaby. However, on this particular day, we were headed to CMPNY Coquitlam as it is celebrating it’s 1 year anniversary. This space is ridiculous and totally worth the long commute!

  • We get briefed on the list of clients by Joseph and Lincoln, along with Element IQ history and company culture.
  • I get to talk to Sam one-on-one and get a better understanding of what I’ll be doing in the coming weeks.
  • Finished a few chapters of the guide. (So much reading!)

Once we are done with work, the party begins. The games begin, drinks start flowing, the sandwiches start… sandwiching? It’s been a fun day of learning and socializing.

Day 5 – Friday, March 16

Second remote day. Kinda late for the huddle.

  • Blocker: Need to figure out how to get Zoom started at the right time.
  • Big Rock: Spent the day reading the guide and familiarizing myself with major EIQ clients.

Conclusion

My first week at EIQ has been interesting. Although it seemed like the work I would be doing is similar to my last job, there are differences. Clients do not hound you like they do with a traditional agency. There’s a clear understanding of workflow and deadlines are not random.

I’m still getting familiar with the clients and the process. In the meantime, I’m learning all the different aspects of a digital marketing agency, which is great as it will help me understand how each of them works and help me serve clients better in the future.

Learn more about ElementIQ’s Internship Program

The Intern’s Last Week – Rounak Sardesai

It is a beautiful thing when career and passion come together”
-Author Unknown

On the last day of my internship, I’d like to shed light on some of the things I’ve learned at ElementIQ. This may help some of you understand what you’d learn and work on as an intern at EIQ.

As an intern, I would often find myself working in collaboration with one of my colleagues to help them accomplish a bigger chunk of the campaign. Whether it was helping build a website for one of our biggest clients or auditing existing records of client data, it was all very exciting!

There were also a few times when I found myself taking the lead in certain aspects of the campaign. I was never so much a writer both in terms of skill and will. However, because I was born in the 90’s and grew up in the eon of social media, I could navigate through social platforms with ease. Karmen and Vikram noticed this and assigned to me small tasks to kick-off my involvement on the social media side of things. My interest in social media grew to a point where I am now individually managing two client Facebook profiles which seem to show constant growth in engagement.

Now that I’ve summarized a little bit of the work I was involved in, I’d like to talk about 7 awesome things that the ElementIQ internship has to offer!

All You Need Is ZERO Experience

As an international student who had just graduated, I was in need of a career starter. I came across a Facebook post talking about a digital marketing internship at ElementIQ. The post said that curiosity, enthusiasm and organizational skills were the only things the candidate was required to have (I did not believe this) so I went ahead and applied. With absolutely no experience in marketing or digital marketing, here I am, writing about my four month term!

The Workspace Is AWESOME!

On the day of my interview with the EIQ team, I walked into the Spacekraft co-working space by CMPNY where the EIQ team plays ball. I had one thought in my head “ I want to work here because this space is AWESOME!” This thought still lingers in my head every now and then even after four months because this office is genuinely great. The tall windows allow for ample sunlight and an airy atmosphere prevails in the office. Not to mention the free coffee and ping-pong room that is open to all.

Have You Ever Worked In Your PAJAMAS?

Honestly, I never thought I’d be able to work in my PJs. It may not be a very big positive for people who don’t mind winters, but for someone like me who was born and raised in a city that sees summer all year round, leaving the house for work on a winter morning is a task! I loved the fact that we worked remotely twice a week – not only did I save transit time but I also got to stay warm all day long.

Your Opinion And Ideas Matter!

I realized that my opinion and ideas mattered very early on in my internship. Every brainstorming session (or Pow-Wow as we call it) was a collaborative effort and the outcome was a mutually agreed upon strategy as per the agreement of the team. Every idea that I had in a meeting was heard by others, and I was always given feedback as to why the idea would or would not work.

The Team You Work With Is TALENTED!

At EIQ, each team member has a wide set of skills, if you’re as curious as I am you’ll learn a thing or two from each member. In the past four months, I’ve picked up skills like basic web development and writing from Joseph and Karmen respectively. Vikram has played a huge role in helping me analyze data and work on accurate reporting and strategizing. Sam, our CEO lives an ideal entrepreneurial life and I’ve learned a thing or two about serial entrepreneurship just by shadowing him.

My internship was a success with these guys to help

We Promise A CARING Environment

The best part about the company is that each of its employees cares about not just themselves and the agency but also about their co-workers. There is a good vibe flowing across the room with constant helping hands trying to help you succeed at the task at hand. Moreover, the team understands that each individual has a personal life that affects their professional life. At EIQ, we try our best to accommodate each other’s struggles – whether it is a doctor’s appointment or just a short vacation back home!

We Support Your Progress

When I started with EIQ, all I had in my backpack was a University degree, just like the other 60,000 odd Canadian graduates that year. Sam and the rest of the team helped me study for certifications and take tests offered by Google. I am now a certified professional in Digital Marketing, thanks to the internship program!

Knowledge Is Useless Until You Put It To Use

I meet a lot of people who tell me they’re interested in learning more about a field. I was exactly like them before I started at EIQ. I wanted to learn. However, not too long after I started with EIQ, I realized that merely learning wasn’t enough. If you cannot apply the knowledge you have, it is as good as not having any knowledge in the first place. At EIQ, you learn and apply the things you learn almost immediately, enabling you to understand concepts better and get a sense of responsibility for your actions.

Your CEO Cares About You

In the four months that I’ve spent at EIQ, Sam, our CEO has had multiple one on one conversations with me. Not only has he taken the time to discuss what the company expects out of me, but has also spent a fair amount of time discussing my goals and how the company can help me achieve them. This is what I call being true to the start-up culture.

Work Hard, Play Hard

The EIQ team truly believes in the motto ‘work hard, play hard’, just check us out on Instagram and you’ll know what I’m talking about.
These are some of the reasons why my tenure as an ‘Intern’ at ElementIQ has been great! If you think you’re the kind of person who’d thrive in a company that is AWESOME, apply to our internship program.

How To Kick-Start Your Career In Digital Marketing

Digital Marketing Career

Are you thinking about a career in Digital Marketing?

Let’s face it, you’ve spent the last four odd years of your life struggling through university only to find out that you have ZERO skills that put you in a position to make an impact at a workplace. Moreover, The beautiful ads that say “live like a digital marketing nomad” keep popping up on your Facebook feed and you have no idea how those people make money while traveling around the world.

To make it worse, you keep seeing people posting videos shot in fancy Lamborghinis titled ‘I went from working at McDonald’s to making a 100K a year” and you keep asking yourself just one little question – HOW?

Well, I’m not here to lure you into the idea of making a 100K overnight.

If you’re still reading, I’m going to help you give your digital marketing career a kickstart so that some day with the right amount of hard work and application of knowledge, you make sufficient successful leaps in your life.

What Do Digital Marketing Experts Do?

Let’s start with understanding what a digital marketer does. A Digital Marketer is responsible for developing, implementing and managing online marketing campaigns. These campaigns promote a company and its products and services.

He or she plays a major role in enhancing brand awareness within the digital space as well as driving website traffic and acquiring leads. You can learn more about the Digital Marketing career here.

Now that we know what a digital marketer’s profession looks like, lets see how we can prep to jump into the career.

Remember, it’s a lifestyle not a JOB.

Are you a reliable self-starter looking to kickstart your digital marketing career?

It is important to understand that to be a successful marketer, you need tons of good ideas and inspiration. It may seem like ideas are easy to fabricate but in reality, having the right ideas for the right brand or product at the right time (whilst not breaking the bank) can be extremely difficult (but not impossible of-course).

As an aspiring digital marketer, it is essential that your lifestyle facilitates the natural growth of ideas in your mind. Six of the best ways to do so (in my humble opinion) are:

1. Make Time For Social Media

Start following the top digital marketers out there. If you’re in the North American market, you should definitely follow people like Neil Patel and Kevin Payne who post at least 5 noteworthy blogs a day. These resources will be extremely helpful in understanding the scope of the profession in depth.

You can also follow people like me, who re-tweet posts by people mentioned above as well as contribute to their own ideas once in a while. Also, find marketing agencies around you and follow their social handles to gain some agency insights (follow ElementIQ on Instagram). I was personally not active on Twitter until I jumped into the field of Digital Marketing.

My Facebook and Twitter profiles would look very similar before I learned the hard way that Twitter is NOT for personal interaction. I have now come to an understanding that it is an amalgamation of Facebook and LinkedIn which lets you connect and build relationships with people who you look up to. This makes it an ideal lead generation and networking tool.

2. Follow Brands With Great Marketing Strategies

While some brands have digital marketing agencies that take care of their online presence for them, many brands have an in-house team that works behind the scenes and delivers appealing content.

It is a great idea to follow these brands on different social media platforms. Some of the brands that I follow are Mercedes-Benz Canada, Apple, Adidas, Nike, Mini, Chevrolet, and Sony. Brands like Dollar Beard Club (Check out the founder interview) and Mini (their North American launch strategy is noteworthy) have inspirational start-up and expansion marketing strategies. Great case studies to dive into as an aspiring marketer. It does not matter if your list looks a little different from mine. What matters is to be able to put yourself in the shoes of bigger brands and help yourself prepare for impactful roles in the industry.

3. Stay Organized

Like any other career, marketing requires you to be organized. Especially if you aspire to work in an agency setting. You may not be the kind that wakes up in the morning and makes their bed (I’m not either) but you will need to get into the habit of carrying a pen and diary for notes (or a digital notepad like Evernote). Managing your time appropriately and prioritizing important tasks is something you will learn eventually as long as you put in efforts to stay organized.

As simple as these things may seem, in reality, they can be the TOUGHEST to overcome. Especially when you find yourself downloading many files and images a day, managing multiple tasks for multiple campaigns, and working on various projects with different timelines. Organizing your tasks will do wonders for you in the industry. If you have a friend that is good at this, get help from them. The ElementIQ team has Sam and Joseph to look up to in terms of organized living!

4. Know The Tools Of The Trade.

As someone who aspires to be a digital marketing professional, it is a good idea to start off by learning about various tools that are used in the industry. If you know your tools well, you don’t have to spend time familiarizing yourself with them when you finally land your dream job. Instead, you can get to using these tools right away and get things done!

I understand that some tools are more technical than others and it may take less or more time to understand their optimal usage depending on your technical abilities. Thus, I have shortlisted some tools that most people will have no problems understanding, irrespective of their technical aptitude and prior knowledge.

These tools and applications are not necessarily (directly) used in formulating or analyzing a campaign but are used to carry out daily tasks like communicating, designing and planning.

Slack:

If you’ve not checked out slack yet, it’s time you do! Slack is the ultimate team collaboration tool your team will ever need. It provides a neat and user-friendly communication space not only for direct messaging but also group messaging.

What is great about this tool is its ability to allow third-party application integrations. You can seamlessly send documents to your colleagues whether they are on your computer or on third-party apps like Quip and Google Docs. If you’re on the go, Slack is availableinn the App Store for both iPhones and Android phones.

If all this doesn’t convince you, let me tell you that the free version of slack is so efficient and offers so much that most agencies haven’t felt the need to upgrade to the full version yet.

Quip:

As someone who uses a Mac, I absolutely dislike the capabilities of collaboration that Microsoft Office boasts about. Be it the lack of cross-platform abilities or the ugly user interface, Microsoft Office is just not an option for the beautiful documents I strive to create at work.

Thus, Quip!

Quip is an amazing cloud-based document creation platform that makes collaboration easier than ever before. Also, it integrates seamlessly with slack making things even better! Zero redundancy, seamless collaboration and a price of 0$ is what gives Quip the EIQ approval.

Canva:

I had no skills in designing or editing pictures before I started working as a digital marketer.

Canva is what changed the game. Canva is an online tool that allows you to edit photos and images without having prior Photoshop or designing experience. I highly recommend playing around with it and watching some YouTube tutorials.

Once you get a hang of these tools, it might me time to dive into some technical tools like MailChimp, Moz, Google Analytics, Google AdWords etc. The ideal way to master these tools would be to either watch YouTube tutorials, read books (A good starter book: SEO For Dummies), complete the respective certifications or to get your hands on to some free trials and play around!

5. Get Certified

There are two very specific reasons as to why I would recommend being a Certified Professional in whatever career you choose.

The first reason is that certifications tend to keep you updated and never let you stay out of touch. Most certifications come with an expiry date and you must re-take the test before it expires. Obviously, this means that you re-iterate the salient topics and get new updates along the way.

The second reason is more résumé focused. Your résumé might list a few digital marketing skills but the only way to prove to an HR rep that you deserve and interview, is by backing those skills up with a certification (a relevant portfolio helps too).

I’ve listed some of the certifications that I felt were most helpful to me. I will be writing more in detail about each of them in a different post (comment down below if you’d like me to write on a specific topic).

Communications Certification:

As a digital marketing professional, communication is unquestionably key. There are very few aspects of digital marketing in which communication does not play a major role.

If you’re trying to get into the Social Media Management side of marketing, communication is of utmost importance. I can vouch for the fact that it is not difficult to improve your communication and grammatical abilities since English is not my first language and I’ve managed to exponentially improve my communication skills over time. I spent hours reading books and watching movies to improve my linguistic abilities as a child and I still continue to do so.

My university accredited certifications in communication and English language testing have helped employers understand that I have the skills required to communicate effectively to an audience that I intend to market products or services to.

Google Analytics Certification:

I learned very early in my internship that it is absolutely pointless to present ideas without data to back them up. The most effective way to present ideas for a campaign was to analyze data from similar campaigns or similar companies/products and use this data to back my idea.

All of this came into picture once I got my hands on to the Google Analytics platform. The Google Analytics certification is a short 2 step certification ranging about three to four hours each, which allows you to understand the data that flows behind marketing campaigns. It is absolutely worth the effort and it doesn’t cost a penny!

Google Adwords Certification:

Although online advertising is a nexus in itself, it is essential as a marketer that we understand the basics of how advertising on the internet works irrespective of whether you want to specialize in PPC management or not. Google AdWords is Google’s advertising platform. Bing has a similar platform.

To be AdWords certified, you must complete the AdWords fundamental exam and complement it with either one of five specialization exams (Search Advertising, Display Advertising, Video Advertising, Mobile Advertising, Shopping Advertising). It takes about 3 hours to prepare for each exam and they are all free.

I would also recommend following Google Adwords on twitter for quick updates on the platform and upcoming changes, just to stay in constant touch with one of the most important advertising platforms out there.

Hubspot Inbound Marketing:

Digital Marketing works on the principles of Inbound Marketing. If you haven’t already understood the concepts of inbound marketing and how it differs from outbound or traditional marketing, I would recommended starting by watching this video on YouTube. The HubSpot Inbound Certification is the best way (by far) to understand what digital marketing really is and how it works. Also, just like the Google Academy courses, this course is available free of cost at HubSpot Academy.

6. Find an Internship

Once you’ve got a fair idea of these skills, it is actually time to jump into the industry. What better way to start than an internship with EIQ! Find out more about the ElementIQ internship program here.

The Intern’s First Week – Rounak Sardesai

Exordium

“There is no passion to be found in playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”

-Nelson Mandela

I was a sales and marketing professional with a degree in computer science before I came across the ElementIQ Internship program. Having a stable job which was paying the bills comfortably was not something I thought I’d complain about, but this thought was soon changed.

Have you ever skimmed through your résumé and felt like you really want to see something meaningful on there? Well, I did!

The moment I realized that I was not doing something that I really wanted to do, I opened my eyes to the opportunities that were out in the market. Whilst scrolling through my Facebook, I came across an advertisement for the ElQ internship. Although I was well aware of what traditional marketing was, I had no clue what digital marketing was.

Thus, the first step to my application was a google search titled “what is digital marketing” and “what does digital marketing include.” I realized that I had immense potential in this field because I had had some sales experience and I was computer savvy.

I shot out my résumé to EIQ and within the next 24 hours, I knew what to do next. Ramesh replied to my application promptly and asked me to complete two tasks before a probable interview – An inbound certification from HubSpot and an English grammar test. To be honest, I thought this was the most relevant pre-interview checklist I’ve come across.

The next step in my application process was a face to face to interview with Ramesh and Vikram at the Spacekraft office (a co-working shared space that reflects the start-up essence) in Burnaby. Suited up, I met with the two EIQ employees who were extremely welcoming and easy-going.

The interview was set up in the spacecraft lounge that turned it into a constructive conversation rather than a formal interview. The questions I was asked were very relevant to the job and were well aligned with the expectations mentioned in their advertisement. The interview that went on for just over an hour, was one of the most productive conversations I’d had in context to a job.

Next, I met with Sam a few days after the initial interview and we discussed what he expected from his employees and gave me a brief introduction of what EIQ believes in as a team. Sam came across to me as a person who motivates his team and wants his employees to grow with the team.

This was exactly what I was looking for in my life – to be a part of a motivated team where my opinion is valued and new ideas are a result of constructive conversation with fun being the by-product. I must admit, the Spacekraft office was also a catalyst to my affirmative decision once I was offered the position a week later. Allow me take you through the journey of my first week of work at ElementIQ.

The Pilot (Day O):

Are you a reliable self-starter looking to kickstart your digital marketing career?

As soon as I accepted the offer, I was asked to come in for an onboarding meeting with Vikram. On a beautiful Thursday morning, I walked into the Spacekraft office in Burnaby and had the same expressions Harry Potter did on his first visit to Hogwarts. I knew there was so much I was going to learn and so much I was going to be good at. I may sound presumptuous when I say that I knew I was going to be good at so many things, but here’s why I am not:

“Surround yourself with people that reflect who you want to be and how you want to feel, energies are contagious.”

-Rachel Wolchin

My confidence came from a vibe, a vibe I got from my welcoming colleagues and the people I was surrounded with.

We went over a variety of tools and software I would need over time at EIQ to successfully carry out daily tasks. Some of the tools were as simple as an email account and an instant messenger and some were more detailed like Teamwork, Quip and Slack. Have you ever watched the detail in which the Quartermaster (Q) describes his exhibits to James Bond? Vikram was as passionate as Q in this scenario – you could tell that he was passionate about his operation space.

Following the tools of the trade were the tricks of the trade – Vikram went over some of the essentials of digital marketing concepts with me. Some of these concepts were The Marketing Funnel, Buyer Personas and Social Media Channels. What I appreciate most about this session was the fact that it was assumed that I was fresh to the field and all information was delivered without the need of a prerequisite.

(It was like enrolling in Comp Sci 404 at Uni without completing the pre-requisites and finding out the instructor is going to recap Comp Sci 304,204 and 104 again. Instructor goals!!)

The session had an open-ended activity to it which included me trying to market one of my favorite brands. All in all, my orientation day made me realize (for the first time) that following your passion could not go wrong!

The One With The First Huddle (Day 1):

The following Tuesday after my orientation was my first official day with the EIQ team. I was welcomed by the team and the day started with a morning huddle. This was the first time I was going to be a part of the huddle and I was curious to know what it was all about.

What Makes An Effective Daily Huddle?

  1. Blockers: Any blockers that may be a hindrance to any tasks that have been assigned
  2. Daily Tasks: Any tasks that may need attention or discussion
  3. Chatter: Any mention-worth items from client tasks
  4. Share Something: Each day one person shares something interesting, usually motivational or influential

As someone who tries hard to be organized in life (with little or no success), the huddle seemed like a very important part of my day.

The huddle was followed by a walkthrough of our clients and Vikram walked me through each client’s case thoroughly. I understood that each client was different and each case was interesting in its own way.

Although we had already touched base on some of the tools that I was going to need during my tenure as a digital marketer, Vikram took the effort to thoroughly walk me through each of the tools starting with TeamWork (a project management and task manager with collaborative capabilities). This was followed by Quip (a modern replacement of docs with uber-collaborative functionality and integration capabilities) and Slack walkthroughs.

The walkthroughs were followed by realistic activities that directly aligned with our line of work and enabled me to communicate with the team easily and manage my tasks to perfection (just what a true procrastinator needs in life).

The day went by so quick that it almost felt like an elementary school field trip. At the end of it, I was full of things I had newly learnt – my body relaxed and my mind tired enough to let me sleep like a baby.

The One With The Reports (Day 2):

I was the kind of student that went off to a library every time I needed to get some serious work done. I always thought that I wasn’t able to get work done at home because it wasn’t the right environment. This was proven wrong on my second day at EIQ.

My second day at work was another first-timer. The EIQ team works from the Spacekraft office three times a week (Monday, Tuesday and Thursday) and remotely twice a week (Wednesday and Friday) so my second working day was going to be the first time that I would be remotely connected with the rest of the team. To my surprise, it was as smooth as a face-to-face meeting with great coordination and pre-assigned tasks.

“Choose a job you love, and you’ll never have to work another day in life”

-Confucius

The challenge I faced was a different one. Whilst I was in school, mathematics and statistics was something I absolutely dreaded and my second working day at EIQ was meant to introduce me to analytics and reporting which can be broadly categorized as a result of statistics. Vikram introduced me to a software unlike any other called NinjaCat that is used in the marketing world to analyze the real-time ROI situation for a particular business.

As and how I got used to navigating around the software through the day, I realized that I was now dealing with real data, real numbers, and real situations. As unnatural as it may sound, real-world problems are what make our lives interesting! The moment I started to understand that my analysis or reports would make a difference to a business and its marketing strategies, the hidden mathematician within me rose out of the grave.

The day can be summed up into three great sessions where I learned a lot about Facebook Advertising, Google Analytics, and Reporting.

The One With The Norman Doors (Day 3):

The next day back at the office started off with some reporting tasks I had been assigned the previous day. I worked on these analytical puzzles like a child trying to find the right way to join two Lego blocks and I absolutely loved the challenge! By the time I had finished my task in hand, it was almost time for the most awaited activity of the day – a UX/UI walkthrough session with Joseph.

As a computer science student, I had a fair idea of the importance of ease of access or ease of use of a particular object. However, what I didn’t know was how often we come across bad designs and how they are introduced to us. Joseph had a great flow to his session. In fact, an exemplary one. One of the key takeaways from this session was the Norman Doors anomaly. Joseph set up a presentation explaining how bad doors are a part of our lives and how we have to face awkward situations trying to overcome the push and pull battle! As simple as this may seem, it was the start to a great insight on User Interface and User Experience Design.

This session was followed by some reading to be done on UX/UI and taking a look at the resources shared by Joseph. Following the session was the weekly meeting that the EIQ team assembles for every Thursday. This meeting was a more elaborate meeting in comparison to the daily huddle. The weekly team meet can be divided broadly into the following:

Weekly Meeting Composition:

  1. Wins: Mention worthy achievements
  2. Numbers: Numerical representation of our performance
  3. Deep dive: Topics that need to be discussed in depth
  4. Tasks and Challenges: Follow-up tasks in line with discussion

With the end of the weekly team meet, an eventful Thursday had come to an end.

The One About This Blog (Day 4):

My fourth day at EIQ was not only my second remote working day but also a Friday. FRIYAAY! The tasks I had for the morning were read a little bit about our clients. I got to know what our clients do in terms of business and what their business goals are. This study was followed by a short analysis of what these clients do, again using google analytics and NinjaCat.

The highlight of the day was a session on content writing with Karmen. Her session on writing for the web included multiple examples of good and bad writing. She made me understand that writing for a crowd is just like trying to read their minds. It is important to read their thoughts and cater to the needs of that crowd.

A brief part of the session also included information on structure, images, formatting and other such neglected factors. Some of the resources that she shared helped me in writing this post.

Well, with the week coming to an end, I had just one task to complete before I could sip onto the madness of the weekend – updating the notes for our daily huddle for Monday morning.

The One With WordPress (Day 5):

My fifth day at EIQ was a Monday. This was also my first Monday as a part of the team. Honestly, the best part of this day was just after I woke up and realized that I did not have the Monday Blues. I guess that is how it feels to work a job you really like. My Monday was a busy one, and what I had most to look forward to was a Web Development session with Lincoln and a Local Search Optimization session with Vikram.  

The morning started off with some pending tasks from before the weekend. Just after lunch, Vikram and I got together for a short session on how Local SEO is carried out. The session was a great add-on to the other sessions I’d had with him as they were like joining different pieces of a puzzle.

After my first session, it was now time for a Web Dev walkthrough with Lincoln. This was the most technical session as yet and gave insights on how websites are developed, how they are themed and what goes into making an effective web page. Lincoln also walked me through some of the applications that would come in handy when wanting to create an effective website or landing page. This session definitely gave me a thorough introduction to Web Development.

This was the end of not just a great Monday, but also a fantastic first week at ElementIQ!

Proven Method To Learn Anything Fast

proven method to learn anything fast

The 10,000 Hour Rule to Mastery?

malcolm gladwell outliers and 10000 hour rule

We’ve all heard about the 10,000 hour rule to mastery in a field. But how long does it take to be good at something? I transitioned into the tech industry a year ago and there seems to be an endless amount of things to learn. After mapping out the skills, I went on a quest to find a systematic approach to learning anything fast. Here’s what I’ve found.

Become a Lifelong Learner

become a lifelong learner

You must first learn to embrace the learning process. Lifelong learners are more likely to enjoy the process and be fulfilled. I personally found it liberating when I learned to enjoy the process rather than the results. Doing so helped me to be action-driven and to focus on developing my skills rather than being discouraged by the amount of learning that I needed to do. Conveniently in the information age, there are tonnes of resources in the format that you wish to learn from books, videos, podcasts, mentors, seminars, to a classroom setting.

Why? Share It!

why? share it with others

Why did you decide to learn this skill? People who identify the reasons and the purpose of learning a skill are more likely to stick to the plan.

When I started at ElementIQ, I identified the company needs, my interests, and what I can offer. I aligned it to my long-term goal to become a conversion-focused UX/UI Designer and shared the learning opportunities with the team. The team was on board with the idea and they equipped me with the projects and the resources to succeed. Having a supportive team helped me to stay motivated to develop the skills as I had the opportunity to apply what I learned right away.

Deconstruct

learning curve
Adopted From Josh Kaufman’s The First 20 Hours

The best part about learning a new skill is that there’s a likelihood that someone that has already done it. Identify these people and find out how they did it and learn from them. They’ll help you shorten your learning curve by teaching you the shortcuts and the best practices. There are plenty of online resources to help me become a conversion-focused UX/UI Designer but I went to RED Academy, a tech career-focused school to get a formal education from industry experts. This investment helped me save so much time as opposed to learning on my own without any guidance.

As Tony Robbins puts it: “Many great leaders have proven that the fastest way to master any skill, strategy or goal in life is to model those who have already forged the path ahead. If you can find someone who is already getting the results that you want and take the same actions they are taking, you can get the same results.”

Practice Deliberately

the first 20 hours steps

According to Josh Kaufman’s book The First 20 Hours, to learn fast one must learn just enough to self-correct. First, research the best practices then take action. Then, instead of perfecting the technique right away, try practicing it. Find out what’s working and what needs improvements then hit the resources again.

Kaufman summarized it as “Instead of trying to be perfect, focus on practicing as much as you can as quickly as you can while maintaining ‘good enough’ form.”

 

Apply the Pareto Principles

Pareto principle in learning the English language

In learning any skill, self-proclaimed “human guinea pig” Tim Ferriss asks himself “Which 20% of the blocks should I focus on for 80% or more of the outcome I want?” For example, there are around 250,000 words in the English language according to linguist Paul Nation. However, 2,000 words cover 80% of the written text. This suggests that instead of trying to learn all 250,000 words and being overwhelmed, you’re more likely to gain competency if you identify and focus on learning the 2,000 words.

Sleep on It

A Harvard study suggested that dreaming may reactivate and reorganize recently learned material, which would help improve memory and boost performance. In addition, light sleep stages 1 and 2 have been shown to be important in helping the brain being plastic to learning new material. After stretching yourself to learn new materials, take a nap or get a good night sleep and your brain will consolidate what you’ve learned throughout the day.

Not only sleep will help you maintain learned information, it helps you in other areas of your life from being more alert, have more energy, experience less stress, and improve overall happiness.

What Will You Learn Next?

what will you learn next

Today’s society is unique as the internet enables us to learn anything that we want. To learn fast, devote yourself to become a lifelong learner, find the reason why you’re learning the skill, identify the 20% that is accountable for the 80% of the results and practice deliberately. You can learn anything, but you can’t learn everything. What will you learn next?

ElementIQ Internship: Joseph’s First Week

Prologue – Life Before Tech

My career path has not been so linear. I’ve ventured many industries from sports, hospitality to the financial services industry before entering the tech industry. I’m a type of person if I’m curious about something, I do it right away and find out if it’s for me or not. Entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk said it the best: “Dwelling has zero return on investment.”

When I found out that a career in financial services wasn’t for me, I quit and enrolled in the UX Design program at RED Academy. It was an easy decision as I wanted a career that had the best interest for the people.

Gary Vaynerchuk’s input on dwelling. Warning: coarse language

The Introduction

StormBrain project at RED Academy

After finishing a client project at RED, my client Steve Kim was pleased with our work and he introduced me to Sam Araki, the founder of ElementIQ, who worked in the same co-working space as him. After I got in touch with Sam, we went for a coffee to get to know each other and talk about a potential placement at ElementIQ. After our second meeting, I was offered a 3-month internship.

At first, I had mixed feelings as ElementIQ is an inbound marketing agency and not a design agency. However, I thought that this would be a good opportunity to get a holistic understanding of the tech industry. I jumped at the opportunity to start my journey in the tech industry.

Day 1 THU – The First Day

Are you a reliable self-starter looking to kickstart your digital marketing career?

I was greeted by the ElementIQ team when I entered SpaceKraft, a shared workplace in Burnaby. I was joined with Katie, who was also starting her first day. Soon after the introduction, Ramesh gave us a tour of the co-working space.

Ramesh then gave us a walkthrough of the company’s culture and workflow. Some of the tools and resources that we installed were Google Apps, Quip, Teamwork, Slack, along with subscriptions to numerous marketing resources.

By end of the day, I was equipped with the tools and resources for success and had a better understanding of the company’s culture:

  • Autonomy. Employees have autonomy as we work remotely twice a week.
  • Semi-structured. We have daily huddles at 9:08 AM as well as weekly team meetings. It helps us to keep accountable and track our progress.
  • Communication. We utilize various tools to help our workflow. They all serve a purpose for us to work together as a team.

Day 2 FRI – First Remote Day

It felt a little weird at first as it’s my second day and that I was to work remotely. I joined the daily huddle at 9:08 AM on Google Hangouts. Sam invited us to Zoom, an alternative to Hangouts. It turns out that Zoom is much more stable even with the video share on! Everyone went around to discuss what they’re working on the day and added the tasks on Quip. It was also an opportunity to discuss any blockers that were keeping us from finishing a task.

After the huddle, Ramesh, Katie and I stayed in the conference to plan the day. We were given the resources to learn about the company as well as inbound marketing materials. Soon after, Sam assigned me to obtain the ‘Optimization & Testing Mastery’ Certificate on Digital Marketer. As a data-driven UX/UI Designer, Sam identified that it would complement my current skill set to learn conversion rate optimization (CRO).

We had the opportunity to utilize Quip, Teamwork, Slack, Google Apps, amongst other tools to get familiar with the ElementIQ workflow. I spent much of the day learning about inbound marketing and I was fascinated to learn how it closely parallels with many user experience (UX) methods. It further reinforced my decision to take on the opportunity at ElementIQ as it gave me new perspectives.

Day 3 MON – First Client Project!

We began our morning with a daily huddle. After discussing our daily tasks and our blockers, Sam shared a Harvard Business Review article on the benefit of daily self-reflection. Sam encouraged us to adopt this and practice reflection before ending our day.

For the rest of the morning, Ramesh introduced ElementIQ’s clients to Katie and I. I was intrigued at the company’s transparency and the personal connection that we have with our clients. After lunch, Ramesh gave us a digital marketing walkthrough. We learned about the elements of digital marketing and we had the opportunity to ask any questions that we had.

After the walkthrough, Lincoln gave me my first client project- to create an email campaign for a client. I was to come up with an email campaign strategy for a promotional offer with an email newsletter and a landing page. I asked many questions to understand the context and the target audience. After coming up with the objective, key performance indicators (KPIs) and the information about our audience, we gathered additional questions to send to our client.

Day 4 TUE – Blog Optimization And Pizza Mmm…

Today, we had a blog post walkthrough with Karmen. She showed us how to access our client’s websites with WordPress and how we create blog posts for our clients. By the end of the walkthrough, we had the opportunity to revise and optimize an older blog post.

In the afternoon, Lincoln showed Katie and I the world of web hosting. I thought I had an understanding of web hosting but I learned a lot from Lincoln hearing from the agency’s perspective. Towards the end of our web hosting walkthrough, we were interrupted by the smell of pizza…

It was time for quarterly Town Hall at SpaceKraft. It was an opportunity to meet the members and the staffs at the co-working space to discuss upcoming events and any concerns that we may have. It was a pleasant experience to meet people with a various background that work together to build a community.

Day 5 WED – Design And Code?!

On my second remote day, I received feedback from Ramesh on the blog post that I revised for optimization. The comments functionality on Google Docs worked perfectly as the feedback was clear for revision. After revising the blog post, I put together the content for the email campaign and sent it to Lincoln for review. I then sketched the wireframes and started to digitize the wireframes on Sketch.

At 3:00 PM, I had a Zoom meeting with Ramesh where he shared his screen and gave me a walkthrough of a client project. The client wanted to create a web page and Ramesh asked me if I could design AND build the page WordPress myself under the guidance of Lincoln. Although I don’t have much experience with WordPress, I happily accepted the challenge as it was an opportunity to further expand myself as a designer.

Day 6 THU – Intern To Strategist

Despite being an internship, Sam has given me the title UX/UI Strategist. I am ever grateful for this and the faith that his team has shown me in my ability. I want to take this opportunity to live up to the expectation and apply design thinking to solve problems for our users and our clients.

Closing Thoughts

When I was seeking employment in tech, I noticed many titles from: UX/UI Designer, Digital Designer, Product Designer, Web Designer, Interaction Designer amongst many others. I recently read a Medium article suggesting that there’s an unnecessary fragmentation of design jobs. Designers solve problems for the users and the clients by creating seamless user experience. They do everything: research, writing, visuals, code, project management, whatever it takes. I very much resonate with this and at ElementIQ, I wear all hats in order to get the job done. I am able to do this in a supportive team culture where each member has respect and trust for one another. I am grateful to be in this position and I look forward to the upcoming challenges.

ElementIQ Internship Program- Katie’s First Week

How Did I Get Here?

The Job Description

From the moment I read the job posting for ElementIQ, I knew it was the job for me. ElementIQ’s internship program is exactly what it says it is–a program. The program provides training on various aspects of digital marketing then assigns tasks related to the training. These tasks enable you to practice what you have learned. I was so excited to see this job posting because it is a job where I am actually going to learn skills that will better prepare me for a marketing career.

So, how has my first week measured up to my initial thoughts? Read on to find out!

The Internship Program

Are you a reliable self-starter looking to kickstart your digital marketing career?

Day 1 – Thursday – Orientation

The first day was a whirlwind of information. Ramesh is the main leader of the orientation program. He spent the day teaching me and Joseph, another intern who started on the same day as me, about the inner workings of ElementIQ.

ElementIQ is very up-to-date on innovative productivity applications. They use apps like Google Drive, Quip, Teamwork, and Slack to communicate and collaborate. These applications are awesome. They make staying focused and working efficiently much easier.

There are three important aspects in ElementIQ’s culture, their recipe for success is:

Huddle

Every morning at 9:08 the whole team gets together either in person or via video chat in the huddle. We talk about what needs to be accomplished that day and anything that may be blocking someone from accomplishing their tasks.

Weekly Meeting

Every Thursday from 4-5 Sam leads a meeting to go over what is happening with the agency. Part of the meeting is a deep dive in which someone leads a discussion on a topic that will better the agency.

Weekly Check-In

At ElementIQ a lot of effort is put into ensuring their employees are improving. But at the end of the day, our primary focus is the clients. Through years of experience, ElementIQ has learned that communication is key. So every Monday, we send weekly check-in emails to our clients. These emails overview what we did for the client last week, what we will be doing this week, anything we may need from them as well as any other relevant pieces of information.

Day 2 – Friday – First Remote Day

Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays from about 9 am to 5 pm are spent work at a coworking office in Burnaby called SpaceKraft.

SpaceKraft is a true modern office space with chalk walls, free coffee, bean bags and a stellar view of Vancouver. The remaining two days of the week, Wednesdays and Fridays, are spent working remotely.

The day starts with a team huddle at 9:08 am, even on the days when we are all working remotely. In the huddle, everyone talked about what they had in store for their days. There was still a lot for me to learn to get up to speed with what was happening with the agency, so I spent the day reading over information about ElementIQ and some of the different aspects of digital marketing.

After a long day of reading, watching informational videos, and video chatting with Ramesh to review the material I read, the weekend had arrived!

I still needed to complete a Search Engine Basics course administered by DistilledU that I didn’t have a chance to get to on Friday. So I did that over the weekend.

Day 3 – Monday – Getting To Know The Clients

The first two days of the internship were spent learning about ElementIQ’s structure and the fundamentals of digital marketing.

Now that I understood the basics of digital marketing it was time to learn about ElementIQ’s clients! Ramesh spent the morning walking me and Joseph through each client and what we do for them. We then took some time to visit the clients’ websites and look over some work ElementIQ had previously done for them.

On Monday Ramesh also walked me and Joseph through the periodic table of SEO, a great resource that overviewed everything we had learned so far.

Day 4 – Tuesday – Blog Posts And Location Pages

On Tuesday, we put our knowledge into action and started working on projects for clients. Our first task was editing a blog post. Karmen, EIementIQ’s writing extraordinaire, showed us how to navigate WordPress. She also showed us where to find a blog post to edit which was our next task. I have used WordPress for school so I was familiar with the site. This previous experience made it easier to write my first blog post for ElementIQ.

Karmen and I were also tasked with creating some location pages for one of our clients. When I was first assigned this task I didn’t even know what a location page was! However, Ramesh provided us with some resources and Lincoln showed us a different company’s location pages so we knew what to do.

Day 5 – Wednesday – Always Learning

I absolutely love our office space, but the commute is about an hour for me so having Wednesday as a work at home day is nice and breaks up my week well.

One might be concerned that working from home makes us less efficient, but our collaborative productivity applications (such as quip and teamwork) helps us to stay on task.

Wednesday started off with the team huddle. Then, I spent the rest of the day working on a blog post, finalizing the location pages, and beginning to acquire a search engine optimization certification from Digital Marketer.

Day 6 – Thursday – Made It Through The First Week!

Thursday was officially one week after I started at ElementIQ. I was assigned the task of auditing one of our client’s websites that we had redesigned. Auditing was a fun task. It included editing for consistency, formatting, creating some images, and all the while learning a lot about dental work!

Thursday is also the day of our weekly meeting so we spent an hour going over what was happening with the agency. The deep dive topic for this meeting was about prospecting and closing. Sam shared with us some information about how to always be selling which was the main takeaway.

In the afternoon, Caleb, EIementIQ’s search engine optimization whiz, gave me, Karmen, and Joseph a lesson on SEO. This is a topic I had been learning about all week so it was incredibly beneficial to have a group discussion about it.

Day 7 – Friday – Great First Week

At the end of the first full week, I can officially say I am loving my summer internship! Everyone on the team is so kind and willing to help each other out which adds to the great workplace atmosphere.

My favorite thing about ElementIQ is their mindset for growth. Everyone at the agency is dedicated to self-improvement and we are provided with ample educational resources to help us with that process. This aligns perfectly with my summer goal to learn as much as possible about marketing.

There are so many different fields of marketing and as the world continues to digitize, digital marketing is going to become more and more important. I am so happy my summer is dedicated to becoming as proficient as possible in this up-and-coming field.

ElementIQ Internship: Karmen’s First Week

Heading Internship Post

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.

Let’s Get To Work!

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.

Are you a reliable self-starter looking to kickstart your digital marketing career?

My First Day:

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.

Order Is Key:

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.

Apps!

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.

Day 2:

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 – 9:37EIQ

9:37-9:52First Huddle

9:52- 12:00Client overview with Ramesh

12:00 – 1:00Lunch

1:00 – 3:00Digital Marketing Overview with Ramesh

3:00 – 5:00First 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.

Day 3 – Work From Home

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.

I Get By With A Little Help

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.

Practice Makes Perfect

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!

Day 4 – Back To The Office!

9:00-9:08EIQ

9:08-9:30Huddle

9:30-11:00I worked on title tags for a client website.

11:00- 12:00Digital 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 – 1:00Pho

1:00 – 2:00I 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 – 3:00Edit blog post and new ElementIQ t-shirts!

Lights, Camera, YouTube!

3:00 – 4:00YouTube 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.

Day 5: Friday! Work From Home

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!

Final Thoughts:

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.

Jackie’s First Week At ElementIQ // An Experience Of A Marketing Internship

People often believe in the saying “With great power, comes great responsibility”. What I think is actually true is that “With great responsibility, comes great power”. I think this is more relevant because oftentimes when you are under pressure, that’s when you create the most monumental work.

It all started with a phone call two days before NYE. Krystle Cheung, the HR coordinator from Organika, intentionally reached out to inform me about a marketing opportunity. Without her, I would not have had the liberty of knowing this opportunity. So THANK YOU, Krystle!

Hello

I’m Jackie Lau. A little background about me is that I run a photography business by day and have studied as a marketing student by night for the past few years. I always love learning the little quirks of every human interaction and the micro expressions that tell the macro story.

Are you a reliable self-starter looking to kickstart your digital marketing career?

As I learned more about the principles of marketing, It gradually showed me the intricacies of building a successful brand. From being in the flashy studio photo shoots to building a strategic SEO plan, these experiences made me realize that marketing is really in all aspects of our lives.

Day 1, Whoa That Was A Lot Of Information

After a flurry of app introduction and insider marketing techniques, we first took a tour of the whole office at Spacekraft. He showed me the free, unlimited, ever-flowing and an everlasting amount of coffee we could have. The place is cool.
Furthermore, a normal day on the ElementIQ team generally looks like this:

9:08 am – Team Huddles -> 15 mins

10:00 am – Work on Client X -> 2 hours

12:00 pm – Lunch! -> 1 hour

1:00 pm – Work on Client Y & Z -> 4 hours

5:00 pm – Go Home!

In our daily huddle, the team talks about what goals we want to achieve that day. Since this was my first day, the “work” I had was basically more about learning the history of the company, current clients of EIQ and how to create strategies that help our clients thrive. I installed a bunch of clever apps. I also had a walkthrough of apps and on what they do. This includes Quip, set up Google Apps, set up Slack, paperwork, then go to lunch.

After lunch, we continued with the company onboarding. I was also introduced to a learning tool called DistilledU. Then we installed a bunch more useful apps for Chrome. Some apps we installed were: Buffer, Google Tag Manager, Franz and seven other apps. We went through Canva and stencil. Canva is so much better. Install some more marketing stuff. We installed A LOT of apps.

By the time we were done installing, it was close to 5:00 PM. That’s when people started just hanging out. We have an XBOX One, so automatically I had to at least watch what they were playing. After of few games of NHL legacy, my stomach was ready for me to go home and eat. That night, I just ate, edited some photos and slept right away.

Day 2, Round 2

The second day at work, we took a more in-depth look into the ElementIQ strategic plans in content creation. From creating buyer personas, we are able to discuss what kind of content we should make to attract our markets.

We also went through making videos, using this browser video editor. Honestly, to cut this short, there was a lot of in-depth information that might bore you if I continue talking about it now, so maybe in the future, I will write blogs on some more tips for you solopreuners out there (*wink wink @jacfruits at IG, [she is my girl] ).

*This day was also my birthday so…

** ^That was the rest of my Tuesday

Day 3, Friday!!!

This was the last day of the week. I was taught how to manage multiple blog posts at one time and how to properly assign writers to complete content (FYI, we also have a cool team of writers that helps us develop blog posts for our clients).

Afterward, I was shown how to optimize a blog post. This helped me learn the details of blog post optimization, such as using alt tags, meta descriptions, and internal linking.

Next, to test out what I learned, I was tasked with optimizing two blog posts and that kept me busy until the end of the day. Although I was reading a lot of dry material, the environment I was in made me interested in what I was reading. By the time I was done editing and optimizing these posts, I became quite familiar with Light Heat Energy Skin Rejuvenation and it doesn’t kill you.

That sums up the first week at ElementIQ! I am pretty excited to know more of what I don’t know, and to grow more with the team here!