By Lauren | September 20, 2016 | 0 Comment
Although I’ve never had the privilege of meeting Winnie Giang in real life, we’ve been Twitter pals for awhile now. As an active young professional in the industry, I had to reach out to her to learn more about what she does, and hear her advice for other young professionals. Keep reading for great tidbits and a bit more info on what it’s like to work in marketing for a start-up!
I’m small but mighty, haha! But really, the first thing that people say to me (who haven’t met or seen me in person outside my social media) has to do something with my height. Normally it goes something like, “wow you’re really short”. And all I can say is, “well, this is what you get!”. I used to be really self-conscious about my height because everyone kept making comments about how short I am and *literally* looked down on me, but over time, I’ve accepted who I am and embraced the height I’ve been blessed with. Confidence is key and people will take you seriously.
What my LinkedIn profile can’t convey, that I really wish it could, is my passion outside of work. Sure, my working experience pays my bills, but what I’m really passionate about is creating things and sharing it with the world. I like to “create” a variety of things such as writing blog posts, filming and editing videos, coming up with content for my social media, and so much more! In addition to all that, I love engaging with people through attending social events or digitally through my social media platforms. Being around people gives me so much energy – I’m a total extrovert.
Currently, I work at a small start-up called Magentrix. We provide software collaboration solutions for business partners, customers, and employees of small and medium businesses. My role as the Content Marketing Specialist requires me to create content for the company to promote us and what we stand for in the form of blog posts, email campaigns, managing social media, manage marketing automation, and more! All our blog posts can be found here!
I graduated from the University of Waterloo earlier this year (June 2016) with a BA in Honours Sociology Co-op, Business and Technology Specialization, and a minor in Communications. It’s a mouthful of a degree, isn’t it? Many people ask me, “well if you didn’t study marketing, how did you get into marketing?”. The University of Waterloo has a FANTASTIC co-op program where every four months you alternate between studying in school and working a full-time position. The summer of 2013 was my first co-op term and I was fortunate enough to land my first position as a Communications Coordinator with the university’s communications and media team. From there, I continued to land positions in marketing (specifically for content marketing) for my next three co-op terms in start-ups and I just got immersed into the start-up world and work style. I have to give a big thanks to my managers throughout these positions because they were great mentors as I tried to figure out if this career was the right fit for me. And a huge shout-out to the people I met along the way in the places I’ve worked! They’re amazing.
What also helped me land these positions was from my involvement at school. I was involved in a TON of clubs, extra-curricular activities, and projects. My calendar would be filled with meetings and events back to back to back – and it wasn’t even for school. Something clicked in me after my first year and, I didn’t want to be “just a member” anymore. So I sought out executive roles in the clubs that was I was previously involved in. For almost all of them, my role had something to do with social media, creating content, or managing a team of people. Let’s just say that it was pretty tough to balance both school and these activities, but it all worked out and benefited me in the end because I wouldn’t have landed a full-time job right after graduation.
I can’t give all the credit to school though. On the side, I’m really active across all my social media platforms. I’ve been active since the MySpace days (haha) and I guess I haven’t stopped since. I was an early adopter of many of the most popular platforms today including Twitter and YouTube. As I continued through my schooling, I found opportunities where I could transfer what I learned from my personal accounts to “business” accounts, and so I just continued to adapt to the changing social media practices. If you told me that I could make a living off managing social media and creating content back in the day, I would have laughed at you. But now, it’s what I love to do!
I’ve been working here for 5 months now.
It starts off with an almost two hour commute from Mississauga to Richmond Hill. Doesn’t sound too pleasant right? It’s alright because during my commute, I often listen to podcasts like #GIRLBOSS Radio or catch up on the latest tech/social media news on Mashable – or I just sleep. When I get to work, I check up on emails, check what’s going on on our social media channels, and respond to everything I missed. Lists are very key to my success, so I take a look at the previous list of to-dos from the previous day and begin creating my list for today. Checking things off a list after you’ve completed the task is VERY satisfying.
A content calendar, for a Content Marketer, is so important to have in order to keep track of the different campaigns that you’re running, campaigns that are coming up, events that you need to promote, and more. I use a template that I found through Hootsuite’s blog (with a few tweaks) and it gets me through the week. I update it regularly!
In addition to creating content, I also analyze how it’s performing through Google Analytics and other analytics tools that we use. It’s important to constantly keep checking what’s doing well and what isn’t to know what you can do to improve your content in the future. Monitoring and conducting competitive analysis is also key to knowing how everyone else in your industry is doing.
As someone who didn’t study marketing, but came into a marketing role, I found that there were still a lot of things I needed to learn to keep up with my career. I would highly recommend taking the free inbound marketing certification course from Hubspot to get a sense of what inbound marketing is and how it can contribute to your overall marketing goals. As well as the free Google Analytics course to understand how you can measure success and the impact that your content has on your audiences.
Creating content can be exhausting and takes up a lot of your time if you don’t plan properly or have the necessary resources. Make sure you keep yourself organized with calendars and lists. But you also need to be creative! Many people have the misconception that creating content is fun and easy. I mean, it CAN be fun, but only if your creative juices are continually flowing. Creating content takes a lot of brain power to think of creative campaigns and ideas, so it’s important to expose yourself to different types of content and media around the world to get inspiration.
Be prepared to hustle. The start-up life isn’t easy and you will often find yourself wearing multiple hats in one role. Although you’re required to complete the tasks you’re assigned to, you’re also going to encounter tasks that are way outside your comfort zone because they need someone to do it. When you’re working in startups, you’re limited to the amount of resources you’re given as well as people. Take it as a challenge and do the best you can with what you’re provided. You’ll surprise yourself with how much you can do and how fast you can grow.
Another way to keep being creative is to have side projects in addition to your full-time job. Although it may seem like a lot of work (which it is), it’s beneficial to keep your mind level and write creatively instead of constantly writing in a technical manner. For example, I have my personal blog at: www.thosepaperhearts.com where I blog about events that are happening in my life. It gives me a break from writing technically and it allows me to stay creative. I also create videos over at www.youtube.com/thosepaperhearts, which teach me different skills (like video editing) that I can apply to my current job as a content creator. Having side projects like these helps to develop skills outside of your job to apply TO your job to become a better Content Marketer.