Chris Franco

My day starts at around 7.00am with a nice strong coffee, I check my calendar and answer some emails. A quick five minute cycle and I’m in the office. Once everyone is in there’s usually some chatter about what we all got up to the night before. Jonny, Jon and I usually make sure everyone is clear on what’s priority for the day then I get going with prioritising my own days’ work. Every day is different and always involves some element of the unknown. We work with so many different businesses and sometimes a project is brought to you that is completely unexpected and totally welcome. Never a dull moment!

What do you think are the three most important skills to succeed in your career area?
Soft skills – be passionate about what you do by being knowledgeable and having a positive, can do attitude no matter what this will definitely help. At the end of the day, there may only be a handful of school or university leavers who think that SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) or digital marketing will be the direction their career takes.

Was this something you planned to do or did you change direction at any point in the past? If so, what was that and was it easy to do?
I wanted to work in marketing but I never thought it would be digital marketing. I started doing a CIM diploma (Chartered Institute of Marketing) but found it hard to relate what I was learning to the way my marketing role at the time was moving, which was digital (CIM now offer a digital course). That’s when I decided to look online for courses to take that could help me learn more about digital marketing. As this was ten years ago I was surprised there was a huge amount of online learning to be done. I started with Google’s own Analytics IQ (individual qualification) then on to their adwords material which was invaluable at the time. It gives you a basic understanding of how these products can work for your clients. It is then up to you to take an organised approach to putting what you learn into practice and finding more in depth learning online.

What do you love most about working in your career area?
The variety is brilliant and being able to demonstrate to a business that what you have done has directly affected they’re bottom line in a positive way is very rewarding. In some cases (internet first businesses) they can fully rely on what we do to bring in their business. It’s a challenge and sometimes stressful but if it wasn’t I wouldn’t be so happy to do it.

Are there any negative aspects of working in your career area that people considering it should be aware of?
Sometimes your ideas are stifled by budgets, although that’s not as big of a problem as it might sound. It’s all about managing people’s expectation. I tend to lend my imagination run wild to come up with ideas then work backwards until the idea suits the business and budget.

What training / qualifications did you undertake for your current role or are you currently undertaking?
To my knowledge there isn’t any official qualification for SEO but CIM now offer digital marketing courses that are definitely worth looking at. I was in a fortunate position when I started in digital marketing, the business I worked for were open to me making the case for digital marketing. Using the tools I had at my disposal I did that and was able to show that many of their customers were online and not only that, I could also show where they were and what channels were organically performing well for them.

Is there any other information that would be of interest to someone thinking of this career?
Get in touch, I’d be happy to talk to you about a role in digital marketing.

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