Few can question the rise of digital media, and its continued meteoric growth. People will continue to consume media from more sources over different platforms, and media companies will find more innovative ways to reach them. Companies in the industry range from established media brands gone digital, to early, mid and late stage start-ups. Mobile, social, online, platform, solution, email, gaming business models abound.
As someone who works in the industry and you’re early in your career, ask yourself these questions: How can I separate myself from the pack? How do I distinguish myself? How can I increase my worth?
1. Produce results beyond expectations
Nothing will increase your worth more than producing results beyond expectations. Today’s competitive environment calls for extraordinary results. If you’re in Digital Media Sales for instance, you need a strong value proposition for a client and an infrastructure that delivers on its promise. But you must stand out as seller, and be top of mind with your agencies/clients:
- be sure to respond immediately to clients
- Have your communications stand out (for example, add a hand-written thank you note)
- Have in-person meetings and entertain to whatever extent necessary
- Acknowledge important events… birthdays, weddings, anniversaries
- Promote your clients on your social media platforms…follow them on Twitter
- Provide unlimited campaign support and customer service
Strong relationships with the digital ad agencies are key to increasing your worth as a digital ad salesperson.
2. Align yourself with the skills and experience necessary for the next step
Always look towards the next step. What does your manager or supervisor do? What are his/her key responsibilities, or necessary skills to accomplish his/her job? Once you’ve become familiar with their job, start making the effort by asking for some of those responsibilities. This provides you with the opportunity to learn some key skills, so that you’re able to do that job if the opportunity arises. And if/when you choose to leave your company, you’ll be ready for the next step.
3. Recognize your worth
How can you request a higher salary if you’re not sure what you’re worth? Be sure to research your current position. Know all the skills required to do the job, and make sure you’re fulfilling those requirements. Then look at your job as well as similar jobs in your industry, and get a sense of where you stand against the “average”.
4. Listen and Read
If you’re in Digital Media already, you know a lot and understand the technical “terms of art”. But do you sometimes still hear words, expressions or concepts from management, peers, clients or vendors, and sometimes not quite know the meaning, exactly? Even though you can manage to make sense of it because of context, don’t stop there if you don’t fully understand. Dig in. Be sure to know all the language of your industry, and be able to use it properly.
Also, know what is happening in the industry. DigiDay, Mashable, PaidContent, MediaPost, iMediaConnection are just a few of the key sources of digital information. Reading industry news websites, newsletters and publications will not only ensure you recognize the industry’ s “jargon” and know what is happening in Digital Media for your own edification. But you will be able to show your industry intellect when you find yourself in conversation with the CEO, or perhaps during an interview for a fabulous job.
5. Be more entrepreneurial
Saving money and making money for your company are the bottom line to any business. So why not come from the perspective that you are responsible for the company? Think of yourself as the owner (just don’t tell anyone).
Being in the entrepreneurial mindset enables you to think in terms of, “how am I going to save my company money?”, “How can I negotiate the best deal?” or “What value can I offer that will make more money for my company?” These concepts relate to #1 on the list, but this point speaks to a context, more a “way of being” as an employee and contributor to your Digital Media company. Autonomy goes a long way, and if you’re making strides without hand holding, you’ll be noticed.
6. Never stop Learning
Learning is an essential part to increasing your value to an employer and your worth. Examples:
- Taking sales training courses
- Attending as many conferences as possible (like AdTech), and making the most of the sessions
- Getting your masters-degree or MBA if relevant to your job