Social Media Week brought together a wide range of marketing professionals and experts. Let’s take a closer look at some of the things we learned this year.
Becoming an entrepreneur isn’t easy – it takes grit, determination, and most importantly, the right skill set. Professional development courses are also a great way for entrepreneurs to develop the skills they need to start their own business. Meet Monika, the Founder of marketing firm IDZIOR, who took BrainStation’s Digital Marketing Certificate Course before starting her journey into entrepreneurship.
Can you tell us about your education and career background?
My background is quite varied. I received an Honours Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto with concentrations in Economics and French. After graduation, I worked for the Government of Canada and then transitioned into marketing in the architecture and design industry. Earlier this year, I founded my own marketing firm, IDZIOR, whose mission is to help architecture, engineering, construction, and design firms with their social media presence and online and offline marketing needs.
What was your motivation behind taking the Digital Marketing Course?
Prior to enrolling in BrainStation, the majority of my marketing expertise had come from my work experience and supplementary resources which I sought out on my own. Although this provided me with a comprehensive understanding of the tools and strategies available, I was interested in learning more about the theory behind the work I was doing from one consistent source with a different industry background. This, coupled with hands-on experience in a classroom setting made BrainStation the ideal complement to my existing digital marketing skill set.
What were some of the most valuable skills you gained during the course? Have these skills aided your professional development?
The most valuable skills I gained were technical skills, notably those related to paid advertising and SEO. Paid advertising and Google algorithms are extremely intimidating at first, so having them broken down into digestible bits made the concepts easier to grasp. It was also great to hear about personal experiences and best practices from Instructors and Teaching Assistants to further solidify my own understanding.
These skills have tremendously aided my professional development, since they provided me with a deeper understanding of digital marketing, along with their methods of implementation. There is a benefit to learning about each individual component under the digital marketing umbrella as a whole, as this helps with the comprehension of how all individual parts move together under a greater strategy.
Can you describe the BrainStation learning experience? What was the highlight?
The BrainStation learning experience was informative, interactive and most of all, a lot of fun. The Instructor and Teaching Assistants were credible marketing professionals who taught me a lot about digital marketing, and also really engaged the class in the process.
The highlight of the course was the final group project, where we were tasked with creating a digital marketing strategy for a brand of our choosing. This was the perfect exercise to test us on what we had learned throughout the course and proved to be much more effective than traditional exams.
Did the skills you learned in the Digital Marketing course help you when starting your company, IDZIOR?
The digital marketing skills I learned significantly helped me when starting IDZIOR. Since the digital landscape changes almost daily, the Digital Marketing course allowed me to both update my current skill set and gain new skills in marketing.
The course also helped me refine my public speaking skills, since we had multiple opportunities to present our analyses from in-class working sessions. This was an unexpected surprise that is extremely beneficial to a business owner, especially when it comes to participation in speaking engagements.
As the Founder of IDZIOR, what does a typical workday look like for you?
As a business owner, no two days are the same. My weekdays usually start with a coffee, a podcast (currently listening to How I Built This with Guy Raz), and a brisk walk to the office.
I check my calendar first thing to see what’s on my schedule for the day and ensure that all client deliverables are ready to go out on time. I then start to work on deliverables for the following days, whether that be drafting and implementing social media and marketing strategies or creating marketing materials for my clients.
My afternoons are generally reserved for business development and client meetings around the GTA, however at times my work from the morning carries over into the afternoon or evenings, depending on the nature of deliverables. I love what I do, so I don’t mind working around the clock.
Why do you believe that digital skills training is important?
I believe that digital skills training is extremely important since digital is at the forefront of everything. Most people spend the majority of their time on their phones or laptops, whether it be browsing online or consuming media, which further demonstrates that our society is rapidly shifting to a digital world. From a marketing perspective, 90 percent of brands use social media to increase their brand awareness – this makes digital skills an extremely crucial component to any brand’s marketing strategy execution.
What digital skill would you like to develop next?
The digital skill I would like to explore next is data analytics, which will assist with analyzing the effectiveness of marketing and social media campaigns.