June 6, 2016

Digital Marketing is Like Skateboarding

I have really enjoyed the first few weeks of my new job as an intern on the Online Marketing Team at Top Draw. My goal is to continue to learn as much as possible and to challenge myself to reach new heights. My plan to do this is by using the same process I followed when learning my favorite sport as I was growing up and applying this experience to the world of online marketing.

For myself, that sport was skateboarding; a sport that can be vicious yet rewarding, painful yet delightful, and terrifying yet exciting. Do you remember back when you were a child? Think of a sport, hobby or pastime that you loved and were willing to invest all of your passion and spare time to master it. Never would I believe at the time that I would have to spend up to 10,000 hours learning new tricks and jumps while trying to keep my balance and to keep getting up after every fall, nick or injury. 10,000 hours invested in any skill is what is required to become a master of it. This works out to just under 3 hours per day every day for 10 years!

Flexing Your Analytical (Kickflip) Skills

When you’re first learning how to skateboard it comes along piece by piece. It starts with training one or two muscles so they can work simultaneously to propel yourself and your board in the desired directions. Just like every other sport or hobby, you start to make progress, in skateboarding you go from using just one or two muscles to using five, six, seven, or as many as your natural ability lets you perform in a specific motion. The more muscles you train to work together, the more tricks you can learn.

The principle of progressing as a skateboarder is surprisingly similar to one of a digital marketer, but instead of using muscles, you use software and different platforms. You start by learning just one or two of them, then you go on to learn as many as you physically can. For example, in Google Analytics, the first trick you would want to learn after understanding the fundamentals would be how to setup an account. Once your set up, the amount of useful data you want to receive is up to you. Just like in skateboarding once you’re given a skateboard and the basic fundamentals, how much you want to progress is up to you.

When you’ve mastered the tools you chose to learn (ie. Google Analytics), you add them to your skill set. As your skill set grows, so does your bag of tricks. The bigger the bag of tricks, the higher the return on investment (ROI), and the more satisfied the client.

Ollieing Your Benchmarks

In my case, I want to be the Danny Way of Online Marketing. Who is that you ask? Look no further than the picture above. Danny was and still is a legend in the world of skateboarding and he will never be forgotten. He had many big accomplishments, but there was one that stood way above others… I mean literally. It started with a dream but it turned into a reality, Danny Way was put in the record books for being the first skateboarder to jump the Great Wall of China. What I want to do is jump the “Great Wall of Analytics” and instead of the determining factor being my physical capabilities it will be my mental ones.

Know What’s Next
from Top Draw