Champions League

Receiving my award from host Robin Bailey
If someone had told me when I started out in my career, back in 1999, that I would be presented with a GOLD award at the BFI, Southbank I wouldn't have believed them.

Having been unable to attend the Hertfordshire Digital Awards last September (where I won for this blog) I was offered another chance following the announcement of the inaugural Digital Awards Champions. This was to be a public vote for all the gold winners from the various regional awards to determine the 'best of the best'.

With my sights set on bringing home this ultimate award I began the six week task of canvasing my readers/subscribers for nominations. All that then remained was to book the tickets and wait for 9th February 2017 to discover the results at the BFI.

So, last Thursday my wife, my youngest child (he's only 5 months old) and I headed down to London. I had arranged to network with a few agencies in advance and we then had time for a glass of fizz in the blue room before sitting down in the NFT3.

As the other winners were announced I was impressed with how eloquent they were when interviewed. This must have been a sign that they'd been forewarned of their success and thus had been asked to prepare? There's no way I'd won - was there?!
During my stage interview I was careful to acknowledge the work that goes into writing and maintaining a blog. Everyone in the room was also a digital expert so surely had a similar amount of insight to share. The only difference with me is that I manage to keep motivated to write a new post every fortnight.

This ability to keep motivated is essential for a career in digital marketing. It's easy to get ground down by the constant need to innovate or by the 24/7 nature of social media. Why carry on? What's the point? How easy would it be to sell everything and attempt to make a living as a children's book illustrator...

The truth is this happens to everyone at some point. The trick is to not lose hope but try to focus on what attracted you to this industry in the first place by mixing up your work ethic:

Get moving - To be successful in digital marketing you only need a laptop, WiFi and a cup of tea. By visiting another office or changing your environment you may find somewhere much more productive or pleasant.

Get planning - Breaking a mammoth campaign down into tasks, and then sub-tasks, to be worked at little and often makes it more achievable. Feeling like you’re making progress, even if it’s a little each day, can keep your motivation topped up until you hit your goal. Using Trello has helped me with this.

Get networking - People who don't know me that well refer to me as a 'technical guru'. I've lost count of how many times I've been asked to calibrate a projector for someone. This is why attending events and taking up speaking opportunities are great excuses to meet like-minded people. There is no better form of therapy than getting that knowing nod from someone when discussing the hardships of getting buy-in from senior management.

I'm very thankful that I've been favoured to win an award a year (since 2014) for this blog. Having my wife by my side (and a very well behaved baby) this time made it all the more special. These events (and the fact that she's my long suffering sub-editor) are great to educate her on what I actually do all day!

I'd also like to thank all the individuals who voted for me. After posting my win on LinkedIn I've been overwhelmed with the positive likes and comments. My greatest professional achievement in my 18 years of work has got to be this fantastic network of supportive colleagues. The fact that so many of you find these ramblings useful will definitely help keep me motivated!

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