From Technological Tenderfoot to Internet Marketing Maven in Three Short Months: If I Can do it So Can You!
“Write a blog post about something you’ve learned this summer. That’s really all the guidance I’m going to give you. Let’s see how ya do,” my boss instructs, and so I begin my final assignment as the Blue Water Media 2009 summer marketing intern.
If I had a dime for every time I received a project followed by the phrase, “let’s see how ya do” I would be rich (alas, this is not the case and I remain a poor college student). The words once petrified me because being an intern, like starting your first day of kindergarten, is fraught with new challenges. Feeling unsure, slightly overwhelmed, and overly excited about mundane tasks is the norm.
If your business has a limited background in technology, the idea of launching an internet marketing campaign can feel similarly daunting. The lack of clear cut instructions and exact recipes for success can be frustrating and confusing. “Why even bother?” you might wonder. Because you can’t afford not to! Just as internships help young professionals learn, make connections, and better market themselves to potential employers, internet marketing campaigns can provide you valuable knowledge about target consumers and help better promote your brand, products, and services to them. While investigating online promotion opportunities, like applying for internships, might at first seem overwhelming, pricy, or mysterious, doing so has the potential to be incredibly rewarding, and is thus vital to success in the current market.
Having successfully completed my summer internship, I am now an enthusiastic advocate for stepping outside of your comfort zone in this way. As a rising college senior majoring in Communications and Psychology, I would have hardly classified myself as an internet marketing maven three months ago. Downloading songs from I-Tunes and messaging my friends on Facebook was about as tech-savvy as I got. Like many modern business owners, I viewed the internet with a mixture of awe and bewilderment, seeing it as a vast and all-powerful entity possessing complexities understood by only a select technologically-gifted few.
But just because you don’t spend your free time writing code for websites, building computers from scratch in your basement, or watching Star Trek reruns, doesn’t mean that your company can’t expand your internet savvy and take steps to improve your online marketing reach. I’ve certainly learned a thing or two this summer. I now possess rudimentary Google Analytics skills and understand the basics of pay per click advertising. I have improved my business writing skills and have applied this knowledge to write content for websites, consult with clients, and craft press releases and marketing collateral. I have even experienced my first office happy hour (months after my 21st birthday, I continue to bask in the glow of this milestone). Given the uncertainty I felt when faced with each new task, you can imagine my surprise when a few weeks back I was asked to compile “how to” guidelines for writing a press release to direct the next intern. I thought to myself, “Seriously? Me? I was just trying to figure this out from scratch a month ago.”
Just as each nerve-wracking assignment bolstered my confidence, internet marketing prowess, and writing ability, so too can launching an online marketing campaign yield similar results for your company. Thanks to the boundless opportunities of the internet, there is no shortage of ways for your business to learn, grow, promote products and services, and improve your bottom line. With talented website designers, and tools like Google Analytics, online social networks, pay per click advertising, and a host of other innovative web applications, your company has a wealth of opportunity at your fingertips.
Having considered the numerous advantages both internships and online marketing campaigns have to offer, I now feel ready to answer the question posed by my boss in the beginning of this post. Something I’ve learned this summer is that feeling uncertainty should not stop you from trying something new. Since you, the reluctant online marketer, and I, the nervous intern, have more in common than anyone would have thought, you should listen to me. Forget the notion that launching an online marketing campaign is too mysterious or unknown – to grow, we must try new things. And just as my boss provided me guidance when I went off track, Blue Water Media is here to keep you pointed in the right direction.
Don’t be the last of your competitors to realize how much control you have over the success of your business! Nothing ventured, nothing gained. “Let’s see how ya’ do.”