How I accidentally stumbled into SaaS marketing
I never set out to be a marketer—yet here I am, six years into my marketing career.
I always wanted to be a journalist, so I studied communication in college with an emphasis on media and cultural studies. I never once took a marketing course. Instead, I opted to focus more on journalism and academia. It was the '10s and social media was just at the precipice—Instagram didn’t even exist! I had never considered a career in digital media until the world of social media exploded.
Saying I love social media is an understatement. I was an avid LiveJournal user, a MySpace kid, and an early adopter of Twitter. The ability to connect to anyone at any time has always enthralled me. Making it my career was the ultimate dream job. So I put journalism on the back burner and dove right into the opportunity to intern at a museum and craft their social media strategy from scratch—and I was hooked.
Understanding how a business can increase its digital presence to both attract and connect with a brand new audience was thrilling to me, and social media gave me the opportunity to take part in digital marketing while flexing my creative skills. I was soon crafting social strategies for my extracurricular clubs, my radio show, and even myself. That earned me a couple more internships, and soon I was freelancing social media services on a self-taught basis.
Finding the Dream Job
A series of very fortunate circumstances led me to a brand new agency specializing in social media for small businesses. I joined a team of five and quickly found myself diving headfirst into real social media marketing and learning beyond the skills I taught myself.
Working for a company composed entirely of all women in their 20s who loved all things social media meant I was able to stay on the pulse of social marketing trends and learn everything as it was being built. I (begrudgingly) learned Instagram, mastered Photoshop, and even dipped my toes into video editing and production with Premiere Pro—all thanks to company-sponsored learning initiatives.
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I learned a lot from my clients, too. At one, a well-established tech company, the team I worked with held an incredible wealth of knowledge in PR and marketing. There, I got a baseline training in SEO, media amplification, and project management. My role ultimately focused on social media, and this exposure to more marketing tactics further sparked my hunger to know everything.
This was my dream job, and as much as I loved it, I knew I needed to find something that satisfied that inquisitive nature and taught me more than I could conceive. So when an internet pal of mine shared that her former manager, Ryan, was looking for an “all-star content marketer,” I saw an opportunity to learn those skills I was itching for. Ryan mentioned that he was building a world-class team of marketers that knew a thing or three, and I was excited by the prospect to learn from folks with a breadth of experience I couldn’t even imagine.
Moving on and learning… everything
After multiple conversations with most of the Flock team (where I was admittedly terrified I wasn’t selling myself well), they convinced me this was the best opportunity to learn and grow in a dedicated marketing function. It didn’t hurt that everyone I met was incredibly kind, smart, and just as nerdy as I am (Sam referenced Ki-Adi-Mundi in our first meeting!). They ensured I’d be able to expand my knowledge base beyond what I already knew, while still dabbling occasionally in social. And I have!
I already had a light background in SEO, but having teammates hailing from the Hubspot world made me eager to learn from the best in SEO. I’ve never worked in a B2B function and re-positioning the knowledge I have towards a new market excited me. I was also looking to move away from broader storytelling and brand-building and begin to focus on more structured market goals.
My first three months at Flock have been a whirlwind. There are countless lifelong learnings I have already consumed, including hundreds of acronyms—ask me about CAC, MQLs, CAO, and OKRs—and marketing tools I didn’t even know existed. I have already witnessed firsthand the power of a dedicated SEO strategy, watching our SERP rankings grow as I put in the work that drives that initiative. I’m slowly but surely understanding both the US and international business sector, and the work our go-to-market team does has taught me how to establish a competitive advantage and a stronghold in a market. I’m excited to take everything I’ve learned from social media and apply it here, too. And I know I have full support from my team.
Moving on from my dream job was an emotional experience, but gave me the opportunity to enter a new world where I could transfer my already established skills into an industry that’s brand new to me. For a long time I was worried that leaving my dream job would mean closing myself off from everything I’ve done. In reality, I opened myself up to a profusion of new skills and strategies, and have gotten to know some incredibly intelligent people that continue to guide me forward on a new path. I didn’t realize how much I had still to learn—and how much I was already capable of. There’s so much learning still to do!
Our marketing team mantra is “learn faster than everyone else.” I’m excited to be on a team that’s already committing to that.