From aspiring explorer to digital agency owner…
With the aim of inspiring digital marketing jobs seekers, aspiring freelancers and the trailblazing entrepreneurs amongst you, we’ve tracked down accomplished industry professionals from a range of sectors to talk us through their own career journeys in this brand new series of blog posts.
Jason is the CEO of our sister agency SiteVisibility, a Chartered Marketer and FCIM, Founder of the world famous Internet Marketing Podcast, and is a Founder Member and Non-Exec Director of Wired Sussex. He also supports BrightonSEO which has become Europe’s largest SEO conference.
Not only that, but Jason is also our MD’s Brother! But, what made this Marketer?
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I admired Jacques Cousteau very much in my childhood, but I had no idea what I actually wanted to do until I was around 30 years old.
What & where was your very first job?
My first job was as a caddy at Fairmount Country Club in New Jersey USA in 1985.
When & how did you first discover digital marketing / your specific industry sector?
In 1996 I helped to launch the first Tarmac plc website as well as one of the Carillion plc subsidiaries. At that time, the only methods we used to drive traffic were PR, written communications, some very basic online advertising and email marketing.
Later, in 2000 I joined a dotcom in the Construction sector called www.buildonline.com where, as Marketing Manager, I was responsible for building our reputation online. As very few people knew they needed what we provided, much of the digital marketing focussed on market education at scale with whitepapers, email marketing, digital PR, partner marketing and seminars.
Share a mistake you made or an event you most regret from your career?
One of my biggest regrets was not joining one of the early Search Engines, many of my former colleagues went on to work at Google, Yahoo and Overture when I chose to start my own agency in 2001.
Jumping in a time machine, what pearls of wisdom would you give your 18-year-old self?
Great question! I actually share these thoughts regularly at career days with students as I don’t think I was well advised at that age. 1) Work out what you truly enjoy and explore it further. 2) Always take the opportunity to get more work experience. 3) Don’t feel you need to follow the crowd in order to conform to peer pressure.
What industry skill do you wish you’d learnt sooner, and why?
How Display Advertising works. Because it evolved into a massive industry.
If you were to publish your autobiography in 20 years time, what would it be titled?
Being relentless paid off.
What is the one thing you want to be remembered for from your career, and why?
I played a role in helping many people get started in digital marketing. Because I could.
Thank you, Jason! It’s awesome to see a business owner so invested in helping young people come into digital and learn skills they might not have access to otherwise.
Do keep an eye out for more in our ‘Making Of A Marketer’ series as we’ll be continuing to publish new editions on a regular basis from equally inspiring digital marketing experts.
Could your career story encourage others to further their digital careers? Get in touch with me, Emma, via firstname.lastname@example.org or if you’re looking to begin a career in digital marketing, visit our contact page.