Follow your instincts…
During this blog series, we talk to accomplished digital marketing professionals from a variety of backgrounds about their career journeys with the aim of inspiring jobs seekers, aspiring freelancers and the trailblazing entrepreneurs amongst you
In this blog, we’re celebrating the career of Crystal Carter!
Crystal is a technical SEO, writer, speaker, and educator serving as the Head of SEO Communications at Wix. Bringing more than 15 years of experience in SEO and marketing to the role, she works to support Wix Users and SEOs to achieve their goals in search.
Over to you Crystal…
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a Janet Jackson, an archaeologist or a librarian, in that order.
What was your very first job?
I worked at a pizza place in high school. I loved it at the time because of the free food, and I can still cut a circle into 10 even slices.
How did you first discover digital marketing / your specific industry sector?
I have been online since the days of dial up. My college was in the second round of Facebook beta rollout and I remember watching the impact of digital in the 2008 election presidential election and studying it extensively. I took what inspired me back to my team and tried to apply it to the work I was doing in the public sector.
At the time I was studying CIM courses in traditional marketing, but much of the knowledge was transferrable. So as my team ramped up their digital presence I was at the forefront of those conversations. Later when I left my marketing role I was able to refine that experience into a more SEO and digital marketing role.
Share a mistake you made or an event you regret from your career:
I am a firm believer that in digital marketing and SEO, “all experience is relevant”. So I struggle to identify anything as a ‘regret’.
That said there have been times that things have not gone to plan, and in those cases, I think it’s important to understand why and to have a plan for the next steps.
When I was first starting out in my career, I would be so worried about what to do if a marketing plan did not go as I expected, now I know that it’s only an issue if you don’t know what to do next.
Jumping in a time machine, what advice would you give your 18-year-old self?
I’d probably say something like, “Dear 18 Year Old Crystal. Go build Instagram – trust me!” 🙂 Well, maybe not exactly!
But I would say something like “Follow your instincts”. I think SEO is all about identifying customer needs and addressing them. When I go about my day online, I very often identify things that I wish could be easier or information that I would like to have in a more accessible way. If you are able to action that and implemented solutions consistently then you can create something that has business value because it’s good for users. You instinctually know when you see this as a web user, and you should apply those instincts to create new business opportunities as well.
What industry skills do you wish you’d learned sooner and why?
It seems like a little thing, but I still wish I was better at spreadsheets. I can do many, many things but the possibilities are really limitless and growing all the time with the introduction of applications, integrations and scraping capabilities via Google Sheets.
Who are you inspired by in the digital marketing industry?
The SEO team at Wix is populated by a team of incredibly passionate, curious, hardworking folks who work really hard to build tools and experiences that help users. Whenever I speak to SEO Product Lead Einat Hoobain or our Head of SEO Nati Elimelech about a new exciting SEO thing I think we should try, they always ask “How does it help our users?” Always. The team are genuinely elated when they see more users using SEO tools, getting better results, and succeeding online. It is incredible to see and it inspires me every day.
If you were to publish an autobiography in 20 years’ time, what would it be titled?
Let Me Upgrade You: A Digital Opus by Crystal Carter
What’s the one thing you want to be remembered for from your career, and why?
I would like it to be that I have inspired and supported the people around me. I try to do this in all walks of life because as cheesy as it sounds, I believe that love is a superpower.
What subjects were you best at in school?
Math and history were my best. But I like winning so I got decent grades in all subjects and finished top 10% of my class. It was years ago, but I worked really hard, so I’m still proud of that.
Thanks a lot, Crystal! Keep an eye out for more of the MOAM series as I regularly publish new editions from other inspiring digital experts.
Could your career story inspire others to further their digital marketing careers? Or, do you know someone whose story needs to be told? Feel free to get in touch with me directly via firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, if you’re looking to explore your career options in digital marketing, visit our job board or upload your CV.
Did you enjoy reading about Crystal’s digital career? If so, you’ll find these MOAMs interesting too!