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Making a living as a digital adviser
At what point can you get enough experience and successful projects under your belt that you can just completely switch jobs becoming a digital adviser?
This is my dream and my end goal I want to reach in the following 5 to 7 years.
How am I going to achieve this? By reaching guru status!
In any industry, there are trusted experts, when it comes to the digital world, almost everyone with a blog claims to be an expert and a guru. To put it shortly, making a living as a digital advertiser can be a hard nut to crack.
But wait, I have a plan and I'm going to share it with you!
1. Assimilate more knowledge, constantly.
The digital world is wide and in constant change, it is hard enough keeping track with SEO changes, I spend at least one hour every day getting up to date with everything new in the SEO community.
Nobody is capable or knowing everything and being an expert in every digital domain, but you can do you best to learn and assimilate additional knowledge. If you are an SEO like me don't stop here, learning so basic programming, understand how coding works at least on a basic level, this will give you a lot more insight knowledge on SEO as well as other subjects.
Copywriting, coding, design, project management, research, data analyzing and even whatever a sysadmin does - if you have the time and the opportunity try learning a little bit of everything!
If you already work in an agency you probably already have all those experts around you. All you need to do is interact with them, understand what they are doing and if you aren't annoying already, ask questions!
2. Get really good in your main field of expertise.
Ok so you are learning about everything, but that ain't sufficient, you need to be truly an expert in one specific field. I've chosen SEO. Is close enough to online marketing and web development that it allows me to create strategies and give my insights in both departments.
As I said you need to have at least one hour every day dedicated to research and updates on your specific field of expertise. This is extra work you have to put in if you want to make it and achieve your goals.
Don't ignore experiments and tests, this is the only way to develop your own personal strategy that works. I'm constantly testing and researching myself, I don't get all my information from other SEO experts, sometimes I develop my own techniques which usually I don't share with others.
3. Experience, you need loads of experience.
If you are a designer, you will want to have a project from every niche possible before you can declare yourself an expert! The same thing applies for SEO and any other digital domain. Every website is different and every niche is special and unique. You need to go through loads of clients and projects, the more of them you do, the easier it gets, you can eventually spot problems in seconds and solve complicated situations in record time.
Why? Because you probably went to similar experiences a couple of times! This is why you need experience.
I started refusing smaller clients that didn't offer me any demanding work, but I learned to never refuse clients that offer me complicated jobs, even if the pay isn't that good, I take them on, I learn from them and increase my experience.
I even take clients and projects that I don't know how to solve and have no idea of an actual solution. I just figure out things as I go along. Never refuse an opportunity!
4. Personal branding.
If you really want to achieve guru status there isn't an easy way around this. You will need to build up your name and personal brand. Of course, staying active on social media and having impeccable profiles everywhere helps.
But I think the best way to show how good you are is by helping others! Start a blog and start writing and teach people your secrets. Seriously, at this point, you don't really need to be afraid to share your secrets and help people. So far this was the only decent recipe I've seen to ever have a direct effect on how a blog and a blogger gets popular.
Of course, you will need to have some advance knowledge on marketing, content building, coding and every design & users experience. Getting a blog popular is no easy task, but if you manage to stay active and constant for a few years, giving good information to people you will eventually start seeing a following of people and your hard work will come to fruition.
5. Go to digital events and interact with people.
I already start doing this and the effects are amazing. Almost on the ever single event, I went too I made some connections. There is no simpler way to put all of this. Go to events as much as possible, interact with people, be friendly and get your name out there. You will eventually get some many connections that business offers will start flooding in.
6. Focus on your goal, eliminate any additional distractions from your life.
Still playing video games? Do you still enjoy following 7 different TV shows every week?
Well, it is time to drop all that from your life and focus on your goal. I'm not saying DO NOT HAVE FUN! I'm saying you most certainly waste a lot of time on trivial stuff that doesn't matter and doesn't help YOU with anything at all.
That time can be better used achieving your goals.