If you don’t fit into a box, build a new one…
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 blog series.
This time, we’re chatting with Claire Jones-Hughes!
In 2011, Claire took the plunge and started her own business, Clarita Digital. Since then, she has been working on some really exciting projects for agencies and brands alike, specialising in creative content, digital strategy and business mentoring.
Here’s what made this Marketer…
What did you want to be when you grew up?
It changed several times, Teacher, Nun (yes, really!), Journalist, Writer.
What & where was your very first job?
My first proper job out of University was as a Sales and Marketing Assistant in a New Homes department for a regional estate agent. I learned about copy, ad setting and press schedules plus basic sales and commission structures.
When & how did you first discover digital marketing / your specific industry sector?
I started blogging in 2009, launching a hyperlocal website BrightonMums.com. I quickly had to grasp digital promotion, basic SEO and social networking, as well as managing website content. I leveraged this knowledge into doing digital campaigns for small business, eventually landing a freelance gig at a London agency.
Share a mistake you made or an event you most regret from your career?
I’m a creative person, so can get distracted by ‘project ADHD’ as I call it. So I wish I’d been a bit more consistent with some of my ideas and not been easily distracted (and discouraged). While I think it’s healthy to diversify your skill set, for projects to be a success you need to stick at them, even when they feel flat and failing.
Jumping in a time machine, what pearls of wisdom would you give your 18-year-old self?
Learn about imposter syndrome so you can kick it to the curb. Value your skills and experience. If it feels like you don’t ‘fit’ in a box, create one of your own. There’s a job or project out there to suit each person.
What industry skill do you wish you’d learnt sooner, and why?
Sales skills! I always told myself I wasn’t cut out for sales but EVERYTHING is sales. Selling an idea, pitching clients, following leads for business or project collaboration.
If you were to publish your autobiography in 20 years time, what would it be titled?
Queen of Digital Niche
What is the one thing you want to be remembered for from your career, and why?
As a woman genuinely dedicated to supporting micro business in the UK, who make up 1/5 of the UK economy, with jargon-free, flexible, affordable digital support and training.
Thanks, Claire for giving us an insight into your career so far and where your love for digital marketing was ignited. I love your mantra on building a new box if you can’t find an existing one to fit into, that’s exactly how everyone should think about their digital skills.