As you may (or may not) know, I deliver a lot of digital marketing training workshops all around the country. On my travels I get to meet lots of great people. Questions I am asked quite often are “How did you end up in digital marketing?” and “What is your background?” People are quite inquisitive and it is natural to want to know more about each other. I am fine with that and am happy to tell people how I ended up where I am today. For me it was a great 12 year journey to where I am now. Here are some of the highlights.
My First Introduction to the World of Digital
It is funny how life changes so quickly. In 2002 I was working in Dublin and wanted a new job. I am originally from Offaly (here come the Biffo jokes – I say it is Beautiful Intelligent Female From Offaly so it will compliment anyway) and my mum was at a funeral around that time where she met a neighbour Maggie Bowen. Maggie is the woman who changed my life so much and without her I would not be where I am today.
Maggie was looking for someone to help her get a new business off the ground. So numbers were passed, CV’s submitted and an interview held. I will never forget that interview, I sat there, listening and nodding and not really having to say anything. Maggie must have assumed that my nodding meant I understood everything and she deducted from this that I was the right person from the job. Wow, did she get the wrong impression. It was like another language. At that stage I barely knew what Google was, let along how to build websites.
And so my journey into building website began. This let me into the world of SEO.
Search Engine What?
Shortly after starting my new job I attended a training course with Tipperary North CEB. Maggie was speaking about website’s and there are a couple of guys there (I cannot remember exactly who they were but if memory serves me correctly I think they may have been from Blacknight). They were talking about search engine optimisation. I was sitting behind them and I simply asked “search engine what”. They gave me some great advice and let me to a site www.searchenginewatch.com. This became like my bible from then on.
After this I started optimising sites for free. Once I got the hang of it I started to charge and then started to train. My interest in SEO sparked interest in all other areas of digital marketing and was charged with creating and managing the digital marketing services side of the business. This was fantastic. My training and services portfolio grew as did my confidence.
I am so grateful to Maggie for giving me the opportunities she did. During the 7+ years we worked together we had great times. We had disagreements, fun and laughs along the way and she was a fantastic mentor and friend. This year marks the 5 year anniversary of the passing Maggie. For those who knew her, they will know that she was a live wire. We used to call her the Duracell bunny. Always on the go. We did not know where she got the energy from. October 29th 2009 was one of the hardest days of my life and even writing this is hard. I will be forever grateful to Maggie for the opportunities she gave me and how she mentored me. I firmly believe that I would not have my own successful business without her.