Being asked to write this column gave me the opportunity to reflect on how much has changed since being featured in Media Week’s 30 Under 30 four years ago.
For more than five years, I’ve been co-running Testify. We are predominantly an influencer marketing agency. Now, try to envisage selling advocacy in 2011, when most brands were solely focused on sales from traditional digital channels such as search.
Testify has gone from strength to strength over the past five years, as the industry has evolved to realise the bottom-line value of earned media. And I have been fortunate to work with some of the biggest fashion, drinks and telecoms brands and government bodies worldwide.
It is with these results that I observed six fundamental ways that got me to where I am in my career.
It starts with yourself
Even on those off days when you get a sense of imposter syndrome, remind yourself of your wins and the people who believe in you, and realise that you are where you are for a reason.
Embrace the doubt but know your shoulders are broad enough to cope with all the challenges you may face throughout your career.
Persistence is key
This is probably one of the key aspects to success in all areas of life. When we started Testify in 2011, there was no space in a brand’s marketing budget for us; we had to make one.
Trying to get a brand to not only give you a test campaign but move budget from a tried-and-tested channel to a new world of advocacy and influencer marketing was a testing time.
We didn’t give up. We are now seeing value in our persistence as the market and clients’ needs are reflecting our services.
Network is your net worth
My business partner was once an agency colleague. We were fascinated by how our departments could work closer together. Eight years on, we are still close friends.
A lot of leaders at the media publications we work with were once junior sales suppliers to us eight-plus years ago. Make time to gel with your peers, learn about what they do, meet new suppliers.
There are no rules
Success seems to convince people that they know it all – but, the truth is, as long as you have your goals, there are no rules in how you reach them. We are all making up the journey as we go, so enjoy it.
Say yes (within reason)
Take on that new role and added responsibility, join that new council group, take your company up on that new training. The chances are it will stretch you a lot but you will eventually build up the stamina to be able to deal with the new opportunity.
An opportunity that could lead to a higher position, a new client prospect or simply the experience to gain a better work placement in the future.
Your reputation is everything, so be sure to protect it. Learn to not rely on excuses and own the tasks you are responsible for.
Your integrity and trust will shine through to colleagues, management and clients once you live your personal values of accountability.
Mark Joseph is co-founder and managing partner at Testify. He featured in Media Week's 30 Under 30 in 2012.