1 Powerful Question to Ask Industry Professionals + Examples
I strongly believe in the power of learning by interviewing others. Specifically, asking questions to professionals in your field of interest.
Designing Your Life identifies one way to do this as an exercise called prototyping.
Basically, you interview industry professionals to learn about the ins and outs and pros and cons of their position and field. It is extremely insightful. If this interests you, feel free to check out a more in-depth look at prototyping and how to do it here
From previous projects, I used this exercise to learn from skilled photographers and alumni of an educational program I was considering. Recently, I reached out to digital marketers via LinkedIn to pick their brains. Although I asked many questions, and in some cases dove into specifics of individuals positions, I found one simple question very powerful.
What does an "average" day look for you?
Basic. Obvious, even. However, it can be easy to make assumptions based on titles and job descriptions but talking to someone who lives and breaths that job brings a new light to the situation.
Here are a few of the answers:
Melanie Davis | Social Media Coordinator at Hotels4Teams
“It will be tough for me to answer, because like you said it varies greatly, and the company I work for is really small. But I start the day going through each of our social media accounts, responding to any notifications or reviews. Then I check our scheduling program, Hootsuite, to see what is scheduled to be posted this week. And most of my day is scheduling more content. Our goal here is to stay scheduled 30+ days ahead. I'll look through national holidays to see if there are any relevant ones, write captions, photoshop photos for our Instagram, that type of stuff.”
Samantha Clarkson | Marketing Coordinator at Telo
“Well my marketing role and situation is kinda unique. I'm working part-time and remotely, and I'm not doing your usual marketing work with ad campaigns and social media updates. I mostly work on internal informative documents we call collateral that the sales team can use when talking to a potential customer. An average day for me is usually me cutting out a 4-hour window everyday where I sit down, message my marketing teammate, and do whatever needs to be done. There can be a lot of switching from task to task and sometimes things come out of nowhere.”
Yitzchak Young | Digital Marketer at Upgrow
“I work mostly with the PPC team managing 2 google ads accounts, I help out the SEO team when I have time, and I’ve recently been tasked with running the agency’s social until someone else with more time can take it from me.
It’s fast-paced. You don’t really get time for breaks. You don’t really get time to relax, except for when things are going good (campaigns are performing) but things never go good for long. In a post about my job, I wrote:
“To me, one of the most important things you have to do in order to be successful in PPC is to continually pay attention; pay attention to your campaigns, to the competition, to the time of the month, etc. It isn’t the kind of job where you can just “go with the flow.” Things are always changing, and you have to be able to implement just the right number of optimizations in a quick and efficient manner to ensure that you stay on the right track. Canoeing down a river is probably a good analogy. If you want to keep going straight, you’ve got to keep making little adjustments, and although they’re small, they make all the difference.”
The first thing I do every day is adding in search term negatives in google ads.
The next thing I do is make the report for our largest client, a task which usually takes a while since I have to get data from 5 different channels and sync it all together.
Then I’ll usually optimize my campaigns, work on editing or creating metadata for SEO, or work on an article that may be due this week or next week.
You have to be good at multitasking, which is more or less being able to juggle multiple tasks at the same time.”
At first glance all three positions have extremely similar titles, but the variance of the individuals’ jobs is immense. This simple provides valuable insight you would not receive normally. Personally, prototyping has helped me immensely in my journey, and I highly recommend giving it a shot!