2014: Best Year of My Life.

Strategy


I know. The title appears to be my attempt at click bait. But it’s the truth, and I want you to discover why (and there are some life lessons in here too).

To begin, I am the happiest I’ve ever been at the ripe age of 31. I work for a company that treats employees like royalty, I love what I do for them beyond words, I just got engaged, and I have the best family, friends, and pets a man can ask for.

This year was pivotal in how I prioritize relationships, work, and home life. And what really inspired me was listening to Gary Vaynerchuk’s new YouTube series, #AskGaryVee. Man, his passion is just addicting. What I like most about his show is that he wears his heart on his sleeve. So thank you Gary for inspiring me to speak from the heart.

First, I want to talk a little bit about why 2014 was the best year for me as a professional digital marketer.

#1 Get the Strategy Right

Working for a big company, I learned a lot about how much a strategy impacts employees. This makes you realize how much pressure is on our leaders to make the right decision. I truly respect corporate executives for the service they provide to their departments and companies every day. 2014 was the year that I realized that I want to provide that type of service one day. So I will do what it takes to reach my goal.

#2 There’s  a Huge Shift in Social Media Happening

Back in 2010-2011, there was a proliferation of branded social accounts. Everyone had a corporate Facebook page and Twitter account, and companies were getting results from organic activities (aka no payment required besides staff time). What we are seeing today is dramatically different than 4 years ago. People are starting to take hold of their personal brand, social is turning into the new digital telephone, and brand social accounts are being forced to pay for their content to be seen. It’s fascinating to see this shift happen because Jay Baer spoke about this employee advocacy movement back in 2010 in his book Now Revolution.

#3 Paid, Owned, Earned

Now that, 1. Social networks are basically requiring brands to pay for their content to be seen in the feed AND 2. More people are paying attention to individual thought leaders within an enterprise, B2B organizations need to carefully balance their investments in paid, owned, and earned digital tactics. I continue to see organizations race to start “owned” digital properties, but is that the right strategy? It depends on what your audience prefers and how much “youtility” the content provides for them.

Paid-Owned-Earned-Marketing

 

Second, I want to talk a little bit about why 2014 was the best year for me personally.

#1 She said yes

I asked the love of my life to marry me, and she said yes. No words can describe how much I love her.

#2 Future planning

This year taught me that every action has a reaction. Meaning, I learned how to delay immediate gratification for long term satisfaction. Aka, marriage equals planning for the future purchase of home and birth of children (both require financial planning 🙂 )

#3 Find your one thing

Know what you’re good at, and what you’re not. Once you have a family, you have to prioritize what’s important. Is it more important to stay at work an extra 2 hours to finish a project, or does it make more sense to make dinner with your family? That’s up to you, but there’s only one life to live. Does it make sense to work on 3 mediocre tasks or 1 breakthrough product/business/strategy/tactic….you get the point.

Conclusion

Man I had a good year, and I hope you did too. Here’s to another 31 years for me and for you. Let’s catch up in 2015.

 

About the author: Nick Robinson is a lover of all things analytics and digital. He has a strong background in web development, marketing, and entrepreneurship. His professional experience with the web dates back to 1997 when he coded his first Geocities website. When not burning the midnight oil, you can find him on the lacrosse field, playing or coaching. The best places to interact with him are Twitter, Google+, or LinkedIn.