People who work in product management and digital marketing are probably one of the most sought after professionals today. With almost quantum leaps and digital transformations happening across industries, there is a constant need for experts who truly know how to leverage the digital ecosystem and help all-sized enterprises grow their businesses.
We are witnessing very peculiar times (to say the least) that are no better confirmation of why businesses need to be present in the digital space. Consequently, there is a growing number of people who enter the fields of digital marketing and digital product management who are increasing an already highly competitive space.
On top of it, consumer behaviors and technologies continue to evolve at an even faster pace making continuous learning, agility, and excellent communication the core skills and qualities these individuals need to possess to be able to stand out.
Meet Anita Valentinova
One of those relentless learners who has been working in digital marketing, product marketing, and product management is Anita Valentinova Varbanova from alfianita.me.
This independent product management and marketing consultant is based in the great city of Barcelona, Spain, and has an impressive portfolio of providing a product- and marketing-related services to an array of companies.
The great work Anita has done in the past 10 years can be distilled into categories like:
- Agile product management,
- Collection of quantitative and qualitative results through user experience research,
- Content strategy,
- Interaction design,
- Product marketing for SaaS, and
- Growth marketing.
We had the pleasure of interviewing Anita and talked to her about what it takes to have a successful career in product management and marketing and asked if she had advice for anyone who is starting out in the mentioned fields.
Here’s what Anita said about her career, personal brand, and future plans.
1. Anita, if you could press restart on your career, and start out again, what would you do differently?
I’d record all my achievements from my jobs, key projects, and results to show my contribution. It’s good to keep track of this and artefacts. One forgets about these achievements over time and it’s hard to showcase on a resume. They also represent a good source of personal inspiration.
2. Things are changing in the world, especially career-wise. Is there something you wish you’ve done work-wise to prepare for the current situation on the market? What are your plans for the future?
In my jobs, I’ve always been proactive to participate in cross-functional projects and initiatives to understand other disciplines and learn. This helped me quite a lot! I would recommend it to anyone who wants to future-proof their skills and transition from one role to another!
If there is something that I wish I’ve done earlier is to showcase my work and projects.
My plans in the future are to block more time for improving myself every day little by little, keeping track of my work, and pivot in times of change. The plan in the future is to be more kind to myself as I am quite self-demanding and a multi-passionate person. It’s important to set time aside for favourite things and also prioritizing what one wants to learn.
We have so few hours in a day!
3. If you could share one piece of advice to anyone who is starting out in the management and marketing business, what would you say?
Keep a portfolio, don’t share it only in resumes and documents here and there. Think about your brand, record your achievements, think creatively how to showcase them, and include numbers to prove results.
Don’t think about a portfolio when it’s too late to recover your artefacts. Stay hungry for new learning opportunities and always think transferable skills from one project/work to another.
4. In your experience, how important was a personal website in acquiring clients? Did it have a direct or indirect impact?
It has an indirect impact to showcase credentials online. However, it can be quite powerful to acquire new clients.
I haven’t reached that point yet, but it’s worth giving a shot! Think about a content strategy to acquire traffic and exposure.
5. The most famous excuse for not creating a website is ‘I am a designer/writer/etc, not a developer’. Could you share your experience/hacks/tips when you created a website?
Get a good WordPress theme, customize, think about the pages that you’d like to have and don’t find excuses, the first step is to start. You don’t need any programming skills, just a domain, hosting, WordPress, or another platform and get to work!
6. In your opinion, what is the most neglected (but very important) part of a personal website?
Personal values. I think that including any values, ideas, inspiration on a personal website could go a long way in showing one’s personality and way of working!
To sum up
As you can see, continuous improvement is key, along with taking action! Be proactive, learn, and do your best to understand other disciplines and areas to future-proof your skills for the business environments you are yet to encounter.
Something that can help you tremendously is maintaining an online portfolio. This can be a reference for future employers and a source of inspiration for other projects. Choose the right approach to showcase your achievements, no matter the size of the work or contributions you made. Also, make sure you share your values, sources of inspiration, and other aspects of your personality. Since those are the things that help build a genuine personal brand.