Gee whiz there seem to be lots of self-proclaimed digital strategists these days. Call me picky, but I think you have to have some well-earned cred before you get to claim that title. (And the same goes double for all you social media gurus and ninjas.)
If you've been following the evolution of my professional identity, you'd notice how I've started characterizing myself as a "digital strategist." Let the record show, I've waited years before doing this. I think others should, too.
By the early-1990's, I'd already blown through several iterations of a marketing communications career in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. I learned how to create strategy. During the mid-1990's, I was involved with a CompuServe group that, along with AOL chat rooms, presaged today's social media tools. I discovered the power of digital technology.
I'm sinfully proud to note that I started using LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook (in that order) a lot sooner than most colleagues. Six years ago, while a pastoral associate for communications, I tried (unsuccessfully) to make a case for blogging and re-configuring the website to serve as a portal. Even so, I would not have dared trot myself out as a digital strategist. Only after working with social media on a daily basis for five years, do I feel comfy saying this is what I'm qualified to do.
Now you'd think that as a Good Christian, I'd be a wee bit more generous toward others who have rushed to adopt this moniker. Alas, I am not. Lord, Jesus Christ, have mercy on me, a sinner. Amen.
I believe you get to say you're a digital strategist if you:
- know how to define a goal and then develop a plan of action to reach it that accounts for audience demographics and learning styles.
- have at least 2.5 years of active, daily experience with the major social media platforms and applications that enhance their use, so you can choose the right tools.
- are able to train others to use: at least one but preferably more than one blogging platform; Facebook; Twitter; YouTube; Pinterest; and LinkedIn.
Are you a digital strategist . . . yet? If that's your destination, what are you doing to get there?