Choosing and honing your craft is the key to building a satisfying career - this has been true for ages and is no less true in today’s digital economy. There are many paths to becoming a digital artisan - this was mine.
Step 1 - Marketing (High Tech?)
As a kid, I was a storyteller / drama nerd. I figured I was destined to have a career in the theater and my parents supported this desire as long as I went to a proper college. Upon popping out with a shiny theater degree, I did my thing but turns out my “day job” of working with technology was actually way more fun. To be fair, I was working the early days of digital video and seeing what had been high end capabilities like photo and video editing (not to mention blogging ;-) come available for everyone - well it was heady!
So I picked up an MBA that let me come and do bigger and better marketing, but I missed playing with the tools - I didn’t want to leave the fascinating land of marketing (full of storytellers and numbers nerds) but I had envy for those that got to make the webpages and set our digital magic in motion. True confession - I’m not a powerpoint warrior… I like to do much more than to plan.
Step 2 - Choosing a Speciality
I was introduced to Inbound Marketing - a methodology that lets you be helpful as opposed to overbearing and intrusive. I was sold. The methodology was created by the makers of Hubspot. No surprise, I also loved working in their software. Time would fly by as I learned how to do the various functions and put them into action for various clients.
I had found “the flow” - the state of being being where work is most satisfying. And as I found work as a Hubspot expert, I began to meet other fellow travelers who enjoyed other software, such as QuickBooks, Salesforce, and of course, Google and Facebook tools. We recognized in each other kindred spirits who really love to “nerd out” on our crafts. We would all willingly spend time and energy teaching others who wanted to know more. We hung out with user groups (dare I say “guilds”?) of others who practiced our same crafts.
We had become digital artisans.
Step 3 - Building a community
In the last election cycle, there was a heightened awareness of the disconnect between “traditional” jobs and communities vs “technology” jobs. I think this is a false disconnect.
Technology is available everywhere. (To be fair, broadband internet access is *not* and that is a big deal…)
I had gotten a lot of benefit out of my online communities - the Hubspot User Groups and Inbound.org community online, as well as the friends and connections I’d made during studying on Coursera. I’d done a lot of informal mentoring of people who wanted to use the tools I was so enthusiastic about.
So I decided to take it to the next step - I decided to start the Digital Artisans’ Network. I contacted the companies who put out the free training I had used - and they gave me their blessing to provide links to their programs. I contacted the fine people at Bitsource - who had taken their own digital artisan journey ahead of me - and had them build this site you are on. The point of this site is to enable those that are taking the certifications we’ve highlighted to “graduate” and show of their credentials.
In addition to this site, we have a weekly Facebook live call, where we catch up on each other’s progress, share new ideas and connections.
So - just getting started on the journey - but if you think this sounds like a good idea, I hope you’ll go sign up and Join Us.