Most people who visit Data Quality Pro or engage on the other many data quality related blogs, groups and forums have the same goal in mind – to improve their career.
By connecting, reading and sharing our experiences we build up a virtual footprint that many of us probably take for granted.
However, if you’re serious about your career in data quality then here are some home-truths:
- Organisations are relying on the internet to discover practitioners far more than ever: (a company yesterday confided with me they have ceased using Jobserve and Monster because hunting online reaped far better quality returns)
- Your online presence is an asset that can work for or against you: It’s simply about competition, if other practitioners have better social media coverage and promotion of their abilities they will be found first
- You can stack the game in your favour if you invest a small amount of time each week and follow a simple plan (see below) then growing your career using online tactics becomes a breeze
Creating your Data Quality Career Plan
Many of you are investing in your future career by visiting sites like Data Quality Pro as well as completing IQCP, CDMP and CIMP training for example.
That’s great news but how will companies know you’ve acquired these skills?
They need to find you right? To make this happen you need to have a plan of how you will demonstrate your skills and make it easy for employers and clients to find you.
Introducing The Need For A (Data Quality) Inbound Marketing Strategy
Huh? Isn’t that for marketing and sales folks?
No, inbound marketing is for anybody as we’re all selling ourselves online. Whether I’m trying to sell sponsorships for Data Quality Pro or you’re selling your skills to further your career the same tactics apply.
Inbound Marketing for Data Quality Career Development
Inbound Marketing is basically a bunch of tactics that make it easier for your target audience to implement a call to action of your choosing, such as offer you a job!
The 3 basic components that will make up your plan are:
- Content Marketing (posting regular content and commentary)
- Social Media Engagement
- SEO (Search engine optimisation)
Content marketing is fairly obvious and if you’ve seen our expert interviews on Data Quality Pro you’ll get it. The more content you post to the most authoritative websites in this sector then the more chance you have of creating a comprehensive online footprint that demonstrates your abilities.
Now, at this point some of you will ask the question: “But I’m no guru, how can I get coverage?”
This is actually easier than you think and it comes down to two words: “Being useful”.
If you create a blog and curate useful content from sites like Data Quality Pro and all the scores of other sites in this niche, you’ll start to get coverage very quickly. Sites like ours will link to you and so will any other practitioners that you feature. If you’re at the start of your career it’s a great way to build your presence. You may not have the full depth of skills yet but you clearly display passion for the subject area, that counts for a hell of a lot to employers.
Remember that if you learn something useful (we have plenty of tutorials on Data Quality Pro to get you started) then you’re ahead of thousands of other people so don’t feel afraid to post your experiences, just make your content useful and it will get shared and scanned by search engines.
A straw poll of several people who have recently posted on Data Quality Pro found that they all recently received opportunities on the back of their webinars and articles posted here.
If you want to get noticed, produce content.
Social Media Engagement
Social media isn’t a teenage fad, it’s merely a simpler method of connecting with adults who share the professional interests as yourself. Don’t be afraid to connect with others on sites like Data Quality Pro or LinkedIn, they very rarely turn down a genuine invite to connect.
They key is engagement of course. Don’t just repetitively post your own content into groups, get involved by asking and answering questions, posting polls, sharing useful content and generally being a nice person. Social media engagement is all about being genuine and useful to people.
Take some time each day, perhaps in your lunch hour, to reach out and make 5 new connections, either here on Data Quality Pro or via LinkedIn. Perhaps you’re a Data Quality Analyst or Manager, are there others you can connect with? Building these relationships is critical to getting your content shared more widely and opening up new opportunities for you.
Another tip is not to spread yourself too thin. Far better to post regularly on one site than infrequently across 10 different social media outlets. Data Quality Pro (ok, I’m biased!) and LinkedIn are obvious starting points for building out your professional network.
SEO (Search engine optimisation)
Don’t panic, I’m not going to blind you with science here. The key to SEO is keep it simple as one of our members and leading data governance experts, Nicola Askham of NicolaAskham.com has done.
She is a data governance expert. So when I interviewed her some time ago I made sure that I included the keyword “Data Governance Expert” in the interview and I try to use those keywords regularly when I tweet or share her content. She is also a Data Governance Coach and is building a personal brand that reflects her skills in this area too.
It has paid off. When I checked this morning she was no.1 on Google for the keyword “Data Governance Expert” out of 15.5 million other entries! Companies regularly contact her as a result of a featured interview I did with her on Data Quality Pro some time ago and a continuing trail of great content she has posted on her own blog and various other media outlets.
Where a lot of people fail with SEO is to either opt for keywords that no-one searches for or just use too many keywords.
So keep it simple. Ensure your keywords are consistent across your profiles and content. It’s then just a matter of submitting useful articles or getting interviewed on prominent sites like Data Quality Pro or OCDQ Blog and many others to ensure a high ranking in Google.
Take Your Data Quality Career To The Next Level
The days of relying on your CV and jobsites like Monster to source new roles in the data quality profession are drawing to a close I believe. Your online professional footprint is going to play a huge factor in how companies find and hire you so start managing your online presence as an asset today.
If you want to discuss further then post a question below or contact me directly for advice, happy to expand on anything raised above (firstname.lastname@example.org)