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See, Think, Overthink, Share. #DigiLab

Jade Joseph of Ideas Test discusses her initial concerns about being involved in the Digital Lab

Having permission to experiment in a work-based environment surprisingly feels very daunting, perhaps because it doesn’t come with any guarantees. Not to mention that for a relative newcomer to the world of digital marketing, there seems to be an entire language to learn and an avalanche of abbreviations to master. It felt inevitable that whatever ideas my fellow and I initially devised would shift and change throughout the workshops and mentor meetings. What I hadn’t prepared for was feeling a little bit lost when it came from moving an idea from a concept to something more concrete.

Before Digital Lab officially kicked off, it was easy to feel quite enthusiastic about my idea, which was to investigate the impact that some sort of regularly scheduled Instagram content might have on engagement. We have experimented with physical brochures in the past, we’re fortunate to have a website and a physical space in which to display details about our events but in true millennial style, I wanted to test whether dedicating time to creating content for Instagram would make a notable difference. There was still a lot to figure out but at this stage that felt okay. It was suggested that we try and narrow down our focus by the time we speak to our mentor to really identify the key areas that would be feasible to work on and to test with relevant results.

During the planning stage, I felt relatively optimistic. There’s the dual enjoyment of doing something creative and the challenge of getting an idea to actually work outside the way it exists in your brain. My first idea manifested as an Instazine; an aesthetic series of swipe-able images uploaded every fortnight to advertise our events and bring our audiences behind the scenes. I consulted and surveyed the rest of our team about the idea, loosely planned out what could be included in the first few issues, compiled thematic undercurrents to draw each instazine together and then, after our first mentor meeting, promptly lost all confidence in the idea.

“The subject of SEO had always felt quite alien and my knowledge of Google Analytics barely scratched the surface”

This was not entirely unexpected – as a world class worrier, a brief loss of confidence is nothing new! What was tricky was knowing what to do next. This is where the online Digital Lab workshops have been so beneficial. Being able to access the series of accessible online workshops has provided a lot of reassurance. They have been a great gateway into topics that previously seemed quite dense and tricky. The subject of SEO had always felt quite alien and my knowledge of Google Analytics barely scratched the surface, but the Digital Lab sessions were so informative that I started to feel excited at the prospect of learning more.

The two and a half years that I’ve been working my current job have been a learning curve in itself, so I’m trying to treat the Digital Lab in much the same way. I’m still not quite sure what the next step is within the framework of my experiment but adding all of the Digital Lab knowledge to my brain can be nothing but helpful. Whether it’s the fear of failure or fear of the unknown, the best way I know to quieten that fear is saturation via education. (Feeling confident enough to apply that knowledge into a practical solution is, however, a very different question but that’s for a whole other blog post!)

Header Image courtesy of Liverpool-Biennial 2016 © Joel-Chester-Fildes