A Year In Review | 2018

Year in review thumbnail for Lachlan Kirkwood's digital marketing blog.

2018 has proven to be another unforgettable year. As I now approach the third year of my career, I’ve had the opportunity to learn so much – not only as a Digital Marketer, but also as an individual.

It was just 52 short weeks ago that I’d sat down and reflected on everything I’d learnt from the previous year. Following this tradition, I’ve compiled a list of my favourite projects I’ve brought to life throughout the year, and have also summarised the key learnings I’ve taken away.

Highlights

Hosting Brisbane’s First Digital Marketing Hackathon

After pondering on the concept for quite some time, I decided that 2018 was the year to bring this unique event to life. 

Working in the tech industry, I’d always been in envy of Developers who would often participate in weekend-long hackathons. These events are a fantastic way to form communities, build valuable relationships, and develop real-world skills.

After crafting together a digital marketing case study, I’d allocated teams a full day to develop a digital strategy of their own, which they then had to pitch to a panel of judges.

Teams working at Brisbane's first Digital Marketing Hackathon, hosted by Lachlan Kirkwood.

The event was a huge success! I was absolutely rapt to see the impact it had on my industry peers. You can catch the full overview of the event here, or check out the summary video below.

 

Developing My First Venture

What started as a casual conversation with a colleague after work, soon lead to spark an exciting product concept of my own.

As a Digital Marketer, I’m constantly on the hunt to discover platforms where I can not only showcase my work, but also engage with like-minded industry peers.

Working in the digital industry, I was always familiar with community-driven platforms such as Bēhance for Designers, or even Product Hunt for Developers.

When I identified a need for Digital Marketers to have a similar alternative, I got straight to work creating my own venture, ClickThrough.

UI prototypes of the digital marketing platform, Clickthrough.

Only a few weeks after inception, I took the bold move and applied to participate in the Advanced Queensland Young Starters Competition. Throughout the competition, I was fortunate enough to make it through to the final round, where I was required to present a live pitch to an audience at River City Labs.  

Lachlan Kirkwood pitching at the Young Starters Competition, hosted in River City Labs, Brisbane.

The Young Starters initiative was an invaluable experience. Throughout the duration of 3 months, I’d learnt so much from other experienced founders who know had scaled ventures of their own.

I can remember walking away from the weekend-long bootcamp knowing that this is what I wanted to pursue throughout my career.

 

Presenting At My First Event

As I continually aim to add value to students within my network, I was given the opportunity to present on several panels – sharing my experiences with the next generation of Digital Marketers.

At both the generationYOU One Day Event, and the Launch Your Marketing Career Brisbane meetup, I covered how exactly students can best prepare themselves for the digital industry.

Digital Marketing Specialist, Lachlan Kirkwood, presenting at the Launch Your Marketing Career Brisbane meet up.

 

Becoming A QUT Mentor

This year I took the time to become a QUT mentor, which saw we partner with two eager digital marketing students. Throughout the involvement, I was able to share my industry experiences and also provide advice when necessary.

 

Scaling My Personal Blog

This year I was proud to continue writing my personal blog. Throughout 2018, I’ve covered quite a diverse range of topics, including:

 

So What Am I Taking Away From 2018?

Personal Branding

Still my top priority, building my personal brand is something that I’ve continued to pursue throughout the year. By regularly attending meetups, publishing content on my blog, and actively engaging with the industry peers, I’ve continued to reinforce my position within the industry.

As I move into 2019, I have no intentions to slow down the development of my personal brand. I look forward to creating more informative content and collaborating with other like-minded folk.

If you’re a Digital Marketer or an early-stage professional, I still can’t stress how important it is to begin developing your own personal brand.

 

The Importance Of Value

Throughout the year, there’s been one key theme that’s influenced my everyday life – adding value to others. The notion of giving before taking has been something I’ve pursued across all facets of my life.

Value can come in so many different forms and is unique to every individual. It’s important to understand what value means to the people you engaged with – whether it be your employer, a client, or an industry connection.

 

Forming Relationships

Following on from value, I’ve also learnt the importance of people and relationships. As I’d always prioritised my own personal brand, I was guilty of sometimes overlooking the valuable experiences that relationships had to offer.

It’s so important to continually surround yourself with like-minded people and learn from their experiences. In the past, I’d had this luxury, but often took it for granted. 

If you’re looking to enter the workforce or even switch between roles throughout the new year, I can’t stress how important it is to find an organisation that meets your cultural needs.

Culture isn’t just about open-plan offices or a work/life balance. Culture is about finding an organisation where you can learn from others and continue to thrive in.

 

Career Path

Approaching my third year as a Digital Marketer, I have a clear understanding of the direction in which I wish to pursue my career. 

In 2019, I see myself shifting into a more product focussed position as I continue to build ClickThrough and Light Walls. I look forward to working on projects that will have a greater long-term impact on my career.

What year it’s been! 12 months ago I couldn’t have guessed how the year would pan out. I look forward to pursuing my passion for all things tech and digital marketing throughout 2019.