Our latest TMM Success Story features Daniel Kawamoto. Daniel completed the Portland State University Digital Marketing Strategies program in order to transition out of the hospitality industry into a role in digital marketing.
Daniel also volunteered for organizations like TMMPDX and the Social Media (SoMe) Awards during his transition. Daniel is currently in his second year leading the Nominations Committee for the SoMe Awards, where he is tasked with managing the recruitment, judging, and awarding of the SoMe Awards – so help him out and get your nominations in now!
Daniel has always handled his projects for TMM and the Some Awards professionally and promptly. He is a joy to work with. As Daniel mentions, being involved in these groups forced him to network, including discussion with others about the career change process along the way.
All of Daniel’s networking and hard work in making this transition paid off as he joined The Dojo Agency of Portland as a Project/Traffic Coordinator last fall. The Dojo Agency is a full service agency focused on Brand, Digital, and Inbound Marketing. Congratulations Daniel!
Thanks to Daniel for his thoughtful responses below, I guess that I owe him a glass of champagne…
You made transition from the hospitality industry to digital marketing. What challenges have you faced moving from being a recent graduate of the digital marketing certificate program to a working professional marketer?
Initially the biggest challenge was getting others to see the value in the work that I had done in hospitality when compared with others who had degrees specific to marketing and direct industry experience. Since completing the digital marketing certificate program, my biggest challenges have been figuring out what I want my niche to be, what interests me the most, and what I can see myself doing for many hours a week. I love how this industry is so dynamic that everything changes all the time and you’re constantly on your toes trying to anticipate what’s next. That’s the other challenge though… keeping up!
What have been the biggest factors leading to your success?
That’s an interesting question to me, because I think it has nothing to do with digital marketing or social networking. In fact, I think most of it has been good old fashioned face-to-face conversations and relationships with friends and family who have encouraged me along the way.
If you had to give ONE piece of key advice to young digital marketing enthusiasts and students, what would it be?
Just do it! Don’t over-think new platforms or stress about what you’re doing. Give your ideas a shot on your personal accounts and find ways that it can be useful for your business or client. Don’t do it if it doesn’t seem natural to the conversations that are already happening there, but be willing to try new things. The opportunities are endless.
What skills have you developed that were essential to your new positions? And what skills you developed in hospitality do you see transferring to digital marketing?
Most importantly, an understanding of how all of the pieces of the marketing mix fit together to form a more cohesive whole and being able to take that knowledge and communicate intelligently with professionals who have been working in the industry for years.
The most important skills I learned in hospitality that I see transferring to digital marketing are learning how to manage expectations and how to anticipate needs. And of course, that when things when things go differently than expected, buying someone a glass of champagne can make all the difference.
How have groups like TMM, The SoMe Awards, and PSU’s certificate program helped you be better at what you want to do?
They have forced me to network. TMM, The SoMe Awards and PSU all have these amazing communities of people that are serious about what they do and willing to talk to you about it. I’ve had great conversations with amazing people over coffee I’ve only met because of those groups. Portland really is a small town. Send me an email or tweet at me and I’m happy to meet anyone over coffee to talk about what it’s like to change industries.
As you anticipate the next 5 to 10 years of your career – what do you hope to accomplish?
The start-up space seems exciting, but more than anything else, I’m curious to see how the industry continues to evolve. I’m certain that what I’ll be doing in 5 or 10 years either doesn’t exist or will look drastically differently than it does today. Of course, there’s the wild hair inside me that wants to unplug, move to a farm, and live off the land.
How do YOU define success?
I think true success lies in achieving a certain level of authority and clout in your professional endeavors balanced with what you do outside of your professional life- who you love, how you give your time, and the relationships you build with the people you care about and who care about you.