10/14/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 10/14/2021 11:36
After 20 years in marketing, I thought I'd nearly done it all - SEO, social media website design, event planning, and more. Then "Salesforce discovered me," as I like to say. I saw a Salesforce presentation while working at a nonprofit, and I was immediately intrigued by the possibilities.
I knew skilling up on the platform could help put me on the path to leadership with a holistic digital marketing skill set, so I started to actively pursue related career opportunities.
Learn what marketers do and the skills they need to succeed.
I then went to work for a healthcare company that used the Salesforce Platform. It was just before the launch of Lightning. I was very excited to dive in, but I quickly found it was hard to make the right connections within the organization, and it was challenging to get the necessary training.
I felt alone - but I did my best. Dividing my attention between CRM, social, web, and paid media meant I never got an opportunity to dedicate my full attention to the platform.
I finally had the chance to feed my CRM passion.
When I landed my next position at a media company, I was given the opportunity to do a Marketing Cloud implementation. I finally had the chance to feed my CRM passion. But my attention was still divided, because I was managing multiple websites and the organization's email program, too. Shortly after that implementation, my leader asked me to focus in a different direction: websites and the product management side of my job.
But I pushed back.
I wanted to focus on Salesforce and wasn't going to let someone else dictate my career. It was then I realized that I was the only person in charge of paving my path.
Participation in Trailblazer Mentorship paired me with a mentor who helped fine-tune my career goals. We discussed my 20-year career and how I could design the next phase. My mentor shared a wealth of experience, and I discovered other paths I could take, like Data Architect. This program allowed me to continue to build my career development plan and a backup plan.
Build a meaningful mentoring relationship that gets you closer to your career goals.
Ultimately, I decided to find an organization and role where my sole focus was Salesforce. I joined Atrium Health when they had just completed an implementation of Health Cloud and Marketing Cloud. I was thrilled to dedicate myself entirely to the platform. It was like someone gave me a playground and full autonomy to build the program.
My leader had complete trust in me, and I paid it back by dedicating my time to becoming the expert. I'm now 3x-certified as a Marketing Cloud Administrator, Marketing Cloud Email Specialist, and Certified Administrator. I used my deep understanding of consumer journeys, consumer preferences, and preference management - which I learned through my hands-on experience with Salesforce - to thrive in this new role.
I like to say all the magic happened when I committed to my Salesforce journey, and being part of the Trailblazer Community - learning, connecting, and giving back with fellow marketers - was a major catalyst.
We can't do this alone - we need a community to continue to grow, share ideas, and make connections and life-long friendships.
At the beginning of my Salesforce journey, I had been pretty lost until a colleague told me about a local Salesforce Admin Group. After attending for a few months, I knew I needed to start a marketing group. We can't do this alone - we need a community to continue to grow, share ideas, and make connections and lifelong friendships.
So I started the Salesforce Marketer Group in Charlotte, North Carolina. We meet quarterly to share product expertise and ideas, best practices, connections, and mentorship. The shared learning and connections make us all better marketers and people. The Trailblazer Community has helped me grow into the #MomentMarketer I am today. I started sharing my knowledge through speaking engagements, earning certifications, and connecting with amazing Trailblazers along the way.
I'm still in awe of how Salesforce has changed my life! https://t.co/bSgqxx22C2- Lakesha G. Holloway (@keshagholloway) August 23, 2021
In less than 2 years, I was promoted to digital director! My leadership determined that I was the best person for the position because of my well-rounded digital marketing experience.
Black women need to see other black women climbing and breaking glass ceilings, and know that they can be next.
And I recently realized my dream of inspiring fellow marketers during the Connections '21 Keynote.
I do this for other women, especially women of color, who will come after me. When I got promoted, I received a message from a colleague that said, "I'm not only happy for you, I'm happy for us!" Black women need to see other black women climbing and breaking glass ceilings, and know that they can be next. Representation truly matters, and it's so important that women of color see other women of color rising in the workplace.
[My son] is watching my every step… and I'm proud to be an example that he doesn't have to let life happen to him. He knows he can take charge of his career one day, too.
Best of all, my son, who is now 6 years old, is watching my every step. He knows Atrium Health and Salesforce and truly lights up when he sees both because he knows mommy is happy and thriving in her career. I'm proud to be an example that he doesn't have to let life happen to him. He knows he can take charge of his career one day, too.
My journey is about taking full ownership of my career and gaining the necessary skills and experience to turn my aspirations into reality. I made it happen, and so can you!
Here's my best advice for fellow Trailblazers who want to build successful marketing careers:
Join the conversation on the Trailblazer Community.
I recently received a text from a business partner - it had my picture on it and said #FutureCMO. Before that, I hadn't thought about the possibility of being a chief marketing officer. But when I saw it, something leaped in me and I thought, wow, they see that before I do.
A few years ago, someone of influence in the organization I was working for tried to convince me to walk away from a Salesforce career! Boy…were they wrong…. https://t.co/raw63dSzT2- Lakesha G. Holloway (@keshagholloway) June 4, 2021
I know there are more leadership opportunities on the horizon. Those around me see it, and it's something I've realized I want - so I own that as a future ambition! But right now, I'm focusing 100% of my professional life and energy on my new role, using my Salesforce knowledge and everything I've acquired throughout my career to take our digital experience and platforms to the next level.
Check out my favorite resources!
Follow Lakesha on the Trailblazer Community at trailblazer.me/id/lakeshaholloway.
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