An Intern’s Insights

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Nearing the end of my six-month internship with April Ford Digital Marketing Agency, I’ve finally had a moment to reflect on the invaluable lessons I have learned along the way.

 April Ford was my agency of choice when considering a business to complete my social media internship through University of the Sunshine Coast. After meeting the A-team (April and Brendan) it became clear that they had created a positive and forward-thinking business that could provide many opportunities. Luckily for me, April and Brendan partnered with USC to make my internship happen.

Not only was I enabled the opportunity to hone in on my content creation skills, I also experienced a level of culture and methods within the agency that will stick with me for my entire career.

Throughout my entire internship, the AF team have debunked the notion that interns are treated as though they belong at the bottom of the food chain. The whole team has been welcoming, inclusive, nurturing, hilarious and generous in sharing their knowledge. Coming from someone who had prior experience in different aspects of marketing, my time at April Ford has been eye-opening with digital marketing innovations, content creation, design and beyond.

Here is what I have learned.

Values really mean something

If you’ve browsed through the AF website, you’ll see the team values displayed proudly.

“We are high performing; we always have fun; we innovate and improve; we believe in people and their dreams; we always do the right thing.”

I can personally assure these values are not just for display. I have never worked anywhere where values are practiced all day, every day, and in everything the team does. They are the governing guidelines behind a highly efficient agency internally, thus producing amazing results for clients.

I like to view the values as a full circle practice; they don’t exist in isolation, and one couldn’t happen (effectively) without the rest. They aren’t over the top, showy or unachievable. They are just real.

Great work is and should be commended

Whether it’s a small feat of gaining traction on a Facebook page that wasn’t achieving results or completing an extensive website project; great work is recognised and commended by the whole team.

This is such a powerful movement within a team environment where everyone’s efforts snowball towards the success of our clients’ goals. It reinforces the determination towards all milestones, big and small, and the genuine positivity creates a vibe amongst the team that contributes towards continual success.

Teamwork is the dream work

Every member of the team at April Ford is an expert in their field, yet they are also incredibly knowledgeable in all other areas of service. The support in the office is second to none; everyone has each other’s back.

Because of this, all work is completed to the highest standard. No matter what a client needs from team AF, they can be sure the team has them covered across all facets of their digital marketing.

The teamwork was an absolute stand-out during weekly department meetings where brainstorming and problem-solving sessions ensured no small detail could escape through the cracks.

 Attending the Sunshine Coast Business Women's Network event with some of the AF team.

It is possible to maintain a systematic approach whilst also being adaptable to client variables

The innovative and ever-evolving systems and services are a huge strength of April Ford. Beyond this, the team has the ability to adapt their methods to the diverse range of clients to achieve the best results possible.

I had one of those moments where I thought ‘I have to forget everything I have ever learned in uni about the rules of social media’. Obviously, rules have their place however I now believe they’re better viewed as guidelines.

The April Ford team is AMAZING at executing their clients’ visions and producing content that works. There’s no ‘one size fits all’ approach. There is, however, a ‘let’s asses this client’s goals on this day of the week at this time of day with this special offer and their intended audience’ approach.

It all lies in the details

For someone who is meticulous and borderline OCD when it comes to housework, filing, strategies and all those boring things, I was not prepared for how impactful the smallest detail can be in the delivery of effective content.

When I say ‘detail’, that covers tone, placement, colour, grammar, emojis, hashtags, timing, consistency, processes, planning, communication and so much more. 

From watching the experts I’ve developed a keen eye for those small things and whilst I haven’t yet reached Jedi Master status, I am aligned on the right path. 

Anything can be interesting

No matter how unglamorous a product or service may be, anything can become appealing with the right marketing. The AF team is scrupulous in their preparation of content and marketing materials for their clients.

It’s all about getting to know the clients’ views of where they want to be and the audience they want to appeal to. Team AF have this amazing ability to translate minimal information into exactly what the client needs. Fortunately, a lot of this has rubbed off onto me, which is a huge tell of talented people following a successful method. 

Working with a diverse range of clients gives your brain a fresh outlook

My past marketing experiences have been completely in-house, so the last six months working with account managers on various client portfolios has opened the way I would attack a project.

To succeed you must be able to create appropriate content regardless of how diverse the topic is. For example; changing between fun and energetic posts on go karting that appeal to 20-year old males, to discussing the benefits of implementing a virtual receptionist for different industries, helps open your mind to a different approach you wouldn’t otherwise use.

The separation of an agency from a client’s business leaves more time to focus on the marketing, which is why, in my opinion, agency styled marketing is so effective.

These are all the career and life lessons I have learned throughout my time with April Ford Digital Marketing Agency on the Sunshine Coast, most of which were things that unexpectedly impacted everyone’s personal performance and the smooth-running of the agency.

Thanks for having me, Madi 💖

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