Next in our coaching series, our brilliant digital marketing coach, Laura. Read on to find out how she makes her coaching style #relatable and what she the top topics will be in 2018...

1.Can you introduce yourself and tell us a bit about your professional experience to date?

Hi, I’m Laura, a Whitehat Digital Marketing Coach. I am originally from Staffordshire with a very obvious Midlands / Northern accent. I have been in the digital marketing industry for over 10 years, and have worked within both in-house marketing teams and agencies. For the last 3 years, I was the digital marketing manager at financial news company based in the city. I also worked as a teaching assistant on the General Assembly Digital Marketing course which got me hooked on wanting to enter into the world of training or education, as the experience was so rewarding.

2. Why did you decide to become a WhiteHat coach?

I decided to become a WhiteHat coach as the role was exactly what I was looking for. I feel passionate about the company’s mission and values and I love having the opportunity to share my enthusiasm for digital marketing with the next future leaders. I feel a real excitement for what we can offer our apprentices and love to play a role in helping them unleash their potential and reach their goals.

3. Can you tell us about the steepest learning curve you've ever experienced in your life? Why was it such a good learning experience?

I restored an Edwardian house at quite a young age and did not realise what a massive job it was. I took on the full project management, organising what needed to be done and when and by who. I had very little experience in restoring period houses and none in project management, so I had a very steep learning curve. However, it taught me that, If I put my mind to something and have a passion for it, I can succeed.

4.  How do you keep up to date with your field's latest trends, tools and best practice?

I constantly read and research the industry, especially blogs and books from leading experts. I am also discovering great industry related podcasts. There is one called Social Minds which discusses various topics relating to social media.

5. What do you think the biggest hot topic in your industry is for 2018?

AI (artificial intelligence) and machine learning. You can already see this coming into play with chatbots in platforms like Facebook. Did you know you can order your Starbucks coffee directly from their baristo bot now? AI can create very personalised and highly engaging experiences, whilst also increasing efficiency and productivity for businesses. AI and machine learning allows us, marketers, to not just target by segment, but by the individual, ensuring we are only delivering what the consumer will be interested in.

6. How would you describe your coaching style in three words?

Real - I use a lot of real-life case studies to help embed the learning. It can help make it #relatable
Interactive - It keeps us all engaged and it’s a fun way of learning.
Inquisitive -  Asking questions and taking an interest helps build a rapport. It also allows me to understand the apprentice’s thought processes and adapt the session to best suit them.

7. What are your favourite qualities in a learner? What are you looking for in your apprentices?

Passion. I love to hear and see what makes someone else tick!

8. If you had one piece of advice for your younger self-starting out in their career, what would it be?

Do not be afraid to ask for help! We want success and happiness for our apprentices. Asking questions can feel hard, especially if you think it's a simple one and you can feel like you should know what you are doing all of the time. But that’s impossible! You are not on your own. Asking questions will make you feel better, enable you to do a better job and show willingness and determination.

9. What are you currently teaching yourself/learning?

I am getting into Yoga at the moment. I am still very wobbly on my Warrior 2 pose but I find Yoga a great workout as well as being restorative.

10. What makes you tick outside of work?

I love exploring and seeing new things so I will often have a “tourist day out” in London town or go for a good long walk outside of the M25. I never thought I would turn into a rambler, but walking is a great destresser and you get to see wonderful scenery.