Digital Marketer Spotlight: Laura Best
"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.”
- Dr. Seuss. :)
Laura Best, president of Best + Co and founder of the Passion Collective, is an advertising and marketing veteran in the Twin Cities. After getting her BA at the University of Warwick, she worked as an account executive at Smart Communications and as an account manager at Harrison Cowley. She came to Minnesota for vacation, fell in love with the Twin Cities and moved here. She continued to work in account management for agencies such as Hunt Adkins and Space150 before moving to the client side, where she worked in interactive marketing with American Express and Ameriprise Financial.
Laura eventually moved back to the agency side, working in strategy and account management at Schematic (now Possible Worldwide), Mono, FRWD Co., and RBA, Inc. (Talk about ruling an industry!). She most recently has created digital strategies for various top brands, such as Target, HealthPartners, and Medela. Laura also launched the Passion Collective as a space to help women find their paths and passions in life.
What does a typical day in your role look like?
I have multiple “jobs”! My first is a mom, so my first priority is always getting my daughter up and to school and planning for the family meal and activities in the day. Then, I can concentrate on work. Typically, I check my social channels for the news over a cup of Yorkshire Tea, and then I check my work email for any urgent client messages.
I’m currently running two businesses - my digital practice and my “Passion Collective” organization, so my day is typically split between the two. I try to do new business and Passion Collective work in the mornings as I find it suits my energy better that way. Then, depending on the strategy work I have, I hunker down in the afternoon to write, research or plan. Then, I break off for family and mom fun (school pick up, swim class, dinner, and bath time) and a few times a week I’ll work in the evenings although I try not to every night as I have found I need the downtime to relax and think. Somewhere in there, I make time to work out and meet friends or go to industry events…the working out often has to come first!
What are you passionate about?
Connecting people and helping them create a difference. I do this through my digital strategy work (where I help clients create plans and content that resonates with audiences and drives action) and though Passion Collective (where I am helping women make positive changes in their lives through community and content.)
Other than that, my daughter is the light of my life, and I can talk forever about baking, tennis and books ;)
What do you find most challenging about your job/career?
Gosh, big question. Over there years, there have been many challenges and one of the greatest has been being a woman in the “man’s world” of business. I’ve found that working hard and doing your best - although your parents tell you that’s what to do - doesn’t always apply and that there is a game to be played in business. It takes times to determine a balance between playing the game and being true to yourself.
Now I am my own boss, I can choose who I partner with and what I do with my days, so my challenge is different. Now, it’s more about motivating myself each day to do my best and also continually refining what I do so that people understand the benefit it can bring.
What do you find most enriching about your job/career?
I really value the relationships and interaction I make along the way, whether it’s on a project or meeting someone for coffee. I also am really proud of the impact Passion Collective is already having on women in the Twin Cities, just six months after launch.
How did you find yourself in the career you currently hold?
You know, I have a history degree. Nothing to do with media, marketing but a lot to do with stories, writing and making clear cases for the truth. So, I suppose that led me to where I am. That said, it has honestly been a mix of my tenacity along with some good old fashioned fate that has got me to this point in my career journey.
Words of advice for anyone who wants to pursue this career?
If you’re looking to get into digital strategy, you have to be utterly curious about how people think and behave. Marketing, whether digital or otherwise begins there. Then, be a power user and lover of social and technology tools. And finally, study how business works - especially those businesses that are disrupting the marketplace. What are they doing differently? What are they changing? How? There is so much competition out there now, you have to know your stuff, so any opportunity you get to volunteer your time, use it to practice your skills and gain case studies. Finally, and this is super important, you have to work incredibly hard and be true to your word. No career succeeds without those two things.
If you are in the Twin Cities area and are looking for opportunities to learn and gain skills, check out the Passion Collective, an organization for women. For additional information, contact Laura Best or visit www.passioncollective.co.
Thanks for reading!