You might be wondering if you can learn a language around your busy life? The answer is a resounding yes! Martina works at Lingoda and managed to complete the Sprint around her full time job. She talks to us about marketing, learning German and not creating boundaries for yourself.
What does a Senior Digital Marketing Manager at Lingoda do?
Digital Marketing is a pretty broad term and in my case it really requires an explanation. I would say my role is a combination of digital marketing, project management and campaign leadership. This is how it works in startups: you often wear many hats! But I enjoy it and it makes my days very colourful and dynamic. One part of my role is leading a small influencer marketing team. I can proudly say that my girls manage more than 100 YouTube partners, completely in-house and we look at our partners as a one big family. On the other side, I lead on Lingoda’s biggest campaign, the Language Sprint, which was born almost 3 years ago and keeps growing and improving.
You’ve worked at Lingoda for over 4 years. How has your role changed?
Uh, I am a real old-timer at Lingoda! I started my journey in a small flat with the brothers (our founders) and my team consisted of Felix (one of the brother duo) and me. We were testing different channels and that’s how our influencer marketing team was born. I have grown in Lingoda from a junior to senior manager while at the same time watching and helping Lingoda on its way from a baby startup to where we are today. On that path, I have also worked on offline and online marketing; testing affiliate and other partnerships, doing content discovery platforms, out of home, radio, social media, etc.
What does a typical day look like for you?
There is no typical day at Lingoda! It makes it challenging but also exciting. I need constant change to keep me motivated and every time we step into a new phase as a company, I feel like I get a new job! This is what kept me here for so long (and a great team, of course). I plan my day a day before with no exception, so I know my priorities when I start in the morning. Very often I get some unexpected tasks but I have learnt to prioritise my time and delegate, if needed. A typical day generally consists of influencer team brainstormings, cross team communication and planning and strategic tasks.
What do you look for in an influencer?
Trust and transparency! This is how the whole network is built and the secret of our success in this channel. We treat influencers as our own colleagues. We discuss ideas together, accept mistakes and learn from them. The channel can be very big but we can already see from the first email or call if the partnership has a long term potential. In the past, we hired many very small channels which became medium/big sized channels in a few years. I am happy that we gave them the chance. English with Lucy now has over 4.5 million subscribers on her channel and we started our partnership when she had barely 200K.
Of course, it is important that the channel is a fit so we focus on educational and motivational channels. Expat channels have also very good audience fit.
How do you plan campaigns?
Influencer campaigns are planned in alignment with marketing campaigns. For example, if we have Sprint planned for that month, we know that we need to arrange videos about Sprint with most of our partners. They need briefs and links approximately a month in advance and we make sure we deliver on time. Everything is tracked and saved so we always know what is coming next. Sometimes we have last minute requests for special sales campaigns and this is when trust and good relationships pay off as partners will turn around some videos very quickly for us.
You mentioned the Lingoda Sprint. Why would you recommend it?
I did it myself! I finished the Sprint (15 classes per month in 3 months) but I never thought that it would give me such a confidence boost. I have lived in Berlin for 5 years and I was always bouncing between B2-C1 German level because of my fear of talking in front of native speakers. Doing something every second day for 1 hour gave me the confidence that I was lacking and suddenly I found myself discussing things in German. Isn’t that the thing that every expat is facing no matter which language they need to learn? German is hardest, of course!
Why did you choose to work in online education?
Four years ago when I started at Lingoda, online learning was a pretty new concept in the market and people didn’t really know that you could learn a language online with real live teachers. I was also fascinated with the fact that I can learn German from the comfort of my own home (after spending 4 months in an offline school and commuting 2 hours daily). I started taking classes immediately and now I would never go back to the traditional way of studying. I wish my day would last 48 hours because I am always in a fight with time, so online education is something which really helps me save travelling hours. It is easy to work in marketing and online education when you love the product you are selling.
Do you have any tips for someone who might want to pursue a career in marketing?
Fun fact is that I got my job at Lingoda by having an interview in German and after that I never spoke German in official meetings again! When I applied, I only had one year of marketing experience (only offline) and my German was not the best. Felix (who hired me) still makes fun of my marketing idea which was giving people free hugs while promoting Lingoda. That small silly detail from my interview is maybe what got me here! So remember, don’t create boundaries in your brain and trust your gut feeling (when you don’t have enough data)!