The Value of a Women in Digital – How to Sell it to Your Boss or Yourself

By: Angela Petrie

Becoming a founding member of Women in Digital means becoming part of a movement. A movement to influence our industry’s future, and better yourself and those around you.

It sounds amazing. But what are the tangible takeaways of becoming a member? How can you sell this membership to your boss or justify this personal expenditure to invest in your career?

 

The Events. The Network. The Knowledge.

If you’ve never been to a Women in Digital event before, let me lay it out for you. There’s an immediate feeling of solidarity when you enter the room. It’s not like any networking event you’ve ever been to. There’s no awkwardness. Everyone is accepting.

This acceptance comes on two levels.

  1. Everyone is in digital – the ever-changing and wild world of digital.
  2. We are all women. Though we are diverse in many ways, we walk through our personal and professional lives facing similar situations, challenges, and struggles.

Looking around the room, you’ll notice experience levels spanning from young professionals to experienced veterans. The room is full of knowledge and willingness to listen, ask questions, and give or find answers.

This network is expanding online as well. With the confidential Women in Digital forums, you ‘ll have the entire Women in Digital network at your fingertips whenever you need them. Have a quick question before you run a Facebook campaign? Need to compare notes with someone who uses the same WordPress theme? Vetting vendor platforms? Feel like you’re hitting your head against a brick wall to figure something out? Your Women in Digital network has your back.

 

Ask And Give.

This is where the network becomes even more like nothing you’ve ever experienced.

We are the experts in our respective areas. Sometimes we’re the only expert in our company and sometimes we’re part of a group of experts. Regardless of which category we fall into, a lot of times, we end up having to fake it until we make it. Even if “faking it” means holding in questions you’re dying to ask.

Does that sound like you? Have you ever felt worried about looking stupid if you ask a question about the area you’re an “expert” in?

In Women in Digital, you’re not only encouraged to ask questions, you’re EXPECTED to. Every member is expected to ask for at least 12 favors and give at least 12 favors in return to other members.

This is where you can build your skillsets, ask for one-on-one trainings for things you don’t understand or want to explore. This is where you can get introductions to change agents in digital marketing and media. This is where we can brainstorm and influence the future of our industry.

As a member, you have access to a nationwide group women who rock their roles in digital and want to help you perform even better at your job duties; and you have the opportunity to share the special experience and knowledge only you can share to help others perform even better at their job duties.

That’s a lot of giving and receiving.

Not only is the Ask/Give process great for improving and learning new digital stills, it’s also a great training ground for negotiating your next raise or promotion. The simple practice of learning how to ask for what you want is one way to get over any fear or hesitation when negotiation time comes around.

 

The Pitch.

If you’re ready to take the next step and become a member, but you’re still looking for a little funding to get started from your *cough* boss *cough*, let’s talk about how to pitch it.

Show that you’ve done your research. Include the price, benefits, why you want to join, and how it’ll have a positive impact on your performance.

Here’s a draft:

 

Women in Digital Membership

Cost: $250/annually ($50 off monthly price) | $25/monthly

Benefits:

  • Online forums – Get quick feedback on questions/ideas about all things digital.
  • Ask/Give Model – Each member is expected to make 12 asks and 12 gives over the course of a year. This allows us each to gain new experiences, get help when we have questions, and get relevant advice on important decisions. It also trains us for the important career negotiations we all face.
  • Find a mentor/mentee.
  • Ongoing education:
    • Learn from amazing speakers and other attendees with access to quarterly events and your local annual day conference.
    • Receive discounted admission to National Conference.
  • Access to a national network of women at all levels and specialties within the digital industry.
  • Shape the future of the digital industry by being part of the conversation, sharing experiences, and teaching each other.
  • Slings & Arrows Podcasts – keep up to date on digital trends and news.

Why I want to join:

Here’s where you’ll need to do just a little work – because we all have different reasons for joining. Write a few sentences about the benefits that are most appealing to you. Tell them why you think it’s important for your professional development and how it will improve/have a positive impact your work performance. Will you improve your training/skills and be able to finish things faster? Will you make more informed decisions with access to input in the forums? Will you learn about new technologies to make everyone’s lives better? If so, write it down. We prove ROI on the daily at work, this should be a piece of cake.

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