We had the pleasure of meeting Tracey Drain who is an expert in her field of Digital Marketing and more! Tracey recently did her first public speaking event at PushON’s Magento Meetup! It really took me by surprise when she mentioned how nervous she was (which she was); getting to know her in person there’s such a natural charisma so it is hard to believe.
She’s a digital marketing whizz by day, but by night she’s an instructor of martial arts, something she has been practising for years. She admits though, it comes in especially handy when relieving stress, far from the ordinary cracking a wine bottle open and sitting in bed!
Where it all started …
Tracey began building websites when she was training and teaching alongside a martial arts instructor who needed a website. Back in the day, the natural solution for an amateur web builder would have been Dreamweaver, but since it was too expensive for her budget, she used software such as its predecessor Adobe GoLive to build a simple template on. The website did phenomenally well, bringing in up to a thousand applicants for the martial arts school.
Tracey saw how well a website can do and sure had the skills to make it a career – this was her gateway into the digital world.
Whilst working at Co-operative Travelcare, traditional marketing fell into place as part of the job. And the rest is history.
This followed a series of tech support jobs, management roles and development of some of the UK’s most successful business such as the UK website for Smart Shake. Tracey continues to push the boundaries when it comes to SEO and digital marketing which has got her to this great position.
What karate has taught Tracey
“In terms of karate, it has taught me a lot about integrity and morals,” she says. “When I first started training as a kid, all I wanted was a black belt. I thought that was the be-all-and-end-all of learning karate. I achieved my shodan (first dan) black belt in 2007. It was at that time that I realised that earning my black belt also earned me the understanding of how little I actually knew. That’s kind of like digital. You can never stop learning and you can never learn it all – because it is ever changing. It never stays the same. Look at the way in which we consume information and communicate nowadays. And if you work in search marketing and SEO, you only have to look at Google’s algorithm updates to see how the ‘rules’ change. What you know, or what you think you know – can become obsolete pretty quickly.
“Having also been a karate instructor for some time now, this has also made me approach my work life differently. I ask myself ‘What do you want to be remembered for?’ I’ve stopped chasing higher dan grades, trophies, medals and tournament titles in favour of much more fulfilling job of giving kids more confidence and giving adults a focus and fitness. This has crept into my work life where now, it is more important to feel I’m doing worthwhile work with purpose.
“I have sacrificed chasing a higher salary for integrity, culture and purpose. In the same way that I’d love to be remembered for bringing through the next generation of martial artists who will carry on a legacy, I’d love to be remembered for playing a part in developing the next generation of digital talent to fill the rapidly increasing tech jobs in Greater Manchester, thus helping to fill that skills gap.”
Finally, Happy International Women’s Day!
Since starting the Women in Tech meetups, we have had the great pleasure of meeting some incredible role models in the tech industry.
Not only do these meetings gather the ladies together, but it gives us an opportunity to meet role models, which some people may not have had whilst growing up. It’s also an opportunity which motivates us and helps us grow as future leaders in the industry. As the future princess-to-be, Meghan Markle said: “Women have a voice, they don’t need to find it. They need to feel empowered to use it and people need to be encouraged to listen”. Encouraging women sprouts from learning at home, which can be elevated when they go into education and are picking their subjects for GCSEs, etc.