Tim Egan is Regional Product Marketing Manager for Facebook Australia & New Zealand and has been working with digital content and marketing for over a decade. He built his career on understanding the dynamics of what's possible with digital media. Lise Taylor reports.
How did you first get into the work you do?
I actually started my career as a graduate accountant for a Big 4 accounting firm. I’d always been interested in technology, so I worked my way into the information audit area and worked there for a number of years. Eventually, I took a chance on an interview with Apple computer and landed a technical role there. From there I’ve stayed in digital media but worked across various roles and geographies.
Who and what shaped your early views on the work you do?
Definitely the people I worked with, both in good ways and bad. The best mentors I’ve worked with were the ones who gave me the space to disagree with them; that really helped me to find my voice and opinion as I figured out what was important to me.
Tell us about your current role.
I work as product marketing manager for brand solutions in Asia-Pacific at Facebook. My work is all about bringing Facebook’s marketing solutions to the local markets, and ensuring Facebook understands the unique challenges that organisations face here. My day-to-day job is all about listening; trying to understand the challenges that people face in growing and marketing their businesses and connecting them with tools that help them connect with their customers.
What have you learned about yourself since getting involved in this work?
I’ve always been fascinated by technology, but it’s only since I started actively working in this field that I’ve become more aware of how it impacts people’s daily lives. Although I love technology, I find coaching people (either as a people manager or consultatively with the clients I work with) to be the most rewarding. Empowering someone to be able to help themselves, to grow their skills or their business, is my reason for coming to work every day.
What is the most interesting/successful campaign and/or type of work you have been involved in?
I recently ran a workshop for a Rotary District to help them learn more about the Facebook platform and how to activate it to get the word out about the good work their clubs are doing in their local communities. I’m used to working with people who live and breathe technology (and often make me feel like they know more about our platform than I do!). It was a real challenge to teach a group of people who were eager to learn but had very little experience with Facebook or the Internet – let alone mobile marketing. In the end, we got their clubs set up with Facebook pages and had them start posting – it was a lot of fun.
What are your key goals for the future?
Outside of work, I’m currently studying to be a professional coach with the Coaching Academy out of London. I’d really like to complete my studies and get a personal practice up and running.
What is the funniest thing that’s ever happened to you during your career?
When I was working at Apple, on a visit to headquarters I was in the lunch queue right behind one of my childhood idols, Steve Jobs. I didn’t even see him until my colleagues pointed it out after I sat down. From then on they joked that my superpower must be that Steve is invisible to me.
Tell us something unexpected about yourself.
I occasionally referee Women’s Flat Track Roller Derby. It’s vaguely like a game of touch football at high speed on an oval track with everyone (including the referees) wearing skates. It can get pretty intense, but it’s a lot of fun. Check out sydneyrollerderby.com if you want to know more!
What are your five top career tips?
- Have a few different long-term career options; don’t fence yourself in to one single view of the future.
- Be realistic about what you’d like to work on when you’re thinking about career development – if you have a few different career visions in your mind, what skills are common across a few of them?
- You’ll never be able to 100% analyse all of the options when you’re making (what feels like) a big career decision. Do your best, but at some point you’ve got to take a leap of faith.
- Find a few people who you trust and respect – approach them to see if they’d be willing to act as a mentor. It’s great to have people you look up to in your trusted circle.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help!
Tim is presenting the How to Leverage Facebook for Donor Acquisition, Retention and Engagement session at F&P's Digi.Raise Conference on 21-22 June 2017. For further information or to book click here.