Join me as I have a conversation with Sally Kallet, Associate Strategy Director at Camp + King in San Francisco. As she shares her 3 pieces of advice for a strategist, her strategy journey, and what she found most helpful in joining The Planning Dirty Academy.
Hi, we’re back here with Sally Kallet, who is the associate strategy director at camp and King Sally. My first question to you is what are your three pieces of advice for strategists? Sure. Yes. Um, I’m very excited to be here. I think I thought of three and I’m going to go from tactical to lofty, starting with the most tactical, which is.
No for anyone aspiring to be a brand strategist practice, deconstructing strategy from the ads that you admire, like really get in there and dissect it. Right. What was it? Insight? What was the creative strategy? Is there a tension? Um, this is something that I definitely wish that I had. Done at the beginning of my career, I think it would have been really, really helpful, but it’s still helpful for me now.
And I’ve developed a little creative strategy exercise that I pretty much just write into a Google doc. I keep a running list of a Google doc and the date. That I have deconstructed the ad so I can kind of see my progression, um, year over year, month over month. And I just think it makes her writing better.
It makes your insights sharper and it just generally helps, you know, get your eyes on different parts of the advertising landscape and work with ads that aren’t maybe in the industries of your clients that you’re currently working with. So that’s one. My second one is to be proactive and vocal about educational opportunities.
Um, and, and I don’t just mean like classes or workshops or memberships like planning dirty, but also like picking the. Brains of people that you admire that are around you. Like, for example, um, my boss recently just did like a really bad-ass job in a presentation. And this morning I just asked her about like her process to get where she did.
Because I wanted to know exactly the steps that she took to get where she got. And she gave me some really great and also like super, super tangible advice that I don’t think I would have gotten if I hadn’t of asked. Um, so, you know, it’s all educational. Yeah. Opportunities are obviously a really great way to help develop your skillset.
Um, I think it also signals to your company that you’re eager to grow and to learn. And that is something that I’ve found to be a very valuable trait. And then third, um, I’m going to steal this piece of advice from Caitlin Modd. Who’s a strategist that I worked with. Um, and I recently was listening to her interview on the strategy sheroes podcast, which is to prioritize your mental health.
Um, and I actually pulled up a quote that I keep in a folder on my desktop and refer to, which is you are your number one asset in life and business. And in business, if I’m not healthy and I’m not happy, my business isn’t going to do well, identifying what you can do to build yourself worth a little bit.
Every day is the best investment you can make to get closer to what you want to do next. So that was something Caitlin said on the podcast. And. I feel like, especially in 2020, as a female in the industry, and also in a role that’s like often really rock with imposter syndrome. It’s just something super important to keep in mind and something that’s like very essential at any stage in your career to produce the best work and also be the happiest and producing said work.
Yeah. It’s like, they’d go. So they’re hand in hand the two that you’ve got to, even if you look back at your past, you’re like, yeah, that was when I was crushing. It was when I was like happy and things were going well on both sides. And I love thinking about yourself as a, as an app, your best asset, because we don’t, we, you know, burn ourselves in, you know, like do long hours and then stumbling into the weekend.
Yeah. And, and it’s like, we think all day about how consumers are viewing things in their mindsets. And often we don’t spend enough time reflecting on our own. Um, so, so I like that. Angle to it as well. I love the, the diary too, of like, because that’s something that I think, you know, I often hear the advice of like, Hey, Richard fit creative.
Like I tell people that as well, but I haven’t that extra step of. Actually look back at the diary and the diet’s super smart. Like that’s a really good way and you can see the progress. I love that. I, yeah, something else steal now. Okay, great. I love to hear, um, about how, how you got to where you are today.
What was your strategy, Jim? Sure. So my strategy journey is that. I accidentally fell into the agency world after getting, let go from a kind of failing startup and I didn’t know anything about it. And I started as a community manager and also kind of moved into a social media management role and. That was at the time when social listening was like very new and hot and I was like all over it, like, this is going to be my thing.
I’m the value add, like in this way. And what I realized was that what I found more interesting. With social listening, then how brands showed up on social channels was what people were talking about on social and then how that could be used to inform everything that the brand did on social and beyond.
So that was a little bit of my aha moment that I wanted to move from social into brand strategy. Um, and so I started taking baby steps. To move into that role. I was working at an agency that didn’t have a strategy department. So I moved to an agency that did have a strategy department in a social role.
Um, and then from there I moved on to camp and King where I basically started, um, Transitioning the amount of work that I did that was social versus brand until I did transition into a full brand strategist that had a ton of social expertise. Um, and my, I think it probably is. Unique or different, at least that I’ve only worked at small agencies.
I’ve never been at one of the big places. So while I feel like I haven’t actually had a lot of that quote unquote classic training that they say that you get at the big agencies, I’ve been able to better pick and choose the experiences that I wanted to help me develop. And I’ve been able to. Kind of Morphin mold myself.
Um, so I do feel fortunate to have worked at small agencies to be able to have that experience. That’s great. I think it’s all valuable. There’s no, I feel like there’s this feeling and I had the perception too, that in these big agencies, there’s going to be this amazing training and, uh, and it’s going to be totally different.
I don’t think, but I think it’s yeah. Yeah. It’s true too. Um, you, you have been a member of the planning dirty Academy for a while. I’d love to hear what you found most valuable from the Academy. Yes. I have two things. I have one that I found most valuable from the planning dirty Academy and one from the mega class, which I also went to.
Um, so for the Academy, for me, you know, coming in. To planning dirty, not as a junior strategist, but I was a senior strategist meant that I had been doing a lot of this stuff for a long time, but I felt that it was super, super valuable to really think about the basics and a new way. Right. So things like a brief and an insight and a strategy, but.
Synthesize in a new way was very interesting and refreshing, and it kind of forces you to actually slow down and analyze how you’re getting to where you’re getting to. Because I had this moment where I was like, Oh my gosh, I do this every day, day in and day out, but I never stopped to think about the process.
And now it’s being put in front of me in this extremely simple way that, you know, allows me to. Have a different perspective on it. The next time I’m going to think about an insight or a brief or a strategy, et cetera. And then I think from the strategy mega class, uh, I don’t want to undermine the content at all because it was all amazing.
But for me, I loved the office hours. And that was a time. I hope that you’re continuing to have the office hours, but, um, that was a time to ask any and all questions from things that were super tactical to philosophical, to career advice, to just like commiserating with a bunch of people that can geek out and complain about the same things that you do and, and sort of having like AMA ask me anything time with you and with Mark is invaluable.
I mean, you don’t. Like, I dunno how much it would cost to like consult with you for an hour otherwise. But, um, I felt like that was a really, really awesome experience for me. That’s great. Thank you so much, Sally, for coming on and telling your story and the great piece of ASAM. I’m getting a book out right now.
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