Confidence in Negotiation: Tiffany DiSilva

Considering she built her first website at the ripe old age of nine, it’s no surprise that Tiffany daSilva grew up to be a tech whiz. Since hitting the double digits, Tiffany has continued her foray into the tech space through a myriad of opportunities that have helped her develop the chops to launch her own marketing publishing company, Flowjo.  When she is not working her magic on the interwebs, she can be found unleashing her inner book nerd (read rate: 60 books per year), travelling and spending time with family. 

We’re so excited to have you on our panel. How did you hear about Young Women in Business & Achievers Women’s Network? What inspired you to participate in our Negotiation panel discussion?

As an alumni of Achievers, I’ve always kept up to date on the amazing things Achievers has done for the tech community. It was amazing to see that they’ve included their reach to include a specific Women’s Network. The women I’ve met that have come through Achievers have been some of the smartest, humble, successful women I know so it’s no surprise really.

Tell me about your story. How did you get to be where you are today? 

I was always interested in the tech space, but it took someone realizing my potential to get into it as a career. I was at a company working as a receptionist when they realized I understood how search engines worked. One of the designers told me I needed to go somewhere where I could use those skills, so he got me a job at a company called Geosign. They housed over 300 publishing websites internally, and there were groups of people who did SEO, PPC (Google ads), and content writing. It was my paradise. I worked there for about 3.5 years spending time in SEO, PPC, Celebrity Gossip writing, Facebook Advertising & More.

After that I knew I needed to try something new and I wanted to leave the publishing environment to move to a startup. That’s when I started at Achievers. There I worked for a couple of years, first as their SEO/SEM specialist to eventually leaving as their Senior Online Marketing Manager. I spent the next couple of years just honing my skills in each of the various areas because I knew I was good at it, but I was still fighting impostor syndrome. I really wanted to work on my own, but still didn’t think I was “good enough” to hold my own. So, I went to Shopify to work as their Head of Conversion Rate Optimization and then moved to an agency to work as their Strategy Director. I also spent some time speaking at various events about Growth Hacking, Conversion Rate Optimization and Digital Marketing at events like 500 Startups Weapons of Mass Distribution, PPC Hero London & Unbounce’s Call to Action Conference.

After this, I knew it was time to go on my own. So, one day I took the plunge and started to consult full time. In the last year, I’ve been lucky enough to work with over 20 startups creating digital marketing strategies, teaching SEO/SEM at McMaster University’s CCE Program and starting my own marketing publishing business

When you look back on your career to date, what is one important challenge, event, or achievement that stands out as a milestone?

While at Achievers I was given an award by Government of Canada called Techwomen Canada. I would have never even applied to it had it not been for a developer Chris who approached me to sign up for it. Before that no one had ever really noticed that I was good at what I do, let alone someone who would represent Canada doing it. It was a huge step for me to sign up, and when I won one of the seats in that cohort, it was especially hard for me to get over the imposter syndrome that I felt. I had to swallow that, and make the best out of such a unique and exciting situation. The best part was that I met a group of women who were battling the same fears as me, but were open to sharing those with the group.

When you think about your journey, what would you say was the one trait that helped you get you to where you are today. Was this a learned trait, or did you have it from day one?

There are three major lessons/ traits that I’ve taken with me from day one. They’ve helped me stay focused on my career & life goals, push me through challenges and hard times and be grateful for the things I’ve accomplished and people I’ve shared amazing memories with along the way:

-       Always Ask Questions. As much as it pains me, as much as I know I will probably look stupid, as much as I think “they will figure out I know nothing” I always push myself to ask questions. Asking questions like why I didn’t get that raise when someone else did, or asking a basic question in my area of “expertise” are tough to stomach sometimes, but they are what sets me apart. It never gets comfortable, but it does make me a force to be reckoned with and I’ve learned to own it.

-       Be Curious. This speaks to the first lesson, but it’s not just about asking questions for the sake of it, it’s about opening yourself up to learning why people behave the way they do, or make the decisions they do. It’s learning about other cultures, and jobs within your space, and about reaching out to people who inspire you and learning more about the things they do that make them so great.

-       Fail Fast & Move on. There’s been so many times during my journey where I didn’t get the raise/promotion I wanted, made a mistake that cost the company a lot of money or even took on a role that wasn’t a culture/career fit. In all those cases I had to take a deep breath, feel the embarrassment/sadness/grossness for a bit, and then move on. If you are constantly looking at the future and at what you want, you have to believe that the failures along the way will just help you be strong enough to tackle that major goal when you’re ready.

Written by: Sarah Clayton