How to Start Your Career In Digital Marketing
15 practical yet simple, tried and tested ways to prepare for your career in Digital Marketing
These are not empty promises, surely no jargon and meaningless technical words to complicate your search any further! This is for everyone (students, entrepreneurs, working professionals, etc) and anyone who wants to explore career opportunities in Digital Marketing.
How many times have you searched for “How Can I Kick Start a Career in Digital Marketing?” and ended up with information like — follow some leader, attend a master class, see some online videos, etc.
Sounds easy and familiar? Well, we wish!
One thing most blogs fail to emphasize is the drill — the effort that it takes to achieve something successfully
The truth of the matter is that just like starting any new habit, a new skill, or a sport, starting a career in Digital Marketing takes time, patience, and a lot of hard work.
- Firstly, we’re not discussing how to earn a ton of money through Digital Marketing.
- And secondly, we’re not discussing where do you see yourself in the next few number years in terms of your career in Digital Marketing.
We’re talking about practical yet simple, tried and tested ways to prepare for your career in Digital Marketing.
These are realistic, practical, and logical approaches to prepare you for a successful career in Digital Marketing.
1. Find your why
The first thing to list down is why do you want to take up digital marketing as a career. What are your long-term objectives and short-term goals? This will help you be clear with your purpose and know your why. Finding a purpose helps you take the next step in pursuing your career
- To develop and enhance my interests in digital marketing
- To change my career
- To stay ahead of the competition
- To earn income through digital marketing
- To start my own online business
- To help my family business with the digital presence
Pro Tip: While your goals/objectives could be anything, it is important to be clear and concise with your objectives so that the desired result is achieved. Follow the SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and, timely) method to set your objectives.
2. Allocate your Time and Effort
As mentioned, learning new skills requires time and a lot of practice. If pursuing a career in digital marketing is your objective, your time and energy investment should reflect your priorities. List down the amount of time you will allocate on a regular basis in order to excel in the field of digital marketing.
- Forty-five minutes every day
- 10 hours every week
Allocating a minimum of an hour every day can help. Of course, the more you allocate your time and effort, the sooner you are going to excel and achieve your objectives.
3. Know your Learning Style
It is important to know what your learning preferences are. Each one of us is a unique learner. We all learn differently and have our own preferred learning styles.
There are many benefits to discovering how you process information best. Knowing your learning preferences can improve the way you learn. You will learn faster and the process will be more effective if you adapt your learning methods to suit your personal learning style.
- List down your preferred method of learning- Text, Visual, Videos, Practicals, Interaction, Group Discussion, Tutorials.
- All this could be in the form of online or offline learning or a mix of both.
- Online and classroom learning has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Follow the trends and best practices. Interactions and discussions with a guide and mentor can help a lot. Implementing as we learn enhances the process.
4. Subjects of Digital Marketing
Digital Marketing is one of the most fascinating and versatile fields. The scope of the industry is huge and hence various professionals are learning the course to make a career in Digital Marketing.
Digital Marketing has a few key subject areas like — SEO, SMM, PPC, Content Marketing, Content writing, etc
- Website Development using CMS
- Search Engine Optimization & Search Engine Marketing
- Social Media Marketing
- Content Marketing
- Inbound & Email Marketing
- Affiliate Marketing
- Web Analytics
Cover the depth and breadth of digital marketing by learning the different topics, practicing, and implementing the learnings.
5. Research The Resources
Based on the previous steps, research on what is the best online/offline training institute to help you achieve your objective in the required time with the preferred learning style.
Doing in-depth research on the available resources will help you identify the best-suited subject/course/institute to pursue your interests.
- For online learning
- Google, Facebook have their own YouTube channels for learning
- For classroom learning — Research institutes like — Web Marketing Academy, Digital Vidya, Digital Academy 360
Ask and read answers on Quora for training institutes, check the reviews, check for any references for training institutes, connect with the alumni, see where the alumni are working.
6. Manage Your Training Budget
Manage your budget — what to spend, where to spend, and how to spend it. Remember there is no quick fix to learning if you are aiming for long term success. A good training module is not cheap and will require time and effort.
- Identify the courses/location you are looking for
- Research the fee structure of Online & Offline Training
- Find out about free eLearning modules
- Ask for trial/demo class before enrolling with any institute
- Check if they offer live projects & hands-on learning
Check the reviews/ratings/references of the courses, subjects, and institutes, connect with the few alumni to get honest feedback from.
7. Online Resources
Digital Marketing is a dynamic and ever-evolving industry. The online resources give you regular updates on the current trends and practices. Follow some of the well-researched digital marketing online resources/blogs.
- MOZ Blog
- Search Engine Journal / Search Engine Land
- Social Media Examiner / Social Media Today
- HubSpot academy / SEMrush, Google Ads Blog
- Wordstream, Google Analytics Academy
You can stay well-informed and equipped by subscribing to popular industry blogs. Follow best practices and trends by reading thought leadership.
8. Offline Resources
There are many offline resources available to keep you engaged and up-to-date with the industry practices and success models.
- Industry events and conferences
- Digital marketing workshops & boot camp
- Books on digital marketing
- Interviewing and meeting digital marketing experts
- Understanding success models by speaking to various industry professionals
Learn from the Experts: Follow Industry Events and network with the industry professionals on a regular -basis.
9. Practice, Repeat, and Excel
Achieving a goal is never simple or easy. It involves dedicated, deliberate and consistent work. Practice allows you to keep taking action and learn in the process — from your mistakes and successes. The more time and effort you invest, the more you will learn about the rules of the game and will have better chances of achieving the desired result in your digital marketing career.
- If you are learning about content writing, practice by blogging on a subject of your interests — (Medium, WordPress, LinkedIn Post are free to start blogging)
- Create content that is useful for the readers packed with stats, images, etc.
- Content can be explored in different forms — text, image, infographics, video, or audio — podcasts.
Cover the depth and breadth of digital marketing by learning, practicing, and implementing the learnings and learning from your results.
10. Platforms to Practise
While theoretical knowledge is important but it is not sufficient. There are many free platforms where you can practice Digital marketing learnings and implement the strategies.
- Create your own website on WordPress, Bloggers
- Be smart with Social Media Platforms — Facebook, Instagram, Twitter
- Create your own page on all social media and get active
- Create your own YouTube channel
- Work on LinkedIn profile/company page
- Get active on Quora
- Work on content creation platforms — For eg: Canva (Images/Infographics), AnchorFM (Podcast), Quik (Video)
- Explore Internships & Live Projects
Think of a business idea and create a website and implement all the learning/strategies to understand the intended outcomes.
11. Learn from Mistakes
We are all guilty of making mistakes. It’s important to learn from these errors and prevent them from happening again. Digital Marketing is all about — being there at the right time in the right place for the right people.
- Planning ad campaigns, Targeting the right audience lists
- Tracking the right metrics
- Choosing the right platforms for best engagement activities.
Highlight the mistakes and learnings from your live digital marketing projects and assignments. Understand the mistakes and implement the learnings.
12. Career Scope in Digital Marketing
The opportunities and career scope for a Digital Marketing professional are huge in India right now. It is in high demand and is one of the most sought career options. Digital Marketing is an industry that allows people as employees to explore various options and techniques.
- SEO Expert / SEO Analyst / Growth Specialist / SEO Specialist
- Social Media Marketing Executive, Social Media Marketing Manager
- Content Writing / Content Marketing / Search Engine Marketing Expert, Campaign Manager / PPC Expert / Paid Media Account Manager, etc.
Identify your field of interests and enhance your career prospects in that field. In case you are not clear, start with one of the fields and explore the possibilities.
13. Get Interview Ready
Having learned the skill of digital marketing, it is all about making the first move and applying for the right job opportunity. Get acquainted with all the jargon and technical terms used in digital marketing.
- Digital Marketing vs Traditional Marketing concepts
- Various digital marketing tools and platforms
- Different types of digital content for an effective campaign,
- Content marketing vs Content strategy
- Important KPIs for digital marketing across platforms
- Learnings from live /practical projects
- Your favorite blog/industry/expert/company/brands, that you follow for market trends and updates, why?
Update your LinkedIn Profile. Be confident and exhibit all your learnings with confidence.
14. Exhibit Your Portfolio of Work
Build a strong Digital Marketing Portfolio while learning the skills. In Digital Marketing, it is all about proving yourself professionally, hence it’s important to show and tell.
- Work on Mock Projects
- Optimize your own site for search and present your SEO results, build experience while learning.
- Work on Live projects and assignments of friends and acquaintances
- Highlight learnings and results achieved through your projects
- Collect Client Testimonials for every little project you worked on
Make sure you build a strong collection of work from the beginning and showcase the type of work that you want to be hired to work on.
15. Learn to Survive Rejections
While being rejected after a job interview can be quite disheartening and demotivating, however often there are things we can do to work on our chances for the next time. We can use the rejections as learning to build on our strengths and to address our weaknesses and ultimately find a job that suits us best.
- Do your homework and go prepared
- View it as a learning experience
- Address the issues
- Gain feedback to help you build on your strengths
- Be selective where you apply
Always try and answer the question — what value addition can you bring to this company? and make a list of all your strengths & assets across your personal, academic, and professional.
Always go that extra mile!
“The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra.” ~ Jimmy Johnson.
Digital marketing is an interesting ever-changing field and all it requires is your keen interest to learn and grow. There are constant updates on a regular basis. Stay tuned to the latest updates, best practices, current industry trends, the different tools used in digital marketing, and the metrics ruling the digital medium.
Special Thanks to Priya Iyer for the edits and update
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Originally published on Web Marketing Academy blog