Creating a career in digital marketing is not for the faint of heart. But if you are willing to put in the work, get the skills and make connections, working in a mainly online world definitely has its perks. Carving your niche in the digital field takes time and persistence. You might have to get creative about finding opportunities for new skills and for reaching out to possible employers. Still, where there is a will, there is a way, and in digital marketing, you can create your own way.
If you are drawn to digital because it is dynamic and exciting, that is awesome. But if you are seeking a job in online marketing because you want a lucrative salary, flexible work schedule and the possibility of working in your pajamas, there is nothing wrong with that, either.
We’ve gathered this collection of tips and advice from other professionals about how to make your mark in the digital universe. They know what they are talking about, so start working on these skills today.
1. Do Your Homework
Whether you are seeking a full-time position or just a three-month contract job, you have to do research about your potential employer before you submit an application or attend an interview. Even if you already have a small foothold in the industry, you need more than that to make a good first impression.
Only apply for jobs where the skillset matches yours. You will only aggravate hiring managers and yourself by continuing to apply for jobs when you don’t meet the minimum skill or years of experience requirements. Research the company to see if it is one you even want to work for. Perhaps the business manufactures products you don’t believe in or doesn’t have priorities you agree with. By knowing the ethos of the company, you are better equipped to speak to that aspect in your cover letter.
If you get an interview, you need to be prepared. Learn the names of the company’s key projects. Memorize the names of the main executives. Figure out want the job entails and then be ready with questions about your potential duties. Look to see if the employer is active in social media. If it is, subscribe to all of its feeds.
2. Don’t Quit Learning
You cannot underestimate the importance of self-education in the digital marketing field. Because software, technology and platforms change all the time, you have to be prepared to keep up with all of them. Many people with a career in digital complain that just when it seems they have mastered a program, a new one comes along that shakes the industry, and the learning process begins all over again. This is just a fact in the business, so get used to it.
One of the great things about working online is that there is a huge number of opportunities to learn there. When you take the time to seek out lessons, you establish yourself as someone who understands the importance of staying abreast of new trends and tricks. This trait is well respected among digital professionals.
Better yet, you can establish yourself as an innovator if you are aware of what is on the leading edge of the industry. It’s not necessary to have mastered all the new tech just yet. Simply by knowing what’s possible, you can set yourself apart from other digital marketers.
3. Create the Brand of You
Every wise digital marketing professional strives to make their mark. How do you do that? By creating an identity that sets you apart from every other worker in your office. Take opportunities to establish you personal “brand.” Maybe you are the woman who wears red and orange on Friday. Perhaps you are the dude who always orders birthday cakes for office celebrations. These may seem like small roles, but they stand out in the minds of your bosses and coworkers.
You want to establish visibility and respect in the digital industry, but you have to do it in a careful and consistent way. Honestly, it can take quite a bit of dedication to keep pushing your persona out there. But eventually, people will notice and your mark will be made. Then, when there is a position to fill and the boss is looking around for candidates, your face will be top of mind.
Don’t shy away from any change to put yourself out there. Attend networking events. Hand out – and gather – business cards. Follow up with coffee dates. The timid don’t do very well in digital marketing. Remember that in a way, you are a product. The only person who can sell you effectively is you. Do not miss out on your chance to shine and make a name for yourself.
4. Be a Problem Solver
If you are the type of person who needs a boss to give instruction before you can take action, digital marketing is not for you. This field requires workers who are self-starters with a knack for solving problems. You want to always stay one step ahead or at the very least anticipate potential hurdles so that you can plan for them in advance.
Employers value workers who have their own ideas, plans for achieving goals and a process for tracking progress. It shows them that you are thinking about the big picture in addition to the smaller pieces of the project. If you end up being a team leader, be careful about how you direct others. Focus on constructive feedback and proactive teamwork instead of micromanaging every element. You want everyone on your team to say you are a strong leader, and you want your bosses to notice it, too.
When your boss finally moves up in the corporate hierarchy, you will be poised to fill his or her role if you have established yourself as a self-directed creative who can get things done and solve problems. What better way to show the company you that are indispensable?
5. Find Ways to Apply Your Skills
The best way to stay current, in addition to constantly learning, is to try out new skills in real life. Even if you are just doing experiments with new techniques, you will absorb and master them more quickly if you try them instead of just reading about them. Don’t be afraid to get things wrong. After all, you are just trying things out in a low-stakes way. No client is going to get angry that your revolutionary analytics approach didn’t get the return you were going for.
In addition, don’t be afraid to talk to other professionals about what they think is new in digital marketing. They may have some insights you hadn’t thought of, and that will give you a new angle to try the next time you are working on building skills. Once you have a good handle on a concept, give it a trial run and ask a trusted friend to evaluate the results. Having outside input can only make you better as you try to get better in your field.
Don’t forget that having extra hands-on experience, even if it wasn’t paid work, may be the trait that sets you apart from your competitors. That will make you more memorable to potential clients or employers. Consider volunteering to help a non-profit organization that you believe in to boost their digital presence. Or, create your own blog and use it to run analytics experiments.
The demand for well-trained, energetic and creative digital professionals will only be going up in the coming years. If you establish your own personal brand, keep learning new skills and apply your talents in a tangible way, you will already be ahead of the game in the world of digital marketing. There are plenty of pluses involved in digital work, and if you want to take advantage of them, you need to be a problem-solving go-getter with your eye on the prize.
We are the Digital Marketing Training Group. With over 75 years of combined digital marketing experience, we have been providing a recipe for success to people who want to run their own businesses in a multi-billion dollar industry that is growing year after year.