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Digital marketing career advice

You might have heard of a little thing called your ‘personal brand’. But what is it? How do you build one? Why is it important? We’ve taken a look at some of the leading experts in the area, and collated a list to help unlock the secrets behind what is fast becoming a necessity for job seekers fresh out of university, or looking for a career change.   What is personal branding? According to Open Colleges in Australia , “personal branding is the ongoing process of establishing a prescribed image or impression in the mind of others about an individual. It’s the association people have to your name. Every tweet you send, every status update you make, every picture you share and even every word you say in social company contributes to your personal brand. It is an amalgamation of multiple daily actions, as well as your connection to other people and organisations.”   So it’s not just your online presence, but how you compliment that in the offline sphere that matters. Still, a whole lot of the effect will be felt online, and platforms like personal websites and LinkedIn accounts go a long way to lending credibility to the messages you’re attempting to convey.   Where is my personal brand shown? The Balance says that “building a personal brand takes time and effort, but it’s worth it. The need for a personal brand will continue to increase. It’s the one thing that no one can take away from you, and it can follow you throughout your career. It’s a leadership requirement that lets people know who you are and what you stand for.” Because of this, it’s critical that you know where the information you’re putting out there is going to end up.   Because you’re trying to market yourself, you do want to brand shown in as many places as possible, but you want to ensure what is being shown is information you’re happy with. So naturally, your personal brand will be across social media - because, after all, that’s where you likely started it - but you should also be aiming to get featured in appropriate blogs and media publications. This could be anything from a local ‘who’s who’ to an international catalogue of professionals.   Your personal brand will be shown wherever you manage to get it shown - so make sure it says what you want it to say.   Why do I need a personal brand A personal brand with a message you want to put out there to the world is more important than ever because of how readily available information about everyone is. Image Group International quote a study that says “90% [of business people] said personal branding was important for career advancement.” That’s a staggering statistic. If almost everyone in the high end of the business world is saying you need a personal brand, there is no better reason to sit up and take notice.   What should my personal brand incorporate? The Digital Marketing Institute speaks about the importance of tying your values and passions into your personal brand: “Values and passions help you determine where you want to be in two, five or even twenty-five years, including your ideal career path.” This helps demonstrate that, above your skills and qualifications, you have set things you’re looking to achieve. Ambition and drive are critical assets that employers look for, and showing your values and passions within your professional personal brand helps demonstrate those.   How do I utilise social media for my personal brand? Writing for Forbes magazine , Sujan Patel says that “Since over 90% of customers trust information from people they know when making a purchase decision, building personal connections might be the most effective way to develop trust and authority with your audience.” This echos sentiment that social media is a massive part of all connections - professional as much as social. To get started building your personal brand, look outside of Facebook and consider how LinkedIn and Instagram can help you connect with likeminded people and, indeed, relevant brands.   Do I need a personal website for my brand? Absolutely. The Muse points out that, even if you’re entering a career that doesn’t appear to necessitate a personal website, there are still going to be a lot of benefits to doing so. “If you’re a media, digital, or creative professional—absolutely. Same goes if you want to otherwise establish yourself as an expert in anything and don’t already have your own professional blog . If you’re in a traditionally non-creative field with structured recruitment and hiring methods, such as accounting or law, a personal website might not help you as much professionally. But if you have a side hustle or hobby and you’re active in the online community, then a personal site can be helpful to grow that online influence, too.” Managing your message, and having somewhere to direct people, are reasons in and of themselves for having a personal website.
If you’ve recently graduated with a digital marketing degree , it can be difficult to know which career path is right for you. There’s all sorts of jargon, and a wide range of job titles.To help you out, we’ve been speaking to successful digital marketers to get a sense of what their job involves and what kind of personality it suits.   In this edition we’ve spoken to Catalina Balan, Digital Acquisition Manager at giffgaff gameplan .   Name: Catalina Balan University: Goldsmiths University of London Course: MA, Cultural and Creative Entrepreneurship Year of graduation: 2012 Job title: Digital Acquisition Manager   Can you explain a bit about your current role? My role is to make sure that we’re using the right mix of media channels to help giffgaff gameplan members understand our proposition and use our services. One of the main elements of my role is being creative about how we approach our potential members and how they interact with the gameplan brand online, and I often approach this by analysing various data points to understand user behaviour and marketing efficiency. I’m also often working with different business units to improve the member experience.   Talk us through a typical day in your current role I don’t have much of a ‘typical’ day, as I can be doing anything from gathering insights to briefing a copywriter on a new offer. My main focus at the moment is integrating giffgaff gameplan with the wider giffgaff member base and we are also working on creating a launch strategy that will ensure we attract new members.   How has your career developed to get you to where you are today? I've had varied roles, but I have always made sure I have learned everything I could along the way. I was always curious and driven to understand everything that could impact my day-to-day. Also, I always made sure I had friends in all business departments as it was really important for me to understand how everything came together. My only other secret has been to put myself in new work environments that forced me to learn and develop new skills.   What challenges have you had to overcome? A challenge that I personally learned to overcome early on has been to never take failure as a negative experience. Regardless of the outcome, I've always learned something and I’ve always kept on moving. I think it is important to acknowledge mistakes, but make sure you always see the bright side.   How was your experience at goldsmiths university of London? Goldsmiths has been a great opportunity for me to learn from creative people and be exposed to an array of methods that have taught me to think outside the box. I've always appreciated the fact that we were continuously encouraged to have a different viewpoint and that the teaching methods were quite innovative. The staff were always supportive and helpful, and I felt like our opinions mattered. From the interview stage to finalising the course, the dedicated lecturers made sure that we got the most out of our time at university.   Do you have any exam revision tips? I am not the best person to advise on this but make sure you plan in advance and try to fit revisions in around your schedule. And most importantly – enjoy your time   What are your career highlights to date? For me, the most important thing I have achieved is meeting and getting inspired by some amazing people. There have been business and personal successes along the way, but the people I've met and friends I've made have been so much more valued.   Where have you taken your advice and inspiration from? Two things have stuck with me – one is still a work in progress, the other I do as much of as possible. Make your meetings valuable by capturing the next steps and making sure everyone is clear on what the actions are. Not only should you strive to do amazing work, but also to tell people about it.   Do you have any advice for others? Work hard, learn as much as you can, stay true to yourself and, most importantly, make sure you are happy. Dreading going into work should be avoided at all costs.  
A common question for those coming out of university is, “ what can I actually do with this marketing degree ?”. And there may be few degrees that lead to this question more often than a Bachelor of Marketing. So, you’ve just completed your marketing degree and you’re wondering where to go from here. We’ve put together a list that might help.   What is marketing? But first off, what is marketing? We’re sure you’ve heard all sorts of descriptions of the industry whilst you’ve been at uni, but as all students find out: the real world is often vastly different. Marketing is much more (these days) than telling your company story to as many people as possible. Marketing, and particularly data-driven and digital marketing, is all about relationship building, engagement, and going on a journey with your leads - whether that’s 1 person face-to-face or a million website users.   How has marketing changed? Marketing has changed since marketing degrees were first concocted in that buyers are far more business savvy and aware of marketing techniques than we used to be. As a consumer yourself, you’ll know the feeling you get when you feel like you’re being ‘push sold’ a product: you switch off. And, in particularly bad cases, you’ll avoid that company from that point on. All of the above needs to be kept in mind as you wade in to the job searching scene. What sort of marketing do you want to focus on, and what sort of jobs can you get with the experience and qualifications you’ve accrued whilst studying?   What jobs can I look for in marketing? Here, we’ve put together a list of a few of the standard marketing jobs you might want to consider: Copywriter : If you’re especially good at writing, and you enjoy using words to carve stories that create customers, then copywriting & a career in content marketing might be for you. The good news is that if you can demonstrate a knack for writing, you may be able to avoid the dreaded ‘3-5 years experience’ tag in your application.   Social Media Manager : With how proficient (almost) every student is in social media management these days, this is a role that is more and more hotly contested in the application stage. It’s attractive not just because of its familiarity to us but because it gives a chance at real creativity with tangible results.   Website Designer : This is one of those roles that requires a combination of skills and, potentially, training/qualifications. Website design continues to blossom as a specialised industry in spite of ‘do it yourself’ website building programs. This is because there is such a technical and research aspect to the field that requires a combination of analytical and creative thinking to create a truly effective website design. If you like problem solving and you have coding and design capabilities, this might be the role for you.   SEO Specialist : As with Website Designer roles, being an SEO specialist isn’t just about having qualifications in broad marketing. This is a specialised role that you’ll need some training, qualifications or experience in to land more than an intern role. Search Engine Optimisation as an industry is showing absolutely no signs of slowing down - it’s just getting harder to be an expert at, as algorithms and factors involved become more and more convoluted and harder to strategise for. That said, if you have analytical skills, coding knowledge, and interest in playing the game, then this can be an extremely rewarding career.   Event Manager : But, it’s not all about the digital sphere if you were beginning to worry - there’s also roles on the ground that are equally important in the marketing industry. One such job is as an Event Manager, where you’ll be responsible for (amongst a myriad of other things) delivering events for your company that either engage and retain your existing clients, deliver new leads or, ideally, do both of the above. Events are a critical part of what we spoke about above, in terms of going on a journey with your client base, and being the manager of these gives you access to meeting numerous people, socialising in fantastic situations, and seeing tangible benefits of the work you do for your employer.   Know of other roles worth mentioning? Let us know in the comments section below!
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