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Digital marketing career advice

Marketing is a field that just keeps on keeping on. It ebbs and flows in terms of what employers expect of the team, and what the wider populace thinks is the main part of your job, but the consistent aspect is that marketing enables businesses to thrive. The way you connect your business with current customers and future leads is arguably as important or more so to the business as the product or service itself. So why should you work in marketing? We’ve got 9 good reasons for you below:   You don’t need a degree In a world where you’re pressed for time and money, it might be nice to know you can enter a career without spending years, and thousands of pounds, on university and a marketing degree . That’s not to say that there aren’t marketing degrees our there, or that they’re not worthwhile, but you don’t have to have one to get a job in the field. And that’s worth celebrating.   There are no limitations The sky is seriously the limit with the marketing industry. You can do it for anyone, from anywhere, and the chances of turning your experience into a self-employed consultancy is clear from the number of people that already do it! There is a niche for everyone, and if you find what it is that makes you particularly great at a special marketing skill, you can use that to full advantage. There are no limitations to what you can achieve with a job in marketing.   You’ll gain confidence in your own ideas Something that a lot of people - particularly young people joining the workforce - struggle with is backing themselves in when they have an idea. The good thing about working in marketing is that your very job necessitates the construction and development of ideas, and the delivery of them once approved. Sure, you’ll make some mistakes, but you learn more by dropping a hammer on your foot than by hitting the nail by chance.   You’ll learn tact In a world of online communications, something that is sorely missing in modern society is tact: that ability to measure your response and communicate with a wide variety of people in a way that achieves the best outcome for everyone. A measured response is something you’ll become very adept at in the marketing field. This is something that will help you in every aspect of your life - be it work, social or personal.   It’s social, exciting and fun   Speaking of social, one of the best aspects of working in Marketing is the potential for an extremely active social life within your work. Marketing is renowned for attracting extroverts that love meeting new people, so if getting along with your colleagues and meeting loads of new friends in the field is your sort of thing, Marketing is probably for you.   You can be creative In many roles in the workforce, something that bothers people is a lack of creative room. There jobs are so tightly ordered that they can never express themselves. You’ll never need to fear this in marketing, because the daily demands of this field necessitate outside-the-box thinking and decision making, and the further you go in your career, the more of these decisions you’ll be relied on to make.   You can take skills across any industry As we said, there are no limitations. These skills are similar whether you’re working for a high-flying finance firm or for Jeff’s Lawn Mowers on the high street. What’s great about that is that even if you’re feeling bored in one job, you can move into another in the same field, but that will be completely different.   Fantastic career prospects And that means: fantastic career prospects. You can’t really hit a bad period. Every business in every industry needs marketing of some form or the other, so regardless of where your career takes you, you can be sure that every step along the way is one that enables a future step to take place.   A good chance of great pay And we’d be silly not to mention pay, right? After all, job satisfaction is critical but so too is having enough money to pay the bills. Average marketing wages are above the national wage average for most of the country, with senior marketing executives capable of earning more money than you can count. If that’s not a great reason to enter the field, we don’t know what is!  
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.  
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