A lot of the discourse around succeeding in your career - particularly in digital marketing - is based on what we call Hard Skills. That is, you need to have qualifications and certificates. You need to be able to code, you need to be able to read analytics and data, and you need to know the latest software every company is using.
But what about Soft Skills for Digital Marketers? Those intangibles that companies look for in future employees?
Here are 9 Soft Skills that you should focus on improving to kick start your Digital Marketing career.
Employers value team members who are curious. It not only means that you’re willing to learn as you go, but it shows a certain proclivity to thinking outside the box. If you’re not curious, you’ll never change the game. You’ll stick to what you know. So if something perks your interest, show it. Ask questions. Highlight your curiosity. It may have killed the cat, but it could save your digital marketing career!
Equal to curiosity is the need for an ability to adapt, and they almost come hand in hand. When your curiosity spikes your interest in something new, that potentially leads to the need to change the status quo. So anyone with high curiosity invariably needs to be able to go with the flow and adapt to new methodologies.
To be able to implement these new ideas and methods, you may require creative thinking. And besides all that, any form of marketing will necessitate a certain creative flair. It doesn’t matter how analytical the job you’re applying for is, or whether it is 99% based on coding. Your future employer wants you to be creative with how you fulfill the job’s requirements.
Now, a lot of the application of the above 3 Soft Skills comes through a level of intuition: when do you be creative? When do you shed your previous learnings and adapt to a new climate? Intuition will hold you in good stead both in the roles you fulfil, and the people you interact with. Trust your gut, and prove to people that you do.
And often, that intuition will tie in with your social skills. Now, not everyone has the same level of mastery in interacting with other people. However, that doesn’t need to affect your ability to demonstrate to an interviewer that you have decent social skills. Even if it doesn’t come naturally to you, start the interview with a friendly hello, and asking them how their day has been, and you may be forgiven for any future faux pas.
And this leads nicely into number 6: persuasion. You may not be the highest level operator in each of the above or below skill sets, but if you can persuade people to trust you regardless, or believe that you’re better at them than you are, you’ll go a long way. But persuasion isn’t just about other soft skills - you also need to be persuasive in how you sell ideas. In an interview, and employer will be looking for the ability to sell your story.
But whilst a lot of the above points focus on social interactions, other Soft Skills exist outside that realm, such as analytical thinking. As digital marketing veers more and more away from interpersonal relations to data gathering and assessment, analytical thinkers are more and more in demand. How can you prove to an interviewer that you’re an analytical mind just waiting to be released onto their client lists? That should be the question at the top of your list before entering the room. Creativity and social skills are important, but analytical assessment of data is absolutely critical in the 21st Century.
Which leads us to being comfortable with a wide range of tech and software. Yes, qualifications and other Hard Skills are important, but you shouldn’t just ‘be aware’ of this stuff - you should be comfortable with it. That program that compiles data for you to put your analytical thinking to use on - do you know the ins and outs? Have you used it on your personal projects? Can you prove this in an interview or on the job?
But finally, we’ll leave you with one that can be applied to any field. Multitasking. No employer wants someone who gets stressed focussing on one task - so train yourself in setting appropriate priority lists, and prove you can do it!