Finding Your Way In A Digital Marketing Career
Whether you’re fresh to the scene or you’ve had some experience in marketing, transitioning to a digital marketing career is a wise move. It’s an industry that is taking over the marketing world, with plenty of room for growth.
However, it’s also a competitive industry that requires continual skill improvement to find your place. More working people are taking the time they need every week to engage in job-specific learning, whether it’s using online education platforms or getting advice and exercise from industry experts. With that in mind, here are ten ways you can start growing your digital marketing career.
Find your digital marketing niche
Rather than competing head-to-head with others in order to find your clients or employer, you can stand well apart from the competition with a niche. Your career experience likely has given you a specialisation you’re not entirely aware of. Now it’s about identifying it, growing it, and making it marketable. Take the time to identify what your priorities in digital marketing are, what you’re passionate about, and what parts of it can help you further in your career goals. A tech minded-individual might prefer search engine optimisation while someone with a penchant for writing could do very well in content writing.
If you’re unsure where your niche lies, here are a few examples to check out:
The sooner you can identify and work on improving a niche, the better for your career it is. Check out our post "The Best Digital Marketing Jobs" for some top career choices.
Social media is an essential skill
With the idea of building online authority in mind, social media is now a must for anyone pursuing a digital marketing career, even if it’s not your niche. Not only is it a handy to be able to run social media accounts and be able to engage effectively, but it’s easily one of the most in-demand digital skills, too. Clients and employers will expect some level of social media knowledge.
Make yourself known
Finding a specialisation helps you find your defining talent that can help you stand out, but you need to be able to show off what you can do as well. The portfolio plays the greatest role in showing what you know. A body of work to show to employers and clients is particularly important in any kind of copywriting, graphic design, and web design niche.
Besides having evidence of your work, you need to make use of that marketing sense. Developing a mind for business and good communication skills is essential. You need to learn what business owners need, how they benefit from your services and the most effective way to communicate that you can help meet those needs.
Keep up with the consumers
The behaviour of the average consumer is nothing like it used to be. They’re no longer as susceptible to interruptive marketing tactics like advertisements, right now. Instead, there’s a greater focus on organic marketing and moment marketing. If you want to sustain a digital marketing career, then you have to be aware of these changes and pay attention to the trends that consumers adopt as the tech that allows them to interact with companies continues to evolve.
Work under your own initiative
You might want to build a portfolio solely through paid work from employers and clients, but it’s important to start your own projects to give yourself something to build off. Not only will this help build a portfolio, but it’s a practice method that ensures your work processes stay sharp. Continual learning and self-improvement in a must in a digital marketing career.
Develop leadership skills
Many in a digital marketing career are used to following the lead of others, contributing their talents to a greater part of the whole. If you want to keep growing that career, however, you have to be able to show leadership. In growing your career, not only might you lead teams and projects of your own, but you may take on freelancing work that requires plenty of self-reliability and working under your own direction.
Being able to develop project plans, to manage your own schedule, and to show some initiative is crucial. Communication skills, thought leadership, confidence, and delegation are skills that can make you an effective leader. Authority and leadership amongst your niche is important, too, so it’s a wise idea to start building a presence as an online influencer.
It’s all about networking
Wherever you’re working with a client, as part of a team, or even joining online classes and group training programs, it’s important to make connections with the peers that are surrounding you. There plenty of examples of different ways to build your digital marketing network. You can look for a mentor inside and outside of the workplace, use LinkedIn to build connections with those who can provide further insight on growing your career, use Twitter to not only find job postings but to contribute to discussions involving your specialisation.
You should also look for industry conferences, networking events, and meetups to attend whenever possible Networking helps you build not only the bridges you might use to find clients and employers in the future but helps to further build that experience and image you need to convey your authority, experience, and particular expertise in your niche. If you’re looking at freelance work, be aware that networking isn’t always about winning a client. It’s about establishing your base of operations and creating an awareness amongst your contacts that can more naturally lead to them becoming clients or sending referrals your way in future.
Use online training to keep sharpening your skills
It’s easier to access that effective, certification-providing training than ever before. Online learning can be taken anywhere with mobile devices and plans that allow you to tackle the course at your own pace. What’s more, online courses is often cheaper than visiting a brick and mortar classroom. With the growing importance of digital marketing and the constant arrival of new talent to the field, the pressure is on to stay competitive.
Whether you’re looking to make your mark as a freelancer or you want to build your career as part of a team, a consistent approach to learning new skills and keeping up is essential. There’s no shortage of spaces for truly skilled, dedicated people in digital marketing, but you have to be willing to keep working for it.
Certification and accreditation goes a long way
Finding the right training courses and classes to help develop your niche can be tricky. There are plenty of classes on digital marketing, social media, content writing, SEO, website design, and much more. But not all of these classes are necessarily equal. While many of them may provide a valuable education experience and plenty of insight and details you weren’t aware of, not all of them are going to provide the certification that can help you stand out as a true expert in the field.
Employers and clients won’t always give you the opportunity to show off what you know. Instead, they may be quick to look at any certification you have. Certifications and accredited courses help you not only build the skills you need to continue to adapt to the ever-evolving field of social media. It also makes you a safer bet in the eyes of potential employers and clients who don’t want to invest time and money in someone who isn’t proven.
A digital marketing career requires a lot of you. It requires you to understand both the needs of businesses and the behaviour of consumers in the modern market. It also demands plenty of self-marketing, initiative, and leadership. Most of all, it demands constant work on improving your work in your chosen niche.
As in-demand as the skills are and as rewarding it can be to get paid to exercise your creativity, it’s no wonder that so many are interested in starting their own digital marketing career.
Next up: Digital Marketing Interview Questions