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how to start at the digital marketing field


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Aman’s Answer

1. Create an Online Presence

These days, when it comes to landing a job in almost any field, you might as well not exist without an online presence. For obvious reasons, this is especially true of digital marketing: a prospective employer is going to look online first to learn about applicants, and if they can’t find you, they are going to move on to the next person who has a curated image.

Create your own digital marketing blog, social media accounts that are linked to websites you have built, portfolios, etc. Show them what you are really capable of.
2. Know the Latest Trends

Digital marketing is a career that is always on the move and always changing. If you are choosing it as a career, you need to keep up with the latest trends. The needs of this industry vary over time, and if you fall behind, someone else will be waiting to take your place.

Attend virtual seminars, take online classes, and do your best to stay ahead of the game rather than simply keeping up with it.
3. Use Your Creativity

Digital marketing really allows you to use creative gifts in a variety of ways. Yes, there are methods and systems that are standardized for certain applications, but you can always add your personal flair to projects, making them creative and unique.

Digital marketing is built on creativity, so if you have an idea that you think will work, give it a try. The more creative you are, the more likely it is that you will be noticed and land that dream job.
4. Create a Winning Resume

Before you start applying for jobs, make sure to create a dynamic resume that shows just how valuable your skills are. There are many different types of resumes, and you shouldn’t limit yourself to just one, especially when you are working in a creative industry such as digital marketing.

Go online and check out various resume examples for digital marketing professionals, and tailor yours around them.
5. Get Out there and Network

It is important to get your name out there, and the best way to do that is by networking. Not only is this going to make people remember you, it is also going to give you great connections that can help you in many areas throughout your career. One person may know where you can get specific training. Another may have a lead on a great job. You will also be able to learn from their experience, and gain a list of experts you can use to put together a great team.
6. Learn about Analytics

In order to know how successful your marketing campaigns are, you need to understand analytics. This is the data that shows how well or how poorly a campaign is doing, and helps you to figure out how to make things better the next time around. You don’t have to go to college for a degree, but there are many online classes you can take on your own time that will help you to learn about and understand how analytics work, and how to use them.
7. Get Some Experience

The only way you will get your career going is by gaining experience. You may have to do some unpaid jobs, but this is a worthwhile time investment with long term benefits. Using any skills you acquire, help friends or community organizations with projects, and take on all kinds of side jobs that will give you plenty of experience that you can draw on when you to start applying for long-term digital marketing jobs.
8. Say “Yes” to Anything

We touched on doing free jobs in the last tip, and we can’t stress enough how important it is to do anything that will give you the experience you need to land your first digital marketing job. Take on free jobs, or jobs that other digital marketers don’t want to do. Demonstrate that you can take on and make the best of any project, and be successful in your endeavors.

Not only will you gain experience, but you are also showing that you are willing to work hard.
9. Get Trusted Certification

Anyone can get into digital marketing without a university degree, but the candidates who are getting the best positions are those who have a certification in digital marketing. There are classes you can take that will help you to prepare for the certification exams, and if you are really serious about digital marketing as a career, you should get certified as soon as possible.

This is going to make you stand out in a crowd of digital marketers who may be experienced, but definitely not certified.
10. Be Prepared for Entry-Level Jobs

No one is going to start at the top in any career, no matter how much training, skills, and experience they may have. You may not get the job you want right away, but you will get there if you work for it. You will likely start out as an assistant, or a junior digital marketer, until you are able to prove that you are able to take on more responsibilities and that you are willing to work hard in order to succeed in your chosen career path.

Lastly Be positive and learn from your mistakes.

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Ashley’s Answer

Marketing is a unique field within business because it requires both analytical skills and a creative mindset. It is difficult to think in both ways at first, so it is great to start preparing early.

There are many ways you can begin learning about the field for free, even if you don't have access to marketing courses. I would recommend reading books about marketing strategy, customer loyalty, and advertising. Feel free to reach out to me directly for recommendations, or find some well-reviewed books on Google. There are also a ton of marketing podcasts that could help you stay up to date on the latest trends in the industry. My favorites are Marketing Today and Yeah That's Probably an Ad.

If you read or listen to something you like, sharing it on social media is a great way to build your presence. If you don't have access to networking events, or don't know how to get started networking, sharing things on LinkedIn or Twitter is the perfect way to begin building connections. People will engage with you organically if you are sharing interesting content, and they may be relationships you can tap into for mentorship/advice or even a job later on.

Since marketing is a unique field, your resume can show more of your personality than it can in other fields. There are many interesting formats online (websites, infographics) that you could consider, but even adding a splash of color to your resume could help you stand out. You can talk a little bit about yourself, including your work ethic and skills that would be applicable to marketing. Adding you social media profiles (only professional ones!) on which you've shared the content mentioned above is a good way to show off your business knowledge until you have more job experience to put on your resume. If you are able to, taking on an unpaid internship is a great way to build your resume early. There are a lot of brand ambassador positions that don't require too much of your time, but help you get some "advertising" or "sales" experience that will set you apart from your peers.

Good luck!

Ashley recommends the following next steps:

Build a LinkedIn profile
Build a Twitter profile for business
Subscribe to three marketing podcasts
Find three interesting marketing books at the library
Apply for a brand ambassador position for the upcoming semester

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Susan’s Answer

What area within digital marketing is of interest? If it is search engine marketing (digital advertising thru on-line platforms like Google) or Search Engine Optimization (elevating the visibility your own web site thru on-line search), I would recommend Google's free on-line training. There are other tools besides Google's that are very popular, but this is a great way to learn the principles and basics, and Google skills are very marketable.

Vendors like HubSpot also offer lots of free training with the same advantage. The value is not necessarily about learning to use their specific tool, it's learning about digital marketing more broadly. This includes things like email marketing and on-line promotions.

Business analytics are really important to digital marketing (and to demand gen more broadly). If you don't have much training in statistics, a very good book is "Naked Statistics" by Charles Wheelan. You don't need to be a math whiz to understand it, and it is very appropriate for the kinds of analyses you would need. There are lots of free courses about using Microsoft Excel to get hands-on skills with the kinds of analyses that are explained in the book.




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Colleen’s Answer

A great place to start is at an advertising agency. Research some agencies in your area and find one that specializes in digital marketing. Try to secure an internship there and learn from the best!

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Jillian’s Answer

Apply for internships! They're a great way to get your feet wet and learn what you like, what you don't like, what the job is about, and the tools/ software you'll be working with.

Reach out to local digital marketers or the company in general and let them know you're interested in a career path in Digital Marketing. Ask them if they'd let you shadow someone for a day or two.

Figure out what you like about digital marketing. As others mentioned there are a lot of directions you can go. Do you want to work on SEO (getting the best page rank possible), ad placements (which sites generate the highest click rates and sales for the lowest cost), or analysis (which can span a million different things in the marketing world)?


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Dan’s Answer

Start here - https://learndigital.withgoogle.com/digitalgarage/course/digital-marketing/module/5. Identify your top passions / areas.

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Brittany’s Answer

Hi Nancy,

One thing that helped me in my own career was to research online! I was a first generation college student, so I learned all there was about choosing a career path, to finding schools, and eventually a job by searching on Google. You can search everything from "What is Digital Marketing" to different ways to become a digital marketer!

Hope this helps!

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Amy’s Answer

Is there a local nonprofit that might need help in their communications and marketing? You could build your skills there as a volunteer while you are in school.
For example, when I was in a course in Digital Marketing online at UC San Diego, I volunteered with the local chapter of the American Red Cross to set up a plan for how they could increase engagement with their blog.
There are many organizations who don't have money to pay a large staff, but you would have an opportunity to work with real people in digital marketing job roles, or broader jobs that include some digital marketing responsibilities. You can learn from them at the same time you are taking a class.

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