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What can I do after school to practice marketing skills?

I am in high school and I want to build up my resume with marketing skills and experience. What did you do after school or on the weekends or vacations to get more marketing experience? If you help me come up with creative ideas for getting more experience I will be so thankful! #marketing #social-media #web-marketing


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Jennifer’s Answer

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I agree with what the others mentioned regarding social media presence. Creating & curating inbound marketing content is definitely more of a focus today than it had been in years past, especially in terms of brand ambassadorship & representation.


If you do go on to create a blog or other social media presence, I would strongly recommend integrating analytic solutions as well so that the organization you're working on behalf of (or yourself), you gain some insight on the type of web-traffic your content is producing. You can include bit.ly links and buffer to
schedule certain times content, both of which are free. Becomming familiar and comfortable with using Google analytics would also be helpful & an organization can install it as long they own their domain name. Learning about the concept of organic (SEO) versus paid search (SEM), and if you work for a larger organization, learning more about Google Adwords may be helpful.


In my most recent position, I did advanced marketing analytics for a large advertising agency, and having some technical background where you're comfortable with and where you can analyze and derive actionable insights from data is key, especially once you start working for larger clients who are interested in how certain products or campaigns are performing and optimizing towards certain key metrics.


Becomming a better storyteller, both succinctly in your words, but also through visually in presentations and in your actual conversations with people are increasingly important skills, so trying to figure out ways to hone those attributes would be beneficial.


The Inbound Marketing(by Hubspot)/Future M (by MITX) conference this year had a really interesting lineup of speakers and presentations, some of which are online via slideshare that you can check out that might have some good tips.


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Steve’s Answer

Lots of good tips above.


To hone your marketing skills, find an organization that needs social media support. Look for a local charity, a group at your place of worship, or a cause that you feel passionate about. Create a blog and a Facebook page, and set up a twitter and Instagram accounts. Post pictures and news and announcements of upcoming events.


In other words, find a group that you care about and offer to create or supplement their existing marketing efforts with your social media skills.


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George’s Answer

Hi Julea,


I recommend getting a sales job. They are typically available for teens. That's what I did at your age and I learned a lot about marketing in the process. Experience in sales will help you understand why marketing is so important. It will also help you to be better qualified for an entry level position in marketing. Immerse yourself in the product that you are trying to sell and then find out what the competition has to offer. Know the differences. Explain your product benefits to your prospects. All this will be a great way to add to a formal education in marketing and business.


I would be volunteering in any place - could be the marketing agency, restaurant marketing department, retail store, anywhere literally where there is creativity. Interacting with people with various backgrounds will teach you life and will make you think outside of the box! Getting outside of your comfort zone is the key. Try to find the areas of you interest, so you enjoy it more. Yulia Briman

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Boris’s Answer

Hi Julia,


I'm so glad you've chosen to venture into the exciting field of marketing!


First, to piggyback on what Josh iterated, I think it is very, VERY important that you focus on improving your writing skills. You can accomplish that by starting a blog at sites such as wordpress.com, svbtle.com (that's 'svbtle' with a V), blogger.com, and weebly.com (I have also provided additional blogging resources for you towards the end). Now comes the hard part, the part every single marketer on this planet dreads ... what to actually write about :) In my experience, I feel like it really helps to write about a cause that you feel is both important to you, yet does not get as much coverage or publicity as other causes or topics in media may be receiving.


Truthfully, everyone has causes that they support, some more than others, and once you figure out the one you hold closest to your heart, your job is to use what you know about the topic to not only get your reader's attention, but to also give them a side of the story they haven't yet thought about. As you know, most writers either write to inform, entertain, or persuade. However, the really good ones find a way to use at least two of the three forms of writing in their literature. In marketing, the golden key is in the hands of your audience, hence, you need attain and maintain their attention throughout your work. Create an "About Me" section in your blog so your juices can get flowing. Then, write a few drafts before publishing your first post, ask for feedback from readers, ask for topic recommendations from friends, and read a new online blog every chance you get.


If you wish to dive a little bit deeper into the shallows of marketing, I suggest Googling topics like email marketing tips, mobile app marketing, and best practices for social media marketing (also, read some articles about human psychology as the best way to capture your reader's attention is to know how their mind works). When you finally feel like you want to get your feet wet and get some hands-on experience, marketing students in college usually begin with social media internships. Although you might not yet have the credentials to apply for one, I encourage you to find a non-profit organization in your community and ask if they would like any free social media marketing help (absolutely perfect for your resume). Below are some other places where you can start your very own blog and sites where you can learn more about marketing. I know I've thrown a bit at you here, but hopefully this will help you to get more experience.


Create a New Blog: weebly.com; tumblr.com; and quora.com


Learn More About Marketing: socialmediaexaminer.com; searchengineland.com; and blog.bufferapp.com/


Best of Luck!


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Jack’s Answer

There's a lot of ways you can improve on marketing skills, have you try taking a part time job in sales position? Also as others have shared (above) focus in on communication skills and making connections with people who can help you, take a speech class at a local community college for example. Have others critique your presentation skills, can you think on your feet, improvise?


Having a strong set of communication skills is must in majority of the professions but especially in Marketing.


Thank you! Korede O.

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Josh’s Answer

Julia,
First off, it is great that you have a focus on practicing and improving your skills. Don't ever lose that!


For marketing, I'd recommend you focus on writing and blogging. Find ways to practice writing on some topic -- any topic really -- that you're interested in. Core to marketing is communicating and educating your target market. So practicing writing is key.


Doing so on a blog also begins to introduce yourself to the technologies that marketers work with every day. So the challenges associated to getting a simple blog/web presence going are directly transferrable to working on a marketing team.


Lastly, that blog becomes an asset to you in the future -- you can point to it as your presence online. Sort of like your early portfolio.


This is just a quick answer. Let me know if you have more questions or need elaboration.


All the best,
Josh


This great advice. Starting a blog allows you practice writing, building a brand, promotion, as well as community managment skills. By sharing your posts on social media you will be able to generate and respond to comments and feedback. It will help you develop those marketing skills that all companies are looking for. Best of luck! Andrew Hall

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Dara’s Answer

I don't know if this is exactly the same, but when I left college I wanted to work in Graphic Design and I didn't have a qualification, or the work experience in this area, however I knew how to use the tools and had a artistic background. I decided to create a portfolio of fictional commercial work to create a portfolio of work to showcase what I could do. I gave myself fictional job briefs that needed to be done, e.g. logo design, brochure for estate agent, computer software packaging etc. At the end I did manage to use this to help me land my first job in graphic design. Maybe you could look at setting up a blog, youtube channel, etc for yourself to market your own ideas/concepts. Or try volunteer at some not for profit organisations/charities where your help would be greatly needed in order to build up some experience and a portfolio of work.


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Annie’s Answer

Hi Julia!


You can also take a look at how other companies market. See what you like, what you don't like, and poll people around you. Learning about what makes brands popular is important.


Also, hone your social media skills. Being able to craft a story and engage people on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, etc is very important as a marketer!


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Linda’s Answer

I suggest you find a volunteer opportunities that allows you to learn about different aspects of marketing. The trend is moving towards digital, mobile, and social. Also, find resources online to learn about different channels of marketing. There are offline (TV, radio etc) and online channels (Search Marketing, email, social media, etc.). There are free online training course as well. For example, this is one for Google Adwords (Search Marketing): http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-business-schools/marketing-rankings


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Tyler’s Answer

Julea it's great that you are looking to work towards building your skill set. Personally, when I was in high school and college I really looked for volunteering opportunities. Every company has sales and marketing so they are always looking for a helping hand. This could be anything from creating flyers for events to being a mascot but no matter what you will be out there learning from the people you are interacting with.


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Mike’s Answer

Wow after reading all the great other responses out there I don't know if I can offer any different advice. I would 100% agree with all the above responses, exposure is exactly what I would say you need. Entry level sales and marketing jobs are a great way to get your feet wet and gives you the opportunity to even try a couple of different companies to find a field that you really enjoy, I say this from past experience where I thought I truly had a passion and was pumped to work in a certain industry or company only to find out that it wasn't all it was cracked up to be or the companies goals did not line up with mine. Again as mentioned above blogging and social media is a great tool to get a brand that your trying to create out there, there are multiple tools out there to get started. I live by the project management life style as appose to the career one, meaning that you will find over the course of 10 years your passion and desires can change don't be afraid to get out of your comfort zone and be creative. The term Fail Forward is one I use quite frequently when talking with young people try and try again just keep taking the steps to move forward and you will succeed. Great question!


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Mike’s Answer

The best thing to do after school to practice marketing skills would be determine who your favorite brands and follow them in detail. Basically study how they talk to there customers on their website, email communications, social media, and at the product level. What do they do that is unique, How do they stand out from the crowd, Determine what the brand stands for and how they convey that emotion through all of their touch points. By doing this you will be able to understand the marketing skills needed to effectively communicate the value, platform and story of the a brand.


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Regina’s Answer

Sales is definitely a good start since that will show you buyer shopping patterns and what it takes to close the sale. I would also suggest reaching out to local companies where you leave and approach the manager or owner and request an unpaid internship. Other organizations that may be willing to help teach you the ropes are local non-profit organizations.


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Lee’s Answer

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Hi!


Super excited that you are exploring a career in marketing. I think it's such a great career field because its vast and is ever evolving so you'll always have a lot of opportunity to learn and grow. Because marketing is such a wide field it really helps to jump right in and start to get a feel for what you like and don't like. I'll give you some examples of the many marketing branches and maybe what you can do in order to figure out if it's for you or not.


Customer Service and Support - advocating for a product or service by helping others get the most out of it. Consider a part-time job at a retailer. For example, in college I worked at Brookstone and Bank of America where I learned skills that will help me throughout my marketing career. If you're not old enough to get a job yet, I would recommend volunteering and trying to help people. Ask a lot of questions to understand what it is that people need and deliver. You'll start to notice that a lot of people don't necessarily know what it is exactly that they need and by asking a lot of questions and trying to be helpful you'll gain a lot of good skills.


Design or Copywriting - developing imagery or written copy to incite a feeling or action. Consider interning at a creative agency or writing blogs like others have mentioned. I interned at a creative agency to see if design was something I would like, but it turns out I lacked some of the creativity to do design from scratch. If you're not old enough for a job, spend a lot of time drawing and writing. Look at what other companies have put in the market and think through why they are presenting their brand the way that they are...colors, images, words, etc.


Marketing Research - survey or research to understand how people think or feel about products or services. Sign-up to be a survey participant...sometimes you even get paid for participating!


Sales - you like being in front of people and leading conversations to persuade or influence action. Again I would try a part time retail job. If you're not ready for a job, consider joining clubs and try out for leadership roles to improve your communication skills.


There's so much more! Marketing Coordination, eCommerce, Online Advertising, Email Marketing, Customer Relationship Marketing, Loyalty, etc...


Ultimately, the key is to take action marketing is all around you, just ask a lot of questions about "why"? Best of luck to you.


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Jonas L.’s Answer

Find stuff to self online or in-person. Develop creative ways to say the simplest things. Practice writing the way advertiser talk. Use social media to promote events and chart how many people view your statements. After a few month of learn the basics, give yourself monthly goals for advertising and adjust your strategies to fit different markets. Read to find out which strategies are successful in each culture, social economic demographic, and more.


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Cal’s Answer

For better or worse, you're living in a place where everyone is a student of marketing. You're surrounded every day by companies trying to get your attention and trying to sell you things. Start paying attention to all of the advertising and marketing that is aimed at you and your high school friends. You don't mention what year you are but colleges will soon (if they haven't already) start inundating you with information urging you to apply to their school. Dig into this stuff and evaluate how they differentiate their school from the others. Which schools are doing a better job of marketing to you? How? When you go to a mall or into a store, look at all ways that the retailer appeals to you to purchase their products/services.


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Anastassia’s Answer

If you are interested in online marketing (google paid search ads and SEO), social media, etc, I would recommend finding a local business or maybe if someone you know has a small business, and volunteer to help them get more customers in by either building their site (there are some free tools available to do so) or optimize their site to rank higher in Google results (there are plenty of best practices for search engine optimization info online you can read on). If there they have a bit of money to spend, you can launch a social media campaign via Facebook or a google search campaign using Adwords. It's very simple, honestly, just make sure that you target the campaigns to local customers only and put a budget limit. For google campaign make sure to leverage local and phone extensions. Then have fun looking at the data and analyzing the performance of the campaigns. It would be a great learning experience for you and a huge help to a local business.


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Rob’s Answer

When I was in school I wanted to find ways to earn more money. I talked with friends and made some observations of people's behavior. What I found was that the kids in my school would want snacks during the day. So, I and a friend started to buy snacks at Costco and started to sell it at school. We did this for a week and sold out. We realized we had something their and bought a lot more and started to hire people. We gave incentives to our sales team and they got a higher commission if they sold the candies faster. Sure enough we were making about $300 a month. Pretty good for some kids. We tried other products and found not only what was the right products to offer, but the right price.


So in the end, find out what the needs are, what is it that you can offer and are you meeting a need. If you are meeting a need and doing it well, you will learn a lot by testing, failing and succeeding. Don't give up. You will be surprised at what works


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