You may become a Digital Marketer in several ways. While some start in traditional marketing roles before specializing, that’s far from a hard-and-fast rule; there is actually no specific background experience required for you to become a Digital Marketer—only a specific set of skills. In fact, many people enter the field from a range of different roles, including Copywriter, Webmaster, or even Influencer.
Here’s are 5 steps to become a Digital Marketer:
- Learn digital marketing fundamentals
- Learn how to use key digital marketing tools
- Build a portfolio of digital marketing projects
- Develop your digital marketing resume
- Network to make connections in marketing
1. Learn Digital Marketing Fundamentals
To build a career in digital marketing, you must have certain technical skills in SEO and SEM, analytics, social media marketing and advertising, and email marketing. You should also develop your soft skills such as leadership, writing voice and emotional intelligence.
While there are digital tools and blogs that give you insight towards learning such technical skills without learning how to use these tools you might as well be throwing money into a furnace and so that’s what the next step is for.
2. Learn how to use key digital marketing tools
When you want to become a Digital Marketer, the more digital marketing tools you’re experienced with, the easier it will be. For example, Google Analytics and Google Ads allow Digital Marketers to measure and track the performance of their marketing campaigns and initiatives. SEO tools like Seonix, Moz, and SEMrush help them explore relevant keyword topics, check backlinks to their web pages, identify related keyword topics, and analyze their competition.
Knowing how to use email marketing tools like MailChimp or SendGrid can be useful when getting started in digital marketing. As can knowledge of customer relationship management programs like Salesforce and Hubspot.
It’s easy to dip your feet in. You can start by getting involved on social media, which is now a large part of digital marketing. You can develop a following and use tools like Hootsuite, Later, Buffer and others to stand out from the crowd when you apply for a job in digital marketing.
If you want to create visually appealing content for your social media platforms, try using free stock image sites, such as Unsplash or Pexels, and graphic design platforms, like Canva.
Now you know the tools of the trade, but how will you show your employers you mean marketing? the next step is to tackle exactly this.
3. Build a Digital Marketing Portfolio
While Digital Marketers face challenges familiar to many in the field, they also face a unique challenge in putting together a portfolio. You’ll need to represent the strategies and outcomes that demonstrate your ability to work as part of a team and think strategically.
If you have samples of your published work, include them; be sure to note your role in their creation (for instance, if you came up with a strategic plan but someone else wrote the copy, or if you did both). And since real life is collaborative rather than competitive, demonstrate that you know how to work as part of a team and lead it.
When sharing your accomplishments, use as much data as you can. Digital marketers trade in hard numbers, so don’t be shy about listing them here to back up your claims—for instance, “I added 1,200 qualified leads via a targeted social media campaign in Q2 of 2020” or “I grew organic web traffic 18 percent year-over-year.” It is especially important to share SEM and SEO metrics when applying for a job in the digital marketing industry. One caveat: if you are sharing work you performed for actual clients, be sure to obtain their consent before sharing any proprietary information.
If you have no prior work experience, your portfolio can include descriptions of the hands-on exercises you conducted as part of your digital marketing coursework. Once you’ve gathered all your materials together, put them online in a well-organized and interactive way. Use this space to tell the story of how you solved each problem and the creative solutions you came up with.
Some of your social media channels are a part of your portfolio, so it’s important to be thoughtful about how you use them. If you prefer to keep your social channels private, consider allowing certain limited public access to a channel for one of your passions or interests—a photography account for sharing surf shots, for instance, or a cooking blog. Include this in your portfolio as well.
4. Develop Your Marketing Resume
In almost all cases, a resume is the first contact with a possible employer, so getting it right the first time pays.
For a first-impression resume, keep the layout clean and well-organized, and information concise. Use bullet points where appropriate. The emphasis should be on your marketing skills and experience, and hard numbers help (bearing in mind that your portfolio is the place to dive into details).
We also advise tailoring your resume to the job and company. Your cover letter and resume should match their tone. Show your personality and creativity in a way that reflects the company brand. The hiring priorities will reveal the skills they want—and these are the skills your resume should emphasize.
To get a job in the tech industry, you need to know software (i.e., have programming skills), as well as other skills, such as sales, design savvy, or writing experience. When presenting your technical skills to an employer, it is best to list them at the top of your resume. Transferable and adaptive skills can then be cited at the bottom of the page or woven throughout.
5. Network to Make Connections in Marketing
Digital marketers should build out a wide network online. This can be accomplished by launching your own industry related newsletter, creating a strong social media presence, and broadcasting your own original content. Having a robust online presence helps in any field, but it is especially important for digital marketing work because the proof is in the pudding.
Several events are organized annually, both online and offline, to promote networking opportunities among digital marketers. MarketingTerms publishes an updated list of virtual business and marketing events in many different industries.
I hope this post has been a helpful read for you. If you are looking to become a digital marketer, my best advice is to start marketing yourself, you won’t get anywhere just by consuming and reading blog posts all day, get out there and start somewhere. The greatest skill you can possess in marketing is knowing your audience. What have they bought in the past? Why did they buy it? When they are online what are they doing? How do they interact with other people? These are all questions that will help you become a digital marketer, so try and answer them in any way possible. After that, start reaching out to companies that are looking for digital marketers, post your resume everywhere and start building your experience through freelance work!