Where to begin
Now, with that in mind, you might ask ‘Where do I begin, how will I find a career within digital marketing, how long will I have to spend at university ? These are all perfectly valid questions and all of which I asked myself this time in 2018.
In short, it’s very possible and not as daunting as you may think.
The university route is most definitely not paramount. There are copious amounts of resources online; hundreds of which are free and updated regularly along with lots of highly sought after, also free, certifications to boost your CV with – Google, Facebook and Hubspot Academy to name a few. You will most likely want to start by asking yourself if you want to specialise in one aspect of digital marketing, because there are quite a few, or if you want to take a high level, more broad, approach.
One thing I think every digital marketer should have a firm grasp on (regardless of the path you choose) is analytics. Being able to make data-driven decisions and understanding how those decisions have made an impact is extremely important. A good start is getting Google Analytics certified.
Here’s a little list of resources I used and still use religiously –
Forums, like Reddit, and YouTube are also great platforms with ample amounts of digital marketing resources/tips and tricks on.
The reward for work well done is the opportunity to do more.
Employers – without a doubt – love experience and this is something you need to use in your favour. Whether it be blogging about something you are passionate about and setting up social channels around it or even taking on some unpaid jobs for people in your local community, for example barber shops or hairdressers are a great start or that family member or friend that has a small start-up that could use a website or SEO audit. Don’t think of it as working for free but rather a worthwhile time investment with long term benefits.
Essentially, say YES to anything! Demonstrate that you can take on and make the best of any project, and be successful in your endeavours.
Not only will you gain experience, but you are also showing that you are willing to work hard.
Getting on the Digital Marketing ladder
So when I said that the university route isn’t paramount, I meant it! More and more businesses and agencies – big or small – are employing apprentices and interns across the nation. Speaking from experience, apprenticeships are an amazing opportunity that somebody looking to get into digital marketing should 100% look into, getting both real and practical experience whilst using and expanding your existing skills sounds like it’s too good to be true except it isn’t ! That being said, degrees definitely can help but you must still be prepared for entry-level jobs. Take a look at the gov apprenticeship page to find digital marketing vacancies near you
It is important to get your name out there, and the best way to do that is by networking. There are often lots of free conferences or events surrounding digital marketing that are definitely worthwhile going to. Take a look here to see what’s near you. Attending these events will also be a great talking point for when you get the dreaded “ why digital marketing question “ or “why should we hire you” that often creeps up in interviews
Not only will networking 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.
Digital marketing is an excellent and an ever changing career and one that is most definitely here to stay, especially with the rise of voice search, and you’ll find there really is never a dull moment!
Not only will you have a skill for life but potentially a career you’ll fall in love with.