Time to read this post: 4 minutes.
Believe it or not, I had absolutely no intention of becoming a Digital Marketer.
None, at all. The notion just wasn’t on my radar. In fact, when I was asked to do a Digital Marketing course as part of my previous job, my response was something along the lines of “Really? Do I HAVE tooooo?”
For about five years, I worked as a journalist. I wrote for magazines and websites and was happy enough, just typing away and creating content without knowing any of technical shizz that went behind it.
But, trying to satisfy my boss and also considering that it might open a few doors in the future, I agreed to do the course. Begrudingly.
And as I expected, I hated it. It was dense and confusing, and full of jargon that I couldn’t wrap my brain around. And the classes were THREE HOURS LONG, every Monday evening. Three hours. It was draining.
“Just study, get the qualification and get on with your life.” I told myself. And so I did just that.
But then, somehow, a few months later, I ended up becoming a Digital Marketer and I can’t imagine doing anything else. The more I studied, the more my interest grew and I discovered that not only did i like learning about the industry and the tools and techniques, but I was also pretty good at it. It came to a point where I wasn’t interested in journalism any more, I wanted to put my new skills into practice, and so I went in search in a full time Digital Marketing position.
Now, I work at an amazing company where my job is challenging, but rewarding and stressful at times, but also loads of fun. It’s an incredible industry to work in because it’s fast paced, constantly evolving and you really do learn something new every day.
I tell everyone how much I love my job and I often get messages and emails from people asking how to break into the industry and start a career in Digital Marketing. So I thought it would be a good idea to write an informative blog post, detailing how to do it. Or, how I did it, at least.
How To Get A Digital Marketing Job
Get A Qualification
Most of my digital marketing learning came after I did my course; both on the job and from other websites, podcasts, YouTube videos and books. But saying that, the course I did form the foundation of my knowledge and was hugely beneficial. (No matter how much I hated it at the time.)
I would thoroughly recommend getting a qualification, not only to grasp the theory, but also to place you at a more powerful position when you get started applying for jobs. The majority of employers will detail a qualification as an essential requirement. Like it or lump it.
The qualification I obtained was the CAM Diploma in Digital Marketing at Belfast Metropolitan College. I know that this exact course isn’t being taught at the college, currently. But, speaking to other local digital marketers, there are many other courses that teach, pretty much, the same modules and provide the same level of qualification.
You’ve heard it before, but getting any job is all about who you know. And not just due to nepotism. Networking with other professionals in the industry will open a variety of doors. You’ll become more aware of new jobs from connecting with those in the know and you’ll meet people who will act as mentors and teachers and help you advance your skills and techniques.
Attend digital marketing events and conferences in your area. Follow well-known local professionals on social media. And if you’re really keen – reach out to those people. Email them and ask them if you could meet with them to get some advice. Most people will be happy to help. I always am, and if you’d like to talk, feel free to contact me.
Use Your Skills
Practice makes perfect, so if you want to get into digital marketing, you need to work at it and take up personal projects. This will show employers that you’re passionate and enthusiastic and it will help you grow and learn. Starting a blog is always a great idea, or offer to help friends or family members with their businesses.
Sitting around with a qualification is pointless, because it will grow stale. Digital marketing changes every day and practicing and being active in the world will help keep you up to speed.
Be A Fan
I went to a few interviews before taking my current job and at every single interview I was asked: “So who do you follow in the digital marketing world?” The first time I was asked, I had no idea how to answer. And I froze and made up some names, hoping that the interviewer would assume that these were some underground figures that she hadn’t heard of. After that, I realised that I didn’t follow anyone. I didn’t know who the key figures and influencers were. So as soon as that interview ended, I made it my mission to get to know these people.
Now, I’m an absolute fan-girl. I follow so many amazing digital marketers by reading their blogs and tweets and, as I spend a lot of time walking, I listen to A LOT of podcasts. A few I’d recommend include: Gary Vaynerchuk, Rand Fishkin, Jeff Bullas, Jon Loomer, Jay Baer and Kim Garst. These people will become your best teachers.
Be An All Rounder… But Have A USP
A good digital marketer needs to be able to do it all; SEO, PPC, content, email marketing, social media, reporting and analysing.
But, If you want to stand out from the crowd amongst a bunch of other digital marketing applicants, you need to have a unique skill that will set you apart.
Rand Fishkin has spoken about the T Shaped Marketer, who has a light level of knowledge across a wide variety of skills, but has depth in one or a few particular areas.
For me, it’s viral marketing, I’m really good at making stuff go viral, especially with content as I have a background in writing. And whenever I interviewed, I sold this ability as hard as I could.
Know The Jargon
I bloody hate jargon, but if you want a digital marketing job, you gotta spreak that stupid lingo. Know your SEOs from your SEMs and know how the low CPA and the high CR can improve the ROI. Good marketers are fluent in this terminology and its meanings.
Again, reading, networking and also asking when you’re not sure, will all help you grasp the basics.
Get Familiar With The Tools
I don’t want to brag, but… I have a pretty large online tool bag. And most other good marketers I know, do too. In any digital marketing interview, you will be asked which tools you’re familiar with and use regularly.
I really hope that helped any one who is considering a job in digital marketing (which I would whole heartedly recommend, BTW) and if you found it useful or interesting, please feel free to share with the buttons below.