Before getting into ‘How to start your career in ‘Digital Marketing’, let’s go over why you should choose Digital Marketing as a career:
- Digital Marketing is the future
With everything going digital, from ordering food to buying groceries online, the demand for digital marketing is rising on a large-scale.
- Demand for Digital Marketers is high
With many businesses opting for online marketing, the demand for digital marketers has increased over the years and there are not enough digital marketers out there to meet this demand.
So yes, Digital Marketing is a great career option with amazing Job opportunities. Learning Digital Marketing will not just help you get a Job but will help you learn how to grow your own business (if you have one or are planning to) and even learn how to brand yourself using online platforms.
Now the question arises. How should I get started as a Digital Marketer? There is no college particularly for digital marketing when compared to the number of colleges there are for engineering and Business schools.
There are many good institutes and academies which will teach you Digital Marketing, but these Institutes can be a bit costly and not many students can afford it. If you are someone who is confused by the concept of digital marketing but still want is as a career, getting trained through institutes maybe the best way to go.
But, if you are someone who doesn’t want to spend a lot of money to learn, this is the article for you. In this article, I am going to guide you on how you can learn digital marketing on your own and become a professional and skilled digital marketer.
1) First Step: Understand that Digital Marketing is an ever-evolving field
The first step to building a career in digital marketing is that you need to understand that online marketing is an ever-evolving field and you should keep yourself updated on the trends of digital marketing on regular basis to be a good digital marketer.
An important skill to be a digital marketing expert is to be a self-learner, to be updated as to what’s happening in the digital marketing world. If you are not a self-learner, no worries, you can still be one! Just start slow, but be consistent, focused and dedicated to what you learn and eventually you will learn how to learn by yourself.
Related: How to become a great self-learner
2) Learn the basics of Digital Marketing for free with Google Digital Unlocked
There is a vast number of free tutorials and courses offered by many digital marketing experts for you to choose from. My suggestion for you would be to start with Google Digital Unlocked. Let me tell you why:
- Digital Unlocked is by Google itself and it is FREE!
- This is a great starter course. It will teach you the fundamentals of Digital Marketing. It will cover all topics from SEO to search for ads to Social Media. ‘Digital Unlocked’ is a great way to understand the concept of the digital marketing ecosystem.
- You get a free certificate at the end once you complete the final test! (Remember: Certificates don’t matter unless you improve your practical knowledge)
3) Start Exploring the internet for knowledge
The internet is your college and Google is your teacher. With thousands of digital marketing experts and hardcore practitioners out there putting out useful content and tutorials on their blog, YouTube channels and podcasts for free, there is nothing you can’t learn about digital marketing from the internet.
Start googling each topic of online marketing on google and get a little deeper into the topic. Watch videos about that, watch the tutorials of how to execute it. Subscribe to Digital Marketing blogs. Get stronger on the concept of digital marketing slowly every day.
Here is a list of some really good digital marketing blogs that will help you learn and be updated with digital marketing:
4) Start a Blog of your own
The best way to be a skilled digital marketer is only through practice, and starting your own blog might just be the way to do so. Pick a topic that you are very interested in, like travelling or food. Do not pick a random topic. Picking a topic you are very interested in is very important here.
Spend little money in buying a good domain and hosting. Learn how to build a website using WordPress. Trust me guys, it’s not that hard to build a website once you learn the basics of WordPress. No coding needed to build a basic and good-looking blog, although learning HTML basics may help.
- Start a social media profile for that blog
- Learn what social media platform is right for your blog and learn what type of content will attract your followers.
- Do a competitor analysis with blogs of a similar niche.
- Study what is working for them really well and plan how you can do that in your own unique way.
A simple rule to attract followers and subscribers to your blog/ brand or social media is to PROVIDE VALUE! When you start providing good value, you will see people getting interested in you and your brand.
Learn how to run ads. Online advertising is a really interesting thing and is gonna be a great skill to have as a digital marketer. You may have great content, but it won’t reach the right people unless you run ads.
5) Start offering services for FREE!
I started to learn digital marketing when I was in college, but the only reason I was able to gain a certain amount of skill and experience in a short time was by offering services for free. I started out by offering a free website for a startup and the thing is I had no prior experience, just a little theoretical knowledge on how things work. As I started building the website, I started to learn little by little and I ended up making a good website.
To promote the website, I started to learn SEO and made the website SEO friendly. Once I did SEO, I started to run ads to promote the website and its services, and by this time I wasn’t a beginner anymore, yet still had a lot to learn.
With my first ever Website & digital marketing project, I ended up getting yet another project which also I did for free. With these two websites in my portfolio, I ended up getting paid projects (but for a cheaper rate). Slowly as I got more projects under my portfolio, I started getting well-paid for freelance projects.
Let me tell you something here, I believe that only because I did all these projects for free and for a cheaper rate, that I was able to gain a lot of experience and skills in that short period of time. With all this experience, I was able to land a job easily. I still get calls or messages on LinkedIn, twice a month at the least, asking me if am interested in a job at their company and whether I can meet them for an interview.
So, guys, I would strongly suggest you start offering digital marketing services for free. Find someone in your family or friends circle who has a startup or running a business and help them promote their business for free or at least for a cheaper rate. Build your portfolio from there!
6) Work as an Intern at a Digital Marketing agency:
You can learn a lot of things from the internet and from online tutorials. At the same time, I would also say that you can only learn something when you work for a company.
With the portfolio or the blog, you have built, get an internship at a well reputed digital marketing agency. Learn how a digital marketing agency works, learn how they build a brand, learn how they create a marketing strategy for every brand, understand the very concept of marketing and not just digital marketing.
You will learn the technical side of digital marketing up until step 5, but to understand real marketing psychology and how to build a brand works, I would highly recommend you to do one or two internships at a well-reputed marketing agency and work your ass off and learn a lot. Bring value to that agency as an intern, and trust me you will learn a lot and they might even offer you a job if they have a vacancy.
7) Last step: Start applying for Jobs:
The last and important step: Start applying for jobs, and before you do, follow the following steps:
- Create a LinkedIn page and fill out your every single information on your profile.
- List out your skills and projects.
- Get a recommendation from people you have worked for during your internship.
- Now, start applying on LinkedIn Jobs
Digital Marketing is the future and it is only going to grow drastically from here on in. It is not that hard to learn, but it requires a lot of practice and experience to master it and you have all the tutorials and materials on the internet to learn from.
Start learning today and start applying. You will definitely end up enjoying it and hopefully see some great results in the near future. Follow my Instagram profile: @digitalvimal to stay updated to the trends of digital marketing and more.
Comment below if you have any advice for new digital marketers or how you’re improving digital marketing skills below!