One of my clients is looking for a high-level direct-response digital marketer to add to the team. I’m currently screening applicants, interviewing those who seem qualified and moving them forward to chat with her.
I received an email from an applicant who told me she was still in college and had just changed her major to Marketing Management.
She knew she wasn’t qualified for the job, but she asked me for, “any feedback or advice you could give me as a newbie to this industry.”
Here’s what I shared with her that I want to share with you because I know this will apply to a lot of other young professionals looking to break into the digital marketing industry:
First off, I want to commend you for reaching out and simply asking for advice. I’ve received tons of applications for this marketing coordinator position – some qualified, some not – but most people are just looking for a ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Kudos to you for being honest and open to feedback.
Don’t lose that humility. It will take you far.
That being said, this position requires a high-level of direct-response digital marketing expertise. We are looking for an experienced digital marketer who knows how to drive leads and generate online revenue.
However, I still want to help you on your personal journey.
Here are a few tips I’d give you on diving into the digital marketing space:
• Get your foot in the door any way you can – whether it’s an unpaid or lowly paid internship for a while or a digital marketing position at a small business, get in and get going. Too many people let themselves be stopped because they’re looking for huge opportunities right off the bat. I personally got started in this field after applying to a local gym and then being given an opportunity in their marketing department. I grew from there, learned as much as I could, did as much as I could, and the rest was history. I actually just had a young woman who interned here for us for 2 months and I just offered her a full-time digital marketing position. Get in (even if you’re at the bottom), get to work and let your results show.
• Keep asking questions – once you get into an organization, hopefully you’re surrounded by good people who are good at what they do. Ask questions and be curious. Too many young people make the mistake of just doing what they’re told, but not looking to advance anywhere past that. Ask questions, take on more and learn more.
• Keep creating your own brand and content – this is a huge one. Keep building your own stuff because not only will that show potential employers that you’re serious about this marketing stuff, but it’s a great playground for you to create content and get real experience. Be consistent and persistent about your brand & content. Treat it like it was a multi-million-dollar company. I can tell you firsthand that creating my brand has taught me so much that I’ve been able to bring to my clients.
• Join Facebook groups for digital marketers, listen to marketing podcasts and just learn – the beautiful thing about the internet these days is that there are literally never-ending resources for people to learn a new skill they desire or connect with people who are way better than us. I urge you to get engaged into Facebook groups, listen to podcasts, follow blogs that discuss digital marketing. Some of my favorite digital marketing brands to learn from are http://digitalmarketer.com, http://kissmetrics.com and http://socialmediaexaminer.com. But there are literally tons of free resources out there for you to learn from. Get engaged and learn what’s working in today’s online marketing space.
• Opt in to stuff you see online and see it firsthand – Make a habit of opting into free downloads you see for ads on your Facebook profile – notice how they market to you after that, notice how they pursue you and try to upsell you. One of the best ways to learn is to dive into other people’s stuff and see how they do it. I make a regular habit of opting into things I see online and clicking on ads, just so I can see how they engage with me after I’ve shown interest. Great way to learn.
• Keep learning & pick a niche – I’m sure this is evident now from my past few points, but the online marketing space is always evolving. Literally day-to-day. It’s so green and fresh. Keep learning, keep growing and pick a few things you specifically want to specialize in. It’s tough to be an expert in “everything online” these days since there are so many verticals, so pick a few and get really good at them. Blogging, content, advertising, SEM, SEO, CPC, email marketing, sales pages, sales scripts, etc (I could go on forever). Pick a few, get really good at them and your personal value will be off the charts.
• Bring value – overall, just know that when you’re looking to enter the work force, what will be most important is what value you bring. People don’t mind paying people who bring value. Build up your skill set and get really good at a few things so your value can be through the roof. Once you know you’re value, you’re able to demand your worth.
I actually published a podcast recently on tips for new college graduates and I think it would help you where you’re standing now: http://juanvlopez.libsyn.com/8-hard-truths-for-new-college-graduates
Helping people like yourself progress and develop is a major passion of mine. I encourage you to check out that podcast and if there’s any other way I can serve you on your journey, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
Cheers and keep going,
Do you think that was helpful? What else would you advise someone in that situation? Let me know in the comments below.