My day job is something I’ve mentioned on here a few times, but never something I’ve gone into detail with. So let’s start with a little intro, I currently work as a digital marketing executive for an agency in Cambridgeshire. I’ve worked here for 2 and a half years and it’s my first ‘real’ graduate job. The clients are totally varied and range from hotels and spa’s to skydiving and homeware (and some slightly more boring ones but we’ll just skip those).
I feel as though digital marketing and PR are extremely popular career paths for bloggers and especially for younger bloggers who might still be in school or at university. That being said I know tonnes of guys and gals whose day jobs completely differ to the online world, but if you’re thinking of digital marketing as a career then this might just help.
1. Start a Blog (If You Don’t Have One Already)
You might think “who doesn’t have a blog these days” but to an employer having a blog demonstrates a variety of skills. It shows you have a genuine interest in the online world and it’s also a great way to show off those writing skills. Digital Marketing definitely requires an ability for creative writing, as you may have to write SEO copy for a website or come up with catchy ads for Google AdWords or social media advertising. It also demonstrates creativity which is key within marketing. If you have experience liaising with PR’s it also shows you have industry experience and perhaps you’d be the perfect candidate to manage a blogger outreach campaign, so get blogging!
2. Gain Valuable Work Experience
I can’t stress enough that interning gives you FAR MORE experience than lectures ever will. I’m so glad I made the decision to intern early, before I started my degree I bagged a digital internship with Lyle & Scott for a couple of weeks before uni started, this kicked off my three year interning journey where I slogged my ass off in London everyday, unpaid, for 18 months in total. I know however this is easier said than done. I was in a fortunate position where my scholarship enabled me to financially support myself to work for ‘free’. I do not condone this though and I do believe interns should be paid at least minimum wage. My expenses didn’t even cover my travel so it was three very expensive summers but I gained experience in digital marketing, fashion PR, styling, social media and buying.
If getting into London isn’t an option for you, why not research smaller, local marketing agencies and see if they need a hand for a couple of weeks? You never know what this might lead to and it will look super impressive to future potential employers. At my agency we never actively seek out interns but if someone contacts us looking for work experience we always try to help even if it’s just for two weeks.
View my previous post on my interning experience here.
3. Get Qualified
A lot of people who end up in digital marketing don’t actually hold a marketing degree, instead they may have studied journalism, psychology or even history. It’s a diverse industry with so many opportunities that attracts graduates from a variety of subjects. I have a degree in Fashion Marketing which gave me a nice starting point for my career however I don’t think it’s essential to have studied marketing in order to get into this industry. I don’t even think you *need* to have a degree if you’ve got some work experience under your belt and show genuine interest and enthusiasm to learn.
There are lots of courses you can take which will give you recognition and an edge over other applicants when applying for an entry-level digital marketing position. It may also enable you to discover which aspect of digital marketing you enjoy the most, there are so many different elements and sometimes job roles are specific. For example you don’t want to apply for a job as a junior PPC exec if you don’t enjoy google AdWords, you might be more suited in a copywriting or social media position.
4. Keep Up To Date
I was no SEO whizz when I applied for my job as digital marketing coordinator. I knew little bits about SEO mainly due to my internships and blog but I wasn’t a clued up digital marketing guru by any means. Luckily this wasn’t an issue and I learnt as I went along but with this industry moving so fast I would recommend keeping up to date with respected blogs and websites so you have an awareness of what’s going on. Search Engine Journal and Search Engine Land are good SEO websites, for social stuff I check out Social Media Examiner and I also like the Econsultancy blog for general marketing and campaign news. I usually take 20-30 minutes out of my day to have a quick catch up with these.
5. Go Get It
So now comes the exciting part, bagging your first job in digital marketing. I’d recommend researching agencies or companies you want to work for and following their social media and LinkedIn. I found my job on Facebook and it’s definitely becoming a popular (and cheaper) recruitment method. Set up alerts on Indeed, stalk them on social and polish off your CV. Line up your references just in case and get your name out there. Even if a company doesn’t appear to be actively recruiting it’s still worth sending your CV, you never know what’s happening within the company and you could be first in line for new opportunities. If you’re struggling to gain an interview it might be reevaluating your CV, are you underselling yourself? Ask a tutor, friend or family member to take a look over it, they might be able to provide some insight.
I hope this helps any of you that might be thinking about heading into the world of digital marketing – do feel free to leave any questions in the comments below!