Just this week, I got a message into my inbox on LinkedIn. And it was a student asking me, “Darren, how can I get my first ever job in digital marketing?” Now, I graduated longer ago than I care to admit, but I do remember it being very difficult to get my first job in digital marketing. So today, I am going to break down how you can get your first ever gig in digital marketing. That’s coming up.
Hi guys, my name is Darren Taylor a.k.a The Big Marketer coming at you with tips, advice, insights and opinions on digital marketing. And today, we are going to talk about how to get your first ever job in digital marketing.
Now, the first thing is of course to hone your skills. Now, learning digital marketing takes an absolute lifetime. I am still learning, everybody in my profession is still learning because digital marketing moves so quickly. There is no way you can be on top of everything straight away or continuously. You will keep updating your knowledge, going to blogs, reading books and taking it all the advice and insights and soaking up knowledge like a sponge.
Now, of course there are different blogs for different disciplines of digital marketing. So, if you’re into SEO, the Moz blog is a good place to start or maybe Search Engine Land. If you look at PPC, the PPC hero blog is absolutely fantastic with some great resources. There is always a top blog for each different disciplines in digital marketing.
I’ve got more in the comments for you as well. So, if you take a look down there, you will see a list of my favorite digital marketing blogs to go to and I frequent regularly. I have also taken the liberty of listing my favorite digital marketing books down below in the comments as well. For example, Convert! by Ben Hunt is a fantastic place to start when it comes to onsite conversion and improving your conversion rates on a website.
Now, when buying books on digital marketing, when it comes to SEO, PPC, Social Media, Email Marketing, anything, make sure you get the latest edition. Digital marketing moves so quickly, the writers of these books have to release their books constantly because it’s changing so rapidly. So, it is really important to make sure that you’ve got the latest edition of the book. So, always double check.
Now, I know I named a number of disciplines from SEO and PPC all the way to social media and content marketing. So, my advice to you is, it is definitely best to focus on a single discipline. Because that is really going to help you to focus and hone your skills in a single discipline, get into a business, and then once you’re in a good company, you get to interact with other teams and learn more about another department or another specific niche of digital marketing.
On to point number two. Now, this one is quite key and that is, to start a blog. A blog is going to be able to showcase your knowledge. Even if you’re learning, blog about what you’re learning, how you’re implementing it, how you could implement it.
Can you even imagine how many other people are in your position, looking for the first ever digital marketing gig? So, it’s so important you make yourself stand out from the crowd. And a blog is going to do exactly that. As somebody that has never had a job in digital marketing, you have no practical experience. So, nailing your theory is absolutely key.
Moving on to point number three. And that is to get social. There are two key networks you need to focus on here, which are Twitter and LinkedIn. Twitter will provide you with up to date information and help you track influences and what they are posting. For example, in PPC, my favorite influence there is Larry Kim and for SEO, I tend to follow a lot of things, Search Engine Land or Moz tend posts as well.
There are a number of influences in all disciplines of digital marketing. And I’ve got my favorites list below in the comments. LinkedIn is a little bit different. LinkedIn is a business social network site and is going to help you find a job. That is what a lot of people use LinkedIn for. So, make sure your profile is great.
Make sure you’ve got a great photograph, all your information is up to date, all your university information and course results are up to date as well. LinkedIn actually provides you with an opportunity to engage and connect with people even if you don’t necessarily know them. Now, the way to do this is you send people an invite, but don’t use a generic invite. Tell people why you want to connect with them.
Now, if you are of course looking for a job in digital marketing, which you should be, because you’re watching this video, then you would connect with a digital marketing manager like myself. And in your connection message, all you say is, “Hi, my name is X and I am looking for a role in digital marketing, my first role in digital marketing. Do you know anybody who is hiring? And if you’re hiring, I attach my CV for your reference, let me know your thoughts.”
Now, I know a lot of people are scared of sending a connection request to somebody they don’t know on LinkedIn, but in my book, it’s absolutely fine because you have an objective. You want to get employment and if somebody is an employer, and then it’s okay to reach out to him on a professional network. That is exactly the kind of person you’re going to need to get your foot in the door for your first ever digital marketing role.
On to point number four. And that point is, to hone in and train your soft skills. What do I mean by soft skills? A soft skill is a skill set outside of the main core technical ability you have. So you maybe into digital marketing like email marketing or PPC, and understand how that works, and the process and the practicality of that. But the soft skills are how you potentially present that data to your department manager for example.
I am telling you now as a digital marketing manager, you are going to be sitting in a lot of meetings, not all of them necessary. So, it’s important to have great communications skills and hone these skills.
Now, I have seen some absolutely fantastic SEOs, PPCs, digital marketers who have not got that far in their careers simply because they don’t want to touch the soft skills side of things.
They don’t want to get to presenting data, giving talks, chairing meetings, all of these kind of soft skills that you need to get further in your career, they just keep their hands off. So in the end, it’s up to you. You hone your soft skills and it will set you in great step in your entire career.
And to our final point, number five and that is to apply, apply, apply. But strategically. Now, a lot of people think because they haven’t got a job in their industry yet, they need to apply to every single role and they send a generic application.
That’s completely wrong. Focus on the organization you want to target and who you want to work with. When you do send your application, make sure you add a little bit about the company themselves.
This might sound really obvious but in a situation where everybody is trying to get the single role as their first ever digital marketing job, it might be a graduate role, it might be an entry level role, it might be an internship even. To get that role, you’re going to get to know enough about the company for your application to stand out.
Now you’ve got your blog, you’ve got everything in place, you’ve got your knowledge, you’re on social media, you’re on LinkedIn. So, you should have an advantage over other people applying unless they’ve watched my video. Now, there are a ton of resources out there to help you write a fantastic job application. So, I have put my favorite two in the description below.
Thank you very much for watching. Now, you should be completely equipped to apply for your first ever role in digital marketing and I wish you the best of luck.
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