“How can I get a job in digital marketing if I do not have any prior experience in digital marketing?”
That is a question I asked myself when I decided that I want to have a career as a digital marketer. I did not graduate with a degree in business or marketing and I also did not come from a similar background so I figured no company would hire me if I do not have the necessary skills or experiences needed as a digital marketer.
It is also a paradox when starting any new career that is completely different from your degree or current line of work. Employers will most likely go for applicants that already have the needed knowledge and skills for the job and for those who are just starting out in the digital marketing industry, you need to be employed to get further experience and skills.
You can probably just say that the solution to this is to just go back to school or enroll yourself at a program. Unfortunately, not many of us are not privileged enough to do so.
However, the good news is this: Trends in tech come and go. While this means that working in the digital industry requires you to be a constant learner, this also means that you can learn digital marketing on your own and build your portfolio along the way.
Having a portfolio is necessary for any career and in creating your digital marketing portfolio, there are different paths to choose from.
Get an Internship
If you are still a student or a recent graduate, getting an internship at a digital marketing agency or a company that needs digital marketers is your best chance to build that portfolio. You will be learning from people who are already in the industry, the best practices in their company, and build your connections as well.
Internships are also the best way to gain an experience as a beginner. If you already have a job at a different field, you can take a part-time internship or an internship that lets you work from home.
Start by cold emailing some companies and ask them if they have any internship positions open. You may check Linkedin and internship websites. There are also relevant groups on Facebook related to startups or the industry of your choice and some business owners will be posting internship positions.
Upskilling your Knowledge
You may already have some soft skills that are essential in digital marketing and you can highlight that in your resume.
For example, if you are really good writing and creating stories, you can get started with learning about Search Engine Optimization, content marketing, and writing effective ad copies. If you are into math, statistics, algorithms, you can teach yourself to how to use Google Analytics.
There many resources available on the web for free and some online courses are affiliated with reputable educational institutes. In Coursera, there are courses in digital marketing that are taught by experts and educators from top universities. For a small fee, you will be able to acquire a certificate after completing the online course.
Create a Capstone Project
After you upskill, apply what you learned by creating a capstone project.
Your capstone project can be actually implemented into a revenue generating business or it can be a mockup where you just apply your digital marketing skills so you have something to put in your portfolio.
Volunteer to manage social media pages
Volunteer to manage the social media pages of your club, organization, or an acquaintance’s project for free or for an affordable fee. There is nothing to lose and everything to gain especially if you are able to grow your social media pages from zero to hundreds or even thousands of followers.
It is impressive if you are able to transform your social media page into a community with loyal followers and you can put that as an accomplishment in your portfolio.
Make a niche Instagram account
Social media is free. Anyone can create an Instagram account and achieve a status of fame and reputation.
Pick a niche and craft it into a unique brand. Create and schedule unique content. Grow an active community. Watch the number of your followers grow.
Remember to incorporate social media marketing techniques to increase the audience count and track the analytics so you can put the numbers in your portfolio.
Build your own website
Whether you’re going the freelancing route, the agency route, or the corporate route, the best way to tie up and showcase all your experiences and projects together is through a personal website.
You are your own brand and when you have a website, you can list your accomplishments and projects there in greater detail. You can even include links to projects, add pictures, and write blog posts.
A website also adds credibility which is sure to attract potential employers and hiring managers. If you plan to do digital marketing as a side hustle or as a freelance job, more clients will be able to find you easily.
If you don’t have a website yet, you can build a professional website using a website builder. You can make a website there easily even if you don’t have any coding knowledge. All you have to do is sign up for an account and you can get your site set up in minutes!