A career in marketing can be fulfilling and challenging, fun and stressful, rewarding and demanding. Marketing is a key component in ensuring that companies and businesses reach their audiences and translate that reach into sales. If you have a knack for communications and understanding the way people think, and if you possess solid problem-solving skills and have an insight into how trends work, you might have a chance at succeeding with a career in marketing. Here are some key tips for getting you started.
Take certifications and courses.
If you’re contemplating a career in marketing, you most likely already know the basics and the job’s foundational aspects. While you can earn a job in marketing without having a degree in related subjects, you still need to find ways to prove to people why you’re suitable for the job. Here are some marks of a good marketing strategist:
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills
- Creativity and out-of-the-box thinking
- Good social and people skills
- Analytical skills
If you possess most of these qualities, you might make an effective marketing manager or strategist one day. However, you still need to have some form of qualifications, like certifications and short courses. Some of these courses are even given for free!
Choose a specific field.
There are plenty of sub-fields under the marketing umbrella, like the following:
- Social media marketing
- Growth-hacking and start-up marketing
- Paid advertising
- Email marketing
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Inbound marketing
- Web and conversion optimization
It’s impossible to be an all-rounder who knows the ins and outs of every single one of those fields, and there’s nothing wrong with that. The important thing is that you know how these sub-fields go, and you can focus on one or two as your area of specialization. Ensure that whatever field you go for interests you and that you don’t choose it as a field just because it pays more. The fact of the matter is we tend to excel at jobs we find interesting, so follow your passion, and the pay will follow.
Join a reputable company.
While there’s nothing wrong with dreaming about the possibility of starting a marketing company of your own someday, there is so much benefit to working for an established marketing company now. Some benefits include:
- You get hands-on training that you won’t get as a freelancer. These companies have bigger client bases and, thus, more opportunities to stretch your marketing skills.
- You gain access to the latest tools and technology, and you will learn the ropes while using the latest marketing tools available.
- You will learn about the latest marketing trends from trained professionals who have been doing this for a long time.
Find coaches and mentors.
Speaking of learning from professionals, being a successful marketer also requires finding people in the industry who can be part of your journey by providing you with knowledge and networks. Truthfully, marketing involves a lot of networking—it’s all about people and trust. If you’re a rookie, find someone who can teach you and help you advance in your career. Because marketing is all about people and relationships, many professionals in this industry are always looking for bright and eager upstarts. You should make yourself available for potential coaches and mentors who believe in your potential and what you can achieve as a marketer.
Start a blog or other platforms where you can sharpen your skills.
If the marketing company you end up working for allows it, consider starting a blog as a channel through which you can sharpen your writing skills, content creating, coming up with campaigns, and others. Blogging is a great way to hone your unique tone of voice, ideas, and technical skills as a marketer.
Network, network, network.
There are no two ways about it: You need to grow your contact base if you want a marketing career. Attend events (virtual ones for now, at least while the pandemic rages on), and build connections and relationships in organic and non-creepy ways.
Never Stop Learning
Because marketing is all about being attuned with consumer sentiment, values, spending habits, and other trends, being a marketer means we never stop learning. The marketing world will keep evolving as long as people do. So read up, listen to podcasts, watch some Ted Talks, and arm yourself with every related information. The right knowledge will never betray you in your quest to having a successful career in marketing. Believe in yourself!