With nearly 60% of small businesses using online marketing to drive growth, taking steps to become a digital marketer could mark the turning point that will lead you to pursue your dreams, build a thriving business and earn a decent income from scratch.
Think about it. The demand for digital marketers is increasingly at an all-time high. Compared to few years ago, today; more and more brands are gearing up to use the services of digital marketing experts to power their growth.
Based on statistics, millions of smart people like you are already taking steps to launch successful digital marketing careers that’s transformed their world. And just like them, today you could decide to spread your wings and soar.
But, before embarking on this journey, there are crucial things you need in place and I’ll be sharing some of these things with you in the following paragraphs.
Understand the Basics
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Digital marketing is an aspect of marketing that deploys online marketing strategies to drive growth, build conversions and increase sales for brands and businesses.
It covers marketing dimensions like Content Marketing, Social media marketing, Email Marketing, PPC advertising etc.
As someone aspiring to become a digital marketer, before getting started, you want to familiarize yourself with the aspects of this marketing approach and then pick out key areas that appeals to you.
For starters, it is not always easy to pick up what matters most to you at this stage, unless you’re very sure about what you want alongside your inclinations from the onset. But to make things easier, start with understudying the different aspects of digital marketing.
Furthermore, find out other factors like the market demand and supply variables for that specific skill, the duration of time it’ll take to learn the specific skills and your persona inclinations or goals.
Doing this gets you an idea on what’s going to work for you realistically.
Set your Goals & Niche
In some cases before you become a digital marketer, you might want to start with setting your goals before getting right into the other aspects so you can have a clearer perspective. But where you didn’t do that, you can always set up your goals at the second step.
Doing this gives you clarity especially with hindsight from what you now know about digital marketing. With this, you can then identify what really matters to you, the things you want to achieve as a digital marketer, how long you want to achieve this and the specific skills, effort or resources that will be required of you.
Also, this is the stage where you identify the path you want to go either as a freelance digital marketer or a digital marketing agency. This is very crucial.
As soon as you’re able to set your goals based on the factors outlined above, it’s now time to identify a niche that aligns with these goals, one that will get you to achieve them.
While choosing a niche, for starters, you might want to widen up your niche so you can attract as much market visibility as possible before narrowing down as you continue to grow your client base.
Another reason you want to avoid micro-focusing your niche is so you can find a sweet spot where your talent matches your skills, personal motivations, inclinations etc.
The moment you find this, it becomes even easier to build phenomenal success while doing the work you love.
PS: Depending on your level of exposure with digital marketing, you might still delay choosing specific goals or finding a niche until you pass through the third stage on this tutorial.
Get Trained on Digital Marketing
Getting on trainings that leads to certifications is one of the most popular ways to become a digital marketer professionally.
Sometimes, outside clients wanting to know your pedigree, getting professional certifications sets you on an excellent path to success as you embark on a new digital marketing career.
As you get on with this journey, look for professional institutions with pedigree to learn about your chosen area of digital marketing where you’ll build a career around.
Beyond getting training from these institutions, get on YouTube and other free websites where further skills can be learned at no extra cost, dig in further into understanding your preferred area of focus.
Additionally, take up tasks, challenging exercises and projects that will expand your knowledge while you learn. And most importantly, to build a successful online marketing career, do not stop learning during and even after your certification.
Create a Brand
Now that you’ve learned the skills, gotten certifications and grounded on the basics demanded of you as an expert, to become a digital marketer that thrives, you don’t just need a brand, you need a brand that stands out.
To get started with building your brand, pick up your goals and niche as set out in step 2 above. find out, based on these two, what should your brand reflect?
Remember, based on your specific goals and niche, you should have a clear picture of your target audience, who they are, what they want and what they expect you to offer as a brand they patronize.
Now is the time to take this data and use it to create a brand that reflects this attributes and has capacity to provide the needed services required of you.
Starting from your brand name, brand colors, logos and brand values, carefully identify the core of what matters to you and your target audience and then use this to curate a brand that stands out.
Where it gets really difficult, you can research other popular brands in your niche, find out their audience, outline what they are doing right and find the bits and pieces you can pick up to customize for your own needs.
Pay attention to set up a social media handle for your brand on top social media platforms with the largest number of your target audience and engage on those platforms.
Build a Portfolio
After building a brand, you want to start building a portfolio of your work to demonstrate your expertise, skills level and the results you can achieve for prospective clients.
Naturally, this should come as part of your paid jobs. But, as a beginner gearing to become a digital marketer from scratch, you chances of coring a lot of chances to work for brands are quite low. So, it might be hard to build a portfolio with paid jobs from scratch.
To get around this there are alternative options that can get you to build a portfolio and cut off the starving days.
Specifically, you can start with going for internships or taking up volunteering opportunities. Internships allows you to learn on the job while building a portfolio of your own for future purposes while volunteering gives you the option to offer your services for free (in most cases), in return for testimonials, referrals, etc.
Outside either of these two, you can also get started by scouting for entry level jobs on job posting websites like Fiverr, Upwork, Indeed, etc.
To compensate for your lack of real time experience on these platforms, you can opt for lower rates to attract clients for a start.
Network, Connect, Collaborate
Building a network that comprises of potential clients, people with similar interests or others outside your area of interest could be one of the easiest ways to get some work opportunities as you hit the road to become a digital marketer.
So, after going through the learning stage, setting up your brand and all, don’t just stop there, reach out, connect with and build network with others.
Beyond building networks, learn to use collaborations to your interests. Collaborating with other people in your niche can open up opportunities for you to reach a wider audience, attract new fans or even get some prospects over to your brand.
From publishing books, hosting events to selling complimentary services, you can collaborate with digital marketers or other businesses in your niche, to achieve exceptional results.
But, one thing to keep in mind is that to make the most of it, you must make whatever collaborations you’re going into, a win-win for both brands. This is very important.
Promote & Position your Brand
It is not enough to become a digital marketer, to get really outstanding in your niche, you have to position and promote your brand aggressively.
The following are the key approaches to promote your brand:
- Set up a Website: This will be the home base for your brand. It will host all the information about you, what you do and how best you can serve your clients as well as your portfolio. It is the least you can invest in for your brand and without one, it gets really difficult for a prospect to take you seriously. Get a website here.
- Set up Social Media: There are a number of social media platforms with billions of users and potential clients. You don’t have to be in all of them. Choose the top social media handles with the largest number of your target audience, create content, engage, grow your audience and get them over to your social media.
- Join Online Communities: There are online communities on the social media, web forums and other websites catering for various digital marketing niches. Join these communities to learn, network and build your client base.
- Content Marketing: As a digital marketer, content marketing and storytelling are key tools you can use to position, grow and promote your brand.
- Leverage SEO: Search engine and social media optimization are key strategies you can engage to promote your content get better visibility, traffic and improved ROI on your brand promotion efforts.
- Employ Paid Advertising: Outside these other free options, paid advertising could serve as a great way to get the push, promote your business or gather a few clients on the first few months.
From Social Media to Search and banner ads, there are a lot of advertising options you can choose from at all times.
In a nutshell, it’s not possible to become a digital marketer that earns a substantial level of success without finding ways to update yourself or stay familiar with trends, updates and improvements within the industry.
Considering that digital marketing exists in a fast paced environment where trends and result deciding factors change rapidly, to build consistent success with your digital marketing career, you need a formidable strategy that leverages industry trends while getting focused on achieving your key goals.
Also, beyond putting in the work, you want to evaluate your strategies and measure your outcomes at intervals. Find what’s working and what’s not then make adjustments accordingly. Do not leave anything to chances.
Finally, there are lots of certification courses, trainings and tutorials you can sign up for to get started on this journey. And one of the best recommended at this stage is our digital marketing training program which takes you by the hand and sets you on the path to success. Get started here. Or contact us here.
Now, it’s your turn. What are your biggest challenges when it comes to starting a career as a digital marketer? Drop your comments below.