What Does It Take to Be a Digital Marketer: Is It in You?
By Laura O'Donnell
Monday, 29th August 2016

Digital marketing is gaining more popularity than ever as more and more of the market moves to, and relies upon, digital means, that means there’s never been a better time to become a digital marketer.

People who love social media or search engine technology are just the types to jump into digital marketing, but is that love of the means enough? What else does it take to break into the field of digital marketing?

Love What You Do

This probably goes without saying, but it needs to be said anyway. It’s not necessary to have a passion for digital marketing or any job you undertake, but it helps immensely in the performance of your work.

If you start early and stay up late to do the job, and are happy with that, it’s a good sign. It’s universal, not just applying to digital marketing, but to all the work we do. Having a sense of purpose and the ability to fulfill the purpose by doing something we enjoy not only makes life happier for us, but that passion is visible in the job " it drives us to do the best we can possibly do.

Just Do

All the passion in the world is not helpful if nothing is done with it. So, you love some aspect of digital marketing, and you’ve watched all the YouTube videos, read all the blogs, and listened to all the podcasts. Now what?

Passion has to be channeled into discipline for it to be useful. There are only so many hours in the day, so while it’s good to spend time consuming media and learning new techniques, there comes a time when you’re going to have to create your own content and making your own voice heard " or rather the voice of any clients you might happen to have. Once you know how it’s time to go out and do it.

Learn What You’re Doing

A degree in marketing or communications is a good start, but it’s only a start. Unfortunately for newcomers to the marketing field, employers generally look for those with actual experience from a previous job or an internship. If you’ve had an internship in the course of your education, that’s great. For everyone else, you’re going to have to get one or something similar that shows you know how to create campaigns, optimize sites for search engines, or post effectively on social media.

Experience is invaluable, not only because it will help you begin a career in digital marketing, but because it will give you insights into the business you might not have had otherwise. There’s nothing like hands-on experience.

If you’re still in college, you may even be able to find paid internships or ones that offer class credit. Check out any job fairs sponsored by your school, and visit social media and job search sites. Or if you have any really good ideas in mind, consider entering a marketing contest. The prize might well include internships, but even if you don’t win, you’re likely to meet helpful pros who could serve in a mentorship role and gain experience in the process.

Anyone, in college, in another career, or just interested in digital marketing, can get a domain name and start a website. Put some things of interest on it, and then go about seeing how many people you can get to visit your site. Should you ever apply to work for someone else as a digital marketer and you have a successful site you created all on your own " that’s one of the greatest recommendations you can ever have, no formal experience required.

Keep Current

It’s likely you’ll be keeping up with the latest in digital marketing, but just in case, it’s time to emphasize the importance of knowing what new trends are big and getting bigger, and which old trends are no longer worth following. Learn something new every day, because there’s something new in the digital world every day. Just as the internet is a dynamic entity, your style will have to be equally dynamic in order for your marketing skills to remain relevant.

A major part of keeping current is the desire to learn that goes beyond the need to enhance your career. An actual curiosity about the why’s and how’s of the technology you work with and the people you are trying to reach will compel you to understand what you are doing. You’ll see the big picture, you’ll see how everything fits together " and you’ll love every minute of it.

Speak to Your Audience

Want to draw people in? Know how to talk to them. Digital marketing has a language all its own, and you’re going to have to know how to speak it. Someone’s going to want to know about their landing page, or how you employ SEO. You may be a media genius, with natural talent that can get millions of eyeballs of a website, but if you don’t know metrics, analytics, and click-through rates, many professionals are much less likely to take you seriously.

Author Bio:

Laura O’Donnell writes smart content on behalf of the digital marketing experts at The Marketing Zen Group. As an avid writer and learner, she loves to use her skills for engaging others in important topics in creative and effective ways. When she is not working, she loves meeting new people, traveling, and bringing her Pinterest dreams to life.

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