Want to get into digital marketing and have no experience? These are the steps you'll want to take.

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Photo by James Pond

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many businesses to move their operations online, which has affected job search in a number of ways. One consequence of this shift is that digital marketing has become critical for more companies, and demand for digital marketers has skyrocketed as businesses understand how digital marketing can help them to not only survive the pandemic economy but also to grow beyond it.

See the opportunity?

For job seekers, the good news is that you can have your pick of great (entry-level and above) digital marketing jobs, many of which you could do from home, if you build the right skills to land one.

And getting them isn't as hard as you might think, especially while demand is so high (which makes digital marketing jobs a great option for career change, including for job seekers over 40).

Here's how to do it, and you can get started today.

What appeals to you most about getting a digital marketing job?

7 Smart Reasons for Choosing Digital Marketing as a Career

1. Earn basic marketing credentials

Digital marketers come from a broad variety of backgrounds: some are self-taught, some study business, marketing, advertising, or communications at university. Some obtain an advanced university degree such as a Master of Digital Marketing. There's no one-size-fits-all approach to take.

But if you're looking for the surest possible route to a good job, earning solid credentials is a great place to start without having a degree. Employers want candidates to show that they have the skills to do the job on offer – and relevant academic credentials are a great way to accomplish this.

You can actually start building an impressive resume full of digital marketing credentials without spending any money. Check out these free digital marketing certifications:

Google AdWords Certification – As a digital marketer, you're going to have to know how to stretch your employer's advertising budget as far as possible. That means knowing how to make the most of the tools digital ad platforms provide. Google offers free certification coursework for their AdWords platform. It'll make you an expert advertiser in no time.

Google Analytics Academy – Running digital marketing campaigns will generate data – and plenty of it. Learn how to understand your marketing data and use it to target audiences in the most effective ways possible by working your way through the Google Analytics Academy.

HubSpot Content Marketing Certification – One of the most effective marketing methods in use today is content marketing. It involves creating videos, blogs, and social media content designed to attract an audience and keep them coming back. To learn how to do it, get yourself a content marketing certification from HubSpot. They're one of the best in the business.

YouTube Creator Academy – Learn how to create and optimize videos for YouTube with free courses at the YouTube Creator Academy. You'll learn how to get attention on the platform even when it seems like everything has already been done, and help your marketing efforts succeed.

How To Get a Digital Marketing Job with NO Experience | My Journey &  Tips

2. Study the art of copywriting

To master content marketing is to learn how to produce top-notch written content for the Internet. It's not as simple as it might seem from the audience's perspective. You need to learn which writing styles work best and how to use them. And you'll also need to learn how to edit and refine your work. This skill set is known as copywriting.

Copywriting is a different skill than creative story writing or essay writing, requiring you to master a group of skills beyond just writing. You'll need to have a good grasp of consumer psychology and also know how to be persuasive in your writing. This skill set isn't necessarily one that can be readily acquired by studying at university; it takes more than a course or two to become adept at it.

To learn how to copywrite well, expert Josh Earl recommends studying some of the legendary North American copywriters including Gary Halbert, Gary Bencivenga, and John Carlton:

“Check out each of them, sample their writing, and then pick the one person whose style best resonates with you.

Study everything they've put out and model their approach until you think like them.

Then when you branch out you'll be working from a solid foundation.”

A simple, common exercise to get a feel for great copywriting is to copy by hand one piece of winning sales copy every day for 30-60 days. Find examples of what to copy on those experts' websites such as sales letters, magazine ads, landing pages and more.

Also, check out Neil Patel's master list of copywriting resources – it'll give you everything you need to be a master wordsmith in no time.

How to get a job in digital marketing with NO experience!

3. Learn digital marketing channels

Digital marketers are often tasked with creating, executing, and managing digital marketing campaigns in multiple channels, but what is a digital marketing channel?

Each channel is a focused way of communicating with a target audience, and some of the most effective digital marketing channels include video marketing, email marketing, pay-per-click marketing and more.

These could include social media or paid search in search engines like Google, DuckDuckGo, and Bing.

There might also be ad campaigns running on individual websites or networks of websites. Some employers also do influencer marketing campaigns, while others prioritize search engine optimization (SEO) for organic search. For product-based businesses, affiliate marketing is another high-priority digital marketing channel.

Given that your job as a digital marketer will involve one or more of these facets of digital marketing, so you'll need to have an in-depth understanding of how each one works. However, it's common for digital marketers to specialize in one type of marketing channel. There's simply too much to know and too much evolving at any time to be a jack-of-all-trades.

For example, you might focus on gaining expertise with a specific social media network,  or to master paid search in one channel, or to aim for recurring commissions as an affiliate marketing expert.

Even as you specialize, you'll still need to know how a modern multi-channel marketing campaign works. If you've gotten through the certification coursework listed earlier, you should already have a decent handle on many of the channels you'll need to master. And that should also make choosing a specialty easier – in other words, pick the one you're most comfortable with and become an expert at it.

How to get a job in digital marketing with no experience | basics + tips

4. Market yourself first by building your personal brand

Prospective employers will also want to see evidence that you're able to build their brand, and a great way to prove yourself is to build a brand from the ground up – your own. Your efforts will show that you're a marketing pro, and will have employers seeking you out for your expertise.

Here are some possible approaches you could take:

Earn fans on social media

If you're hoping to specialize in social media marketing, your own social media channels have to reflect your skills. Begin by choosing one or more of the major social media networks to focus on. Then delete (or make private) your accounts on all of the rest so potential employers will only see your best work.

Next, arm yourself with some social media management tools that include automation functions so you can orchestrate all of your accounts to function as a single, unified online presence. A news aggregator like Feedly can help curate content to share with your growing audience.

You'll also need to start creating your own content that highlights your growing marketing skills. Focus on crafting content that's engaging and shareable. Learn about what works by following other marketing heavyweights. Don't be afraid to tag them when you've got some insight to share or if you think they'd like to weigh in on something you've posted. If you can engage other well-known marketers in your conversation, it'll lend your social channels an air of expertise that potential employers will notice.

Start or expand your blog/podcast/video channel

You need a place to share digital marketing expertise regularly, such as a blog. Blogging, when done well, can help to reinforce your image as an expert in your industry. If your blog is useful and popular, blogging can even result in unsolicited job offers. But more importantly, having a thriving marketing blog shows potential employers that you understand how to target, capture, and grow audiences using custom content.

To display your marketing prowess, build your blog into a community, attracting as many users as you can. This will allow you to interact with the audience and show off your marketing knowledge. Think of your blog as one big, ongoing ad for your skills. When you learn something new, write a feature about it. Don't be afraid to show off, either.

And if you think you won't have much expertise to share as you're just getting started, focus on the digital marketing basics as you learn about them. How well you can explain something to others is a good gauge of how well you understand it yourself.

Grow your audience by getting in front of people

It's important to grow your blog and social media presence by regularly reaching out to the world beyond your little bubble, and there are many ways to do this:

  • Submitting guest articles on high-authority sites in your industry will boost your authority
  • Publishing eBooks, if you have the time and patience for it, can enhance your credibility even further. You don't even have to write them to make money, you can use them as a giveaway to build your mailing list and spread your name around business and marketing circles. You'd be shocked how often an eBook download can turn into a job offer. You don't even have to write them yourself, just hire someone to ghostwrite it for you, as long you can discuss the ebook's content as if you had written it.
  • Creating and sharing a handy, public resource such as a business networking groups directory will put you in touch with many people, including potential employers
  • Become an active member of local industry Facebook and LinkedIn groups, or start your own

How To Land Your First Marketing Job or Advertising Job With Little To No Experience

Putting it all together

These are the steps you'd want to take to convince employers that you're exactly the right person to fill the lucrative digital marketing jobs they're offering. Digital marketing is a legitimate career path, but employers are wary because so many people make promises they can't deliver on. And for them, every marketing failure is a real threat to the bottom line.

If you follow the suggestions listed above though, you can easily differentiate yourself from the dodgy players in the industry and make yourself highly attractive to employers. And you'll build a reputation as a marketing expert the old-fashioned way – by doing the work to learn and apply the skills of a digital marketing pro!

Question of the article

What made you consider digital marketing as a (new) career direction? Tell us in the comments.

What others are saying

Bonus: How to Start And Build A Career in Marketing When You Have No Connections

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Jacob Share

Job Search Expert, Professional Blogger, Creative Thinker, Community Builder with a sense of humor. I like to help people.

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