I will never get tired of saying this:
The most effective way to become a digital marketer is by doing digital marketing.
Here are a couple of ways you can get some hands-on experience when you’re just getting started:
- Start your own website or blog. This is what we recommend and how I got started. By starting from scratch, you’ll have a better understanding of how everything works than if you were to walk onto something that’s already been built. Plus, you won’t have to worry too much about messing up.
Find a business you can help.
- Maybe there’s a business you already work for, a friend’s company, or a small business in the place where you live. Don’t go for the company of your dreams yet—you’re probably not ready. This option has its advantages since you will be able to see results (or lack thereof) faster and might be able to find someone to mentor you.
Once you’ve figured that out, here’s how to move forward:
- Create a rough draft of a digital marketing strategy. Focus on just one or two channels and tackle one funnel stage at a time. This way you will have a clear game plan for how you will attract traffic, convert traffic into leads, leads into customers, and customers into advocates.
- Set yourself a goal and a timeframe. For each tactic you test, define a goal (e.g. traffic, followers, sales, etc.) and a period of time when you expect to hit the goal. This way you will have an easy way to know whether your efforts are working as expected or not. Plus, you’ll gradually get better at setting up goals and targets.
- Review what worked, what didn’t, how to improve, and revisit your digital marketing strategy. You will be able to learn from your successes and failures and use that input to get better.
When you start learning digital marketing, it’s easy to go down a rabbit hole, feeling like you need to know “just a bit more” before you’re ready to implement. Digital marketing is a practical discipline. If you want to be any good at it, you need to get your hands dirty and do the work. The best way to learn is to just get started as soon as possible. Whenever you hit a roadblock, research how to get past it, and then keep going.
You should eventually develop a healthy balance of execution and learning that you’ll maintain for the rest of your career.
Digital marketing is not a discipline where credentials matter. It doesn’t really matter if you have a digital marketing degree or certification. The only thing that matters is that you can get results.
If you’re planning on spending a lot of money on a master’s degree in digital marketing or certification, my advice is simple: Don’t. You can get a better education online for a fraction of the cost—and use the rest of the money to start your own website and get some actual experience.
I hope you found this little guide useful, and remember if you need help with anything just shoot us over an e-mail and we’ll be glad to assist.