Digital marketing is one of the most growing careers currently. With the internet setting down as a marketplace, Marketing has found its ways to transform it as the best place to sell products, services, and ideas. It has also created several new business opportunities which wouldn’t exist outside the online world.
Having said that, it has been created a demand for professionals specialized in this market, able to understand its particularities and to deal with them so achieve their clients’ goals. Digital marketing, also called as Online Marketing, was born with this purpose, and, even though there isn’t much of an established academic literature to it, it is already possible to take it as a formal career.
But, if you wish to become a digital marketer, you might be wondering what you have to do to make your dream come true. You probably have looked around and noticed that the information about it isn’t much available. So to help out, here are a few ways that you can choose so to start your digital marketing career.
Try some formal education
As you probably know, there is no law forcing you to have a degree or any other formal certification so to become a digital marketer. But if you are the kind who wants to have an accredited certificate to boost your confidence, or if you think that it wouldn’t do you any harm, you will be happy to know that you will find several courses available with this topic as a major.
You can either look for a degree in Marketing with focus on Digital Marketing or, if you already hold a Bachelor, you can go for a specialization or an MBA in Digital Marketing. Most of colleges and universities with focus on Business degrees will have something to offer in this industry nowadays.
On the downside, you should be aware that higher education courses can be quite expensive, plus that you will have to wait two to four years (or even more) to complete one of them. That is to say that this usually is the favourite option of people of younger age, who can afford it without working (or just working part-time), and that has no urgency to get a career started.
Look for (online/offline) short courses
If you think that you are ready to get it started but still lack the necessary expertise, one option is to look for online or classroom-based short courses in Digital Marketing. There are plenty of options out there which can get you good to go in just six months to one year (sometimes even in less time than this, depending on how much you already know).
If you are looking for options, you should check the courses available on Lynda and Udemy, which have some of the best online courses in Digital Marketing. You should also have a look at The Open College, and The Digital Marketing Institute is another good choice for either offline and online classes, depending on your country of residence.
In any case, this kind of courses can be a bit too fast-paced for those who are complete newbies in the area. And if you want to go for e-learning, make sure that you have the necessary discipline and motivation to study by yourself.
Look for an internship
If you are in college or if you think you can pull this off anyway, another way to get started in Digital Marketing is by finding an internship. This way you can apply at work whatever you have been learning in class and see how things happen in real life – as you probably know, there is always a huge distance between theory and practice.
Plus, internships will give you the opportunity to network and let the market know that you exist, increasing your chances to be contracted later on – just look for reviews of companies with the best internships in your area. And as a degree isn’t really mandatory to become a digital marketer, any kind of professional experience that you can add to your CV, even if only as an intern, can help you a lot in the future.
Create your own online product (and market it)
If you trust in yourself and believe in a hands-on approach, you should try and create your own online product and market it. This way, you will be able to learn about Digital Marketing while you are doing it.
Of course, it will involve some risk, but it will depend on how much you are going to invest in terms of time and money. And you probably have heard of many people doing it and being surprisingly successful.
Plus, if things go really well, nothing will stop you from contracting someone more experienced to act as your consultant for a while until you take your expertise to the next level.
Follow a mentor
Taking from the topic above, learning from someone more seasoned usually is one of the best ways to improve any skill. So try to find a digital marketer who would like to act as your mentor (for free or for a fee) to help you to start your career.
The advantage of this approach is that you will get to ask personalized questions, which will be much more valuable than anything you would be getting in a formal class. Plus, you will still see Digital Marketing happening in practice as you follow their work.
On the other hand, you will get to hear just one point of view here. Senior professionals can be very set on their ways, and some might find difficult to try new alternatives after a while. And as the online world is changing every day, this can be quite dangerous.
The bottom line
If you want to become a digital marketer, you have nothing to worry. This is such a new line of work that nobody has a formula yet about what is a mandatory requirement.
So the best thing that you can do is to choose the learning method that better matches your personality and go for it. If you really enjoy it and work hard enough, you will be eager to put into practice, and soon you will be calling yourself a Digital Marketing specialist.