Hello hello, I am Claire! I’ve recently joined List & Found as a Digital Marketing Executive! Chris asked me to write a blog post, and I wanted to share my story. This role is a bit different from my last, so I had a bit of a journey getting here.
I always wanted to write something like this with the hope that someone else might find it useful. If something in this tweaks your interest – I would love to hear from you.
So how did I get a career in digital marketing during a pandemic?
In March 2020, I moved to Manchester (from London) right at the start of the first UK national lockdown. With a bit of experience in my previous role, I knew I wanted a job in digital marketing, so I used the move as an opportunity to get one.
While we planned the move, a national lockdown wasn’t something I had ever considered being an issue.
I landed a career in digital marketing during a pandemic
Between baking banana bread and going on my daily walk of exercise, I managed to land a career in marketing. It took a lot of hard work and dedication, but I haven’t looked back. So I wanted to share with you my 8 steps to landing a career in digital marketing.
1. Build a strong network of partners within the marketing community
The marketing community is undeniably one of the most welcoming networks I have ever been a part of. Their job is literally to build trust, engage, and excite an audience, so it really is a thriving community.
Plus joining a strong network of digital marketers will allow you to keep up with the latest digital drifts, from social media trends to search engine algorithm changes.
If you’re not sure where to start, try these:
- Comms Creative is where comms & marketing people get creative, fearless & proud.
- The Marketing Meetup a posi+ively lovely community that helps you become a better marketer.
2. Keep a list of skills you need to become a digital marketer.
The only person you should be racing is yourself from yesterday. But that doesn’t mean you can’t learn from others.
If you find a job that you like the look of, look at their new hires and compare your strengths. Knowing their team will help you understand the cultural fit, their values, and what areas of marketing you should look at developing your skills in.
Where can you start?
Fundamentals of Digital Marketing by Google Digital Garage
An in-depth overview of all types of digital marketing and the (Google) tools available to help you increase your conversions.
Google Analytics by Google Analytics Academy
You can’t improve what you don’t measure, and as digital marketers, we sometimes need to be more analytical than creative. Google Analytics Academy covers all things Google Analytics (unsurprisingly), and you will use this in your next role.
The Social Media Content Programme by Comms Creative
A series of practical online training lessons with the phenomenal Helen Reynolds. I honestly use my learning from this course daily and across all kinds of digital marketing.
…and don’t forget about practice
Marketing is all about practice, and being a digital marketer, you can’t be afraid to fail. Experiments are key so putting your new-found skills into practice is vital.
Think about creating a website: Look at how to structure it for excellent user experience, and design the landing pages with search engine optimisation in mind.
Practice your craft: Keep your website up to date with blog posts about a chosen topic; this will increase your long-form writing and help with your website’s SEO. (Find out more here)
Experiment across platforms: Create a social media account focused towards a targetted topic, practice different forms of content and discover how to increase your reach and engagement organically.
3. Read everything.
Remember the golden rule of marketing is to know your audience and be able to convert them into achieving your goal. Job hunting is practically the same. As a digital marketer, you need to be able to sell, and that includes selling yourself.
When applying for a job, don’t forget to read the job description, look up the company values, study their projects, and keep up to date with their social media. All of this will allow you to understand your audience, tailor your application, and convert them to giving you the job.
4. Don’t avoid feedback; use it.
“One door closes, and another one opens”. I don’t believe that, and I hate to hear feedback.
However, when you are looking for a job, feedback can be vital. If at first, you don’t succeed, find out why, and use it to your advantage.
Ultimately the ability to experiment, learn, and problem-solve makes for a dependable digital marketer, so don’t forget to ask for feedback throughout the application process.
Be kind to yourself; jobs in digital marketing are not going to disappear.
5. Keep a routine
This is much easier said than done and works for all job hunting, not just digital marketing. Changing career can be stressful, complicated, and have a toll on your mental health.
Creating goals and keeping a routine not only helps you strategise, plan and move forward, but it also protects you from feeling overwhelmed, demotivated and having the life drain out of you.
6. Delete your emails from your phone
As the old saying goes, a watched pot never boils. Always waiting for an interview invite can leave you constantly on edge.
Delete your emails from your phone and spend time doing something you love. This time away from your emails will reduce the stress of job hunting and put you back on top form when you return to the grind.
Digital marketing requires a bucket load of skills; I bet you already have some.
7. Don’t sell yourself short.
No matter which job you’re applying for, you’ll need a range of skills.
From communication to creativity to analytics; digital marketing involves it all. This can lead to you only applying for junior positions over the fear of not meeting 80% of the application.
Do not sell yourself short and apply for the level of seniority you known you can win as. Applying for a junior position can often become your downfall as companies may not hire you out of fear you’re overqualified and will move on quickly out of boredom.
8. Seek, and you shall find
There are 250,000 marketing agencies in the UK alone, and we are one of the leading countries in the industry. That is at a very minimum 250,000 marketing roles.
But how do you know which company is right for you?
Do not discredit smaller companies.
Apologies in advance for tooting my own horn but the great thing about applying to smaller companies, such as List and Found, is that they hire based on the individual.
When Chris was interviewing for my position, finding a person with drive and passion was the focus over someone with years and years of experience. He knew he could teach the technical stuff, and that hiring someone passionate about digital marketing would keep the integrity of his company alive while expanding.
A small digital marketing agency is a fantastic place to start your career. There is nowhere to hide, so be prepared to throw yourself into the deep end from the very beginning (obviously with guidance and support).
From the very first day, you will be learning, experimenting, and challenged.
You’ll have the opportunity to make a big difference for clients while putting all that new knowledge into practice.
Still think a career in digital marketing is for you?
If this all sounds like your ideal career, who would blame you? Then why not give us a follow on LinkedIn?
List & Found is a growing B2B digital marketing agency so we might just be looking for you. We advertise our positions on LinkedIn, so if this sounds like you and we have a position open, we would love you to apply.