Getting a digital marketing job in 2020 looks like a great challenge if you’re new and don’t have any prior experience in the field.
You might come across a lot of news or LinkedIn posts on how individuals are destroying the digital marketing job market.
Many people assume that they need sufficient experience to get digital marketing jobs. That’s simply not the case.
I’ve personally seen plenty of people getting jobs at top companies with little to no experience.
You need to understand the nature of the digital marketing industry before getting started. The industry requires you to adapt to fast changes. There are a lot of digital companies popping up every day and coming up with new digital solutions.
With Covid-19 pandemic, the demand for digital marketing professionals is on the rise. Most businesses are going online today as that’s the only way they can sustain.
Having a college degree has nothing to do with landing a digital marketing job.
There is a huge gap in digital marketing skills.
According to the Digital Marketing Institute, there will be 150,000 digital jobs by 2020. But, the number of professionals available to fill up the job is extremely low.
Did you know that you can acquire digital marketing skills without the need to spend thousands of dollars?
Yes. I’m serious here. Colleges don’t cover every aspect of digital marketing like Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Content Marketing, Paid Search and Social Ads and many more.
A digital marketing career can help you get a job that pays close to five figures a year even if you’re just starting off.
According to Payscale, the average pay for a digital marketing specialist is $49,875. However, there is a huge pay gap in other countries. As the demand for digital marketers are rapidly increasing, the pay will also increase in the next few years.
So, how can you enter the industry without any experience?
How to learn and acquire the necessary knowledge about digital marketing to land a digital marketing job?
Well, I’m a self-taught digital marketing professional. And in this article, I’m going to outline the exact steps I’ve used to improve my knowledge on digital marketing.
So let’s get started
Tips For Landing A Digital Marketing Job
- Boost Your Self-Confidence
- Choose The Right Digital Marketing Career Path
- Learn The Fundamentals of Digital Marketing
- Start A Digital Marketing Side Hustle
- Getting Prepared For Your Digital Marketing Job Interview
- Negotiate Your Salary Like A Pro
- Stay updated with changes in Digital Marketing
Boost Your Self-Confidence
When you’re stepping towards your digital marketing career, you might compare yourself with others. Especially the ones with more experience, more skills, and more connection. This comparison might discourage you and make you feel incompetent.
Come on, guys! It’s just your feeling.
There are thousands of opportunities available waiting for you only if you decide to grab it. You need to get confident with yourself. If you don’t trust yourself, who else will?
No matter how much experience, skills and connection a person has, it is nothing compared to your interpersonal skills which includes your personality and communication skills.
I agree that most organization look for a specific set of skills and knowledge to fulfil a job requirement, but characteristics and attitudes are even more important.
Two of my good friends are recruiters and I often have a discussion with them regarding digital marketing recruitment. There are three important things recruiters want to know before inviting you to an interview:
- You can get the job done.
- You’re a genuine and honest person.
- You have a positive attitude
You just need to go out there and show your confidence with a positive attitude with your interviewers. Even if you don’t have a degree from Ivy League Universities, you can get any job you want with your communication skill.
Don’t give up if you fail to get the job. Keep on trying until you get it. Every failure will teach you to be better. In the long run, you will be better and secure the job you desire for.
When you’re confident, you’ll be successful with everything you do.
Choose The Right Digital Marketing Career Path
Out of curiosity, you decided to explore the digital marketing industry. Before starting your digital marketing journey, you need to answer a few important questions which will provide you with a clear indication of what you should focus:
- What do you love to do?
- What kind of topics in digital marketing interest you?
- Are you a lone ranger or like to work in groups?
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- Are you a creative or analytical person?
Digital marketing has a number of categories where each category has a different career path.
Although most digital marketing jobs require knowledge and skills of each of the categories, it is crucial to focus on the digital marketing discipline that you like the most.
A digital marketing specialist is someone who focuses on multiple disciplines of digital marketing which includes paid search, social ads, SEO, Content Marketing, Social Media Marketing and many more.
Social Media Marketing and Search Engine Optimization(SEO) are the most common digital marketing skills that 90% of companies look for when they hire digital marketers.
Following are the different categories of digital marketing and the tools you need to master.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – SEMRush, Ahrefs, Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Screaming Frog
- Social Media Marketing (SMM) – Facebook and Instagram Ads, Twitter Ads, LinkedIn Ads, Pinterest, TikTok Ads
- Search Engine Marketing (SEM) – Google Ads, Bing Ads, Remarketing Ads
- Analytics – Google Analytics, Clicky, Kissmetrics, Adobe Analytics
- Email Marketing – Drip, Mailchimp, Mailerlite
- Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) – Unbounce, AB Tasty, Similarweb
- Web Design & Development – WordPress, Woocommerce, Shopify, Joomla, Drupal, Magento
- Marketing Automation – Hubspot, Pardot, Marketo
You should also get familiar with other fundamental tools like Excel, Word, Powerpoint and Outlook. They are important for all types of jobs today.
Learn The Fundamentals of Digital Marketing
Once you’ve chosen the category that you want to focus on, it’s time to improve your knowledge on that subject.
Did you know there are thousands of free resources available on the Internet about digital marketing?
There are even free digital marketing certification courses which will look great on your resume.
These are top digital marketing certification that will not only help you improve your digital marketing skills but also gives certificates that you can add to your resume to show your credibility and expertise.
I’ve taken these courses and I fully recommend them as it helped me improve my digital marketing skills and knowledge.
- Google Ads Certification – This is one of the most important course you should enrol and get certified. In this course, you will learn about Google Search Ads, Video Ads, Display Ads, Apps Ads and Shopping Ads.
- If you’re new to digital marketing, I suggest you should complete this certification course. Most of the digital marketing positions for freshers require this certification.
- Facebook Blueprint (free to learn, but need to pay for certification) – In this social media marketing course, you will learn the in and out of Facebook Ads and Instagram Ads.
- If you’re looking to focus on social media marketing, this course is a must as it will teach you how to ultimately grow businesses with Facebook and Instagram.
- SEMRush Academy – SEMRush offers free certification exams on digital marketing which focuses mainly on Search Engine Marketing. There 24 certification courses available. Apart from that, their free courses will help you master SEO and PPC.
- Note: Most of their courses use SEMRush tool, so they indirectly promoting their SEO tool. You don’t have to purchase it first. Just go for their Free Trial and get used with the tool. Many organization are using SEMRush for their SEO and Google Ads initiatives.
- Google Analytics Academy – Whether you’re focusing on search engine marketing or social media marketing, it is crucial to learn about analytics. It is hard to ace any digital marketing job without a clear understanding of Google Analytics.
- How can you convince the organization you’re working for to make an informed decision without having understanding the visitors behaviour?
- HubSpot Academy – There are 13 certification courses offered by Hubspot. It offers a variety of disciplines which includes inbound marketing, sales and customer service. HubSpot’s Inbound Marketing certification course is one of the most important course for any digital marketers.
There are many paid courses are available as well. But, before jumping to those courses I suggest to take get certification from the free ones. It will definitely help you impress your hiring manager.
Most of my friends in the digital marketing industry got hired because of these certifications.
Start Digital Marketing Side Hustle
If you want to stand out from your competition when you’re applying for a digital marketing role, you need to have something different than others. Something that you can show as proof that you’re better than other candidates.
Money shouldn’t be your focus right now. You should completely focus on helping business grow with digital marketing. Help them increase their online presence and online sales. By doing so you’ll be able to build your own portfolio which will help you develop a competitive advantage over other candidates.
Most of the small and medium businesses ignore the importance of digital marketing in growing their business. It’s not that they don’t want to implement digital strategies but they don’t have the time to learn and execute them due to lack of resources.
Just help them out.
If you’re able to increase their revenue, they will appreciate your contribution and reward you. Even if you’re not compensated, you’re building a digital marketing portfolio while sharpening your digital marketing skills.
Once you build your portfolio you can either apply for a digital marketing job or build your personal branding by offering your expertise in return of money.
You can use the following freelance sites to land some digital marketing gigs:
If you ask me, I will focus on building my personal branding as it is extremely valuable in the job market. You will have the ability to choose the right digital marketing job that suits your preferences when you have built your personal branding.
You can increase your personal branding by developing a site that exhibits your digital marketing skills. If social media advertising is something you love to do, start developing content about it. It can either be articles, videos or even podcasts. Offer value for the people looking for social media marketing advice.
When you accept freelance gigs, you’ll be able to develop case studies on how you helped the brands to grow using digital marketing and publish them to your site. If you show results, people won’t bother to know about your educational background.
Make sure to create a LinkedIn profile and add your portfolio, past work and your resume. LinkedIn is the first place a recruiter will choose to check on you before inviting you for the interview.
Now you’re ready to get the job of your dream without any fear as you have the credibility to give the best in your job.
Getting Prepared For Your Digital Marketing Job Interview
So you’ve completed all your certification and took initiatives in building your portfolio. Now you’re ready to play in the bigger league. If you’ve done it right, you’ll be invited for an interview in no time after applying for the job.
You need to prepare for your digital marketing job interview.
How should you prepare for the interview?
Many career consultants will ask you to plan ahead before attending an interview. You need to do some homework before the interview session.
Here are some of the tips that will help you with the digital marketing job interview:
Research about the company – It is important for you to completely evaluate and understand about the company, their products & services, history and financial situation. You can go further by identifying what they are lacking in terms of digital marketing and how you will improve it if you’re offered a job in the company.
If you’re able to provide a digital marketing strategy for the organization during the interview, the hiring manager will be amazed by your efforts.
Modify your resume to match the role – The common problem with people is that they often use a generic resume for every job position they are applying for. When you send a generic resume, it’s not going to work as the hiring manager will be getting hundreds or thousands of generic resumes.
You need to make sure your resume stands out. Highlight the points that are relevant to the job you’ve applied to. Customize your resume to suit the job position you’ll be interviewed for. This will create maximum impact for the job position you’re applying to.
Get ready for the situational interview questions – If you’ve ever attended an interview, I’m sure you’re aware of the situational interview questions like ” tell me about yourself”, “tell me what you will do if”.
If you’ve never attended an interview before, you might get nervous in answering those questions. You just need a simple practice. Write the questions the interviewer might ask and come up with good answers. Most candidates fail to answer these questions, and you can easily stand out if you can answer them perfectly.
There is a method called STAR interview response. STAR stands for Situation, Task, Action, Result. This method is extremely helpful to exhibit yourself as a quick thinker and a valuable asset for the organization if they hire you.
Take a look at the common situational interview questions and answers.
Get prepared for a digital marketing assessment – Digital marketing assessment is essential to test your knowledge and skills. When I applied for a remote digital marketing job, I was given instructions in a Word file to perform an on-page SEO audit and provide a recommendation on improving search traffic for a specific organization. They gave me 7-10 days to complete the task and send it over to them.
Digital marketing assessment is common these days to test the candidate’s knowledge and skills as there are so many people claiming to be a digital marketer as they are good with Facebook and Instagram. If the hiring organization give you an assessment task, complete it in a timely manner with necessary inputs.
Just follow what Ben Franklin has said, ” if you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. You can follow the steps I’ve mentioned and ace your digital marketing job interview.
Negotiate Your Salary Like a Pro
So you’ve aced your interview and the company comes back with an offer with great benefits and perks.
You get excited for getting the job you desired for in digital marketing. You’re already in the dreamland and started imagining about your first day at the job.
But, please pause for a moment.
How much did the company offer you? Did you negotiate your salary?
You need to get real here. The company that hired you might be reputable and you really want to work for them. Always remember that the first offer is never the best offer.
Let me share my personal experience. I accepted my first digital marketing job for only $20,000 (in Malaysia) but I could have negotiated and get paid $30,000 instead.
Currently, I’m making three times the money. But looking back at my career journey, I could have improved my career and monetary growth quicker only if I made a simple negotiation.
You need a salary estimator like Indeed Salaries or LinkedIn salary to see what your job is worth. Find out what other companies are paying on average for your position.
According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for a Digital Marketer is $61,350 per year. So don’t settle down lower than this average pay. If you’re from a different country like Malaysia the average salary for a digital marketer is only RM3,111 ( $715.09). Yes, it is sad to see low wages for digital marketers in Malaysia.
But, the demand is high in Malaysia right now and it will definitely increase over time.
You can follow these negotiation techniques to get higher salary even from the start.
Stay updated with the changes in Digital Marketing
If you followed these steps, you would have aced your digital marketing job and started your digital career.
You want to stay competitive as a digital marketer. To do so you need to get yourself consistently updated with the changes happening in digital marketing. For example, Google initiates hundreds of algorithm updates every year and few of the major updates often affect a website’s search ranking.
When you stay informed with the changes happening with Google search engine, you’ll be able to tackle the issues swiftly and do what is necessary to stay in the game.
You need to continuously learn and explore more opportunities in digital marketing as the industry is constantly changing and new marketing mediums are popping up everywhere.
A decade ago no one really gave attention to Instagram as it was launched only in October 2010. Today, Instagram is dominating the social media marketing platform with almost 1 billion users.
So, make sure you stay updated with the changes in the digital marketing industry to future proof your digital marketing career.
If you followed all these steps, you won’t have any problem in getting the digital marketing job you desired for.
Let’s recap the steps to getting digital marketing jobs in 2020.
- Increase the level of confidence in yourself to stay motivated and get what you want.
- Focus on the digital marketing discipline that you’re interested in learning and applying.
- Get yourself certified with all the free certification courses available on the Internet.
- You need to have solid planning for your interview session to stand out from other job seekers.
- Don’t be comfortable with the salary offered by the organization. Negotiate for a higher salary from the start.
- Always stay updated with the changes happening in the digital marketing industry to stay informed and develop a competitive advantage over other digital marketers.
Once you get enough experience, you can make a few strategic jumps to other companies to increase your salary and knowledge. And the most important thing is to keep learning and experiment with new digital marketing strategies.
So what you think about getting a digital marketing job in 2020?
Share your thoughts by commenting below.