Seth Godin wrote that “People do not buy goods and services; they buy relations, stories, and magic.” That’s where marketing comes in. A marketer’s role is essential to businesses and organizations. In addition, generating those “relations, stories, and magic” can make for a highly creative, people-centered, and exciting job.
How can you launch a marketing career? If you’re drawn to work in this field, read on for some top tips to get a head start.
Get yourself certified
Although you can study marketing at college, a career in marketing doesn’t require a specific degree. However, you must learn the basic skills that employers and clients will expect you to have. You will also need to find a way to prove that you know what you’re doing. This is where certifications come in.
You should always make sure that any courses you take are legitimate. Good general marketing courses can be found by searching platforms like Udemy, Coursera, and Hubspot. Look for courses on specific tools that many businesses use. For example, Facebook has its own online courses for marketing through its platform (the course is free, but you pay to become certified). You can also get certified using Google Adwords and Google Analytics – crucial tools that many businesses rely on.
Read up on your subject
There are lots of excellent books about advertising, marketing, and persuasion in general. A good place to start is the work of Robert Cialdini (his Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion is a renowned bestseller that discusses the principles behind why people say “Yes”). You might also consider Contagious: Why Things Catch On by University of Pennsylvania Professor Jonah Berger, which analyzes what makes some products so good at getting people talking (and thereby spreading the word to more potential customers).
Get a grip on analytics
We often think of marketing as using fun, bold, and catchy images and slogans. But, in addition to the creative side, marketers also spend a lot of time dealing with cold, complex numbers. Data is crucial to any marketer; after all, it’s easy enough to come up with an idea that seems brilliant in your own head, but how do you know whether it’s captured the attention of the public (or the target market)?
Marketers don’t need degrees in statistics, but be prepared to work with data as an intrinsic part of the job. When the numbers show that the idea you love is failing to catch on, you’ll need a healthy respect for the data since it’s the best tool you have for ascertaining whether your ideas really have widespread appeal or whether you’re just too far ahead of your time.
Make your CV stand out
Okay. You’ve studied up on your subject and are confident that you know your stuff. Now it’s time to get working on your CV. This is your first marketing task and perhaps the most important. A CV is where you market yourself, which means you shouldn’t be afraid to show off some of that creativity that you’ll be putting to work on the job.
Of course, your CV has to look professional, but that doesn’t always mean ‘Times New Roman, font 11, black and white.’ Don’t be afraid to add some color, and don’t list your experience in one big, square, boring grid. Instead, try out some eye-catching formats that will help you stand out from everyone else. You may use CV maker online by Crello that offers a huge variety of nice templates specifically tailored for your needs.
Consider creative ways to gain experience
Now that you’ve laid out a striking format, the next big question is: what exactly are you going to put in your resume? First, your certifications should be added, but what you need is work experience. So here we find ourselves with the classic catch-22 of the job market; how do you gain experience when employers all seem to be looking for someone who has it already?
This is where you need to get creative. For example, consider writing a part-time blog or creating a YouTube tutorial channel. Then, market it! Experiment with email marketing, social media posts, etc. Alternatively, if a friend is undertaking a project (or perhaps setting up a small business), volunteer to help them out. This will help you practice your trade and hopefully give you something to tell employers and clients about, especially if you have results that you can support with data.
Keep on top of current marketing trends
Lastly, marketing is an ever-evolving field. The digital revolution has had dramatic implications for marketers, while social media and technological tools evolve rapidly. Consider reading Social Media Examiner’s latest annual industry report to help keep up to date on the latest developments, as well as getting to know where most job opportunities are likely to pop up.
Getting started in any line of work can be challenging, but with a bit of hard work, you’ll be able to build up the knowledge base and experience necessary to help you stand out from the crowd and get off to a flying start in your marketing career.
Create A Portfolio
Most photographers will use portfolios or photo books to showcase what they can do. Even businesses use these to neatly display their client work. If you’re meeting large clients, being able to hand over a high-quality photo book full of your work and ideas can make a powerful impact. If you’re planning on lining up a large number of client meetings you can buy photo books in bulk to make sure you’ve got enough to go around. They’re even more powerful if you create a book as a proposal for a specific client. In a day and age where most marketing is done online, having something physical to show can go a long way.