Landing an entry-level Digital Marketing job might sound challenging when you have no experience in digital marketing. However, this industry is growing more than any other.
That being said, the pandemic has obviously had a big impact on companies’ overall marketing spends. Brands are having to face strong adversity which is having a knock-on effect on employment rates. However, the digital marketing industry will always be around, in fact, brands that primarily sell online are booming. Look at Amazon for example, Consumer spends have are 35% up from this period last year.
What I am trying to say is that when one door closes, another door opens. There are still opportunities out there to land an entry-level digital marketing job. Whether you have just finished college or been made redundant, put your mind to it and get that digital marketing job that you deserve.
Can i still get an entry-level job without a degree in digital marketing?
In short, yes. I studied a degree in Sport & Exercise Science and a Masters in Sport Management, after which I got an entry-level digital marketing job. One of the great things about this field is that you don’t need a degree in digital marketing to get a job. In fact, you don’t even need a degree at all.
You might feel at a disadvantage if you don’t have a degree in digital marketing. However, employers are more looking for people with knowledge, enthusiasm, and drive. A lot of the work that you will be doing in an entry-level digital marketing job is not taught in a digital marketing degree. In my interview, one of the questions I asked was if I needed a degree in Digital Marketing for this role. The answer was no.
What I did before my entry-level job
I spent a full year before my first interview in digital marketing learning about all types of Digital marketing. I actually ran an eBay store and had my own online store in my final year of college which forced me to learn Facebook advertising and SEO. Once I started learning about digital marketing strategies, I then became obsessed with it.
Through reading a lot of articles online, watching youtube videos, and online courses I really became knowledgeable across all of the digital marketing disciplines. This was evident in my interview and I think this was more desirable than having a digital marketing degree.
So make sure you put in the work and teach yourself. If you truly love digital marketing this will be easy for you to do. After several months you should be ready for your first entry-level digital marketing job. Here are five different ways to get an entry-level digital marketing job and where you should be prioritizing your focus.
1. Teach Yourself Digital Marketing Basics
I touched on this before, for many employers, having that knowledge, enthusiasm, and drive is very important. Within an interview, it will become evident if you don’t know what you are talking about. So dedicate a couple of months of aggressive learning about the fundamental aspects of digital marketing.
This will undoubtedly grow your confidence, which will better prepare you for when you do land yourself an interview. However, it can be tricky to convey within a resume that you have all this knowledge to get an interview in the first place. This is why I would suggest getting yourself certifications on Facebook Ads, Google ads, Google Analytics or any software that employers use. This will give you a MASSIVE advantage to not only land an interview but actually get yourself an entry-level digital marketing job.
I can’t stress enough how important this is. Even though it might not be a job requirement, this is something that will put you ahead of the competition. Even places like udemy, have thousands of free online courses in digital marketing. Here I have listed some of the best and most important Free online certifications in digital marketing that you can add to your Linkedin profile.
Digital Marketing Certifications
Facebook Blueprint – (Free Certification) There is a Free & paid course that you can do. Focus on the free blueprint courses. There are lots of different topics to help you learn more about planning and buying Facebook/Instagram ads. If you land an entry-level digital marketing job that involves Facebook Ads, then you may have to complete this in order to pass your probation. So imagine how good this would look to an employer if you have already completed this.
Google Ads Academy (Free Certification) – This is a certification from Google that will teach you all about Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising on Google across Search, Display & Shopping. If you are applying for an entry-level digital marketing job within Paid Search then definitely ensure that you complete this course.
Google Analytics Academy (Free Certification) – Again this is a Free certification from Google teaching you all about Google Analytics. For most entry-level digital marketing jobs this is a requirement. So go and complete this and add it to your resume and Linkedin profile before even thinking about applying for a digital marketing job.
Snap ads accreditation Program (Free certification) – This course covers all the fundamentals of Snapchat, where you can learn more about the platform and its audience. It doesn’t go into a lot of depth on Snapchat advertising but it is easy to complete (takes about an hour) and it’s another notch to your belt. If you are applying for a paid social advertising job within a media agency, there is a strong chance that you will be working for clients that run Snapchat ads.
This is just a small list of certified courses that you can do before getting an entry-level digital marketing job interview. This will truly set you apart from fellow candidates.
2. Choose a Digital Marketing Career Path
There are a number of digital marketing career paths in which you can take. I would advise you to learn as much as you can across various disciplines. Naturally, you will start to veer towards one or two disciplines that you take more of an interest in. You can focus more of your efforts across these disciplines.
When applying for an entry-level digital marketing job you can’t be too picky either. So take more of a “jack of all trades” approach but still focus more of your efforts on the disciplines you want to work in.
When I got an entry-level digital marketing job interview I was asked why I decided to choose the Paid Social career path. The truth is I hadn’t decided in this discipline. I just wanted a foot in the door so I could specialise in any particular field. It just so happens it was the career path that I was most interested in taking.
Digital Marketing Career Paths
Here is a list of digital marketing career disciplines in which you can choose a career path. Remember to keep your mind open. Don’t necessarily choose the career path, let the career path choose you. As cliche as it sounds!
- Paid Social – Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Pinterest, Linkedin, Tik Tok advertising
- Paid Search (Google, Bing etc)
- Programmatic Advertising (Spotify, Youtube, Twitch etc)
- Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) – How to Rank on Google search
- Content Marketing – Part of SEO creating content in the form of blog posts, videos etc
- Email Marketing – Using email autoresponders to grow an email list and generate sales vie email retargeting
- Affiliate Marketing – Referring users to another product or services for a commission of the sale
- Digital Analytics – More analytical looking at performance e.g, in Google Analytics
- Social Media Marketing (Organic) – Building social media presence organically through content and engagement
- Influencer Marketing – using influencers to boost brand and sales
It’s important that you understand what each discipline entails. If you are working for a smaller company you will most likely be involved in several of these digital marketing strategies. On the other hand, if you are working for a larger company, then you will probably be specializing in one of these fields.
So choose 2 or 3 digital marketing disciplines that you enjoy the most and start looking for an entry level digital marketing job within any of these fields.
3. Reach out to people within the Digital Marketing Space
When starting out in any industry, for many it’s about who you know, not what you know. There’s nothing more disheartening that someone getting a job ahead of you because they know someone who works for the company. However, that’s the reality of it and there’s nothing stopping you play at this game too.
Use social media and ask around if anyone knows anyone working within digital marketing. It may be a case that you know someone through a friend of a friend or it could be your mum’s friend’s husband. You’d be surprised who you know. Also, if you are applying for an entry-level job within a company, look the company up on Linkedin and see if you know anyone that works for them. If you connect with them, they might be able to help push you to get the interview at the least.
Don’t be afraid to connect!
Using platforms like Twitter & Linkedin is great for connecting with people and possibly future employers. Try and connect with people in the digital marketing industry. Create insightful posts and post regularly. Make yourself be heard. It’s better to be memorable, than unforgettable.
With Linkedin you can now let recruiters know that you are open to job opportunities so that they can find you more easily. This feature allows you to specify what opportunities you are interested in and your preferred location.
In summary, don’t be afraid to reach out and let yourself be heard and connect with people. When it comes down to it companies want to employ people with soft skills like good communication and interpersonal skills.
4. Start as a Freelancer in Digital Marketing
A good way to get an entry-level digital marketing job is to first start as a freelancer and gain some experience. Again, this is where maybe reaching out to people comes in handy. Do you know anyone that owns a small business that has no social media presence? Maybe you could help build their social media or run their Facebook advertising.
Most small businesses are not well educated on using social media as a marketing strategy. Some might not even have a website. Maybe you could help them create a website and set up a pixel connecting to their Facebook ads platform? Some business owners may jump at that offer as they might not have enough time to set this up.
As long as you are able to set up a marketing strategy e.g a Facebook ads campaign, and are able to track ROI then you can get to work. I wouldn’t start charging right off the bat unless they offer you money. Focus on building up a portfolio and case studies and once you start getting people coming to you asking for your services, then you can start charging.
Jumpstart your Digital Marketing Career
Starting as a Freelancer is a good way to jumpstart your career and can actually help you bypass an entry-level digital marketing job. If you experience some success as a freelancer, you are not only showing you have the knowledge, but you are also showing that you have great interpersonal skills. This is something that startups, in particular, look for as they want people that are innovative and can help drive the company forward.
If you want to start charging for your digital marketing services you can jump on to sites like Flexjobs. Once you create your profile and a portfolio of your work, you will then be able to generate more interest through building credibility. Then you can set your freelance rates to be competitive within the digital marketing industry.
5. Get a Digital Marketing Internship
You don’t have to look for year long digital marketing internships. Before landing an entry-level digital marketing job I did a 3 month long internship. This was an unpaid internship, but for me this was the foot in the door I needed into the digital marketing landscape.
This is definitely a viable option if you are struggling to land an entry-level digital marketing job. For me, I probably could have got an entry-level job, however, this just sealed the deal. I spent the previous year selling online across eBay, Amazon, Etsy as well as my own store. I was mildly successful doing so, however, I wanted a stable job.
In my case, I found it quite hard to convey my own successes in order to get an entry-level digital marketing job. However, this did help me land and internship which in turn helped me get an entry-level digital marketing job. So if you are struggling to get a job in this field, look to take an internship (some are paid) to help kick start your career.
Start your Digital Marketing career now
Digital Marketing is quite a special career as there are many gateways into the industry. The great thing about digital marketing jobs is that you can work online. You can get experience on sites like Flexjobs, Fiverr, Upwork, remote.co, etc. If you search “remote digital marketing jobs” in Google you will find lots of different opportunities.
Don’t get disheartened if you don’t have any digital marketing experience or have a degree in this discipline. Many employers just look for someone who are self-educated and motivated to succeed. I will stress again the importance of completing online course certifications. Complete the free courses above and put it on your CV. I guarantee you, the majority of candidates will not have done this. This will put you at an advantage when applying for an entry-level digital marketing job.
So learn as much as you can and find what digital marketing career path you want to take. Be open-minded and don’t be afraid to reach out and be heard. If you want any advice contact me at marktreanor.co.uk. I will try and help you whether it’s preparing for an interview or steps you can take to land an entry-level digital marketing job.
Good luck and I hope you are successful!