With so many people playing, working, and shopping online, digital marketing skills have moved to the forefront of business growth needs. Local, national, and global organizations are all fighting to stay top of mind and one click away from being the number one choice of consumers. To do that, they are universally investing more and more in digital marketing.
Entering a Growing Digital Marketing Job Market
Digital marketing is all-encompassing; you will leverage all viable digital channels to promote the goods and services businesses want to sell. And right now, jobs and freelance opportunities in digital marketing are on the rise. HubSpot noted that SEO jobs increased by 43 percent between 2017 and 2018 while content marketing jobs increased by 33 percent during that same time. But the people qualified to do these jobs is not keeping pace.
This might be bad news for businesses, but it means there are more opportunities than ever for people with the necessary digital marketing skills, especially freelancers who are able to master specialized areas of digital marketing and offer sought after services.
To become an expert in digital marketing, you don’t necessarily have to take a four-year business degree program. There are other ways to get the knowledge you need to become a self-made, digital marketing expert. If you are interested in learning how you can do this, let’s get started right now.
You will need to learn about search engine optimization (SEO), paid searches (PPC), content marketing, email marketing, social media marketing, digital display marketing, web analytics and reporting, and mobile marketing.
If you’re interested in a digital marketing career and like the idea of developing new opportunities for businesses, you’ll need training and the tools to get you started. One of the best places to start (IMO) is with Offline Sharks. They deliver the most up-to-date, proven and tested digital marketing and advertising for online and offline professionals.
Offline Sharks has quickly become the leading training and resource center for local marketing consultants and digital agencies with courses, tools, and software proven to give students a huge advantage over other digital marketers.
5 Ways to Become an In-Demand Digital Marketer (Beyond Basic Training)
It’s clear that to become an expert in digital marketing you don’t need a four-year degree. If you’re going into business yourself, getting a certificate isn’t going to help you get more clients.
In-demand digital marketers know that clients care about results. Once you’ve learned how all the digital marketing platforms and tools work together, specializing, streamlining strategies, and getting better results for clients is how you become an in-demand marketer.
Here are five ways you can learn more, get more experience, and expand your expertise to become an in-demand digital marketer:
1. Get Expert Insight from Digital Marketing Gurus
Anyone thinking of becoming a digital marketer should have a pretty savage Google search game. Meaning they understand how the best websites search engine optimize their content so they should be able to find the best digital marketing resources from thought and industry leaders for free.
Use the experience, knowledge, and expertise of well-known and proven digital marketers to supplement the training you received from formal courses. Here are ten digital marketers you can follow online and on social media to see how the pros get it done and stay up to date with what’s new in digital marketing:
- Neil Patel – Quicksprout
- Ryan Deiss – Digital Marketer
- Ann Handley – MarketingProfs
- Rand Fishkin – Moz & SparkToro
- Larry Kim – MobileMonkey, Inc.
- Joe Pulizzi – Content Marketing Institute
- Lilach Bullock – Lilach Bullock Limited
- Justyn Howard – Sprout Social Inc.
- Eric Siu – Single Grain LLC
- Barry Schwartz – Search Engine Land
2. Join Communities of Digital Marketers with Similar Goals
A digital marketer's job is constantly evolving as new platforms, channels, techniques, and resources become available. Keeping up with the latest trends and industry thought leaders, along with actually doing your job, can sometimes be challenging – ESPECIALLY when you are working on your own.
Look for a community of like-minded digital marketers where you can get answers to your questions and learn from your peers. Facebook groups like the Offline Sharks Group are active communities where you are surrounded by fellow digital marketers who know what you are going through.
LinkedIn is also a great online resource for expanding your personal network and educating yourself. With LinkedIn you can connect with other digital marketers to share ideas, stay informed, and connect with the top thought leaders in the industry.
If there isn’t a local digital marketing group you can join, think about creating your own group, and connecting with other marketers in your area with a goal to make each other better and share resources. It can be as easy as making an account on MeetUp and picking a Starbucks that will fit your group. When you find the right group, you benefit from the support of both veterans and beginners who are sharing their ideas, asking questions and volunteering help.
3. Attend Professional Conferences and Networking Events
Conferences and networking events can be a worthwhile professional investment for digital marketers who want to dominate their market. Not only are they a great way to learn directly from the pros and stay abreast of what’s happening in the industry. These events also give you the opportunity to meet future mentors and clients face to face where you can make a lasting impression, outshining other digital marketers they’ve only met through email or online.
If you’re situated in or near a major metropolitan, you’ll easily find events catering to areas of digital marketing you specialize in. You can find lists of digital marketing conferences here:
2019-2020 Digital Marketing Conferences – 400+ Events – MarketingTerms.com
Top 13 Digital Marketing Conference Picks – DigitalCurrent.com
Top 21 Must-Attend Digital Marketing Conferences 2019-20 – Brandastic.com
If you’re just a small-town boy (or girl), then finding an event in a city you want to visit is a great excuse to fit in a little sight-seeing while you learn from industry experts and top digital marketing professionals through presentations, workshops, and networking activities.
Source: Search Marketing Summit 2020
Valentine’s Day in Amsterdam for “Friends of Search” or spring break in Australia at the “Search Marketing Summit” might be good reasons to make a travel conference budget and get out the passport. Expect to spend $400 to $3,000 on the most popular conferences and walk away with a wealth of knowledge, guidance, and contacts.
4. DIY – Learning Digital Marketing On The Job
After you’ve learned the ins and outs of digital marketing and feel proficient in performing services in your specialty, you need to begin offering services. It’s a good idea to work with another digital marketer on projects for real-world practice.
Ask for unpaid projects with established digital marketers in and out of your real-life and online networks. You’ll learn a ton, get feedback (when you ask for it), and have some real results to talk about when you pitch your own services. It’s like an internship, but you get to keep your day job, and there is less slave labor involved.
If working with another digital marketer isn’t an option, you can create practice projects for yourself (and maybe bring in some income at the same time). You can learn and experience the different facets of your new digital marketer role yourself while facing and processing the real-world obstacles that marketers must overcome.
To create a project to practice your newly acquired skills, just follow these steps:
- Find something you are passionate about (a product, a charity, a diet, a movement, a company, or an organization) and create a digital marketing plan for promoting that idea online.
- Start a blog about your passion project. (Cost is about $50 per year for a domain and hosting)
- Install Google Analytics so you can monitor, track, and analyze the traffic to your blog.
- Get an Adwords account for keyword research with the Keyword Planner.
- Use your SEO skills to create optimized blog posts for your blog.
- Start a Facebook page for your blog. Create and search engine optimize accounts on other relevant social media platforms. Practice your social media promotion best practices.
- Promote your page through Facebook advertising, where running small test campaigns cost as little as $10.
- Sign up for an email marketing service, set up your blog to collect emails, and turn on an autoresponder for opt-ins.
- Use Adwords to promote your blog. Start with low CPC bids. New accounts often get a free, $100 credit to use for promotion.
- Get Google Adsense and learn how to use advertising codes within your blog.
5. Invest in Continuous Learning to Master Digital Marketing
In an ever-changing industry like digital marketing—which may be evolving at lightning speed – learning can’t stop just because you finished a course or mastered a new tool. Investing in training throughout your career is how you become an in-demand digital marketer with a master's skill set.
This may seem like a daunting task for a busy entrepreneur, but the benefits of continued education can be profound. In fact, investing in your own expertise may be the fastest way to help your company grow.
Today’s digital marketers need to devote time to their own training because success can be determined in part by how up-to-date your skills are, and your understanding of the latest developments. Whether you're considering a future career as a digital marketer or want to level-up your skills, these steps will help you find success in any position. Whether you are a freelancer or trying to land a corporate digital marketing position, there’s an open spot for a digital marketer with relevant and up-to-date skills.
Going From a Good Marketer to an In-Demand Digital Marketer
The digital marketing industry is continually evolving, so your knowledge of the industry needs to grow to remain an in-demand digital marketer. There are hundreds of digital marketing courses, dozens of certifications, and thousands of blogs and podcasts designed to teach you the basics and keep you in the know about digital marketing. Leverage your resources, and you’ll see your career flourish.
Join us and be part of the Offline Shark Community!
While focused on Local Marketing, in our global community (with 6k+ members in over 13 countries) you’ll feel at home surrounded by fellow marketing consultants and digital agency owners who are facing the same challenges, ready to help solve each other’s problems, and eager to celebrate your wins.
Offline Sharks is committed to practicing and teaching ethical marketing, so while financial goals are important, you’ll instantly see that maintaining our stellar reputation and supporting our community of beginners and veterans is more important. Come see for yourself!