How to start a career in digital marketing – Answers to all your questions

How to start a career in digital marketing

Digital marketing is very close to my heart. In college, I used to wonder if there could be any jobs that are exciting or full of learning and I am glad to say I found the same which I wanted as a career for me. Digital it is…
This post on How to start a career in digital marketing is my way of helping people who can’t get in touch with me directly. I hope you search for anything related to a career in digital and you find this blog post. I promise you this post will really help you and all the people who are

  • Enthusiastic about digital
  • Thinking of building a career in digital
  • Struggling to get a job in digital
  • Confuse which field to choose in digital
  • Confuse what to do after college but want to know about digital and opportunities in this field
  • Looking for a career in digital after taking a career break
  • Equipped with digital knowledge but not finding a job
  • Not sure if certificate courses are mandatory to start a career in digital marketing
  • Interested in learning digital marketing for freelancing

This post will address everything mentioned above and even beyond. Before moving to your main question how to start a career in digital marketing, let me introduce myself and my journey to gain some credibility and give you hope

How I started digital marketing?

How I started digital marketing

I was also as confused as many of you are today 4.5 years back. After completing college I was looking for new career opportunities. I took a break for one year and in that break all I knew was I want to try something new. Looking for internships in marketing as I always had a dream of seeing businesses grow. While exploring job portal for such opportunities, I came across digital marketing courses.

Courses are costly so it was not easy to convince family for something unconventional and never heard of. But I did my research and was confident to learn something new. I started my course in May 2016 and gave my first interview for internship in June 2016. It was an SEO internship and here are the answers to your questions

  • Less than one month of a course so how I got an internship in digital marketing – I was applying for an internship while doing the course which I recommend to everyone. I just learn SEO in the first month. The internship was about the same so I applied for it
  • How I cracked the interview – I learned and applied the same. That is what digital marketing is about. Whenever any agency, organization opens up an internship the whole objective is to teach a novice the required skills. Any manager will be more interested in knowing your attitude and how interested you are in learning. During my interview, I carried SEO audit of the website. The person who took my interview knew it was not up to the mark but she was convinced I knew the basics.
  • Did I get any stipend or how that internship helped me excel in my career- Yes, I got a decent stipend as the company was really good and well known. This internship helped me learn a lot and provided me with the required exposure. I knew what digital marketing is and what I wanted to do next after completing the 6-month internship.

My current experience

You will be glad to know that digital marketing doesn’t stop you from exploring new fields. Even if I started as an SEO intern, I am working as an Account Manager with overall 4.5 years of experience. The more knowledgeable, experienced you become the more doors are open for you. Always remember.

If you are totally new to digital and are not aware about SEO or any field please stay tuned as I will be talking about everything in detail. My journey was just to motivate you to start now and be eager to learn. Wonderful opportunities are waiting for you ahead.

My inspiration for writing this post on how to start a career in digital marketing

My dad, yes you heard it correct. He has been promoting digital marketing more than me among his friends and their children. I have talked to so many people from his reference who have either completed bachelors and looking for a job, a course, or have done an MBA but want to build a career in Digital marketing. There are many who are struggling to find a job after a career break or career switch.

Besides this, I have mentored many freshers in my previous organizations so I am much aware of the challenges that are faced by freshers or someone new in digital. Hence, this post is to help all the people who are trying to find information on anything related to how to start a career in digital marketing

Now, let’s move to the main section of how to start a career in digital marketing

Questions related to career in digital marketing

How to start a career in digital marketing?

How to start a career in digital marketing

I will categorize people into two groups who are looking for How to start a career in digital marketing. One is people who have done a digital marketing course and the other are people who have heard about digital marketing and are thinking that digital marketing is a good career opportunity so want to start with the same.
I don’t feel digital marketing courses are a must to enter into digital marketing so my recommendations below will be for all of you who have done a course and want to directly start with digital marketing. So, read the below pointers carefully and try to follow the same(though we will talk about courses in other sections)

1. Read about digital, know the basics

Good if you have done a course as it will help you know the basics + give you practical learning. But in case you haven’t done a course then no need to worry as there are many online resources to learn and know the basics. Explore blogs by digital Deepak, by famous institutes like Digital Vidya, and also, read my blog Ahead with digital :)(I will answer all your questions)

Since basic knowledge is a very generic term and one usually doesn’t get a generic internship in digital, I still recommend knowing the basics of following
– SEO (Search engine optimization)
– SEM (Search engine marketing)
– Facebook & Instagram marketing
– Email marketing
– Paid advertising
There are immense fields but having knowledge of these is good to start a career in digital

2. Have a decent knowledge which helps you differentiate among the above fields

It will help you know which field you are interested in and then do research for freshers jobs, an internship in digital on internet, LinkedIn, job portals like Naukri, job seekers, shine jobs, times job etc.

3.The best way to start a career in Digital

Internships are the best way to start a career in digital as many companies offer full-time positions when you complete your internships. Plus hands-on experience is one thing that will help you excel ahead. So, even if it is a small company, start-up or some professional with whom you can work to get a hands-on experience, please don’t miss the opportunity

4. Struggling to find an internship?

There are times when even after applying at so many places or when there are no new openings one can find it difficult to find an internship. In such cases, please pick some projects of your friends, acquaintances for free. Apply your theoretical knowledge on their pages. Get some decent number or data to show. Include this experience in your CV and then share it on job portals and with HR

5. How should your CV look & whom to reach

Have seen so many CVs of freshers who are trying to find a job/ internship in digital. All freshers fail to understand that so many people are looking for these new opportunities so your CV must stand out.

6. Follow the below steps to make your CV stand out

  • Most of the CVs are simple with education details, objectives, extracurricular activity, and awards – I guess you can relate to it. This is not bad since you have just completed college but please add something related to Digital. There need to be one more section with experience which should talk about your internship, your digital knowledge or helping some friend’s brand in digital or whatever you know
  • Relate your CV to the position/vacancy you are applying for
  • Shortlist companies’ names, apply there and reach HRs as well.
  • Prepare a cover letter or 5-6 lines showcasing your interest in digital and how eager you are to learn. Send these lines in the email body with the attachment of your CV or send these as a message to HRs on LinkedIn
  • If you are looking for some help in creating CV or finding an internship, please add your queries in comments so that I can help you directly

Above are few mistakes which freshers are doing. Please make your CV good by adding some relevant hands-on experience or internship and do let know HRs and manager about your interest in digital. Don’t go unprepared for interviews. These few things will definitely help you in getting an internship/ job in digital and starting a career in digital marketing

In the later section, I have mentioned a very important way to learn digital marketing on your own. Read the same to build a career in digital marketing.

What is the scope for freshers in digital marketing in India

If I have to answer this question in one word I would say immense. Digital marketing is such a growing field and most of the companies I have seen have openings for freshers. While taking any interview for any vacancy for freshers, they look for following

  • Basic to somewhat detailed knowledge about digital marketing and its fields – Course is not a must but your learning attitude is. Explore intenet for knowledge if not course
  • Hands on experience is a plus but should have theoretical knowledge at least
  • Person should be teachable and wiling to learn

Following roles freshers can consider for starting a career in digital. I have specifically mentioned roles that I have seen people starting their career in and getting a good growth

  • SEO internship
  • Social media internship
  • Paid/SEM internship
  • Client servicing internship
  • Internship in analytics
  • Client servicing job (opening for people having 0-1 year of experience)
  • SEO analyst (Opening for people having 0- 1 year of exeperience)
  • Social media analyst (Opening for people having 0-1 year of experience)
  • Paid Analyst
  • Facebook marketing
  • Google adwords or Search ad specialist

All the queries related to these roles are welcomed. Will talk in detail about these fields in later section.

Scope of digital marketing for mid-career professionals or someone who is looking for a career switch?

This section I have added because I have seen people who want to switch to digital after having experience in related or other fields. My suggestion would be to look for companies who offer digital marketing services with their core job. Start a job in such a company as a role you are currently in. Post that learn basics of digital and try for internal shift in a company. This I feel is the most secure way and I have seen many people shifting from offline marketing to digital following this approach

Another way could be to get digital marketing certification from really good institutes that offer jobs too. I recommend courses to mid-level people because they cannot start as a fresher. Also, I have seen people at mid- senior-level joining in Digital because they have prior experience in market research, business development, sales, or PR. So, things are possible it is just that how willing you are to put efforts

What should I focus on for a career in digital marketing?

Apply for Internship or jobs which are specifically for freshers. If you have decided to build a career in digital, give yourself 6 months to learn and find an internship or beginner-level job. Have some patience and curiosity to learn digital. Apply for as many jobs, internships as there are in the market and your locations. Follow pointers mentioned above for the right strategy for CV and reaching HRs. If you are putting effort with all your heart, I can assure you you can find an internship or job in 3 months. If you want to start learning digital in your free time or with current job, below is the best mentioned way

Alternate and very important way to learn digital marketing on own

  • Create your own blog – I recommend buying a domain and hosting with minimum amount
  • Select a niche or topics you are interested in
  • Write blogs and apply all your learning to market your blog digitally
  • Grow audience, social traffic, direct traffic, organic traffic and add this in your CV

Now, you have something for your CV and a great example for showcasing your hands on experience

Questions related to courses in digital marketing

Are certificate courses mandatory to start a career in digital marketing?

No, they are not. Having a course is good but when you are a fresher I will recommend aiming for a job or internship as they can teach you more what a course can. I have mentioned above all the ways to grab a good Internship or a beginner job so please follow these

In case you are not able to find good resources to know the basics of digital or lacking consistency to study on your own, then you can definitely start with a digital marketing course. Following are the ways to select the best course for yourself

  • See what all modules are there as part of the course – The course needs to be comprehensive
  • There must be hands-on experience on each and every module instead of just theoretical knowledge
  • Ensure the course provides enough placement opportunities and assistance. Please check placement records too before signing up for a course
  • Whatever you do as part of course make sure to include it in your CV as it can a good experience to show and grab a good job/internship

Can I get a job after the digital marketing course?

Yes, you can if you have selected the right course for yourself. As I mentioned above, one needs to ensure the course you are signing up is offering a good placement assistance and informing you about new vacancies

Is an online digital marketing course helpful for fresher as offline digital marketing course?

Since you are learning digital marketing, offline & online courses don’t make much a difference. Just ensure above mentioned pointers while selecting a course for yourself.

My selection criteria for a digital marketing course

I opted for an online course as an offline course required a commute and more time devoted to miscellaneous tasks. The online course saved my time and helped me gain hands-on experience in my saved time from the commute. Also, when I joined the internship in the second month I had classes on the weekend which I could easily take from my home.

Note: I have seen people rejecting internship opportunities while doing course as they want to complete course first. The objective of doing professional courses is to get a job. Pay attention to that first and I can assure you industry learning is much more valuable than learning in a course. So, choose industry learning any day.

What jobs can you get with a digital marketing certificate?

You can enter into any job through a course that the digital marketing field offers. With the right selection of course, sometimes we have the privilege of direct reference in bigger organizations. Below are the jobs that you can get (beginner level jobs)

  • Client servicing
  • SEO Analyst
  • Paid Analyst
  • Social media analyst
  • Adwords analyst
  • ORM analyst

General questions

Is digital marketing a good option for people who are struggling to find a job?

Yes, it is. Before selecting digital marketing just as a career option I would suggest exploring it and be actually interested in it. The more you are enthusiastic about this field, the more opportunities you can find and create for yourself. I have observed people choosing digital marketing careers just to get a job. That is fine but one needs to be eager to learn and interested in this field. Explore this field and see if it matches your requirement. I am sure, once you are actually interested in digital marketing no one can stop you from growing in this field

Should someone do digital marketing who is not so creative?

I am writing this post on how to start a career in digital marketing because I know this field is not restricted to any particular field or study or interest. Having a creative vision is good to have in digital but not mandatory as all the digital fields have different requirements. Read the next section for all the details

Digital marketing and its field – This is specially for someone who is not aware if particular digital field matches his/her interest or not

Digital marketing is not specific to one group but applicable to everyone. A creative person can be in digital whereas a person who is inclined towards numbers can also work in the digital industry. A person who is from mass communication background can be in digital whereas a person from a science background is also well suited for it. Read the interest vs job fields below

  • Analytics, Paid Media, Paid advertising Jobs- This is a field where I have seen people from an engineering background to people from Msc mathematics. These types of jobs are well suited for someone who are interested in numbers, graphs, excel, and tools
  • SEO Jobs – A person who is interested in tech, basic coding, or analytics can enter into this job. Most people start from off-page submissions but one can grow to a Manager position or consultants after gaining good experience
  • Designers – People who have fine arts degree or have done a course in photoshop or designing tools can really grow well in the design and creative field
  • Copywriters- People who are from a Literature background with a creative eye are mostly into this role. As I said earlier, there are no limitations in the digital field, if you are able to show results without any degree too then no one is better than you. So many copywriters are good without having any degree
  • Account Management/ client servicing – This is an open field for everyone and especially for those who like to be the front face of the brand and have knowledge about all digital fields. The person who is interested in creating a strategy is one of the best fits for this job.

I hope you like this post on How to start a career in digital marketing. Looking forward to your questions in comments. Would be glad to help you

Trust me, I have interacted with multiple businesses and I know there are issues at every step when you are new in digital. Ahead with digital is here to guide you. Let us know your questions, we will try to write a blog post around the same just for you 🙂
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