If you wish to have a career that is both rewarding and challenging than you must have come across the thought of starting one in marketing. Not only is marketing a career choice that is extremely rewarding but also one that requires constant innovation.
It’s a field that perfectly blends being technical with showing creativity.
This makes marketing a career choice that everyone wishes to pursue and explore. But for the most part, they don’t know where to begin. Once they start exploring their options in the field of marketing, they get overwhelmed with the various opportunities.
Maybe this is precisely what made you land on this article.
A huge perk to choosing to make a career in marketing is that it truly has something for everyone.
You can have a way with words and contribute towards marketing by becoming a content writer. Your mind can be acute in coming up with designs, allowing you to become a graphic designer.
You could even be a master of capturing light and become a product photographer.
So how can you start a career in marketing? And likewise, is a degree in marketing required to make a career in marketing?
A simple answer to the latter question is – “No.” A degree in marketing or your educational background doesn’t really contribute towards your marketing career.
To answer the former question, let us first start by understanding what marketing actually means.
What does marketing mean?
If you search the web you will come across many complex definitions of marketing.
But we here at My Captain like to keep it simple.
“Marketing can be any action/ communication/ message from the company or product side which causes an action/ communication/ message from the customer’s side.”
For instance, looking at the billboard of a gym in your area can be the push you needed to get a gym membership and start working out.
It is the process of attracting potential customers and making them interested in a certain product or a service or a brand. This process involves market research, promotional activities, distribution, and selling of products or services.
Marketers are responsible for carrying out various marketing activities with the primary one being putting the product or service in front of the market or the customers. Moreover, they are responsible for creating brand awareness as well as driving traffic and sales.
There are many marketing techniques and strategies that marketers use to fulfill their responsibilities.
Marketing can also be used for non-profit purposes such as public awareness campaigns being used to spread awareness regarding issues like global warming and more.
Ways to kick-start your career in marketing
Now it is time to get to what you came here for – understanding how you can start your career in marketing.
Truth be told, there’s no one sure way to creating a career in marketing. As mentioned before, marketing offers various opportunities. As a result, making a career in marketing depends on person-to-person.
You might aspire to become a great copywriter or your dream job might be to become a campaign manager.
The following are some of the good practices that will help you get started on the right path.
Build a marketing knowledge
This doesn’t necessarily mean you attending business school or getting a degree in marketing. It just means that you need to start with building the basics of marketing.
The topics that might help you can range from understanding storytelling to understanding human behavior.
Start reading books, analyzing various marketing campaigns, as well as get a grasp over branding. Moreover, if you do not wish to get a degree in marketing then you should start enrolling in online courses.
They are quick in addition to being just perfect to help you get started in the world of marketing.
A not so common practice you can adopt is to join Reddit threads and use them to your advantage.
However, you must understand that building knowledge is a long-term process. Meaning that you can do it as you move forth in your career. So make sure that you are reading for at least 30-minutes every day and then practicing what you learn.
Work on your communication skills
No matter what new technology you come across for marketing purposes, the one thing that will remain the same is your core message. That message will determine whether your customers are going to buy from you or keeping scrolling through their feed.
This has been long known by the recruiters and the companies for a long time. As a result, they are constantly in search of people that are good with their communication skills and other soft skills over those who know how to navigate Facebook ads manager.
As a marketer, it is important that you know how to communicate with your audience what you precisely intended to. So it is also important for you to develop and work on your communication skills more than anything else.
Apart from reading books and watching tutorials on YouTube, the best and the most common way to improve your soft skills is by simply communicating.
Talk to people you know, people you wish to know as well as people that are simply strangers. A good challenge you can give yourself is known as the “100 interaction challenge.”
The idea is to simply interact with one hundred people a day. The interaction can be as small as a simple “hey” to talking to them for hours.
The goal is to get better at communicating. You might not be that great in the beginning but with time you will get there.
Build your network
In addition to being a great communicator, you will also need to build a strong network of people. These are essentially other marketers as well as people who own or work for businesses.
The reason why this is so important is that a chain of network can help you get employed and land a marketing job much faster than anything else.
A company will always prefer to interview the candidates with a letter of recommendation before those that don’t have it.
But how do you build your network?
It’s actually fairly simple…
You can hop onto platforms like LinkedIn and find people that work in the company that you wish to work for. These can be content writers, brand managers, digital marketers, etc.
Once you’ve found them, try building a relationship with them. There are no excuses for not having a good network. You can actually build your network while still being in college and it may even help you make some extra money out of it.
Some industries prioritize who you know over what you know to do
We all know someone who went to get an MBA in marketing and is now sitting at home, looking for a job. We can’t help but feel bad for them but also feel terrified for us.
What if it happens to me?
There’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that there’s a ton of competition out there. You will be competing against other masters of communication. Every single marketer out there will know how to sell their services just like you.
So what will make you stand out?
In order to stand out in the diversified field of marketing, you will need to pick your poison and specialize yourself in that.
For instance, if you wish to become a digital marketer then you will need to focus your entire energy towards the realm of digital marketing. Moreover, you will need to master the art of digital ads and learn to analyze data.
The same goes for every other field in marketing. You cannot hope to achieve greatness while staying a jack of all trades. You will need to hone your craft and live around it.
But wait… you probably don’t know what type of marketer you wish to become
And that brings us to the next point…
Start small and work your way up
If you wish to achieve big things, you must be willing to start small.
Start out in a more general area of marketing and work your way up. Take on various internships while you are still in college or even in high school and figure out what you want to specialize in.
Once you’ve tasted enough things, you will know which dish you like the most.
Pick the field you wish to explore first and then look for internships on platforms like Insternshala and Frapp. You can even ping that entrepreneur friend of yours and handle all marketing-related activities for his/her startup.
There are plenty of opportunities for aspiring marketers out there. You will just need to accept that you are probably not going to start at the top of the hill. You will have to work your way to the summit.
Build a portfolio
No one out there will be willing to hire you until and unless you demonstrate your skills. Sure your resume will speak for your education but recruiters want more than that.
Remember… even they are marketers and just like every marketer, even they believe in only facts and data.
You will need to build a portfolio that showcases your expertise, skills as well as your work experience clearly.
Once again, you can build your portfolio either by taking on internships, volunteering and even by working on your own projects.
This will not only build your portfolio stronger but also help you expand your network and open doors to more opportunities.
One mistake that keeps marketers from gaining more success is that once they get settled with a job they stop working on themselves. They stop learning and growing with the ever-changing market.
Do not make the same mistake… Always keep learning and keep growing your skills
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