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How to Kickstart A Career In Marketing

Career In Marketing
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Marketing is a massive industry that lets you truly take your storytelling and artistry skills and put them to work. Not only can you focus on the skills that you’re passionate about in marketing, but you can also focus your efforts on a secondary industry you’re passionate about. You can even change the industry you work in again and again. That’s because marketing is an essential component that every business and organization needs to run. From the government to charities to private institutions – marketers are needed.

Marketing is one of the top fields that creatives get involved in. Being a storyteller is an essential skill, and just like any skill, it needs to be honed and perfected. However, the only difference between a storyteller and a marketer is that marketers also need to be analysts in today’s age. This is how companies understand the impact and value of each campaign and how you can adjust, tweak, and perfect campaigns for an even greater impact.

Everything in marketing boils down to ROI and value. You need to combine creative and analytical skills to show just how your marketing campaign played a role in that increase in customers or boost your company’s brand image.

This gives marketers a unique approach that regular creatives don’t have. Even if your ultimate goal is to take your art and creative side full-time, your career as a marketer will only boost, not hinder, your ultimate career aspirations.

It’s an attention market out there. This means that there are more businesses, organizations, and even individuals than ever before, all competing for the same 24 hours of a day. People don’t have that much time to dedicate to brands, regardless of how long they spend on their phones.

That’s why having the right message and approach is important. If you don’t have that and can’t prove it, you will struggle in your marketing career. The good news is that you have this guide to help direct your efforts so that you can kickstart your career (or restart it):

 

Skills You Need As A Marketer

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There are many skills that you need as a marketer.

Storytelling

One skill that is often overlooked is storytelling. Identifying the message and how best to convey that message to an audience in a captivating way is a very powerful skill to have. It’s also one that is hard to teach – but it is possible. Rather than being taught in the sense that there is only one approach that works, you’ll need to workshop. Workshopping your ability to tell stories is the best way to create an approach that’s unique to you.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that there are no hard rules to learn at all. In fact, it’s best to learn the rules so that you can intentionally break them. The rules you’ll need to learn to depend entirely on the medium you’re focussing on.

You don’t need to be an artist to be a marketer, but at the very least, you must be a storyteller. This means you should know the common writing and storytelling tropes, what works, why, story structure, arcs, archetypes, and so on. A lot of work in storytelling is never seen by the audience. Instead, a single word, image, or sound is used to convey a host of information that audiences pick up on subconsciously.

It takes a lot of time and practice to get the knack for creating stories naturally, which is why all marketers need to invest in developing their storytelling skills throughout their lives.

Analysis

Everything in marketing needs to be done with purpose. It needs to bring in value, even if the ultimate goal of a certain campaign isn’t to boost sales. That’s why you need to know how to use analytical tools and adapt your strategy in real-time based on the response your campaign is getting. Sometimes it isn’t an issue with the art direction but the marketing strategy itself. You won’t see a healthy ROI if you’re advertising using the wrong keywords or to the wrong audience.

Communication And Collaboration

Very rarely will a marketer work on their own. Instead, they’ll work with a team of writers, artists, product developers, and more. As a marketer, you work to bring a vision to life at the top of a team, which means you will need to be able to work well with others. Not only do you need to listen and know how to negotiate when you collaborate in a creative team, but you also need to be able to communicate clearly to keep everyone on the same page.

 

How To Build That Skillset

Building these skills takes a lifetime because the world and the tools that you’ll use will be in constant flux. That being said, once you have a good foundation, you will then find it easier to adjust your approach. That’s why, on top of a life of practice and learning (through reports, events, conferences, and workshops), you’ll also want to consider earning a top degree to give you the launching pad you’ll need to pivot your expertise as necessary.

 

A Marketing Or Communications Degree

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By clicking here, you can learn how an online master’s in communication can do just that. You can focus more on the content side of marketing or on an integrated approach that combines storytelling marketing with the more analytical side of marketing to help give you the full range of skills you’ll need to get started in the industry.

Though online degrees can help you sharpen your skillset later in your career, you’ll want to be careful which one you choose. If you want to be confident in your decision, it’s best to find an accredited program. For marketers, the accreditation you’ll be looking for is from the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (ACEJMC). Accredited programs are vetted for you, so you can trust they meet the highest standards.

 

How To Commit To Lifelong Learning

A degree is a great foundation, but if you want what you’ve learned to continue to serve you, you must commit to a lifelong learning approach. For marketers, this can immediately be done by following other top marketers in your field, reading marketing and industry reports, attending conferences or workshops, and attending talks. Marketing looks vastly different than it did ten years ago, much less 100, and that tells you everything you need to know about how fast and evolving the industry is.

To kickstart your career, you need to be at the forefront of where it is now and be ready to adapt your approach as trends and views change.

 

Establishing Your Personal Brand

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It may seem like those who work for others don’t need to consider their personal brand. Your job, after all, is to further your company’s brand so that they get noticed, not you. While this is true, working on getting other companies noticed doesn’t mean you shouldn’t also consider how you can boost your own name and brand while you’re at it.

The creative industry is built on talent and who you are. If you can create an incredible portfolio of work and establish your name online and in your industry, you will set yourself up for unique career opportunities. Not only that, but when you make a name for yourself, you carry more negotiating power and can even take your skill set and work freelance. Instead of working for one company, you work for multiple companies on individual projects.

Regardless of how you want to take your marketing career, building a name for yourself is going to help you open doors. If you aren’t sure where to start, use these tips:

 

Create An Online Brand Persona

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First things first, you need to search for yourself. If you have a unique name, then you may already be on the first page of the results. If you don’t, however, you need to consider what keywords you want to add to your name and what you can do to get to the top of the rankings. You can add “marketer”, for example, and then work on establishing your name next to marketer or marketing so that potential employers or clients can immediately find your professional profiles.

A few online platforms you’ll want to establish for yourself include:

Your Own Website

A website is a powerful tool because you completely control what content it covers and what you do with it. If your goal is to create a professional portfolio and resume, you can use it to showcase your work, highlight your services, and even add a contact form. On the other hand, if you want to become a thought leader, you can create a robust blog and build an audience by sharing useful information about marketing or your field as a whole.

You’ll need to market this website in order to see traffic and bolster your rankings. The benefits of building a thriving audience are endless. Not only can you monetize your website, but you can also use it to get new leads and show your authenticity and professionalism.

An Online Portfolio Platform

Many art-based platforms let you share your creative work in a visual portfolio and get found. If you create visual content for your client or have screencaps of previous campaigns you’ve made, it’s in your best interest to create a profile (or several) so that you can once again get your work out there next to your name. This can be a great way to win over clients or employers in the future, or it can even lead to unique leads where clients get in touch with you rather than the other way around.

Social Media Platform

Social media is a powerful platform that lets you cultivate a voice and an audience. Use it to showcase your skills, what goes into a campaign, and why your campaigns and marketing skills are so worthwhile.

Getting Onto Other Platforms

While you are in full control over your own platforms, that doesn’t mean you’ll want to stop there. You’ll want to be involved with your community of marketers and artists. Work by collaborating with others. You can guest post, go on podcasts, interview others, try to get interviewed, and more.

Collaborating gets you in front of new audiences and spreads your name further. You aren’t just someone talking yourself up, you have other notable figures recognizing your talents as well.

 

Go For Awards

Any award, certificate, or mention online is going to be great for your career. In some cases, you won’t be able to nominate yourself. In others, you can put your name or your work into the ring for consideration. Keep your eye out for opportunities to improve your credentials and use those awards to get exciting new jobs or clients.

 

What You Can Do With An Audience

All of those options help you build up an online audience. What you do with the said audience will then depend on you. You can create digital products that your audience can buy to help them with their own marketing needs, for example. Create courses, campaign worksheets, or even an eBook, and sell them for decent prices so that your audience is happy enough to try them out. This type of product is known as a passive income since you don’t need to do anything extra once you create the products.

You can also use your audience to generate new and interesting leads. In fact, you can even use your audience as proof of your ability to market and use them to win over your future employer.

You can even monetize your platform. Partner with brands you approve of and market their products through your platform, selling merchandise, courses, books, and so on.

You can do many things with an audience, so don’t be afraid to take a unique approach if it feels right to you; you can always adjust your goals if something isn’t working.

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Praneet Samaiya
the authorPraneet Samaiya
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