Getting into Marketing with No Experience
November 3rd, 2023
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Have you ever wondered if it’s possible to get into marketing with no experience? Up to 2031, studies show that roles for marketing and advertising experts will increase by around 10%.
Even in a world of AI and automation, companies from all industries still rely on marketers to elevate their brands and generate leads. However, many hiring managers are searching for specialists with experience. If you’ve never worked in the marketing landscape before, you may not be able to instantly get a role as a marketing manager or “CMO”.
However, there are plenty of marketing and digital marketing jobs that don’t require as much work experience. An entry-level role can be an excellent way to open the door to a new, lucrative career path. Here’s how you can get started, and impress potential employers.
The Skills You’ll Need for a Marketing Job
When applying for any role in today’s competitive world, it’s important to remember “experience” is just one of the factors potential employers will evaluate. They’ll also want to see you have the right skills and personality traits to excel in a marketing role.
Just as you can get a sales role with no experience if you have fantastic communication, interpersonal, and analytical skills, it’s also possible to break into marketing. From a “personality trait” perspective, the best marketers usually have a passion for business development and growth, a creative and analytical mindset, and a strong aptitude for learning.
When it comes to the skills you’ll need, there are both hard and soft skills you’ll need to consider.
Soft Skills for Marketers
You may already have some of the core soft skills you need as a marketer developed throughout your previous career experiences. Some crucial skills to prioritize include:
- Communication: Excellent marketing is all about communicating an idea or message to a specific audience. You should be able to express yourself, and represent your brand across multiple channels, from social media, to email, and even in-person presentations.
- Creativity and problem solving: As a marketer, you’ll need to be able to cut through the noise in your marketplace and find ways to resonate with your target audience. Creative thinking and innovation are trademarks of exceptional marketing.
- Attention to detail: The marketing assets you create will be seen by many different people, so it’s important to ensure you’re sending the right message consistently. Accuracy and an eye for errors is important in a marketing role.
- Leadership and interpersonal skills: Working in marketing often means collaborating with a wide range of team members, from sales professionals, to product development departments. You should be able to work as a team, and lead others when necessary.
- Adaptability: The world of digital marketing is constantly changing, with new algorithms and trends to consider. Ensuring you can adapt to different patterns, and maintain the attention of your target audience is crucial in this field.
Hard Skills for Marketing Roles
The hard skills you’ll need for different marketing and digital marketing jobs will vary depending on your area of focus. However, some important areas to focus on include:
- Writing and SEO skills: Writing skills are essential in virtually every type of marketing role. If you’re investing in a career in digital marketing, you’ll need to ensure you can write both for your target audience and the search engines.
- Data analysis and research: Marketers need to be able to gather insights into their target audience, their competition, and the wider landscape to create compelling campaigns. You’ll also need to be able to measure and demonstrate the ROI of your marketing efforts.
- Project management: Another essential component of marketing roles, project management is essential to ensure you can juggle multiple clients, projects, and campaigns. You’ll need to adhere to deadlines, track your contributions, and prioritize your workloads.
- Social media: Many marketing roles require at least a basic knowledge of social media channels, and how they can be used to capture and nurture leads. You should be able to create and share content on a variety of different platforms to engage your audience.
- Specific marketing skills: Depending on your area of focus, you may need to develop additional skills in the world of email marketing, visual marketing, or pay-per-click campaigns. Courses and webinars will help you develop these talents.
Additionally, most digital marketing jobs will also require you to feel comfortable working in the back-end of websites and content management systems. You don’t necessarily need to be a web developer or designer, but you should be able to update and optimize pages on a site.
How to Get into Marketing with No Experience
Now you know which skills are essential to most marketing and digital marketing jobs, it’s time to develop a plan for getting into the industry with no prior experience. The journey you take may vary depending on the specific career you’re interested in, but here are some steps to get you started.
Step 1: Determine Your Ideal Career Path
There are many different types of marketing careers, from those designed for people focusing on traditional marketing, to digital marketing jobs focused on the online world. It’s important to think carefully about which aspects of marketing interest you, and your existing skills.
For instance, if you have excellent writing and content creation skills, you might focus on a digital marketing career that involves creating content for websites and email campaigns. If you’re passionate about social media, look for roles that involve the creation of social campaigns.
These questions will help you to determine which career path you should consider:
- Which soft and hard skills do you already have, relevant to marketing?
- What do you enjoy most in the marketing world? What are you passionate about?
- What would your ideal work day look like, and which tasks would you complete?
- Which roles align with your personal goals for development and income?
Step 2: Research and Learn Marketing Fundamentals
Once you know what kind of role you want to pursue in the marketing field, it’s time to do some research. A good way to get started is to look at job descriptions or posts for marketing positions you might like to apply for. What kind of skills are potential employers in this space looking for? Where are the gaps in your current resume?
If a job is asking for a specific degree or higher level of education, you might need to consider looking into more “entry level” positions first. However, keep in mind that you’ll still need to commit to developing your education, even for entry level roles.
Listen to podcasts, watch videos, and read blogs to learn more about marketing fundamentals, such as the aspects of search engine optimization (linking, keywords, etc), and social media strategies.
Step 3: Take Courses and Get Certified
Though you don’t always need specific qualifications or degrees to be considered for entry-level digital marketing jobs, earning certifications can give you an edge in the competitive market. They demonstrate a clear commitment to your career path, and can separate you from other applicants.
There are a lot of fast-paced workshops and courses available on the web today that can help you hone your talents and improve your skills. You can join a community like the Hardskill.Exchange to learn from experts, or you could consider taking specific certified courses.
For instance, Meta has its own series of courses available to those who want to learn about social media marketing. Google also has a fantastic selection of courses for search engine marketing, SEO, PPC, and even data analytics. You can also consider taking courses on Udemy, or Coursera.
Step 4: Build Your Personal Brand
Developing a strong personal brand is one of the most effective ways to improve your chances of getting a marketing job, even without experience. Your personal brand is how you showcase the personality traits, skills, and other factors that make you more appealing to potential employers.
A good way to get started is with your social media presence. Around 90% of employers now check social media channels when assessing candidates for roles. Make sure your social media presence demonstrates professionalism, and highlights the credentials you’ve earned.
You can add endorsements and certifications to your LinkedIn profile, and join groups on Facebook to demonstrate your commitment to marketing. It’s also worth building on your social presence with a website or portfolio where you can share insights into your journey. Creating blog posts and articles about marketing can showcase thought leadership.
Plus, as you begin to gain experience, through freelance and voluntary positions, you’ll be able to showcase the results of your campaigns on your site.
Step 5: Build Your Network and Find a Mentor
Networking is an incredible tool for any job seeker. It ensures you can connect with other relevant individuals in your field, which could open the door to opportunities you wouldn’t find on traditional job sites. Networking also gives you an excellent opportunity to learn from others in the marketing space, who may have more experience than you.
You can invest in your networking strategy both online and offline. Join groups on social media platforms, reach out to people on LinkedIn, and connect with marketers via online forums. You can also attend events, industry conferences, and in-person courses to build out your network.
To take your networking strategy to the next level, and improve your chances of earning a high-paying career in digital marketing, think about finding a mentor. Mentors aren’t just there for emotional support; they can also give you an insight into the marketing industry and how you should develop your skills. Plus, they can give you excellent feedback on your current work.
Step 6: Look for Ways to Get Experience
Though it is possible to start your career path in marketing or digital marketing without experience, you should constantly be looking for ways to develop your experience in this industry. The more experience you have, the more attractive you’ll be to potential employers.
If you’re struggling to get an entry-level job, consider volunteering for positions that will give you marketing experience. You could even look into taking on side projects related to marketing in your current role. For instance, if you’re currently part of a sales team, ask your boss whether you can shadow the marketing team in your business and contribute to campaigns.
Another option is to look for experience-building opportunities as a freelancer. Establishing a “side hustle”, and offering your marketing services to clients from various environments will give you new ways to experiment with your skills. Just make sure you choose the right price for your services – don’t underestimate your skills and values.
Step 7: Continue to Develop and Grow
Once you finally earn a digital marketing job or role in the marketing industry, don’t assume your journey is complete. As mentioned above, the world of marketing is constantly changing and evolving, with new trends, and technologies appearing all the time.
If you want to stay ahead in this industry, and ensure you can apply for promotions and higher-level positions, you need to commit to lifelong learning. Constantly look for opportunities to expand your skills, learn from your network, and take courses that will make you more appealing to employers.
The more you strive to enhance your knowledge and education, the more valuable you’ll be to employers in your industry.
Diving into Marketing with No Experience
Marketing is an incredibly versatile and flexible landscape, offering a huge range of opportunities to professionals with the right combination of creative and analytical skills. Although it helps to have experience in this industry, particularly when applying for higher-level roles, you can get started without any experience, and without a specific degree.
Join the Hard Skill Exchange today to start expanding your network and learning about the fundamentals of marketing.
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