Being a ‘beginner’ at anything can feel a bit daunting, especially if you’re entering a brand new field of work. There are so many different pathways when it comes to marketing – it’s really just an umbrella term – so it can be tricky to know where to start. This beginner’s toolkit should help you find your feet, and give you a clear springboard and a helpful list of things you can do to kickstart your marketing career.
Trawl for Trends
Trend-spotting can be hard if you don’t know what you’re looking for. Try treating your trend searches the same as you read daily news updates each morning. Do you open the BBC News app every morning expecting to know what to find? Of course not. You tend to scroll, click on interesting headlines, try things on for size, dig a bit deeper and then afterwards – you come away with a pretty good understanding of what’s going on in the world.
Keeping up with industry trends in the same thing. Online publications like PR Week, The Drum and Marketing Week are wonderful ways to keep your knowledge fresh and up-to-date, so see if you can weave them into your news-reading routine.
Make a Spiderweb
We’ve all heard of those cheesy phrases that promote building professional relationships like “networking” or “casting your net”. Well, we’ve come up with an even cheesier one: make a spiderweb.
Upgrade your communication skill by setting up a LinkedIn profile – if you haven’t already – and connect with people with jobs you find interesting. You can search through mutual connections or even via hashtags like #studentsoflinkedin or #marketing101.
Actively start sharing articles you like, sparking conversations with people, and commenting on other posts. You’ll be surprised how many people reply to a post that says “Hey, I’m interested in this and would anyone be willing to let me pick their brain for a few minutes? Thanks!” It really is as simple as that.
At least for now, traditional classroom learning is out the window but this does mean virtual learning is becoming more and more commonplace. (And it’s now totally acceptable to wear pyjamas to work without weird looks.) There are plenty of tailored, affordable courses online to help you learn new marketing skills to support your marketing career. Everything is available at our fingertips: the marketing basics; social media marketing; content marketing; creating email campaigns or how to start freelancing. Here are a few to get you started:
- Social Media Marketing 101 by Oxford College of Marketing
- Your Journey to Successful Freelance Marketing by Girls in Marketing
- The Fundamentals of Digital Marketing by Google Digital Garage
- Content Marketing Course by Hubspot Academy
Top tip: Don’t forget to see if anyone’s hosting free online webinars! These can be a great way to quickly learn more about a topic, directly ask questions to industry professionals and get real-time advice. Girls in Marketing hosts regular webinars and also have curated a full list of affordable online courses on their website.
Great marketing is genius storytelling. Everything from creating a PR campaign to posting on social media or writing website copy comes down to one thing: good storytelling. As marketers, we need to be able to tell genuine, airtight stories to an appropriate, suitable audience.
To practise this, why not try creating some content? Write blog posts, press releases, tweets or even design your own Instagram campaign for your favourite brand – or better still make one up! Practise really does make perfect.
It’s All About Perspective
Speaking of your favourite brands, do you follow them on social media? Do you regularly check their website? (And nope, not just for an online shopping spree.) Do you interact with them? Follow their campaigns and read about what issues they are involved with?
Start wearing your marketer hat when you’re checking your social media feeds. Analyse other brands (and their competitors) to see how they approach their online branding. What do you like? What don’t you like? How well are they engaging with their followers? Have they recently released any press or media announcements?
Getting into that marketer mindset will empower you to strategically think about your own work and the world around you. Being able to constantly adopt new perspectives and viewpoints will help transform your marketing passion into a marketing career.
This post was written by Martha Mae from Girls in Marketing.
See how Oxford College of Marketing can support the development of your marketing career with a range of marketing course. Get in touch with us today to find our more.