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There is no doubt that digital marketing has quickly become one of the fastest-growing and in-demand areas in today’s digital world. It has also created a lot of high-demand job positions with the ability to work on exciting and unusual projects with well-known companies. On top of that,  professionals can live the so-called ‘laptop lifestyle’ working from anywhere in the world. Talking about remuneration, the average salary of digital marketing specialists across the United States is above $70,000 per year, which is significantly higher than the country average. These and many other factors make the digital marketing industry incredibly appealing both for employees and employers. Let’s talk about how to become an expert in digital marketing.

Nevertheless, most people are quite convinced that this area is extremely difficult to enter unless you have relevant experience in the IT industry. So, let us just dive into the topic and figure out some initial steps to start a career in digital marketing!

Educational And Background Requirements

Marketing manager making marketing distribution channels plan.

The first question crossing the mind of people is if they need a marketing degree to start. The answer to that one is ‘No, that is not exceptionally necessary.’ Sure, some background knowledge of economics, finance, or accounting may be useful, but less so is marketing knowledge. Most marketing-related expertise comes from self-study, but not from formal education: reading books, blogs, relevant articles, watching marketing videos, taking related courses, etc. 

It should be mentioned that such formal (or post-secondary) marketing education is not a must. However, people differ as well as market demands. Sometimes you do need academic approval to apply for some positions. It largely depends on the sphere and your professional aspirations. However, to succeed, you need relevant experience, fresh ideas, and good knowledge of the industry in the first place.

Growing As A Digital Marketer

First and foremost, learning digital marketing equals practicing one. By ‘practice’ several ways are considered. The first and easiest one is applying for a job and working as a digital marketer for another company. You just find a digital marketing agency focused on R&D/internal recruitment of employees and applicants for the position according to your experience. 

The other way is to start your digital marketing agency or provide consulting services. This way is challenging and does not apply to everyone. You should better have more advanced knowledge and experience to start. If you already are the owner of any business, you could support and strengthen it from the digital side instead of creating a new one. 

No matter what way you choose towards the aim, the main idea is to improve your understanding of the industry. Many people claim to be professionals after the quick online course or any marketing-related book. Diving deep into the topic requires more time and work.

If you indeed want to upgrade your understanding of all relevant processes within the industry and succeed as a digital marketer, pay attention to theoretical and practical aspects. Speaking of the practical part, start with signing up for your business Instagram account, creating helpful and engaging content for it, growing followers’ number, learning about recording, editing, SEO (Search Engine Optimization), and building a website. It means being extremely curious and learning any and every other thing that is even remotely interesting for you in the field of digital marketing.

In other words, to become a cook, you are going to need to taste a lot of dishes. That is why you need to try SEO optimization, content-making, and lots of other areas until you find the right one. Getting involved in this industry and understanding the weak fields for future improvements is the best strategy in this case. 

But how deep should be the knowledge, and at what stage you may consider yourself as an expert?

Digital marketers working on a plan for growth.

Being A ‘T-shaped’ Marketer

A ‘T-shaped’ specialist is a person with a broad understanding across a bunch of different topics, but at the same time with specific knowledge on a very few aspects. Digital marketing consists of numerous subcategories such as PR (public relations), SEO, or Design, not to mention sales, advertising, and social media. 

It may seem too much knowledge and too many areas which are impossible to be covered by one and only person. However, you shouldn’t start learning and honing your skills from any specific aspect like developing Instagram stories or designing a website. On the contrary, the first place you want to start from should be the core awareness of key foundational marketing basics.

Learn More: 5 Surprising Podcasts That Will Help You Become A Better Marketer

Underestimation Of Marketing

According to ‘Forbes’ investigation, more than 50% of businesses are failing during the first 5 years. After the relevant analyses, they concluded that the number one reason for such poor statistics is marketing underestimation. Indeed, the majority of business owners tend to underrate the importance of sales and marketing departments in their operating activities. Nevertheless, marketing is a major business function that is made up of other parts such as social media, PR, market research, or content marketing, but not only advertising as people usually think. 

Now let me come back to the process of learning and becoming a digital marketing expert. Once again, before taking a course ‘how to sell through email’, which is also rather important, you should pay attention to the basics of marketing.

Some of such fundamental theoretical concepts are the 4 Ps of marketing, SWOT & TOWS analyses, Porter’s 5 Forces, etc. 

In a brief conclusion, digital marketer nowadays is indeed a part of the top demanded jobs list. With relevant skills and knowledge of the industry, you may work for some company as an employed specialist or even build your own business. In both ways, you need to learn a lot of theory and apply one in real life, instead of having a marketing degree with 0 practical experience. In case you are already a skilled specialist, you may easily apply for this job, in any country using the well-known job-seeking resources.

As was already mentioned above, the industry may seem rather complicated at the first glance. To tell the truth, it really has some internal pitfalls and challenges, as well as some basic skills and knowledge requirements. However, do not be afraid of learning and acquiring a new skill set. Moreover, these tips and pieces of advice provided and analyzed above may potentially save you a lot of time, energy, and money. 

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About the Author

James McMinn

Senior Digital Strategist

James is a savvy digital marketing specialist with a Masters of Science in Internet Marketing. For the past fourteen years, he has been specializing in SEO, PPC & Marketing Strategy. He has a super sharp analytical mind and a finely tuned creative eye for marketing initiatives that optimize brands.

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