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How to Become A Digital Marketer: Step-By-Step

Are you trying to become a digital marketer but don’t know where to start?

You’re not alone. With the digital marketing industry projected to reach $786 billion by 2026, finding jobs is only getting more challenging as the pool of applicants grows larger.

Luckily, standing out from the competition can help boost your chances.

Today’s guide on how to become a digital marketer offers career information and a step-by-step plan to help you turn your dream job into a reality.

An Overview of Digital Marketing: A Primer

Digital marketing is the promotion of products or services through digital/online platforms such as emails, social media, blogs, and website ads.

A digital marketer’s job entails building a strong online presence for brands and creating campaigns that target the appropriate audience for the product/service.

Digital marketing job roles are quite diverse because there are many sectors and the industry is always evolving.

From email marketing and search engine optimization to content marketing and social media marketing.

Digital marketing managers plan strategies, monitor KPIs, work with content creators, and analyze digital marketing metrics.

They also regularly assess brand awareness, collaborate with senior specialists and utilize the latest tools.

How Much Do Digital Marketers Make?

According to Indeed, a digital marketer in the United States makes an average of $21 per hour.

That’s an average salary of $62,500 per year, with top-earning digital marketing specialists making up to $107,000 per year.

Working as a freelance digital marketer, you can make a bit more money with an average pay of $33 per hour. That’s around $69,000 per year.

What You’ll Need to Become A Digital Marketer [& Associated Costs]

You can become a digital marketer without a digital marketing degree. But learning certain skills and tools is necessary for a career as a digital marketing specialist.

These mainly include:

  • Knowledge of primary marketing channels: You need to cover search engine optimization, search engine advertising, email marketing, content marketing, social media marketing, and other crucial marketing channels. Free and paid resources are available.
  • Data analysis: Monitoring, measuring, and studying data are critical for decision-making and planning in digital marketing. Free and paid resources are available.
  • Digital marketing tools: Businesses depend on digital marketing tools to grow and keep up with the competition. Free and freemium tools are available for every digital marketing strategy you can think of.
  • Sector-specific knowledge: Refining your skills to focus on a certain digital marketing discipline raises your value as a specialist.

How Much Does it Cost to Become A Digital Marketer?

You can find free introductory courses to digital marketing on platforms like Great Learning and HubSpot. This means you can get started at $0.

Once you’re ready to focus on a specific area of digital marketing, you can search for free resources or look at certifications and courses.

These typically start at $500 and can reach tens of thousands depending on the educational institution.

Many digital marketing tools are free such as Google Analytics, while others offer free trials before subscribing or free plans with limited features.

When you want to get more specialized and scale up your work, chances are you’ll need to pay for advanced features.

Prices for digital marketing tools vary widely; some cost less than $10 per month whereas others charge hundreds or even thousands.

Is it Hard to Become A Digital Marketer?

Becoming a digital marketer isn’t too difficult since you don’t need a degree in digital marketing or specific prior experience.

The skill range for digital marketing roles varies widely depending on the disciple. This makes transferable skills the top asset for digital marketing managers.

If you can learn the required skills for the role and demonstrate your knowledge to potential employers, you can land a digital marketing job.

How Long Does it Take to Become A Digital Marketer?

The duration it can take you to become a digital marketer varies depending on your previous experience and current skills

Generally, you can learn the basics of different digital marketing tools, principles, and techniques within 1 to 3 months.

From there, perfecting what you’ve learned through practice can take around 6 months and up to 1 year.

If you’re opting for a digital marketing qualification, the timeline will differ depending on the course in question.

A typical digital marketing degree at a higher education institution or a university takes 4 years to complete. Digital marketing boot camps are a lot shorter, usually spanning over 1 to 3 months.

Digital marketing certification programs are longer than boot camps but shorter than a degree, typically taking between 8 to 12 months.

How to Become A Digital Marketer in 4 Simple Steps

Now that you know more about digital marketers, here’s a simple step-by-step guide to starting a marketing business:

1. Establish Digital Marketing Knowledge

Your top priority should be building a knowledge base in digital marketing. Research the industry to get familiar with its challenges, emerging/ongoing trends, and future demand.

Information is readily available through blogs, webinars, videos, and podcasts all over the internet.

Consider enrolling in a qualification program such as a degree, certification, or even boot camp. This will help provide you with a solid understanding of the industry and prove your knowledge to potential employers.

2. Learn Core Skills

Becoming a digital marketer involves a wide range of roles that require a diverse skill set. Learning and practicing these key skills will boost your chances of impressing employers and getting hired.

Examples of core digital marketing skills include:

  • Communication skills: Digital marketers need outstanding people and communication skills. These are vital for creating briefs, presenting strategies, and collaborating.
  • Content creation: Digital marketers should be able to create decent content and copy. Resonating with the target audience requires knowledge of how to set a brand’s voice and tone.
  • Social media proficiency: Digital marketing can’t function without an in-depth understanding of different social media platforms and their trends.
  • Data analysis: This is essential for uncovering customers’ needs and wants to plan marketing strategies accordingly.
  • Software proficiency: Successful digital marketers use the latest marketing tools and technologies to improve their performance and results.

3. Nourish Your CV

Start building a digital marketing resume that highlights your knowledge and skills. Include any projects you’ve worked on as a freelancer or during your studying period.

Speaking of which, freelance gigs are an easy way to gain experience in various digital marketing areas. Trying affiliate marketing is also a good route to get into content marketing and search engine optimization.

Doing an internship helps you learn more about the industry while acquiring hands-on experience.

Some companies offer full-time positions to promising candidates at the end of the internship.

Most digital marketing managers start with marketing for small businesses to learn in a less hectic environment before moving on to bigger companies with higher stakes.

4. Network

With your knowledge, skills, and experience shaping up, the only thing left for you to do is network.

Interact with hiring managers, digital marketing experts, and field specialists. Discuss market trends, learn new techniques from them, and be on the lookout for job opportunities.

By putting yourself out there and staying relevant, chances are your name will pop up when an opening becomes available.

Reasons to Consider Becoming A Digital Marketer

Becoming a digital marketing specialist comes with many benefits. Here are a few of the top reasons you should consider this career path:

  • High demand: Digital marketers are among the most in-demand professionals on the market, and this need seems to be only growing. You can expect job opportunities to be available for the foreseeable future.
  • Better work-life balance: Most digital marketing jobs offer flexible arrangements such as working from home and flextime. This gives you more control over your workday so you can adjust it around other obligations.
  • Diverse roles: Digital marketing encompasses a variety of roles that you can get into depending on your skills and interests. Examples include search engine marketing, affiliate marketing, email marketing, and content marketing.
  • Growth opportunities: Digital marketing encourages continuous learning as the industry is always evolving with new platforms popping up. With more experience, advancing to higher positions such as a digital marketing manager is readily possible.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you’re aiming to become a digital marketing specialist, certain questions are bound to come to mind. Here are a couple of the most common inquiries and their answers:

What Qualifications Do You Need to Be a Digital Marketer?

You don’t necessarily need a degree or specific qualifications to become a digital marketer, but validating your skills is certain to boost your chances.

A digital marketing course from a reputable platform will give you a competitive edge while improving your knowledge of the industry’s various disciplines.

Can Anyone Be a Digital Marketer?

Anyone can become a digital marketer even if they don’t have previous experience or a degree.

A high level of dedication to learning the necessary skills is a must. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed if you’re not familiar with data analytics, search engines, content management, and such topics.

Similar Gigs to Check Out

You can often find inspiration for becoming a successful digital marketer in similar gigs. Check out the following career guides for additional pointers:

  • How to Become a Digital Creator on Facebook: A huge part of becoming a digital creator on Facebook is learning to be a proficient content marketer. Many of the included tips apply to digital marketers.
  • How to Become a Freelancer: If you’re considering a career as a freelance digital marketer, most of the general strategies for becoming a freelancer can help outline your route.
  • How to Become a Social Media Manager: Being social media savvy is key for digital marketing professionals working in social media marketing. This happens to be the specialty field of a social media manager.

Wrapping Up

This is the end of today’s step-by-step guide on how to become a digital marketer.

The road to establishing a digital marketing career requires persistence and patience to learn the necessary skills for the role. While a degree or certification isn’t a must, earning a qualification can set you apart from the fierce competition.

Building an impressive resume is also important to highlight what you bring to the table. The final puzzle piece is networking to get your name on the right radar.

As always, share your thoughts in the comments and share the post if you found it helpful.

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