Jul 1, 2016

The Ultimate Guide to Digital Career Success

by Digital Marketing Institute

Tips from the industry experts

Digital transformation offers an abundance of opportunities that anyone can seize upon to carve out a dynamic, meaningful career, whatever your strengths or interests. With digital, you can enjoy access to tangible professional development, lucrative salaries and benefits that range from flexi-time to healthcare.

Digital marketing job listings have seen significant growth since 2009, when they made up less than 0.1% of search results on jobs website Indeed.com. In 2015, this number had risen to 0.3%

Stats from Moz.com

Achieving your professional goals is easier than you might think – all you need is an initial foothold in the industry and a solid foundational skillset. We’ve gathered some essential insights and advice from successful experts within the digital industry to help kickstart your career development. You can also download our free ebook to find out exactly what you need to do to carve out a successful digital career or If you're interested in learning more why not sign up for a digital marketing course with DMI?

Do Your Research

Do Your Research | The Ultimate Guide to Digital Career Success

Whether it’s your first role, or you’re looking to secure a promotion, one of the most crucial actions you can take to ensure successful progression within the digital industry is to always thoroughly prepare before submitting a job application or attending an interview.

The more you know about the organization for which you want to work - their history, their achievements, and their ethos – the more impressed your potential employer will be!

On a similar note, if you are meticulous about matching your skills and experience, to the requirements of your desired role, you’ll be able to very easily demonstrate that you’re the best candidate for the job!

Industry expert insight

"I interview lots of people — and the one thing that really gets my goat is that they have not taken the time to understand the business (and even the role) they are applying for. At the very least, go through the website, but MUCH better is to Google a little around the business. Is the brand liked? Who are the competitors? Does the CEO wear a pink bow-tie? Preparation is not optional! Not if you want the job! Come in not only with your A-game, but with a Game-plan! (…But try not to sound as corny as that last sentence.)”

Dixon Jones, Marketing Director, Majestic

Develop Your Personal Brand

Develop Your Personal Brand | The Ultimate Guide to Digital Career Success

Whether you harbor hopes of working for a large tech company like Google or Facebook, or you plan on starting your own business, the importance of establishing a strong personal brand should never be underestimated!

The more visible and respected you are within a digital industry, the more opportunities you’ll be able to create for yourself. You’ll find it easier to forge valuable contacts, you’ll be able to leverage better career prospects, and you’ll achieve a recognition that will help you to develop a competitive edge.

Industry expert insight

“Big business and celebrities place a great deal of emphasis on developing, exuding and promoting their brand. This concept should be applied by everyone seeking to differentiate themselves in today’s personal and business worlds.

Granted, large brands have cash flow to throw at social campaigns and advertising – but the lesson on developing personality can be adopted by anyone, large or small. And that’s more important than ever these days because the online arena is getting more and more crowded.

The important thing is to understand is that whatever you do with your content, and in social channels, it should be genuine and a natural fit for who you are as a person. So start thinking of ways that you can involve your social audiences in something that’s uniquely you—something that will encourage them to want to interact with you, get to know you better, and talk about you. Your brand/business is what you do; your reputation is what people remember and share.

Passing your audience’s “personality test” is often a good way to get a foot in the door that leads to developing that all-important”

  • -Ted Rubin, Social Marketing Strategist & Brand Evangelist


Never Stop Learning

Never Stop Learning | The Ultimate Guide to Digital Career Success

It seems almost clichéd at this point to say that the digital industry evolves at an inhumanly fast pace. The main implication of this obvious fact? If you want to be a successful digital professional, you need to constantly refine your skills and stay up-to-date with industry developments. Whether it’s having an RSS feed that you fill with industry publications and check every morning, or enrolling in a digital marketing course, the best chance you can give yourself to advance your career is through continuous learning.

Industry expert insight

"Never stop learning. Self-education is critical for your success in any role, and especially in digital marketing. If you want to be seen as an innovator, you need to learn to stay ahead of the game. And that means painting a blank canvas when no one has the blueprint to success. That means taking risks and trying a lot of new things out, it means going beyond your comfort zone. But you can't do that if you don't know what's going on around you, both in the industry and in your company. Always be learning, seeing what other do (and don't do), reaching out to people in the industry who are trying to do the same thing in other companies and share the knowledge. This constant thirst for self-learning and self-improvement will make you a rare leader in the sea of followers."

“The advice I always give to people to advance their career within the digital industry is remain curious. Ask questions, read lots and commit to continuous learning. The most successful people I know recognise that each day is a new opportunity to learn and improve. That’s the best way to get and stay ahead.”

-Ben Cotton, Senior Marketing Manager, Sales Enablement, HubSpot

Practically Apply Your Skills

Practically Apply Your Skills | The Ultimate Guide to Digital Career Success

Once you’ve established an attitude of ongoing self-education, you’ll need to be able to practically apply your learning in order to enhance your effectiveness, whether it’s in your current role, or to set yourself up for success in a future career. Absorbing knowledge through reading industry publications and course content will help you to a large extent, but in order to truly sharpen your skillset, you need to practice what you’ve studied as much as possible. In other words, the best way of learning, is by doing!

Industry expert insight

“Start your own website or blog. The best way to learn is to try things out on your won site. It can be as simple as starting a WordPress blog, testing out a few marketing tactics on it and seeing what happens by looking at your Google Analytics. Over time you will learn what works and what doesn't.”

-Neil Patel, co-founder of co-founder of Crazy Egg, Hello Bar and KISSmetrics

“Go to a site like careerbuilder.com, look at jobs you aspire to qualify for, list the skills and software most commonly listed in those jobs, go get that experience/training. Also, to get experience, offer to do what it is you need experience with for a non-profit for free. Great way to boost your resume and get great references!”

-Annie Cushing, Annielytics

Be A Problem Solver

Be a Problem Solver | The Ultimate Guide to Digital Career Success

If you want to accelerate your digital career, the abilities to be adaptable and demonstrate initiative are incredibly important, particularly because of the fast paced nature of the industry. If you constantly wait to receive and carry out instructions, you’ll never be able to illustrate your potential to progress. A proactive attitude and the confidence to offer ideas and input will stand you in excellent stead; not only will it show that you’re invested in your role, you’ll be able to demonstrate how indispensable you could be to the organization.

Industry expert insight

“Be a problem solver and new opportunities will open themselves up to you. Try to think one step ahead and identify and solve potholes before they happen. Talk to your manager about the challenges they are facing and solve them yourself. Eventually your manager will move up the organization hierarchy and by proving yourself as someone who is already thinking proactively about solving for the business you will have earned trust and credibility making you a natural choice to take over the role they leave behind.”

-Lisa Toner, Manager, Content Marketing Strategy, and Sales Products at HubSpot

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