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Are you thinking of pursuing a digital marketing career? Do you love social media and want to figure out how to get paid to do it?
Here are some tips for strengthening your social media profile and strategy to increase your chances of landing your ideal role.
Find a Niche
Okay, so you want to be a social media expert – this can take many forms. What kind of social media do you love? What are you great at? Do you want to create video? Do you have design skills? Social media is such a broad field that can be incorporated with many other digital marketing applications and angles – how are you going to make yourself stand out?
If you want to niche yourself, it’s a good idea to hone in on one platform that you’re really interested in and are motivated to get further training in. Love photography? Go with Instagram. Are you a food blogger? Recipes are huge on Pinterest, so you may want to learn more about that. Love marketing? Facebook Ads are expected to remain one of the most effective ways of marketing in many types of industries.
When you’re deciding which platform to use, don’t just make a random decision, do some research! As you research, you can not only find out which social media platforms are the most popular and performing - you can also gather the data you find and discuss it in such a way that you can build authority and show off that knowledge to (would-be) clients or employers.
Be Your Brand
Deciding on a niche is one thing, and after that, it’s a good idea to develop a personal brand. This is an important thing to start with if you are just starting out, as it will help you stay recognized beyond your next job, and well into your career. It’s also pretty much a necessity if you ever planning on freelancing.
So where do you start building a personal brand? You may already have one and not know it. Think about what types of things you like to blog about, the impression that your photos offer the world; even think about your favorite colors and designs. Doing something like creating a logo to display across all of your channels is a great way of establishing differentiation while standing out in your sphere.
Choose something about yourself personally and professionally that stands out and go from there – the more creative your audience, the quirkier you should be. Choose something that you feel great about, that represents your niche, and will appear attractive to potential employers. Finding a personal brand is about sharing your own story, so have fun with it and remember that it will likely be a bit of a journey, so you don’t have to decide on everything at once.
Keep it Professional
If you’re seriously looking for work, you don’t want to risk having potential employers see last night’s party on Instagram or even risk getting tagged in an unseemly scenario. Even though it might seem like a lot of work, it’s a good idea to either keep your personal profile “clean” and professional or create a whole new one designated for professional pursuits. Try to also avoid ranting or overly-opinionated types of posts, and keep them on brand.
All of your platforms should appear professional and confident (and yes, there’s even an app for that – it’s called PhotoFeeler). Having a professional headshot is important, but if you can’t afford it, just see if a friend will take some decent snaps of you in exchange for – social media marketing!
Recruiters & Referrals
Using social media to find both recruiters and referrals is an excellent way to find open positions, have interesting conversations and generally make yourself known. If you find a handful of awesome companies you’re interested in working with just on Twitter, for instance, you can get under their nose by re-sharing articles and the like from them.
When you’re looking at social media to find jobs, you can sometimes narrow down the name of the job poser as well and then interact directly with them, whether it’s a hiring manager or a recruiter. Take a peek at some of your favorite companies and give their career handles a follow – you never know what might pop up in your Twitter feed.
Careers in digital marketing can be a little bit isolating, especially if you’re freelancing or working remotely. That’s why it’s so important to take every opportunity you can to meet others in your field. Sure, learning is possible alone when you’ve got the world at your fingertips, but nothing quite tops the experience of getting up close and personal with others with experts in your field.
Don’t hesitate to look for local Meet ups in your field in your area. And if you’re up for a productive getaway, why not search for social media and digital marketing conferences coming up this year – there are plenty to choose from, so there’s really something for everyone.
If you’re just starting out in your career or looking for a different type of position with a company, you may think that it should be your focus to update your LinkedIn profile and go to networking events – this is all true! But you can also boost your visibility by showing up as an expert at every chance you get.
A great way to do this is by starting a free blog, which is easy to do on free platforms like Medium and WordPress. You can use these platforms in combination with social media to build a following who you can keep sharing your expertise with.
Take on Side Jobs
Even if you’re new to the scene, scoping out volunteer roles or browsing sites like Upwork for opportunities to build your portfolio are really great ways to make yourself known as an expert.
You may have a friend that’s just starting a business or needing a little extra help – why not negotiate a practice rate or even a barter? In the long run, this is not recommended with freelancing, but if you’re just starting out, any practice that can prove your accomplishments is a win-win if you can get a referral.
And the best part is that if something doesn’t work out, you don’t have to include it on your resume, portfolio or website.
Link Your Professional Sites
Your website, LinkedIn, and professional Facebook page (or whatever you choose as your main professional landing pages) should all be easily displayed and accessible. That way, if a recruiter finds you one way – say, on LinkedIn -- you should make it as easy as possible for them to pop over to your website, blog, or Instagram page so that they can see your social media strategy and content props.
It’s actually quite easy to create a slideshow or video, so why not consider preparing something like a promo video or vlog and sharing it regularly on Twitter or LinkedIn? That’s a great way to show not only your video production skills but also your public speaking and presentation skills. It doesn’t have to be overly complicated, you can even just prepare an intro video in advance, since many job applications in the digital sphere are asking for those these days.
Don’t Overdo it
Don’t wear yourself thin trying to maintain 10 different platforms and keep them consistent. It’s much better to have just one or two outstanding profiles and keeping them up-to-date and on-brand, than to spend all your time scheduling out a million posts – but if you do need help with scheduling, you can always use a tool like Buffer to help you stay organized.
If you want to be a social media marketer, you’ll need to learn the ins and outs of social media marketing – and where’s a better place to start than on your own profile? There are so many social media jobs out there and with a little grit and creativity, finding one is probably not as hard as you think.
The more fun and creative (while still staying professional) you are on your own site, the more potential employers will see that it brings you joy – and how could an employer resist an interview with someone who is already completely engaged in their work?