The world of marketing is, for me, one of the best professions to go into. Getting to experience an unlimited source of creativity, imagination and innovative content creation on a daily basis is an incredibly exciting passion to pursue, and one with enough career skills to lend to almost every other industry out there.
Marketing can teach you how to communicate, how to problem solve and create strategy. It can help you to discover design, style and verbal flair, and build your own voices through the brands of someone else. It is an incredibly lucrative industry, with an invaluable attachment to every business, brand and corporation it touches. Marketing can make or break a business, and is one of the best possible sectors for a creative professional to enter.
Then why is it so difficult? Why is marketing slowly becoming one of the hardest industries to make a pathway into, going unnoticed and unrecognised in the economy’s toughest climate. Well the voices of marketers, like so many others in creative fields, are often lost behind their content, and so finding the right kind of person to both sell their brand and themselves, is a job that no recruiter enjoys.
So how can you make a difference? How can you stand out in your field and be the one applicant that every company is desperate to utilise?
Fill your background with marketing
One truly intelligent way to market yourself in marketing is to join the dots between who you are now and the skills you currently possess, with the experiences you’ve had before. Build a digital portfolio showcasing your transition from an early social media adopter to a fully fleshed out expert in your field, and illustrate clearly your journey along the way. Every job role, each creative project, each idea and every collaborative project will highlight your passion for marketing, and help you to stand out as a long-standing career influencer, rather than a fresh faced learner.
Keep your social media sites squeaky clean
Although for most job roles, this is a given, for marketing this takes on a whole new form. Keeping your socials ‘squeaky clean’ doesn’t just mean taking down any embarrassing snaps or drunk Tweets – it means combing through every post with a fine tooth comb, and really thinking about the kind of person you want to portray. Do you want your career to be remembered through endless tags in blurry club photos, or by sleek photoshoots and brightly lit imagery? Does your sudden interest in retweeting the latest chance to win a bucket of KFC really sell who you as a professional? Creating your own digital voice is almost as important as creating one for your clients and the brands you represent, as not only will it highlight your skills in the field, but also your respect and approach for the platforms you work with.
Show an interest in other fields
Marketing comes in all different shapes and sizes, and there’s no guarantee just who your client will be one from day to another. Switching your way between the social media strategy for a high end modelling agency, a blog post for a high tech VR company and the brand guidelines for a high street Italian restaurant means that additional passions and interests in a broad range of subjects could really come off in your favour. Employers will want to believe that you are capable of rising to every challenge, and leaping outside of the box rather than just stepping. Allow them to feel confident and comfortable in assigning you tasks talking about topics previously out of your depth, and you’ll be rising through the career ranks in no time.
Leave no limitations in your skill set
The best marketer in the universe will always have on aspect of their job that they feel a little under-confident performing, whether it’s publically pitching ideas, cold email marketing or SEO proofing, so you need to prove that your weakness, whatever it might be, does not limit your expertise. For every flaw or weakness you have in marketing, create a new skill to make up for it. Say you struggle with PR outreaching, begin boasting about your excellent photography skills instead. Feel nervous communicating with clients? Draft up a spotless social media strategy to make up for it, and let your passion for it outshine any wobbliness. There is always more to learn and room to grow, so don’t let anything limit your capacity for creativity.
Do your research
One of the most interesting elements of marketing is evaluating the work of others. Although the field can often get a poor reputation for its naturally competitive nature, marketing is an industry full of drive and expansion, and reviewing existing brand strategies is a really uniquely insightful look into a potential client’s vision. So when approaching a new client or brand for marketing, always make sure to do as much research on their existing social strategy as possible. How often do they post? What do they post? What does the design hierarchy of their website tell you? What do they value and enjoy sharing? What don’t they? Every question that you can answer is going to be a plus point for you in a meeting or interview, so the more work you can put in beforehand, the better.
The right route into marketing can come from anywhere. Some of the most inspiring marketers in the world began their career in a completely unrelated field, and some of them are fulfilling their lifelong dream of working in the industry. So make sure that your path is the right one for you, and keep working to find the right role for your passion – it’ll be worth it. I promise.