At some point, your college career must come to an end. Although this can be sad thought to wrap your head around, everyone must prepare themselves for the pomp and circumstance and get ready for the next step in life, your professional career.
Don’t get me wrong, working my first full-time job as a digital marketing strategist has been the most exciting, educational, and surreal experience of my life so far. Being employed at Something Digital is truly a blessing. The culture here allows for an easy transition and the training I have received from experts in the industry has expanded my knowledge base tremendously. As I look back on my first month there are some things that college does not prepare you for when you enter the working world. Based on my experiences thus far, here are some tips that will help any young digital marketer succeed as they launch their career.
Being a marketing major was great. I would go to class and watch advertisements, talk about the latest pop culture trends and their impact on marketing strategies, and have in-depth conversations about Starbucks branding. This compared to my peers; who had to study for endless bio exams. Although these class discussions were engaging, they did not always apply to what is now and more importantly, what is next. Part of being a great marketer is the ability to predict digital trends before they even happen. It is about being ahead of the curve and to always expect the unexpected. What professors teach us in school is old content derived from even older textbooks.
So, my tip, always read to stay ahead, educate yourself, it will pay off in the long run. Know what is next rather than what has already past. Be agile with trends because digital marketing functions tend to come and go. What is relevant today may be gone within months.
Be Willing To Learn:
Being willing to learn coincides with being agile. As digital marketing trends fade, new ones will surface within the industry. Therefore, the willingness to learn is a vital component to any digital marketer’s success. Learn to expose yourself to as many different theories, strategies, and ideas as possible. What may work for one client may not align with the goals of another client, so expose yourself to as much knowledge as possible. For example, a lull in sales does not mean your customers don’t want to make a purchase, maybe they can’t. The issue could be stemming from the technical aspects of your client’s website. As a result, one must be willing to study all sides of digital marketing, both technical and non-technical.
A huge part of digital marketing is the ability to know how to use and understand a lot of different platforms. Google Analytics, Google AdWords, Google Search Console, MOZ, Google Keyword Planner, MailChimp, and Google Tag Manager are just a few of the most popular digital marketing tools. Learn how these platforms work and keep learning, they’re always being updated and upgraded, especially Google’s.
Learn to stand out by being creative. Even in a technological and data-driven industry, innovation is valued. Try to be creative in your data findings. Do not just look at the numbers. Ask yourself, what do these numbers mean? Do not jump to conclusions, look for all possible answers in your insight. Digital marketing may not seem as creative as other areas of marketing, like design and branding, but there are ways to stand out to employers by being innovative in your analysis.
Transitioning from college student to a full-time job is not as easy as it may seem. You go from being comfortable in an environment you have been excelling in for years to a whole new world. If you are like me, you are moving on from a small school to a big city agency, and it is intense. New people, new routines, new theories to learn and practices to understand is a lot to take on, so my tip is to be confident. It is easy to get discouraged in such a fast pace, digital world. Constantly remind yourself that you can do it, stay focused, and set goals to achieve.
Entering into a fulltime position is not easy. It is stressful, nerve-racking, and very intimidating. All these feelings are worth it in the end. You get to work with people that make you better, learn new applications and theories, and advance your career. By following these tips, you can give yourself an edge as you transition from full-time college student to a full-time digital marketer.
Written by: Tori Oates, Digital Strategist