A marketer without formal experience can seem daunting, but it’s not impossible. We’ve gathered specific tips from ten industry professionals, including marketing consultants and SEO strategists, to guide your journey. From hiring a marketing consultant to thoroughly understanding your audience, discover how to pivot into this dynamic field.
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- 1 Marketer Without Formal Experience: Hire a Marketing Consultant
- 2 Start with Hands-On Projects
- 3 Learn SEO Through Practice
- 4 Leverage Unique Skills in Marketing
- 5 Gain Experience with Entry-Level Roles
- 6 Educate Yourself with Online Courses
- 7 Showcase Skills with a Personal Blog
- 8 Explore Internal Company Opportunities
- 9 Earn Certifications in Marketing
- 10 Understand Your Audience Thoroughly
Marketer Without Formal Experience: Hire a Marketing Consultant
I suggest hiring a marketing consultant. I’m not just saying that because I’m a marketing consultant. I’ve been online for seven years. If I wanted to save myself seven years trying to figure it out, I would simply hire a marketing consultant and learn what I need in three months. If I had met myself seven years ago, I could have saved myself loads of time.
Swimming through an ocean of blog posts and YouTube videos will not really help. I learned this through seven years of personal experience. As a marketer without formal experience, You will learn a lot of surface information that seems spectacular because you’re a rookie, but the people who make this content will not reveal the cream-of-the-crop knowledge until you make a financial investment. This is how marketers, consultants, etc., make money. Knowledge is the new currency, guys. Even movie stars and industry leaders in every niche known to man are cashing in on the knowledge wave.
So, how do you identify the right consultant? Trust me. There are many charlatans out there who jumped online yesterday, pretending to be qualified. They ruin the game for real consultants because they lack the depth of knowledge needed to assist every kind of business owner who crosses their path. The same cookie-cutter marketing process will not work for every kind of business.
Qualified marketers lead with education, not fancy cars, houses, beaches, women, etc. Just because these kinds of marketers have money, it does not mean they got their money because they know what they are doing online. A qualified consultant can show you social proof of the people they’re helping by means of customer reviews and completed projects. Also, when you search through their social media and see what they’re doing, what they’re teaching, and what they have accomplished, it will just make sense. Last but not least, if a consultant does not hand you a questionnaire to find out about your business and give you a custom plan for your business, you should abandon ship.
There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all strategy. Also, the game, or rather social media algorithms, is constantly changing, and old digital tools and strategies eventually lose their effectiveness in generating traffic, leads, and sales, and new tools and strategies have to be developed in order to find paying clients. Strategy is just half the battle; a good consultant also knows that mindset training is required to help a new business owner wrap their mind around the perspective needed to join the few brave employees who succeed in freeing themselves…
Start with Hands-On Projects
My tip for anyone aspiring marketer without formal experience to break into the field: Don’t wait for permission to start. Immerse yourself in projects that align with your interests. Whether it’s managing a social media account for a passion project, starting your own blog, or taking on freelance gigs, hands-on experience builds a portfolio and demonstrates your skills to potential employers.
I dove into marketing by applying for a content editing position on a platform like Fiverr. That opportunity eventually led me to freelance marketing work as a brand ambassador. And I continued from there into digital marketing.
I share this to illustrate that breaking into marketing no longer requires a traditional path. There are endless avenues to start, and no gatekeepers holding you back. So, hone your skills and your body of work at the same time.
Learn SEO Through Practice
Forget fancy theories—let’s talk real-world SEO! I never had formal marketing or SEO training, but I built a blog and dove headfirst into the practical stuff.
Think Google Analytics? I learned to install it and track those key metrics. Same with Search Console—exploring keywords, optimizing content, fixing wonky HTML tags—I tackled it all. And over time, I realized this hands-on approach applies to other marketing channels, too. So, once you’ve gotten your own hands dirty, you’ll be well-equipped to evaluate local agencies that speak your language.
Leverage Unique Skills in Marketing
I realized that everyone has unique skills that can be invaluable in marketing. For instance, my expertise in chakra healing wasn’t directly related to marketing, but it provided a deep understanding of people’s emotional and physical needs. This insight proved crucial when I crafted campaigns, allowing me to connect with audiences on a more personal level.
My advice is to identify your unique skill set and demonstrate how it can bring a fresh perspective to marketing strategies. It’s about showcasing how your distinct experiences can offer innovative solutions, even without a traditional marketing background.
Gain Experience with Entry-Level Roles
My suggestion would be to dive into the marketing arena by applying for entry-level positions or internships, be it paid or unpaid. I started by trying my hand at content creation and marketing to gather practical insights into industry processes. Don’t let a lack of formal experience keep you from trying!
Show enthusiasm. A desire to learn is required to succeed. Emphasize relevant skills, such as social media marketing tactics or writing abilities. Getting hands-on experience is the key to breaking into the field, and this in itself demonstrates your commitment to understanding the complexity of marketing.
In sum, be proactive and seize whatever opportunity you get. Use each experience as a stepping-stone to develop your marketing expertise in the chosen field.
Educate Yourself with Online Courses
If you want to get into the marketing industry without having previous experience, you should first educate yourself. To understand basic concepts, enroll in online courses like HubSpot Academy or Google Digital Garage. You could study content creation or social media marketing, for example.
To apply what you’ve learned in practice and gain practical experience, try working on personal projects or volunteering for small businesses. To broaden your knowledge base and get advice, interact with experts in online groups.
For example, participate in online marketing events or join LinkedIn groups. Never forget that staying consistent is key. Although it might take some time to break into the field of marketing, your success will be aided by continuous learning and real-world experience. Continue to be passionate, curious, and open-minded about the changing marketing landscape.
Showcase Skills with a Personal Blog
Establishing an online presence through a personal blog or website proves invaluable for those entering the marketing domain without formal experience. This platform offers a direct channel to showcase skills, share insights, and engage with a broader audience.
By consistently producing relevant content, individuals can demonstrate their expertise and build credibility within the industry. A blog or website serves as a dynamic portfolio, allowing prospective employers or clients to assess their capabilities and track their record. This digital presence not only amplifies visibility but also fosters networking opportunities, as professionals can connect with like-minded individuals and industry peers.
Leveraging a personal blog or website provides a tangible and accessible platform for self-promotion, contributing to a more compelling narrative for those seeking a foothold in the marketing field.
Explore Internal Company Opportunities
We had an employee who was hired for customer service and started to take an interest in marketing.
At the time, we had a strong marketing team, but had a spot open. We took a chance on the customer service representative, and she is now rocking it on our marketing team. We taught her all that she needed to know, and she has been on the marketing team for about two years now. She has done so well for our team.
So, if someone with no formal marketing experience wants to join marketing, maybe there is a chance internally with the company you are currently working for.
Earn Certifications in Marketing
If you want to break into the field of marketing without experience, you must first add value to yourself. Register for online courses, and if you can, get certified.
There are lots of free certification courses you can take online, and by doing so, you’re not only learning the ins and outs of the marketing industry—you are also showing your future clients that you took the initiative to learn and, more importantly, establish authority in the field by passing the certification exams.
Understand Your Audience Thoroughly
One of the core aspects I often discuss in my Medium articles on marketing strategies is the importance of understanding the business you want to market and its audience. The best marketers aren’t those with just a degree, but those who can understand and empathize with the client’s needs and the audience’s desires. Very often, businesses find themselves stuck because they embark on the growth journey without understanding these fundamentals.
To break into the field, my primary advice would be this: Spend substantial time analyzing successful marketing campaigns, especially those in the sector you’re interested in. Try and decode what worked for them and why. You’d be surprised how much you can learn by just being observant and applying analytical thinking.
For instance, an article I wrote featured tips from top consultants, and a recurring theme was “Know your audience.” They shared case studies where simply tweaking messages to resonate better with the target demographic led to significant business growth. So, even without formal education, understanding the audience can be your secret weapon. Keep feeding your curiosity and never stop learning.
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