Before we answer how to become a digital marketer, let's answer why. Why should one become a digital marketer?
It's very simple, being a digital marketer comes with a lot of benefits that other careers don't.
The #1 reason I chose to become a freelance digital marketer was the ability to work from anywhere. It's a massive benefit that can't be ignored!
When all you need is a laptop and an internet connection to earn an income, suddenly you have a lot of options.
Work from home, work from a co-working space or work at a coffee shop.
The point is, you have massive flexibility and this is highly valuable.
It's important to note that you shouldn't be constantly traveling, but that you could if you wanted to.
The biggest concern is that the work you do can become automated or replaced with AI.
Digital marketing jobs typically have just enough strategy, creativity, and ingenuity that makes them very hard to replace.
Marketing will always be needed in every business and it's primarily digital marketing going forward.
The second you trade in your job for a business is the day you remove your income ceiling.
Trading time for money is simply not a long-term option. You must become an owner.
Becoming a digital marketer helps you accomplish that in many ways.
As a freelancer your rates will continue to increase alongside your skills and experience.
As a consultant you can provide value-based pricing and work on much bigger contracts.
As an owner of your business and potentially many other brands, you will certainly open up a whole new world for yourself.
When you are able to earn more and keep your remote lifestyle a lot of new opportunities open up. You can start making those big life decisions from a whole new perspective.
When you can run your business from a laptop and an internet connection you are always in a powerful position in terms of maintaining a healthy lifestyle balance.
Now, that does not prevent you from working intensely should you desire.
When you are in your Ikigai (which so many digital marketers find themselves in), working hard is not what you think it is. It is actually fulfilling to invest in your own business and develop both real and digital assets.
One might argue that a digital marketer is always "on" due to the nature of social media, but digital marketers always have the most automation working for them. You might be "on", but that doesn't mean you have to do anything.
You can setup a business and write off things like your iPhone, your laptop, your internet bill, and many more day-to-day things that are now required for lifestyle businesses and freelancers.
It's a powerful feeling to take a tax deduction and know you are keeping more money in the long term. As you get more experienced, you can time your purchases even more efficiently.
The digital marketing world is vast and constantly changing. So it naturally breeds a lot of consultants.
Becoming a freelancer first gives you the taste of being your own business. But even better, it primes you to consult for other business.
Freelancers typically gather more varied experience than their in-house counterparts. This gives you the ability to provide a lot of knowledge transfer to your future consulting clients.
Being great at digital marketing means more attention to everything you do.
Being great at digital marketing means more conversion on everything you do.
Being great at digital marketing means less fear of income loss or replacement.
A digital marketer can be doing any number of things throughout the day.
Reviewing the previous day's or week's core analytics.
Looking at Adwords, Facebook Ads, tweaking budgets, bids, and copy.
Tracking projects is a regular occurrence. Using Excel and Notion to build databases and dashboards.
Working in Canva and creating image content.
Working in Adobe Premiere, Descript, and Veed and creating video content.
Developing pages in WordPress or Webflow.
Working on a client strategy plan on Miro.
Writing more copy, setting up automation and sequences for email marketing.
As you can see, there is a fair variety.
There really is never a dull moment.
Projects are just long enough to enjoy immersion but not long enough to get bored.
Digital Marketers can work in short bursts or long durations.
There is a lot of flexibility but there will always be something to do!
Digital marketers are often coming in with solid T-shaped skillsets.
The salaries are very competitive with other industries.
$57208 is the average base salary for a Digital Marketer.
$108375 is the average salary for a digital marketing manager.
But those are for the more typical in-house roles.
Freelancer incomes will vary wildly. From as a little as 10k/year to $500k+/year. There is no time-reference for the freelancer, no 9-5, so some work a little and some work a lot.
There really is no limit to your earnings and that is one of the biggest reasons to choose digital marketing. Not only is it fun, but it's also very rewarding.
Digital marketers are the only ones who can also create digital products and similar assets and sell them on their own. This is a super-power!
Imagine having 3 clients who pay $5k a month but also having some funnels and affiliate income sources running in the background.
You begin to see how it can add up and become substantial.
Further, you can naturally transition into a personal brand and expert in the digital marketing space combined with your niche interests. This opens up even more opportunities to generate income.
The agency marketer works for the Agency owner. The agency is providing marketing services for other businesses. You will be paid an hourly rate or a salary and often be overworked.
Agencies are difficult to run and thus can lack profitability. The agency marketer bears the brunt of that reality.
You are working for a business in the marketing department. These jobs can be much higher paid than agency roles. You can shine bright in the right company as a great marketing mind. You can become a thought leader in your company and stand out.
Digital marketing experts often become freelancers and take on the role of selling themselves instead of working for someone. This allows the freelancer to make a lot more money as there is no one making a profit off their work.
The freelancer has a lot more freedom but has to be careful about how they design and run their business. You don't want to own a job, you ultimately want to own a business. Start building systems early and look to hire support so you can focus on winning more business.
Once a marketer has developed and completed a substantial amount of projects they are in the position to provide consultation to other businesses.
The key is to put the client in a better position than they were before and marketing consultants can do this with ease as there is a lot of mystery and confusion for companies marketing in this digital environment.
If you can stay up to date on digital marketing news and trends you can do well here.
Marketing Agency Owner
If you desire to, you can scale the marketing services you offer and build a team. You can focus on running the business instead of doing the marketing tasks yourself. But knowing how to do everything will help you understand your offers as well as the time and cost of every project or task.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
When the world's biggest websites Google.com and YouTube.com are primarily known as search engines, you have to make this a big part of your strategy when you are marketing a modern business.
We cannot just leave it up to social and paid ads. SEO still remains one of the most valuable activities in digital marketing, however, it can be one of the slowest and most difficult to execute. But that is not an excuse to ignore it.
One should be familiar with Google's 200+ ranking factors.
One should be able to optimize any webpage for a given keyword.
One should know the value of a backlink and how to generate them.
One should know how to holistically increase a domain's authority in the eyes of Google.
Understanding SEO means you can build a website today and start ranking it for keywords without any real cost of entry. Knowing this, you can generate real traffic and potential sales without a startup cost. This is why people flock to this opportunity because you try it without massive upfront costs.
Learning how to run a Facebook Ad and a Google Ad would be the bare minimum for a digital marketer in 2021.
Those two things might sound simple, but they have substantial learning curves and because you are spending money, you can end up wasting cash unnecessarily.
You want to take the free courses available for these.
The Facebook Blueprint.
This part of the career will continually evolve as platforms shift and pricing changes due to supply and demand.
Naturally, if you want to be a successful advertiser or marketer you need to learn how to write copy. You need to learn how to capture people emotionally. You need to learn how to persuade.
Read Cashvertising for a quick intro to copywriting.
You might also check out the Gary Halpert Letters.
Building out web pages that link and form a systematic process for turning cold leads into paying customers.
Funnels have become more and more popular as technology has grown to serve this idea.
Websites used to be very static and lacked functionality so people designed them like brochures. Now people design them like a sales call. You are trying to initiate a purchase with your website.
Building marketing funnels just might be the very core of the digital marketer's job. It is the central piece that brings everything together and drives the analytics.
Think of your funnel as a machine. There is an input of traffic. There is an output of revenue (conversions). Traffic and conversions are and have always been the two major pillars of digital marketing and the funnel is where they collide.
Lead magnets, Email & Automation
Most funnels begin by attempting to gather an email address. This is known as lead generation. If you can master lead generation you can go very far in this industry.
You have to be able to put out the right free offer. This often means a discount or free information. How you package that really matters and sets the tone for the rest of the customer journey.
Learning how to move people through a customer journey via email is critical.
After they subscribe you need them to buy. You need them to take action! But before they do you need them to read your email. So there is quite an art to learn how to write emails and their subject lines. But it's an art that is more like paint-by-numbers.
You can learn powerful frameworks and methods for having success in this area without much creative thought.
Ultimately email is highly automated. Combined with sending automated broadcasts, you might also trigger entire sequences or events to occur all in the backend of your system.
Master email and automation is a must for great digital marketers.
Digital marketing is becoming very content-heavy these days. Without content, you might have difficulty getting your message to be heard.
People don't want to be sold. They want to be moved. They want to feel something. We need content to do this.
Content can be articles, podcasts, videos, and pictures.
The best thing about content marketing is that it's virtually free. It's all-time-based work. This is another reason people break out in this industry is that anyone who's willing to put in the work can really build momentum.
Great content can be a huge difference-maker. Being a little bit creative can add a lot of value to your overall skillset. Don't shy away from it!
With tools like Canva, Veed, Descript, content is much easier than ever before and we should all look to continue to develop in this area.
Content is one of those things that really pay off over the long run.
I'll close this section on Analytics.
Being able to go into the Google Analytics dashboard and answer a question is important.
How many people came to my website?
Who were they?
What was the most visited page?
If you have questions, analytics has answers.
But don't go in looking for random insights. Always ask a question and use analytics to answer it.
How do I start learning digital marketing fast? Like anything immersion is your friend.
Get your hands on as many projects as fast as you can, and that will always lead you in a good direction.
The difficulty is finding the projects you're allowed to work on, but given the time we're in, there's a lot of emerging businesses that could use your support.
So start looking for people who want free help, this may not be ideal, but what other way do you have to find actual experience in the marketplace?
It's a catch-22. You need the work experience to get jobs. You can't get a job without any experience. You have to hack this part.
The next move is to start your own projects.
Can you start your own website?
Can you rank your website?
Can you start your own YouTube channel?
Can you rank your YouTube channel?
Can you build up an audience on Instagram?
Can you create a funnel?
Can you track analytics?
Can you capture emails?
Can you make an automated email series cell when you're not there?
Can you run a Facebook ad?
Can you run a retargeting ad?
Can you document your process?
Can you train someone?
Can you hire someone?
Okay? These are all things that you want to try and do on your own. And that's why I always believe in starting your own website, whether it's going to make a lot of money or not, does not matter. It's the vehicle in which you can immerse yourself in all of the different areas.
And I think people need to realize, no one's going to find your site if you don't tell them. So you don't have to have any of these irrational, fears of judgment, just get going.
Take online courses, there are free ones out there.
But if you take Rich+Niche courses, you will no doubt, learn many times faster than you would if you did it on your own because you're getting an expert's experience, you're getting no fluff. You're getting exactly what you need. You're getting up-to-date information.
And that might be the same as if you took a boot camp. It's all about immersion.
How much exposure can you get to what digital marketing really is, to creating customers, to making sales, to building audiences, to setting up full-on marketing campaigns?
You want to touch as much as you can as soon as you can.
Problem solvers. People who like puzzles.
Non-perfectionists. People who don't get caught up on every detail.
Massive action takers. People who are willing to make mistakes but want progress.
Presenters. People who like to entertain and capture attention.
Creative Extroverts. People who can make stuff and get it out there.
Obsessive Introverts. People who refuse to be left behind.
And many others because digital marketing is unusually aligned with one's "Ikigai" or reason for being.
When you are able to do what you like and expand its value through digital marketing you have a magical combination.
I never tell people to only offer digital marketing services. I recommend they also start their own brand unrelated to marketing but then use their new skills to grow it.
Start the side hustle.
Don't just jump ship from the 9-5. Having a stable income makes the mental swings of a new business a lot easier. And that's what's great about digital marketing is you can just get one client to start with to see if you even like it.
Everyone could handle an extra 10 hours of work a week whether that's for dedicated learning or client work.
Join an accelerator or an incubator-type program.
At Rich+Niche we have the Academy which allows you to dive deeper into building a great career in marketing.
This type of program can be very beneficial to keep you accountable and focused. It's easy to slip as a new marketer and not know how to get back on track.
Get a coach. If you think doing something 1-on-1 will suit you better than a group dynamic you should go for it. Having a coach can make a huge difference for people.
Many of us have very little support in our lives to chase our dreams and aspirations so it's nice to have someone who's rooting for you to become your best version.
Digital marketing moves too fast for most institutions to keep up with. So forget about degrees in marketing.
A total waste.
Do you want to learn from a teacher or an actual marketer?
If you need more education, you are better off taking a digital marketing course at Rich+Niche. Our courses are more relevant and more actionable than any College or University program.
You can take our courses at your own pace, part-time, or blast through them and start your freelance business within weeks, not years.
And then join our community programs and Zoom calls to truly immerse in our educational offerings.
I've worked with dozens of marketers via our agency and I've never looked at a resume, degree, or certification. I look at attitude, portfolio, and case studies if available.
Now that you know how to become a digital marketer, the question is will you take action?
Make the next 6 months your best 6 months ever.
Wake up next year with an entirely new lifestyle and mindset.
You could be working remotely from anywhere!
You could be making even more money than your current job!
You could be starting a YouTube channel or your own Agency!
It could be you, but you have to put in the work! Let's go!