If you are planning to start a career in digital marketing in Nigeria? It’s a great choice for students of all streams and working professionals as well. I can tell you this without hesitation.
The good news is that you can learn digital marketing without following a digital marketing course at a college or university, although there are plenty of options.
You can start a career in Digital marketing by building the required skills using Offline or online resources and by serving clients around the World from the comfort of your own home.
This guide is aimed at teaching you everything that you need to know about how to start a career in digital marketing with the highest chances of success.
About Halita Digital Skills Academy
Halita Digital Skills Academy is a trusted digital marketing training institute in Abuja, Nigeria. Established in 2018, we focused mainly on imparting quality training in Digital Skills. Our goal is to deliver Practical Oriented Quality Education with real-time projects. We offer comprehensive SEO Training with Live Practicals on Projects. Each topic of SEO will be discussed in detail with one practical example of the implementation to make sure every student will able to understand the topic easily.
In the training, you will learn how to create a blog, measure traffic through Google Analytics, make your content discoverable through SEO, promote your products through Google Search, Display, Mobile and Video Platform, as well as learn Social Media marketing on platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter etc. You will also learn about driving traffic and sales through inbound and Content Marketing and sending emailers through platforms like MailChimp.
In this guide, and I advise you to follow them in the same order they are written. Not only will they help you land your first digital marketing job, but they will allow you to set up an independent business as well.
Is Digital Marketing a Good Career?
Digital marketing is a great career choice. We are living in a digital world and marketing budgets are moving to digital advertising and away from traditional marketing channels.
Companies need to improve their online visibility and there is an increased demand for digital marketing jobs worldwide.
The fact that you don’t need to be physically present in a particular location makes digital marketing ideal for people looking to start their own businesses or work as full-time freelancers.
Get to Know the Basics of Digital Marketing
For beginners to digital marketing, the first obvious step is to understand what is digital marketing and the main components that make up digital marketing.
Digital marketing or online marketing as it is sometimes known is a broad term that is used to describe the process of marketing on the Internet.
It has a number of components that cover all areas of online promotion. You need to understand that it’s not a single discipline but it has a number of processes (channels) that can participate in a digital marketing campaign.
In particular, digital marketing has the following channels:
- Search Engine Marketing – covers two areas: search engine optimization (organic SEO) and paid search advertising.
- Website Marketing – promoting your website on the internet.
- Content Marketing – how to use different types of content in your digital marketing campaigns.
- Email Marketing – marketing products or services using email.
- Social Media Marketing – marketing on Facebook, Instagram and other social media networks
- Mobile Marketing – marketing on the various App Stores (Google Play, Apple Store)
- Video Marketing – marketing on YouTube, Vimeo and other video channels
- Affiliate Marketing – making sales by promoting other people’s products and getting an affiliate commission.
A good digital marketing manager should have the necessary skills to work with ALL the above channels.
Don’t get stressed, you don’t have to learn everything from day 1.
As you progress through your digital marketing career path, you’ll get a chance to work with different techniques, technologies, and tools, and eventually, the puzzle will be completed.
Learn Digital Marketing from a Reputed Institute
In this age of information, you will find almost everything online for free to learn digital marketing or any other skill. You do not necessarily have to buy costly courses for that. However, the information is so scattered that it will take a ridiculously long time to connect all the pieces and gain some confidence to start your digital marketing career. This wastage of time almost always outweighs the money saved.
A paid, self-paced, online digital marketing course is a slightly better option as the training is delivered in sequential order. The only issue is that such courses are usually pre-recorded, and you do not have anyone to clear your doubts quickly, on time. This lack of human interaction often gets learners frustrated, especially beginners.
In short, I strongly recommend that you find a good digital marketing training program in your area and learn the skills under over-the-shoulder guidance from an adept trainer. The experience of the trainer and reviews by the students will help you find the right internet marketing institute for yourself.
Moreover, most reputed digital marketing institutes have connections in the industry. Thus, they can refer their students to new job openings on a priority basis. That’s an added advantage when it comes to starting a career in digital marketing.
Set Up Your Own Website
Once you complete your digital marketing course, the next step is to get your hands dirty and start practicing digital marketing.
One of the best ways to apply different digital marketing concepts in the real world is to start your own website/blog.
Digital marketing is not a theoretical concept, but it’s highly measurable and practical. It’s not enough to know the theory behind SEO and social media marketing but you need to know how to apply the different techniques in practice.
Throughout your digital marketing career, you’ll be asked to promote different kinds of websites to either increase their organic traffic (SEO) or sales through PPC and social media advertising.
To gain the necessary skills and confidence, start your own website that will combine both concepts and also I suggest you to use Google docs to create your resume so that it always stays available online when you need it.
In other words, set up a blog and work on increasing your rankings and at the same time either create a product or find a product to promote through advertising and try to make sales.
I know that this process will take time and if you are new to this, the learning curve will be big, but it’s the only way to build a solid foundation for your career.
Having your own website will not only help you to learn the different concepts but you can use it as a showcase to convince new employers or clients to trust you and secure a good contract or job.
When we hire new digital marketing specialists we don’t just look for certifications but for people who can prove their knowledge and having a website with high rankings and traffic is the best way to do this.
Set the Right Expectations for Your First Few Digital Marketing Jobs
Build your SEO career gradually and when you feel that you have master the skills of SEO, continue with the rest.
With SEO you’ll learn how to create websites that both users and search engines love, and you can apply the same concepts to improve your Google Ads and Facebook paid campaigns.
During the infancy of your digital marketing career, your focus should be on getting into a company that will hone and polish your internet marketing skills, turning you into an expert. This pursuit of mastery will bear good money for you in the future.
So, before joining or even applying for a job, check the reputation of the company. Also, check the level of digital marketing projects they handle, their history, and who are the members of their core team. This much of the homework will give you a good feeling about the kind of work you will be doing in the company.
Spread the Word About You
At this point, you should be spending a good part of your day collecting URLs of digital marketing companies in your area (or wherever you are willing to relocate).
Once you have created the list of digital marketing companies, it is time to apply for a job. A word of caution, though; do not spam them with your “looking-for-a-digital-marketing-job” emails. It may get irritating and may even prompt them to mark your email as spam.
Instead, be on the lookout for their current and new job openings. Once you come across a new opportunity, apply immediately following their “how-to-apply” instructions.
Sidenote: This phase may take quite a while before you can land your first digital marketing job. In the meantime, continue learning and updating your skills and resume to strengthen your candidacy.
Get a Digital Marketing Job as a Freelancer
The next step in your career path to becoming a digital marketing professional is to get a real digital marketing job.
Starting your own website is a great way to practice the different digital marketing techniques but doing digital marketing for a client, it’s a totally different story.
Handling client accounts will ‘force’ you to set up procedures, improve your analytics and reporting skills, learn how to handle budgets, and how to manage client communication.
You can use job portals like upwork.com, peopleperhour.com, fiverr.com to apply for digital marketing jobs.
If you are a beginner, start with easy and quick tasks first and gradually move into bigger projects.
Get a Real Internship
Another way to grow your skills and experience fast is to get a real job as a digital marketing assistant in an established agency.
This is highly recommended because you will get to learn how a modern digital marketing agency works and you can use some of their practices if you decide later to start your own agency or join another company as a digital marketing expert.
Starting your career as a freelance marketer, without having working experience in a company, will be more difficult because you’ll have to figure out everything from scratch.
As I mentioned above, working with clients is different than doing digital marketing on your own websites and if you don’t have the right processes in places, you will lose valuable time in activities that are not ‘billable’ and this will reduce your salary and revenue
Set Up an Agency
At this stage, setting up a digital marketing agency. after you have acquired loads of experience under your belt, built a vast network to support you, and have some good money to burn on hiring. It is high time for you to start your digital marketing agency.
It may take a few months of patience and hard work before your agency shows some serious traction, but it’s well worth it. Once you get the hang of hiring people, managing projects, closing sales, and using paid channels, you can scale your agency to the moon and back.
Moreover, big clients usually hire agencies and not freelancers — something to bear in mind.
Stay Informed of New Updates and Keep Learning
Digital marketing tactics change all the time. Some digital marketers love this and some hate it, but it’s a fact that digital marketing is a fast-changing industry.
Google is deploying hundreds of changes related to organic and paid searches per year, the Facebook algorithm is constantly changing and in general, the digital marketing landscape is extremely dynamic.
This means that if you decide to follow a career in digital marketing, you should know in advance that learning will be part of your DAILY activities.
I’ve been doing this for years now and every day I get to learn something new. In fact, 20% of my time is spent on reading about industry updates and new developments, case studies, learning new tools, and staying up-to-date with changes made in all digital marketing channels.
Key Learnings: Make Your Skills Earn You Some Passive Income
Starting a career in digital marketing is a great choice. There is increased demand for digital marketing professionals worldwide, the salary is good (depending on experience) and it’s a job you can do on our own as a freelancer or by joining a digital marketing agency.
If you are starting out now, your first concern should be to build your skills. Digital marketing is not a ‘single thing’ that you learn by taking a course and then get to work.
There are many disciplines that make up digital marketing and you should be an expert in all of them if you want to reach the higher end of the pay scale.
The best way to learn digital marketing is to practice on your own website. Create a blog and start writing content. Spend time mastering SEO and then move on to Google Ads and Facebook marketing.
If you have the opportunity to join an established digital marketing agency then do it. The experience you will gain working with experts and on multiple projects will be invaluable.
If you want to become self-employed or start your own digital marketing business, then start your career as a freelancer and gradually build your clientele and expand your business.
There are some excellent ways to make passive money online with your digital marketing skills for example blogging, affiliate marketing, YouTubing, drop-shipping are a few examples of legit ways to make money online. Explaining them is beyond the scope of this guide, so I’d suggest you read this article that teaches how to earn online with affiliate marketing.