National Careers Week: Marketing
First up are we have our Marketing Manager and Social Media Manager; who both stumbled into marketing in very different ways.
How I got here
I fell into digital marketing completely by chance. Upon Leaving University with a degree in Criminology I was scouring the graduate market for work. My first graduate role was in sales, and a thoroughly hated it. I developed a qualifying criteria to optimise sales conversions as the grind of just making sales calls did not interest me. The effectiveness of this strategy impressed my sales director and I hit some impressive numbers in my first month but I just couldn’t get excited about going to work. A friend of mine from University told me the agency she worked for they here hiring graduates to run PPC campaigns so I thought I would give it a try.
I got the job and started formally training as an Adwords specialist.
I left that agency after nearly a year with some of the best PPC training around and took a job at a small agency that was just starting out. I was totally out of the comfort zone of the big agency environment, where you have a very specific role and act as one cog in a large machine. In small agencies, you need to be multi skilled and “wear many hats”. I self taught myself SEO out of necessity and was regularly drafted in to help out on email and social campaigns.
Having decent knowledge and experience across multiple channels meant I was then well placed to take a step up and start managing things from a strategic point of view. As I could see how it all tied together. This in turn just lead to more exposure to things I hadn’t picked up yet. Like working with teams outside of the marketing sphere (such as design and development teams). Learning from these guys on the job only helped my understanding and improved my skill set further.
The diverse range projects, businesses and skills. There is always something to learn or some emerging tech to play with. I’m fundamentally a hyper social nerd, so meeting new people and working on new projects is perfect for me.
Spreadsheets. You work a lot with them in marketing and you will start to love them. But you will also become the person that everyone looks to with their spreadsheet problems, because you’re the closest thing to a super user most people will know.
You can go the university/graduate route for sure but it’s not a requirement at all. Apprenticeships, internships and work experience are all valid routes into the business. It’s skills not qualifications that are important here. Everything you need to know is available to learn online, more often than not for free. Some self learning will only help you in those first key interviews. You need exposure and the best way to do that is to do the work. Apply to local agencies and see what they say. If you don’t hear back follow them up. If you get rejected, ask for some feedback so that you can work out how to do better next time. You’ll always have opportunities to learn and upskill in digital. Because of that there is no glass ceiling. You can go as far in this industry as you push for.
Beth, Social Media Manager
The role of a Social Media Manager is not to scroll through Instagram all day like most think, it's to audit social channels - where are our new clients at now and where do they want to be in the future? From here, I plan and build content across all channels, whilst engaging with the clients audience and mimicking their tone of voice so it's still either personal or professional. Alongside that I still get to have fun and scroll Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter scouring for inspiration or who we can engage with.
How I got here
Well, grab your cuppa because we're about to dig deep. At 16 I decided, enough of business - to hell with it. I hated the sight of my business and marketing classes every day at school, though I continued to study for my BTEC Business throughout college as I knew if all else failed I could fall back on it. Media and English Language opened up a whole new world. I found this passion for blogging, specifically writing content for a whole host of topics from beauty and fashion to lifestyle and 'the real world'.
Two days into my Magazine Journalism degree, I quit. Fleeing Sunderland and pleading with Hull Uni to let me onto their Business and Marketing degree as my little white Renault Twingo and I flew down the M1 with my life's contents in the boot. Once in, I knew I had to do something with that knowledge, so I started using Instagram more, pushed my blog onto Insta, engaged with the likes of Hull Bloggers and got those girls to push my posts. Got bored of that route and wanted "real" experience so I decided it was time to intern my way through uni, which gave me both the experience and skillset I've carried with me from job to job and now to here, at Click.
Seeing my clients success. Seeing them grow, especially the small businesses and during this pandemic. With every sale, booking, appointment etc. I do a little internal happy dance, it's amazing to see these businesses absolutely rocking it knowing I've helped them. Oh, and showing some traditionalists that social media isn't just for the young folk, it's for everyone and you can use it to your advantage.
Now, this might just be me. But it's sooooo disheartening when people don't know it's you behind the scenes and I'm the one working my backside off to get them that result. But it's only for a second then I'm sat there commenting and sharing our success too. As we're a team at the end of the day!
One more thing, the spam accounts. GET A LIFE stop spamming inboxes and posts, we don't need your fake engagement 👋🏻
Just do it already. If you want to get into social media, then get into it. Like Brett said, you really don't need to go to university to land a job in marketing. Scour the online world for free courses (there are so many out there), research agencies, see what they're posting about - could you learn from their blogs? Connect with industry experts on LinkedIn and ask them questions, get involved in conversations. Some of the agencies I love to keep an eye are The Social Co and Rise at Seven - both killing it. Or you could check out Pretty Little Marketer, Girls in Marketing, The Girl Marketer all of whom are nailing it at sharing credible advice for the marketing world. And intern if you can afford too. If you're still living with parents with minimal overheads, intern so much, you'll gain not only experience but the skills and connections will grow too.
Looking to intern for us? Drop us a message and we'll sort this! firstname.lastname@example.org