Inspired by the fact that my super smart and creative sister is entering into the world of work, and I’m the older sister giving her lots of advice, I’ve been thinking about what is important to know when you’re starting a career in marketing. Graduate job hunting or being at the early stage in a career can be daunting, but I’ve gathered a few top tips from women in marketing for those entering the field.
It’s crucial to create a community. Getting active on social media is really important. There are lots of great Facebook groups you can join where advice and support is often free flowing, and you can investigate Twitter chats. Eppie Shepherd is a copywriter and marketer, and recommends that you follow experts in your field on social media, engage with their content and save their tips for future reference. But at the same time don’t compare yourself to others who have been in the industry longer than you. Sara Joelle says that you can use these connections to your advantage, and ‘take all the help you can get without letting it hurt your pride.’
Now is the best time to get started. If you’re searching for a job, start blogging marketing insights and connecting with others on social media. ‘You’re improving your skills and connections, and making yourself more marketable at the same time, says Natalie Tate.
It’s natural to want to do everything right – but no one can. You will make mistakes, and that’s fine, because it means that you’re doing something. As Ruthie Bowles explains, ‘Be okay with making mistakes. Don’t let fear of failure prevent you from taking some kind of action, any action. We can learn from mistakes, but it’s a lot harder to learn from nothing. This goes from finding clients if you’re a marketing consultant or testing new marketing channels and tactics if you’re an in-house marketer.’
Advice differs on whether you should find a niche or be a generalist, but I agree with TinaMarie Gulley that you should learn about different disciplines in the early days and not specialise too much. One way to learn is by having regular mentoring sessions and one to ones with people in the industry.
Remember that marketing is about the audience. You might have a cool product or a swanky event to promote, but you need to think about what’s in it for the customer. Allison Schroeder explains what this means. ‘Always walk in their shoes. At the end of the day marketing is understanding the consumer and how to get their attention and turn them into a customer. Be them. Think like them. Pay attention to your own consumer habits and what drives you to buy.’
And remember, that you need to be willing to learn and grow. Like Patty Godbold said ‘this field is ever-changing and if you aren’t willing to grow with it, you won’t be an effective marketer.’
Wise advice indeed!