How to Get into Digital Marketing in India. 10 Ways to Kick Start Your Career in Digital Marketing
Here is how I got started in Digital & Social Media marketing. Can’t believe its been more than 15 years in this exciting career. Before we talk about how to get into digital marketing, let me share you how I got into it and how it can be relevant to you as well.
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I graduated in hotel management from RVS College, Coimbatore, in 1996, worked for a cruise line, but did not experience the Internet until 1999, when my cousin introduced me to Yahoo chat so that we could talk to each other while I was away from India. I found it really fascinating, and since then I had an interest to learn and work for a company in front of a computer. That was a big dream for someone who didn’t even know how to switch on a computer. 🙂
Soon after, I quit my job with the cruise line and was jobless in Florida. With no other choice, I took up a job in a gas station, and that’s where I met John, my ex-boss. John gave me an opportunity to undertake part time training in his web design company, after finishing my cashier job at a gas station. It felt good to sit in front of a computer and do some research. This was when I began to learn about SEO. This was still 2003, and I was lucky to be able to begin my digital marketing journey that early. Soon, John hired me part time and then full time.
After that, I met Andy Fox from Fox advertising agency, and worked there as a project manager from 2006, and ended up with a million dollar business for a client of Fox Advertisement in Google Adwords (PPC. Pay Per Click ) way back in 2006
Then, I moved to Gravity Free with John Barron, and moved to India in 2008. Here, I worked for Vayama as a Web marketing manager. In 2010, I started OME Community and Web marketing Academy.
How can you get started in digital marketing?
1. You don’t have to quit your current career to get started in digital
I had a few participants with more than 5-6 years experience in traditional marketing. They quit their current job to persue a career in digital, and had to wait a couple of months after taking up the digital marketing management course to get an offer. But they ended up with an offer of double their previous pay. Finding a job that fits you might be challenging, so unless you have to quit to get started don’t quit your current job. Get started while you are still at your job, and spend a few hours a day on digital. We will get into blogs, websites to follow in a bit.
2. Start by reading digital marketing blogs
This is the age where a lot of industry experts maintain their own blogs and websites where they regularly update their ideas and learnings. For example, SEOmoz, http://www.seomoz.org/blog Hubspot http://blog.hubspot.com/ and Avinash Kaushik’s Occam’s Razor http://kaushik.net. These blogs are very rich in information and they’re free. It is a wonderful place to pick up industry insights that you can apply in your job or to your own website. Here is a blog post with links to blogs, books every marketer should follow: http://www.webmarketingacademy.in/blogs-every-digital-marketer-should-follow/
3. Attend digital marketing events, webinars, meetups in your city
While learning from written content is one way, another highly effective way is by participation.
I used to be a shy guy till I got exposed to events in 2003, when my ex-boss John used to take me to a lot of networking events. This was when I got rid of my shyness and gained confidence. And when I moved to India, realized that there are many of us, who have great talent but don’t have the opportunities to meet like-minded people and a platform to network.
That is the reason behind starting the OME Community https://www.facebook.com/groups/omecommunity/. There are several meet-ups and hangouts happening in your city similar to this. Attend a few and stick to the ones that you will benefit from the most. If you attend events, webinars and conferences, you will not just learn from the speakers, but also from your fellow attendees who will be more than willing to exchange experiences. It can be a good place to see how your peers are doing things and how you match up to them and what you can learn from them.
Your Storyhttp://yourstory.in/events-listing/, Start up Saturday http://startupsaturday.headstart.in/, Alok Kejriwal http://rodinhood.com/ all have some good events. Attend these events and network with like minded people. You will learn a lot from them
About meetups in Bangalore (OME Community)
Did you know that we conduct monthly meet-ups in Bangalore, with over 100 digital marketers, share our knowlegde and network? Here is what the OME Community has for you this month: http://www.webmarketingacademy.in/ome-digitexa/ Here is what one of our students does, Vijay Ram, who graduated from web marketing academy, https://www.facebook.com/vijay.ram.75 he used to attend these OME meet-ups and today, he is conducting his own meet-ups, conferences and helping small businesses, start-ups and students to get started in their business.
So go find a meetup near you or join OME Community Facebook group where most of the meetups are posted: https://www.facebook.com/groups/omecommunity/
4. Attend conferences related to digital marketing and new media
Andy, whom I was working with, is a speaker, who helps CEO’s in their leadership and business. In one of his sessions, in front of all the attendees, he announced that “Today, Suresh will speak to you about how to create a blog.” I was scared to death, and I told him, “Andy, it is hard for me to even speak with our collegeus and you’re asking me to talk to these CEO’s! He replied, “Don’t worry, just share what you do for Fox advertising.” So I shared about how to create a blog.
The interesting thing was the CEO’s didn’t care about how I spoke, but they cared about what they got out of it. Each and every one of them came to me after the event and thanked me for sharing. It was one of those wonderful moments.
Since then I have learnt to speak in public. Yes, it wasn’t easy for a shy guy to speak in front of people. It took a lot of time and practice, and I’m still working on it. During those days, I loved attending conferences. In 2005 & 2006, I attended Podcamp, Pub Con and several such events.
I learnt most of the digital by attending conferences. It is about the energy and people that come to the events. Learning from others is one of the best ways to learn. When they share their passion, it makes it easier for us to make things happen. Attend Conferences like the ones we did in 2011: Search marketing summit Bangalore: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=08ienQhNMrA Adtech, TFMA, Click Asia Summit, Search engine strategies Expo to name a few.
5. Start your own blog. (Time to start – 5 minutes)
It takes less than five minutes to start a blog through wordpress or blogger. Here is a blog post written by Amada titled, “What I Wish I Learned in Business School” http://www.blueglass.com/blog/business-school-lessons/where she talks about blogging. And update it frequently. Do not worry about who reads it or what impact it makes to someone else. The first person a blog will impact is the author herself.
Like Seth Godin famously says ‘If you do not ship, it is not art”. You should put your thoughts out there in the public domain. Putting down your thoughts will ensure that you do research, which will help you learn better. When you put things down trying to ensure that another person reading it will be able to completely understand what you say, you will reassess your assumptions and indulge in a logical thought process. Writing is the best way to test your understanding of an abstract concept. I met Kumar via his blog and his comment on Mictch Joel’s blog: http://www.kumartalks.com/. He helps WMA in blog posts and meet-ups. Thanks Kumar.
Start a blog today/Now : www.wordpress.com www.blogger.com
6. Take the Inbound Marketing Certification 2013 from Hubspot for Free
Hubspot offers them for free and these certifications are widely recognized in the industry. Before you take the exam, read this blog post on how to pass the Inbound marketing certification: http://www.webmarketingacademy.in/inbound-marketing-certification-2013/. I have to say it is not easy to pass, but going through the videos will be extremely useful.
7. Is it worth taking up an online digital marketing certification courses ?
Even though, we are in the digital era, having a one on one instructor led program is valuable and you will learn more in class room settings, where you can ask questions and practice it. There are plenty of free You Tube videos. If you plan to take up an online course, I would strongly suggest taking up a course with market motive by Avinash Kaushik. It is amazing and worth spending that money with market motive. http://www.marketmotive.com/
8. Digital marketing workshops, webinars, videos
Again there are plenty of workshops conducted in your city. Before attending those workshops, do your research, look at the past workshops, talk to the attendees if possible and see their career, how it has impacted their career, and then take a call. However attending webinar and videos like White board Friday from SEOMoz will add a lot of value and you will learn a lot. http://www.seomoz.org/blog/category/whiteboard-friday and Hubspot conducts weekly webinars on variety of digital marketing topics, attend those webinars. http://www.hubspot.com/marketing-webinars
9. What about taking a digital marketing course from web marketing academy ?
Well you can, but before that, see how it has changed the lives of these people: http://goo.gl/W0YZO.
Still have questions about digital marketing for your career ? Give us a call and talk to us, we would love to guide you in the right direction. My number is 97313882721.
10. Watch this inspiring video:
Lastly I will leave with one action item. Do a search for Digital marketing jobs, SEO jobs, SEM jobs, in LinkedIn, Naukri, Monster and see which companies are hiring, the package and scope for Digital marketing. 5 Years down the lane everyone will have no other choice but to enhance their skills in digital. Starting a course right now will take you to a top level in the next 5 years.
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