Digital marketing is an in-demand career field, and a potentially lucrative one, with countless opportunities for personal evolution. If you want to keep making more money and earning more influence, you’ll need to work to advance yourself.
Here are the best ways to advance your career in the digital marketing space:
Set long-term and short-term goals
Your first job is to set better long-term and short-term goals for yourself. You want to advance your digital marketing career, but what exactly does that mean to you? For some people, “advancement” means getting to the top of the corporate ladder as quickly as possible, potentially earning a title like CMO or Marketing Director of a major organization. For others, it’s all about making as much money as possible, or about finding a position that’s flexible and that makes you happy.
Once you have specific long-term goals in place (following SMART goal criteria), you’ll need to set short-term goals as stepping stones to help you get there. If you want to make $80,000 per year as a Marketing Director in the next five years, what can you accomplish in the next year to make that a reality? Breaking your goals down into actionable, doable steps is the path to advancement, regardless of your long-term vision specifics.
Take leadership courses online
Next, take an online digital marketing leadership course, or potentially, several. Becoming a leader is one of the best ways to advance your career. You’ll take on more responsibilities, you’ll use your expertise to guide and train a new generation of marketers, and you’ll exert more influence and make more money at the same time. If leadership doesn’t come naturally to you, or if you’re hesitant about the possibility of leading others, don’t worry—leadership is a skill like any other, and with proper education and proper training, you too can become a leader in the industry.
Keep learning new skills
There’s never a shortage of digital marketing skills to learn. Strategies like search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, and social media marketing all have seemingly infinite depth and room for improvement—and there are dozens of other technical skills that can make you better-rounded.
On top of that, you can continue to polish your soft skills. Being a better communicator, collaborator, and critical thinker will help you no matter where your career takes you.
Commit to ongoing education
Digital marketing is a field that changes constantly. If you were an SEO master in 2004, your skills today would be practically irrelevant due to Google’s changes to its search algorithm, unless you kept up with all the changes throughout the years. Subscribe to popular newsletters, get active in forums, and pay attention to the latest trends to stay on top of things.
Find a mentor
Consider finding a mentor, especially if you’re still in the early stages of your career development. Mentors are like an advanced version of yourself; they have much more experience, knowledge, and probably, much greater wisdom. They can help you assess yourself, predict future market needs, and tackle important challenges in your career. They’ll also guide you, provide you with advice, and connect you to other powerful figures in the industry.
Build your professional network
Ask any successful professional if they think networking is important, and they’ll probably say yes. That’s because professional networking can help anybody in any field, and boost their career potential in a variety of different ways. Meeting new people will introduce you to different career possibilities, different perspectives, and different philosophies on career building. It’s also a great way to find new open positions with other companies, and potentially get warm referrals to fill them.
Keep pushing for more
Too many digital marketers end up failing to advance their careers simply because they became complacent. They got comfortable in their current position and lost interest in trying to make improvements. They don’t look for new open positions, they don’t make long-term plans, and they don’t even ask for raises. If you want to keep advancing, you have to make an effort to keep advancing.
Similarly, it pays to be adaptable. Just because it’s not a “perfect” opportunity doesn’t mean it’s not worth trying, and just because it’s new doesn’t mean it has to be scary. Try new things, be willing to experiment, and when the digital marketing landscape inevitably changes, roll with it.
Advancing a digital marketing career is going to look slightly different for everybody, but everyone has a chance to build the career they want for themselves. Follow these strategies, come up with your own plan, and in a matter of years, you’ll have the momentum you need to achieve your vision.