How to Grow as a Marketing Professional and Give a Boost to Your Career
Marketing is a challenging, competitive career field. It’s easy to get lost in the shuffle and find yourself struggling to move forward in your career and keep up with your peers. Fortunately, there are tried and true methods, if you’re willing to put in the time and effort, that can give your career a boost and increase make you more successful.
In this article, we will explore a handful of the most effective ways to boost your career as a marketing professional. By following these tips, you can position yourself to get noticed by your employer and open up new, exciting opportunities.
Learn from others
Good news. There are millions are marketing professionals who walked the path you’re on before you. So, take the time to study them and learn from them. If you work in a specific niche, find the websites and blogs that offer insights from the experts exploring various topics related to your niche. Here are some niche example sites you can check out for a variety of marketing niche specialties.
- Social media – Social Media Examiner
- Content Marketing – Content Marketing Institute
- Advertising – AdAge
- Graphic Design – Adobe
As you can see, there are blogs for any niche. The above list just contains a sample of the amazing blogs available at your fingertips. If your niche isn’t listed here, you can simply do a Google search for something like “Specialty + Marketing + Blog” and you’ll get tons of great results. Find your niche and start learning.
If you’re more of a generalist, I suggest keeping tabs on a range of blogs with topics spanning the spectrum of marketing. Whether you’re a generalist or a niche-focused pro, take an hour each day to read and learn and discover new tips and tactics. You’ll gain tons of great knowledge, discover new tactics and ultimately grow as a marketer.
Test and fail
A lot of people are afraid of failure. While I definitely don’t think it’s a good idea to make a habit of failing, sometimes in the marketing world you need to test new tactics, and not all of them will work as planned.
Testing new software, trying out new language for your campaigns, using new social media channels…the list goes on. Put some planning into each new undertaking, and often times you will succeed. That said, you are bound to fail here and there. Don’t beat yourself up when you do. Instead, look at each failure as a learning experience.
As you test and fail, your marketing skills will improve. Your career will benefit, and so will the marketing efforts of the company you work for. In fact, there’s a great quote from Albert Einstein about this.
“A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.” – Albert Einstein
And, if you never tried anything new, you will never grow. So, test, be comfortable in failing, and make sure to learn from your mistakes. You’ll be better off as a marketer as a result.
Build your own brand
You need to pay a ton of attention to building your employer’s brand. Otherwise, you won’t have a job for very long. That said, don’t lose site of your own personal brand. Paying careful attention to your own personal brand can definitely give a boost to your career. It can also help your company, as the people a company employs are a big part of its brand.
While the real-life, non-digital you is obviously a huge part of your brand, you also want to make sure that your online presence is polished and you are represented as a subject matter expert in your field in all the right places.
Here are a few great tools you can use to build your personal brand online.
- Twitter – This social media channel is the perfect space to interact with others in your field and make a name for yourself.
- LinkedIn – Known as the professional social media channel, a polished LinkedIn profile is critical to the success of your personal brand.
- A blog or website – This is a great place to highlight your expertise and showcase your work, and don’t worry, there are plenty of great CMS options (like WordPress or Wix for example) to build a website with little to no experience.
- Podcasts – As you being to become known in your niche, keep a lookout for opportunities to appear on podcasts and speak about your area of expertise.
- Social media (generally) – Make sure your profiles are polished and present you in a positive light, even the non-professional ones. Pictures of yourself in compromising situations, for example, can ruin your career quickly.
These are just a handful of the great ways you can build a quality personal brand online. I recommend starting with a quick Google search of your name to uncover any negative info that might be out there. You never know what might be floating around from your past that you forgot about!
Writing is actually another tool that would fit into the personal brand piece. It’s a great tool for highlighting your expertise. It’s hard, as a beginner, to get your writing accepted for publication, so start with your own blog so you can hone your craft, find your voice and really improve your writing.
Once you have a nice database of samples (aka “your blog”), you can start submitting inquiries about guest posting on blogs within your industry. Start with smaller blogs to give yourself a better shot at getting accepted. Then, as you build your portfolio of published work, start shooting for the bigger, more well-recognized publications in your field. As you begin to get your insights out there in the form of articles, your stock as an authority in your field will begin to grow.
There are also side benefits of writing beyond growing your brand. To write quality content, for example, you need to do your research. As you conduct said research, you will gain new knowledge that you can then apply to your work and get better and better at your craft over time.
As you begin to create a professional presence for yourself and perfect the new skills you’re learning, you can really amplify your growth by building relationships with other marketers. This can benefit you for a number of reasons. Here are just a few.
- Mutually share one another’s content
- Make introductions to employers and others
- Learn from one another
- Gain access to publications for your articles
By building strong, genuine relationships with other marketers, you will open up countless numbers of doors, many of which may lead to significant growth potential. Always be on the lookout for relationships you can build that create partnerships to help lift you, and those you connect with, up along the way.
By actively engaging in each of the above tactics, you can quickly build your expertise and give a boost to your career. Your employer will notice the difference and you can position yourself for a raise or promotion. Recruiters may start to take notice as well.
Never stop looking for ways to grow as a marketing professional. This industry moves way too fast to sit idly by while your colleagues race passed you. Keep learning, always be exploring new ways to do things, and focus on developing a growth mindset to thrive and build a high-profile career as a marketer.
Anthony serves in the Director of Marketing and Business Development at Granite Creative Group. He is a storyteller, a strategist and eternally a student of marketing. Most recently, he served in leadership roles for a global content marketing agency, a highly regarding institute of higher education, a software company and in the legal world.