Scott O Hirsch Shares Tips to Those Looking to Start a Career in Digital Marketing
It’s an age-old conundrum – you need experience to get hired, but until you get hired, you can’t get any experience! Luckily, in digital marketing, there are plenty of steps you can take to make yourself an attractive job candidate, no matter your level of experience. Scott O Hirsch, founder and CEO of Media Direct, gives us his best tips for those just getting started in the field, whether you’re a newly graduated student or making the leap to switch career paths.
You Have To Build Your Digital Marketing Skills Says, Scott Hirsch
“Unfortunately, having a degree in marketing is rarely enough to land you a high-paying job in the digital marketing world,” says Hirsch. “We use so many specialized tools and platforms. And training new hires takes time – even more so if they have no experience to build on.”
But there’s hope! Hirsch explains that many of the platforms and tools used across the digital marketing industry offer certification programs and online courses that can help you build up your industry skills and fill out your resume. “Google Analytics and Google Adwords are the giants of digital marketing. If the job descriptions you’re pursing mention either of those platforms, take the certifications. The basic ones are free and they could mean the difference between your resume being passed over and getting a call for an interview,” advises Scott O Hirsch.
There are also certifications offered by Hootsuite, Facebook, and Hubspot in digital marketing and social media marketing specifically. The price of these certifications varies, but if you can afford them, the return on investment is astronomical.
“Google Analytics and Adwords certifications are almost requirements at this point,” explains Hirsch. But when we see Hubspot certified or Hootsuite certified, it’s an indication that the applicant is really serious about their career path and willing to invest in themselves to be and do better. It’s a very attractive indicator of what kind of employee you’ll be. And cutting back on the work and time a trainer has to invest to get you up and running in your position – that value almost can’t be quantified.”
Do Some Freelancing to Build Your Portfolio Advises Scott Hirsch
If you can get paid for your freelance services, that’s excellent and obviously preferable. But even if you can’t find paying work, Scott O Hirsch advises that digital marketing job seekers consider donating their services for the experience. “Especially in fields like UX, web design, and development, as soon as you graduate from school, your degree is almost irrelevant,” says Hirsch. “New versions of Adobe, changes in Facebook’s policies and regulations, design trends, new coding frameworks and languages… unfortunately, most of what you learned freshman year is already completely redundant in the field because you learned it four years ago. Technology moves so much faster than that.”
So if a degree is required, but not an incentive to hire on its own, how do you move forward? Scott O Hirsch suggests building a portfolio of your work to display your talents and strengths. “If you’re a content writer, write. If you’re a graphic designer, design. Whether it’s for a local community theater or for online customers you find through Fiverr and Upwork, it is vital that you are able to showcase your talents and say ‘See? This is what I can do.'”
Scott Hirsch Says You Should Take the Entry Level Job
In a competitive job market like the one we’re experiencing in 2020, any job is better than no job. And if you don’t have years of experience to fall back on, you may want to reconsider holding out for that dream job and look at the first job as your hands on education.
“In any kind of marketing you have to work your way up,” warns Hirsch. “But especially in digital marketing. It’s such a specialized niche of people who combine creativity and storytelling with tech and data analysis. It’s fast-paced because if you don’t keep on top of trends in social, search engine algorithms, and advertising best practices on top of traditional marketing psychology and your clients’ industry trends, you’re dead in the water. Prove that you can contribute to the team. Take the job and work your way up.”
And if you hate the entry-level work? Scott O Hirsch advises you to do the time and then take the lateral move. The average time in a first job is one year or less according to a survey from Express Employment Professionals.
“I would suggest staying the full year unless an irresistible opportunity arises,” advises Hirsch. “A history of job-hopping turns me off and I’ve learned the hoppers just keep hopping. But if it’s your first job, there’s not exactly a history there. So take advantage of that and start asking about promotion or opportunities to move up after your first year. If the response isn’t what you want, start looking for a new job and get your promotion with a lateral move to another company.”
Solid advice now that you’ve got that experience you needed to land the job!
Scott O Hirsch is a widely renowned expert on digital marketing and a pioneer in his field. He helped develop techniques and digital marketing concepts still being used today like opt-in email, e-appending, DIY application development, and SEO. You can find him published all over in noted publications like Time, Forbes, Entrepreneur, Huffington Post, and Fox Business.