Lead by Loyola alum and PPC Specialist, Rebecca Heithoff, the 435 Digital team recently visited Loyola University’s Alpha Kappa Psi Professional Business fraternity to talk about the digital marketing industry. With representatives from our SEO, social media, paid search, content, and account management departments, the students were invited to pick our brains on a variety of digital marketing topics.

435 Digital Team Members Talk to Loyola University Students

Drawing on the career experiences of our team, we covered many topics from tips on how to optimize your profile on LinkedIn to what it’s like working for a start up versions a larger agency. Today we’re going to share our one of our responses from the session.

What is your advice for someone wanting to find a job in digital marketing?

Alex Bruner, SEO Specialist:
Since there aren’t any schools out there that teach an SEO program per se, its best that you either choose courses that will help you with the technical side of business (web design, computer science) or focus on sales and public speaking to help with client calls. Start working through W3Schools basic stuff, html, css, and php. Start learning the ins and outs of WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal. Follow Moz.Com’s blog. A basic understanding of how a website works, html, css, php are all necessary, but at a low level. Computer science courses or web development classes would be helpful. In terms of activities, building some simple sites from scratch and running a blog would be very beneficial.

Rebecca Heithoff, PPC Specialist:
My best advice for someone who is looking to start a career in digital marketing is that just because you haven’t had a digital marketing title or job description previously does not mean you aren’t qualified to work in this industry. There are a lot of soft skills needed in the digital marketing industry that you may have built through school, extracurricular activities, internships and jobs in a different field that you can use to prove you are an excellent candidate. Communication skills, writing skills, sales skills and the willingness and enthusiasm to learn are essential for someone to be successful in this field.

Sydny Layne, Social Media Specialist:
Anyone who is looking to pursue a career in digital marketing should keep an open mind and take any opportunity to learn any and all facets of the industry. Whether you are interested in social media, SEO, paid search or web development, knowing how each of these areas influences and benefits each other is invaluable to any employer or organization. My advice to those who are still in school would be to take advantage of any available resources to gain exposure in varying areas of digital. Take a graphic design or web development class even if you’re main interest is in Search Engine Marketing or Social Media. Aside from the professional experience gained from an internship, I would strongly advise looking for internship opportunities that will give you the most exposure to functions beyond the scope of your job title. One of the best but most challenging aspects of digital marketing is that it is always evolving so it is also important to ensure you stay on top of industry trends and be open to continue learning.

Randi Stevenson, Content Producer:
The best digital marketing job candidate will know a little about a lot. Learn basic SEO, PPC, social media, blog writing, html, graphic design, etc. You don’t have to be an expert in any of these areas when you first start out – just show potential employers that you’re diverse, flexible and could grow wherever they need you most. Once you get a feel for each area, narrow it down and start becoming an expert in what you enjoy the most. For example, even though I’m better at writing than building websites (and I enjoy it the most) I know I could format a blog using basic HTML if need be. That makes me more valuable than someone who just knows one or the other.

Sarah Reid, Account Manager:
If you are still in school, be sure to diversify your studies and take classes in a variety of digital marketing topics. If you’ve already graduated or you’ve been working in a different industry and want to make the move to digital marketing, take your industry education into your own hands and keep up with blogs, scour Google’s resources, and take advantage of seminars, webinars, etc. Pick the brains of anyone you can connect with in a digital marketing job so that you can really get a sense for what the job entails. Account Management, in particular, requires a broad understanding of all of the elements of digital marketing. It’s important that you can communicate well and that you understand how all of the pieces come together to create and manage successful digital marketing campaigns.

Whether you’re interested in SEO, PPC, web development, content development, or social media, career options in digital marketing are ever-changing, so keeping yourself engaged with industry news is probably the most important thing you can do for yourself. That, and network! You never know where or who your next job will come from.