How To Become a Digital Marketer With No Experience in 2024

CareerFoundry contributor Dr. Anneke Schmidt

So, you’re wondering how to become a digital marketer with no experience? We’ve got good news for you: with the right professional mindset, skills, and resources, you can definitely make that career change happen!

The digital marketing job market has been expanding for years, making this industry an excellent choice for those looking to start a tech career. As technological advancements continue to shape the way businesses interact with their customers, organizations are increasingly investing in digital marketing strategies to reach their audiences and stay competitive. So, the opportunities are there, even if you’re just starting out.

In this article, we’ll give you an overview of the skills you’ll need to become a successful digital marketer and explain the steps you can take to start building your career in 2024. For this, we’ll cover the following topics:

  1. What does a digital marketer do?
  2. What skills do you need to become a digital marketer?
  3. Pros and cons of working in digital marketing
  4. How to become a digital marketer with no experience: Step-by-step
  5. Summary

Use the clickable menu to jump to the sections you’re most interested in. Let’s start with a brief overview of the digital marketer role.

1. What does a digital marketer do?

A digital marketer is a marketing specialist who uses a variety of digital channels to generate leads, build brand awareness and improve the digital reach of products or services. These channels include:

  • Company websites
  • Social media networks
  • Search engines
  • Email campaigns
  • Mobile apps
  • Display ads

The digital marketer’s role is to create and manage campaigns across these channels to reach a target audience and achieve marketing objectives. Depending on the employer, company size, and the industry sector they work in, digital marketers may be responsible for developing detailed marketing plans, crafting content, optimizing websites for search engine visibility, and analyzing data to measure campaign effectiveness.

2. What skills do you need to become a digital marketer?

If you want to join the ranks of successful digital marketing professionals, you’ll need a mix of creative, technical, and analytical skills. To give you a better idea of what that involves, we’ve divided these requirements into soft and hard skills. This should help you determine where to focus your learning efforts and craft an effective professional development plan as a newbie digital marketer.

Digital marketing: Soft skills

Soft skills are the personal character traits and interpersonal abilities that enable you to communicate and interact effectively with others. In the context of digital marketing, these include:

  • Research skills: conducting market research and finding reliable sources of information to analyze trends in digital marketing
  • Strategic planning: developing digital marketing strategies to reach business goals
  • Communication skills: communicating effectively both in written and verbal format
  • Collaboration skills: working in cross-functional teams and coordinating tasks with other professionals
  • Design skills: creating aesthetically pleasing visual content for digital campaigns
  • Analytical skills: interpreting data and using it to improve the digital marketing strategy

Digital marketing: Hard skills

Hard skills are the technical abilities that you need to succeed in a digital marketing role. For example:

  • Social media marketing: developing effective social media campaigns that connect businesses with their audiences
  • Search engine optimization (SEO): creating content that ranks high in search engine results to increase visibility online
  • Copywriting: understanding how to craft persuasive copy to maximize sales potential online
  • Content marketing: creating content that appeals to audiences and encourages engagement
  • Email marketing: crafting email campaigns to reach audiences and convert leads into customers
  • Paid advertising: running targeted ads on search engines or social media channels to boost website traffic  
  • UI/UX design: designing user-friendly interfaces that provide a positive user experience
  • Data analytics: collecting and interpreting data to make informed decisions based on user behavior analysis

3. Pros and cons of working in digital marketing

Like any other job, working in digital marketing has positive and negative aspects. However, whether or not you’ll experience them as such will ultimately depend on your personal preferences. For example, if you’re a creative person, you may see the design aspects of digital marketing as an advantage but dislike the analytical elements, whereas another person might feel the exact opposite.

So, keep this in mind when looking at this table—it’s not a definite list of pros and cons, but rather a starting point for you to reflect on your situation.

Pros of working in digital marketing

Cons of working in digital marketing

High global demand for digital marketing skillsCan be highly competitive and fast-paced
Opportunity for creativity and innovationConstantly evolving technology and marketing trends
Flexibility to work remotely or from homeRequires staying up to date with new tools and strategies
Variety of job roles and career pathsCan involve long hours and tight deadlines
Potential for high earnings and growth opportunitiesRequires strong communication and collaboration skills
Chance to work with a diverse range of clients and industriesCan involve a lot of data analysis and reporting

4. How to become a digital marketer with no experience: Step-by-step

If you’ve read this far, you’re probably serious about starting a career in digital marketing. So, here’s a step-by-step guide to help you get started, even with no prior experience.

Step 1: Acquire the skills

As you’ve seen, getting a job in digital marketing requires you to have a specific set of skills. To gain these, you could research different techniques, such as social media marketing, paid advertising, or email copywriting, and start practicing them on your own. This will help you determine which areas you excel in and which areas you may need to focus on more.

But if you’d rather learn through a more structured approach, that’s fine, too. There are plenty of free online resources specifically designed to teach you the basics. Here are some useful examples:

Step 2: Get work experience

Once you’ve built up your skills and knowledge, it’s time to get some hands-on experience in the form of internships, volunteering, or part-time jobs. This will give you the opportunity to apply what you’ve learned and gain experience in a professional setting.

Alternatively, you could also look for freelance projects, either independently or through a digital marketing platform. The advantage of this approach is that you can create your own schedule and work with clients from different industries and backgrounds—meaning you’ll diversify your skillset even further.

Step 3: Build a portfolio

To prove yourself to potential employers, you need to have a compelling online presence and personal brand. Focus on the social media platforms that you know best and try to build a following among specific users. Consider creating a blog, YouTube channel, or podcast about a topic that interests you or is relevant to the industry of your choice.

This is where freelance experience comes in handy. Provided you’ve got permission to display completed work, showcase your best projects in an online portfolio. This demonstrates to employers that you have technical skills and can apply them successfully in a real-life scenario.

Step 4: Get certified

And finally, to get the most out of your digital marketing journey, you might also want to get certified. Although this is not a requirement for entry-level positions, it is an advantage to have a digital marketing qualification that verifies your skills and knowledge.

Investing in an online course such as one of these top digital marketing bootcamps is a great way to learn the basics in a condensed period of time and possibly receive professional accreditation. But keep in mind that you will need to consider your budget, schedule, certification options, and desired outcomes when selecting the right course option.

5. Summary

There are many ways to build a successful digital marketing career in 2024, no matter your current level of experience. You can stand out as a reliable digital marketing specialist by developing the right skills, getting real-world experience, building a portfolio, and completing online training.

Are you interested in a digital marketing course but unsure if you’re ready to commit to a more extended program? Why not try out our free, 5-day introductory course to digital marketing? It could be the perfect way to get started and see if you’re a good fit for the industry.

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What You Should Do Now

  1. Get a hands-on introduction to digital marketing with a free, self-paced short course comprised of five short tutorials.

  2. Take part in one of our FREE live online digital marketing events with industry experts, and check out digital marketing student Adelina’s portfolio project.

  3. Become a job-ready digital marketer in just 3-7 months—all backed by the CareerFoundry job guarantee.

  4. This month, we’re offering a partial scholarship worth up to $1,365 off on all of our career-change programs to the first 100 students who apply 🎉 Book your application call and secure your spot now!

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