If opportunities don’t come knocking on your door, you’ll need to find the right doors. With zero experience, how do you get your first marketing job?
When starting off on your marketing journey, things can feel challenging and frustrating..
If you don’t have any experience yet, you may be concerned about what to put on your resume let alone being hired for a job. How do you demonstrate that you’re a good performer and can deliver without any experience to prove it?
It seems like a chicken and egg problem where you need experience to get a job and a job to get experience. But there’s always a point zero and a path to point one.
So let’s talk about how you can get moving on your path to point one.
For the purpose of this post, I’ll assume you have identified a handful of areas (if not single) that you’re interested in, seeking to get experience and you’re passionate enough to work for free in exchange of feedback, experience and mentoring. If you haven’t identified your area of interest, there’s many videos on my Youtube channel that cover some key paths in marketing.
Here are a few links for you as a starting point.
- Career Paths in Marketing- what marketing career options you can pursue?
- What does a content marketing manager do?
- What does a social media marketer do and how to become one?
Here’s what I’ll cover in this post:
- why it may make sense to work for free for a while
- examples of services you can offer and jobs you can get
- what to pay attention to when you reach out to your prospective employer
If you’d prefer to listen or watch me go through how to land on your first marketing job, feel free to watch the video and pause as needed ⬇️
Working for free – say that again?
If at this point you’re thinking – why the hell should I work for free?
Well, I can count many reasons but let’s go with the top one to save us time here.
When you’re at point zero and really need experience to get things moving for you, going back to the basics and being a student is possibly the best investment of your time.
This is exactly how I’ve been approaching my Youtube channel for example. I’ve been making weekly videos for the past 2 years and still to this day, I don’t make enough to match what I would be making if I worked full time with a company.
This is my investment into my journey. I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. But you don’t have to work for ‘free’ as long as I have. You may only complete a free trial project, several hours of work, several weeks of work, etc. Many content entrepreneurs have also started this way and then the opportunities followed.
Let’s move on…
Here’s what you can do to get your first marketing job
1. Pay attention to your favorite creators
Every day, we consume hundreds (if not more) of pieces of content online. Whether it’s on LinkedIn, TikTok, or blogs, we’re always reading, listening or seeing things from brands and creators. And among the accounts you follow, I’m sure there are some that you resonate more with. Are you thinking of them right now? Good.
That’s where we start.
I want you to make your short list of creators and start paying attention to what they are voicing out. Read between the lines. They may be talking about what their routines and work schedules look like, what projects that they are working on or the business challenges that they are facing.
Those are your cues to see if you are able to fill in those gaps and make their processes better.
If they haven’t mentioned anything that caught your attention, no problem.
Let’s say that you have this top creator in your list. Take a step back and ask yourself:
- How could their content be improved?
- What are the things that you can help in filling in the areas that they are lacking in?
- Do you think that they should be covering certain topics that they have not yet covered? But you think that it’s going to be a relevant one since you have also been an active audience of their channel.
Maybe you are a copywriter, or you want to become one. So this is your chance to give it a shot and try to repurpose their content in ways that they haven’t done.
Those efforts that you are interested to fill in and that you feel passionate about could be your training ground for something that becomes a regular job. So, offer to write a blog post for free or in fact, don’t even offer – just do it and send it over to them. Offer to create and run a TikTok account. Edit a video for free to show your skills. Or suggest working with them for a determined period of time in exchange for mentorship.
Find the gaps, determine what you’re okay to do, and reach out.
The fact that you identified those opportunities yourself and you are bold enough to reach out to those people, is not only going to show that you really are interested in and really passionate about this, but also shows that you are different from most people.
2. Identify small businesses to reach out to
Why small businesses? Well, for starters, small businesses are easier to get a hold of compared to large companies. Instead of digging your way through the hierarchy, the policies and procedures of large companies, you can likely connect with the founder of a small business 10X as fast as you could reach the right contact in a large organization.
“And where can I find these small businesses?”, you may ask.
They could be your favorite local bake shop, your favorite healthy bar business, or a startup lifestyle brand that you feel strongly connected with.
Look for them in your local and online communities and research who the founders are and connect with them via social media or email if they share it publicly. If not, there’s ways to find everyone’s emails these days. No big deal.
Reach out and ask what you can help with. They may not have openings – but don’t let that stop you. Let them know you’re looking for jobs, share your skills. If they have zero budget, offer free help for a while just to get the experience while you keep looking for FT positions and add that experience on your resume.
3. Use platforms that help marketers kickoff their careers
Take advantage of platforms like Acadium and Riipen that can help you with mentorship or internship programs that potentially lead to hiring.
This gives you an opportunity to work with a mentor, learn, get experience you can leverage into moving forward and finding a job.
4. Doing Freelance, Contractor, Part-time jobs
If you can’t start with a full time role, you can certainly start with a freelance, contract or part time opportunity and again, work on building up your portfolio. Look for opportunities that align with your skills in job boards, online freelance communities, Facebook community groups and freelancing marketplaces.
The freelance marketplaces like Fiverr and Upwork are quite saturated and competitive so if you find them too challenging, you will have a better chance with more niche marketplaces like MarketerHire, Acadium or Growth Collective as a few examples.
Reaching out to your prospective clients
When you’re reaching out to people to offer your help/services – remember, this is your sales pitch. As a (potential) marketer, you need to make sure you have a good intro line and highlight your offer clear and well.
Focus on what’s the value of the person you’re getting in touch with. Why should they work with you? Even if you’re offering free help, remember they will still allocate time to mentor you and review your work at the least.
I want you to know that this period is temporary. You have a goal and that is to build your portfolio and GET EXPERIENCE. What you do now to get there is not what you will end up doing forever.
This is your stepping stone into what you aim to do in the longer run.
You will gain what you can, add the experience to your story and will move on.
Rooting for you!