Chances are, if you’re reading this you probably know what Digital Marketing is but if not, let me give a brief overview of what Digital Marketing is.
Digital Marketing is online marketing, or in other words, online advertising. Everywhere you go across the web you can’t go anywhere without seeing ads with certain interests you already have such as music, video games, movies, sports, cars. Or even certain demographics such as male/female, age, income, relationship status. Or let’s say you’re searching on Google for cars in your city, town, or region. You would get slammed with the top dealerships in the world, lashing their offers. The list goes on.
The Internet isn’t going anywhere. More and more companies are trying to compete but are failing miserably and losing hundreds, thousands, and sometimes tens of thousands every single month. They will pay a substantial amount of money if they could compete against their competitors on Google, Facebook, or Amazon. This is where you come in.
In this guide, I’m gonna show you how I got experience in the Digital Marketing field, a handful of interviews, and job offers that were paying $40k/year all while being a 17 year old high school student. Sounds interesting? Let’s get into it.
Take A Course
If you want to be a young and successful marketer, entrepreneur, or just successful in anything, you have to be constantly learning new things. I can guarantee you none of your teachers will ever have a lesson teaching how to run Pay Per Click (PPC) campaigns, how to create a brand, why online ads will give you a bigger return on investment (ROI) than investing in the stock market (which is something your teachers have probably told you to do, though it’s not a bad idea). The point is, you need to find a course and someone who will mentor you.
I’ve personally taken a few courses but couldn’t afford a lot of them because I was working a minimum wage job getting 4 to the most 10 hours a week because of school. The one that introduced me to the Digital Marketing field and that changed my life was InDemandCareer by Seth Hymes https://indemandcareer.com/
I had to do a school project where I had to learn something new and spend a minimum of 30 hours doing it. It didn’t matter if I succeeded or not, I just had to learn something new. I was always interested in business and being an entrepreneur, so when I saw this course I bought it instantly.
It teaches you the skills and knowledge needed to land some job experience which will then translate into getting a job in this field, whether it be a remote freelancing job or a full time office job at an agency. I strongly would recommend working at an agency simply because you get to work with people who are more than likely older than you and that have experience in the world of eCommerce and like I said in the beginning, you’ll be learning a whole lot more working at an agency.
The course is a little expensive for a high school student, being $97/month, and he’ll also recommend other courses and books to read so it does add up if you decide to go the extra mile. However, I finished it in 2 months (the second month was just to review everything) and I don’t regret it one bit. That course changed my life forever and it needs to be shared.
If the price is too expensive or you just want another/alternative course, I have another one of equal (or possibly more value).
Brock Johnson’s The Last Amazon Course
Brock has a weird approach to how he teaches but he knows his stuff. He sold over 6 Million Dollars within 3 years on Amazon in his mid 20s.
He goes over how to create an Amazon product from complete scratch to making it to an incredibly profitable business at scale all for the price of $1/month. If that doesn’t sound like a great investment, I don’t know what else would be.
Get Certified In Everything
Now believe me, I probably hate school, tests, grades, and all of that more than anyone…but having good grades and test scores undeniably looks good when others see it (including employers or that client you’re making a deal with). No one is going to care about GPA if you can get more leads or sales, so how can you prove that you CAN generate leads and sales.
The answer is getting certified. Allow me to explain.
Google, Facebook, Amazon, and a handful of websites such as Upwork and Freelancer offer exams that will give you a badge/certification that shows you passed the exam. This puts you miles ahead of the competition and it’s completely free. Clients and employers would rather see that your certified in Google Search and Display Network, Facebook Blueprint, Amazon Web Services, and all the other exams Upwork and Freelancer offer than just a college degree.
Don’t rush this! When I first started getting certified I rushed through everything and cheated on a lot of them, learning absolutely nothing. These certifications go over everything there is to know about their software and it gives you the opportunity to really understand how their algorithms work, budgets, keywords, etc.
Google Academy for Ads
Amazon Web Services
Work For Free (or little)
If you’ve followed the first 2 steps you should be good to go on landing your first gig in Digital Marketing and judging by the title of this step, you might be a little confused because this is all about making money.
All of the greatest entrepreneurs will say that it’s important to work for free for numerous reasons. (1. The person or company you’re working with will see that you’re truly passionate and motivated to learn, and will be much more lean to teach you while giving you that experience you need. (2. It switches your mindset from working for a paycheck to learning and growing as a marketer. (3. You’ll get to a point where you learn everything you need to get started, whether it be freelancing, working a job, or even starting your own business (which I’ll get into later).
Let’s say you’re working with an agency, you ask to go to one of their meetings with a potential new client. Where did they go to meet? What kind of language did they use? How did the negotiate the deal? Did they even get a deal? Learn from them and suck out every bit of knowledge you possibly can.
Let’s say now you’ve learned how to talk to clients and want to try doing it on your own. You ask your boss if it’s okay to try and get more clients. He’ll say absolutely go for it. You close a deal and ask for 5% commission off of it. Your boss thought you were gonna ask for 50% and says “Sure 5% sounds great!”
Overtime, you make small increases into that commission you get for each deal you’re apart of until you reach 50% commission. At that point, you’d be well on your way to start making your deals or starting your own business, which will leave that boss of yours in tears since you became so integrated in their business.
If you are in High School and are at this point, don’t worry if you’re not making money. It took me 8 months of actually losing money to actually get a job, which was immediately paid off with a little extra money left over after the first paycheck.
This is probably the coolest opportunity that comes with Digital Marketing or any valuable skill that is done on a computer.
You can work from home or anywhere in the world, working for a company with your own hours, and get paid to do it.
This is when websites like Upwork and Freelancer come in handy. They contain tens of thousands of jobs which a good majority of them are Digital Marketing related since people need help driving more conversions and sales.
Now those websites are incredibly competitive. You’ll spend a big chunk of time writing your proposal, even offering a cheaper price than the advertised price the client offered, only to get beaten by a foreign who can’t speak fluent English and charges $2/hour. I will create another post in the future that goes over how you can successfully win clients at a consistent basis.
You don’t have to go online to find clients, however. You can find local businesses and see if they’re interested in increasing they’re sales by 50% and if they’re running ads, bringing they’re cost down by 60%.
I’d say at least 50% of owners will say no right off the bat but don’t panic. The other 50% are going to be interested in getting more customers and sales, that’s when you schedule a meeting ahead of time to prepare. Be the expert.
If this is your first client, work for free or charge a very small amount, like $100/month and continue to find more work, increasing your monthly rate. Imagine after getting some experience under your belt you make a deal with 5 restaurants, each paying you $2000/month. That’s $10,000/month and $120,000/year!
Create a Portfolio
This one is pretty straight forward. If you’re planning on getting clients, they’re gonna want to see a history of what previous clients you had and what they had to say about you. If you’re finished working with a client, encourage them to give you a review/recommendations on Upwork, Freelancer, LinkedIn, and anything else you can think of.
I would also recommend making your own website for a portfolio for employers and future clients can reference to. Doing this makes you stand from 99% of freelancers and job hunters because by having this, you’ll seem like an expert. Chances are, if you have followed all of these steps correctly, you are the expert.
You don’t need to have a list of clients that you can list on your portfolio if you’re just getting started. When I started, I just showed my first client/project I worked on, talked about it in detail (how much money did you manage? Did you generate leads? Was it an innovative product? Etc.) Give a brief description about yourself as well. If you’re a high school student, then employers and clients will be that much more impressed the younger you are.
Start A Business
It took me nearly 8 months to land a job at an agency and during that time I was desperate trying to find experience I could leverage. I wasn’t getting any luck finding clients online, local businesses were saying no, and I couldn’t work full-time because of school. So, I created my first business (which failed miserably)
Why am I telling you this? Because it all loops back into the 2 common themes of this post. Always learning and working for free or little. I figured, if I tried to open an eCommerce store, running my own ads out of my own pocket while generating sales, employers and clients would have to listen to me!
So, I created my first drop shipping store and ran Facebook ads for it. I had no knowledge of product research, hardly any experience or knowledge in running Facebook ads, and had no idea how to create a good Shopify store.
I did this for about 3 months before I lost all the money I had saved up from working at a movie theater, with 0 sales.
I knew that if I tried and failed I would’ve learned more about drop shipping and selling online in general. I also knew that if I succeeded that I could’ve been a “marketing guru” and launch ads for my free webinar where I have a $1,000,000,000 master class where I can show anyone how to be a billionaire in 30 days…or just show my clients that I’ve proven that I can generate sale while making money on the side.
Since I didn’t make sales, it just felt like a big waste of money until I started showing the store I made in job interviews. The employers saw that I literally would’ve done anything to get knowledge and experience in this field. I live and breathe this stuff if you couldn’t tell.
I truly believe that because I went so far as to spend all the money I had to work on ads, that when my employer (who’s now my CEO) saw this, he knew that I had that “hungry entrepreneur” mindset, and hired me on the spot.
Stay Motivated. Stay Hungry
The most important step and probably should’ve been at number one but it makes more sense to leave this at the end.
This isn’t easy by any means. You’ll be competing with thousands of people who have the exact same skill set as you. It’ll be difficult getting work and learning from people.
To truly succeed as a Digital Marketer or as an entrepreneur, you have to outwork everyone always.
There was a time when I was so motivated and passionate about this field I completely neglected anything related to school and put all of my energy into obtaining this skill. Because of this, my parents threatened me by saying I either had to join the military or move out by graduation (which was only a few months away at the time). Luckily, after long persistence and never giving up, my parents realized that I was passionate about this and wouldn’t let anything stop me. Now, I’m living at home and my mom offers to take me to work every morning to support my career any way she can.
Anything I missed? Want to have a discussion? Leave a comment and I’ll answer it as soon as I can!