As someone just getting into the marketing field, what is the first thing I should do to better equip myself?
I am a student and am wanting to know what I should do to better prepare myself as well as become more knowledgeable in this field. What do you wish you did first? What do you regret not doing? Thank you so much!
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Find your niche. I recommend developing a broad set of skills, but having a niche specialty can be hugely helpful.
By having a broad scope of knowledge, you position yourself well to work across department and disciplines. This is especially important if you aspire to a leadership role.
That said, you can really make a name for yourself if you excel in 1 or 2 areas. For example, SEO specialists are really in demand. In a challenging field, and if you possess a certain level of expertise, you can really position yourself for career success.
Another reason to boost a particular skill is that when you become an "expert" you can earn some extra money from a side hustle.
In addition to your day job, you can offer your services in your specialty area on a consulting or freelance basis. This can give a huge boost to your career, as long as what you are doing doesn't conflict with your day job.
If you work for a marketing agency, you obviously can't sell your services outside of the agency. But, if you work for a manufacturing company, as long as you don't sell your services to boost up a competitor, it likely won't be frowned upon to do a little side work!
I agree with Alex in that marketing is a very broad subject - but I also think there are several things that helped me along the way. I majored in marketing and while I was in college, I did several internships to start gaining experience. I'm not sure how internships are going in the COVID era, but it's something I strongly recommend. Something else that helped me greatly is taking online courses in my spare time. Google Digital Garage offers some great marketing resources and really helped me expand my knowledge. Something I regret not doing is learning about digital marketing sooner - everything is becoming digital first now and I think having at least a basic understanding of digital marketing terminology will be very beneficial for your career!
I think marketing is a very broad subject. One thing that I recommend is learning proper methods and tools from the get-go, don't cut corners and develop bad habits when you start.