It is the perfect time to forge a career in the digital world; however, knowing how to get started and grow, your prospects can be tricky. Thankfully others have gone before you and there are plenty of lessons you can learn that don’t involve reinventing the wheel! You can’t just throw yourself in and hope for the best like a game of slots, you will need to build a strategy to get the best results so here are ten effective ways that you can use to grow your digital career today.
- Pick Your Area
There is no point trying to establish yourself in every digital speciality area. You need to find your niche and pick an area that works well for the skills that you have. Some people are good teachers, whereas others work better alone and have technical skills that make them good programmers. The most in-demand areas of the digital age fall into digital publishing, copywriting, video production, mobile marketing, web development design, video production and social media, to name a few.
- Create a Portfolio
Once you are established, you will find that a lot of your work comes from word of mouth and previous clients recommending you. But until that point, you need to create a portfolio that showcases the best of your work. When people are looking for digital skills, they often have a large set of criteria, and it’s vital that you can easily show that you meet this skill base. It would help if you also decided how you will get your name out there and make sure that potential clients can find you and quickly get in touch with you to discuss things further.
- Understand Your Prospects
It is also essential that you learn about your customer base and who your prospects are likely to be. We can spend a lot of time and effort trying to push ourselves in the wrong arena, and naturally, this won’t lead anywhere. If you want to get valuable marketing and quality leads, you need to make sure that you understand who your prospects are and where you can find them to target them.
- Get Your House in Order
While you’re waiting for your clients to discover you, it’s time to get your house in order. This means creating your own website and practising what you preach. If you’re aiming to be a social media expert, then your social media needs to be top-notch. Your blog should be fully working, well thought out and contain a range of helpful information in the form of blog posts. No matter what area you work in, you should be able to demonstrate that you believe in your own skills.
- Learn How to Manage Time
You are starting your own digital career following time in the corporate world; then, you will have to learn new skills in the form of time management, administration, and other business tasks. It can be strange to suddenly go from working in an office to working home alone, so you need to be organised and focused.
- Know Your Socials
Even if you are not planning a career in social media, it’s important that you understand all of the social media platforms. Every social media platform targets a specific audience, and you will often be asked for advice by your clients as to which they should be using. These questions come even if social media is not your prime skill. It also helps if you understand social media platforms as you can use them yourself as a marketing tool, so you need to know where your prospects hang out.
A career in the digital industry can also be isolating, so it’s a good time to learn how to network. There are plenty of digital communities, including LinkedIn, where you can find other professionals that compliment your skills or share your skills, giving you a support network. If you are particularly new to the industry, you might want to consider finding a mentor prepared to help you as you set out on your journey.
- Understand Related Skills
If you’re going to be a copywriter, for example, it helps to understand related fields. A Lot of your work will be used as content on websites, so it helps to understand web design and how this works. You also need to understand SEO principles to ensure you are structuring the content in the best way possible. It certainly pays to spend the time finding out more about other industries that you are likely to interact with while providing your services.
Another valuable tip is to formalise any skills you have into certified qualifications backed up by a credible institution in your field. While you might know your stuff a lot of clients prefer to see that you can evidence your skillset and that you have learned to a specific standard. There are plenty of online courses that offer nationally registered qualifications so that you can train from home. It is also important to remember that continued professional development is not just a buzzword for the office. By committing to update your skills constantly, not only will you stay relevant, but you demonstrate your level of commitment to your clients.
- Don’t Give Up
It can be a daunting world to make your break-in, but the benefits of working in the digital arena are vast. It may not be easy but remember that Rome was not built in a day, and it may take some time to create the business you want.