Get ready, get set, volunteer! When you're in college, it's easy to find opportunities to learn, and many of these opportunities take place outside the classroom. One of the best ways to build new marketing skills while meeting new friends and having fun is by joining clubs or organizations on campus. Outside of the classroom setting you can make connections with other students and develop strong digital marketing skills together as you work with campus organizations.
RESEARCH YOUR AUDIENCE
When you're on campus, you might think that you have one audience: the students. However, your campus is still a diverse place. You have professors and graduate students, mature students with families, and students who've moved from abroad. Different people have different values and are interested in a variety of topics. As a digital marketing student, your job is to understand each of those audiences and know how they connect to the cause, event, or business you are trying to promote. You can use this opportunity to do informal research on these different student groups to prepare yourself for a career in which you'll be reaching out to and understanding the needs of multiple audiences. For example, if you're working with the campus recreation center, your first role as a marketer could be a market analysis to see what kinds of casual recreation courses would be most attractive to students.
Use your time on campus to get involved and boost your marketing skills.
SEEK OUT OPPORTUNITIES TO WRITE
Can you write persuasive prose? Even if you're planning to code websites and develop social media strategy, you need to be able to explain a topic and talk clearly to your readers. According to the Search Engine Journal, "Since website content is something any digital marketer may get asked to write at some point, it's also important to pick up basic copywriting skills so you know how to write persuasively and how to get people to take the action you want them to take."
Luckily, college provides you with many writing opportunities. What can you do to hone your writing skills?
- Write amusing or analytical pieces for the campus newspaper.
- Hone your ability to articulate your ideas in a public speaking club.
- Help a campus politician get elected by writing campaign ads.
Remember to ask for feedback from your colleagues and work to determine how effective your marketing campaigns are, so that you can learn from your experience.
Practice your writing skills in an environment where it's safe to experiment.
DEVELOP A DEPTH AND BREADTH OF EXPERIENCE
As a digital marketing student on campus, your goal should be to get a depth and breadth of experience that you would not be able to easily accumulate in your first digital marketing job. Often these environments are a safe place to make mistakes. For example, the local pottery club may never advertise, so if you offer to create a social media account and post about club events, you'll be able to do this with no complaints and it’s a skill you likely won’t learn sitting in a classroom being lectured.
You'll develop your skills by working with people from many different backgrounds. According to Bentley University, "Soft skills are essentially "people skills" - they're the skills that allow us to effectively interact with others, like communication, attitude, and work ethic." By understanding how to communicate and work with many different people, you'll build your capacity to reach out to opportunities in your future digital marketing career.
Potential projects to tackle for a student organization to build your marketing skill set:
- Write for their blog
- Run their social media
- Develop a promotional plan for an event
- Optimize their website
- Redesign their logo and promotional materials
- Create an email drip campaign to encourage more club participation
The best way to boost your portfolio is not by adding in class work or research papers, but to include real-world experience demonstrating your marketing expertise. Developing your marketing skills on campus is a great way to earn enough experience to land an internship and eventually your ideal marketing job. Land these 6 skills by the time you graduate and you’ll be ready for a marketing career.
Are you ready to launch your digital marketing career? Check out our job listings for entry-level marketers!