Best Way to Learn Digital Marketing and Should you do a Course?

Best Way to Learn Digital Marketing

Often I am asked, what is the best way to learn digital marketing?

There are three ways I can think of.

  1. The easy way – Enroll in a digital marketing course.
  2. The hard way – Learn. Apply. Learn. Apply (keep repeating the cycle)
  3. The best way – Get paid to learn. (The Internship Route)

If you are not much of a reader, just watch the video below; though I would recommend the entire blog for context.

1. The easy way – Digital Marketing Course

I believe a digital marketing course should not be the first place to start learning digital marketing. Because:-

  1.  Expensive – It is going to cost you six months of savings or a chunk of your parents hard earned money. Most don’t have so much.
  2. Outdated – Most of the courses don’t update or change their curriculum over time, leading you to learning techniques and hacks that are outdated. You might have to unlearn that later which is more difficult than learning.
  3. Application – Any education without application is like the class 9th Physics lessons that you don’t remember anymore because you never applied it. But you still remember all childhood games. Because? You guessed it, application. Most digital marketing courses teach theory and give few application opportunities.

Do I hate courses? No. They add value, but they cannot make you a digital marketer. If the counsellor pitches with “We will make you an amazing digital marketer”, they are lying.

If you don’t want to make a career in digital marketing and just want to know the fundamentals, a course is a good solution for you. Otherwise, you have read the above 🙂

2. The Hard Way – Self Learning

Time to hear out the hard way. An easy step by step process is below.

  1. Find your Test Case – Figure a person in your household who has a small business and would allow you to digital marketing for that business. Ask them for a small sum of money from them to run their business’s digital marketing.
  2. Experiment –
    1. If the business doesn’t have a website, build a website using WordPress, Godaddy site builder or Wix.
    2. If the business does have a website, read up on Google search ads and start running them.
    3. Expand ads to Facebook and Instagram.
    4. Learn Google analytics simultaneously to see how your ads are performing.
    5. Start working on SEO and content marketing.
    6. Once you have gotten hold of the above, start thinking about Email marketing and affiliates.
  3. How – How to execute the above? Search on Google, my friend. A few links below to get you started. Oh, and one important thing, all these courses are FREE!
    1. Digital Marketing Fundamentals by Google
    2. Google Advertising Courses
    3. Facebook and Instagram Training 
    4. Inbound Marketing by Hubspot
    5. Paid Ads Course by WordStream

After learning by yourself, if you want to go for a course and can afford one, do it. How to choose a course is what I have already covered in the video above.

“Get the practical knowledge and then go for the theory. It is like doing an MBA after work experience so that you can relate to practicality.”

3. The Best Way to Learn Digital Marketing

If self-learning is not for you and you don’t have the money to do a course, you must do this. Reach out to digital marketing agencies in your city and ask for an internship.

Why is this the best way?

  1. You get paid to learn (amazing, right?)
  2. You learn from practical experiences.
  3. You get terrific practitioners as teachers who don’t charge a dime.
  4. You make a network that you know how important is in any industry.
  5. You are adding experience to your resume.
  6. If you put your heart to it, you might even land an offer from the same company. Free placement!
  7. Above reasons are enough, I guess 😉

Why would they give you an internship?

Because you would send them a kickass cover letter as to how you are willing to learn from them, add value to them based on what you learn and would prove a long-term asset. Also, if you really want it, you would explain how you are trying #2 and how you have added value to a family business.

You have to hack your way through this to stand out. You could

  1. Send a hard copy (nobody sends hard copy these days) of the letter and address it to the CEO. S/he would take notice.
  2. Send them a box of cookies with your letter; a happy HR would give you a call 🙂
  3. Make a short customised video application that you would tweet to them. The creative team would root for you!
  4. Make your image pitch and DM them on Instagram.

You get the drift. You have to stand out.

Most companies have paid internships and would be glad to give one to an enthusiastic applicant. People at My digital agency would unmistakably fall for the cookie hack!

If you have read till here, I truly appreciate you giving me your time. I urge you to drop a comment with your feedback so that I can bring better content next time and share this with someone who you think might benefit from this.

Author: Syed Mamoon Hasan

Right out of college, Syed Mamoon Hasan started the Mumbai branch of a digital agency and took it to double digital Millions in less than 3 years. In his stint, he sold real estate online, built healthcare apps, ran e-commerce stores for his clients & did branded campaigns; eventually becoming a digital marketing expert. Now he is the Founder & CEO of A&B, a power-packed digital agency in Mumbai & London that is defying rules of the digital marketing industry. His clients, meanwhile have seen tremendous growth like 10X revenue in 10 months (with only 2x investment). He is bullish on some futuristic technologies like Chatbots, audio and 360 and not so much on some like VR. His clients range from 20 billion rupees Indian retail chain to a food startup in the UK. Syed loves profits, sanity, and balance in business which the internet business ecosystem is often devoid of. He is dedicated to building an org that is a balance of Branding Vs Sales, Technology Vs Creative, Growth Vs Profits, New Vs Established. Brands he has worked with include Evok, The MobileStore, Ashiana Housing, @home, HDFC Realty, NH7 Weekender, Gulf Oil, The Backpacker Co, Nilkamal, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Mahindra First Choice, Spykar, & more.

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