A year ago, I moved to London to pursue a career in scriptwriting;
But, as you might assume from the title, things didn’t work out. Even though I was fully committed, I just couldn’t catch a break. I had all these creative ideas but no one wanted any part of it. I thought to myself, “maybe I’m just not that good at writing.” Nope. Bad way of thinking.
Instead, I became a writer with digital marketing skills.
It wasn’t until I went to a networking event and I met this guy who was the opposite version of myself. He was confident and upfront, and shared his opinion with brutal honesty. He was also a well-known writer. We had a conversation and I asked him about where he got his confidence from; I wanted some. He laughed and leaned in, whiskey on his breath. He told me, “Alex, I’m not confident. I’m just marketing myself.”
Those whiskey words stayed with me all this time. It helped me accept that, maybe, screenwriting might not be for me. I knew I was a good copywriter, and I was always interested in content developing. So I stuck to the guns I already had, and tried to put them into learning digital marketing.
So I searched for digital marketing courses in London and found this one that General Assembly offers. It’s a one-week accelerated course and it’s quite pricey. However after a quick phone call with the Senior Admissions Producer, I decided to attend the course.
This post is all about why I decided to take the course, and I’m guessing you’re here because you might be wondering if it’s worth it. Whether it’s with General Assembly, at a university, or even on an online platform like Udemy, I’m going to go on the record and say:
1. It’s worth taking a course on Digital Marketing.
Whether you’re interested in sharpening your current digital marketing skills, learning something new, or using the knowledge to grow an audience, everyone should know a bit of digital marketing.
With the direction of our world moving towards being completely digital, it’s good to be prepared. From starting up businesses to creating online personas, being ahead of the game will prepare you for the inevitable, fully-digital future.
Keep in mind that I’m valuing worth as knowledge; in regards to prices of the course, I can only recommend you do what your current budget allows you to do.
2. It’s a hot topic.
You’ve spent three years doing an arts degree and you found yourself going nowhere in life. You wonder where you went wrong, and if your parents are disappointed in you. Sound relatable? I mean, I went through it.
Yes, more and more companies are seeing the point of having digital marketers on their marketing team. Many are already ahead of the game, and us jobseekers are slowly growing more competitive for a spot at a Google-like company.
Just remember that it’s not a career that’ll give you an 100K net-worth. You need passion. And motivation. Drive. And coffee. Lots of late nights and cups of coffee.
Also you’re usually the first one to be yelled at if the company starts losing money.
3. A good way to compliment your existing skills.
Whether you’re a business owner, an Instagram model, a dairy farmer, or an athlete at dodgeball. There’s something within digital marketing that can help boost your career. Therefore there really isn’t any reason not to learn a bit of Google Analytics or SEO.
To me, this blog is a playground, and I believe that the best way to learn is by doing. I’ve started creating this (hopefully good) content because I wanted to grow an audience. And share with them what I think could be interesting.
If you’re a photographer, knowing the correct keywords to use could boost traffic to your website. If you’re an e-commerce company selling organic toilet-paper, you could look at what your boring competitors are doing and figure out how to better target your audience.
Everyone wants to grow. Everyone wants more clients, views, or likes. And if your career depends on it, then no questions asked. Learn digital marketing!
4. Impress your Family and Friends
Now I am a recent graduate of General Assembly’s course, so I haven’t really impressed anyone yet. But just like organic search, it’s a slow process but worth it in the end. With my new digital marketing skills, I am able to learn that patience will be rewarding.
And slowly one day, the time and effort I put into keyword research, search engine optimisation, channel research, data-collecting, developing personas, deep breath, content developing, and marketing creating, only then will it all be worth it.
And when your friends or boss see your numbers and your dedication, they will be impressed. Oh yes they will be.
5. Learn Skills that Sell Yourself
As I mentioned before, the whiskey-smelling guy told me simply that all he does is market himself, and I think he’s partly right. I think it’s easier for some more than others. However I realised that marketing myself is just another way of saying marketing who I am as a person and what skills do I have.
Learning Digital Marketing skills not only teaches you the technical and the creative, but also what I’d call a sub-category between the two. It’s the human skills category. It’s about learning patience (as mentioned before) and discipline. Needing to learn how to be organised and sharp will tailor your marketing into something great.
The best part is that you don’t need to learn these skills separately. They come naturally as you keep practicing digital marketing techniques. Trust me. Last year today, the thought of having a portable whiteboard in my flat would’ve sound ludicrous to me.
Now I can’t live without it!
6. It Opens Up The Pearly Gates (Or Gates of Hell…)
Now three things may happen once you finish the course and get your digital marketing skills.
- You’ll feel great. You’ve dug into an abandoned mine and discovered gold. You understood how it all works. the KPIs and the frame-works and my God, the tactics! This was your calling.
- You’ll feel lost and abandoned. What the heck is a conversion funnel? Who is AIDA? Why does Google need so many graphs!? You’ll be left thinking why you decided to spend a day torturing your poor, poor mind, when you could’ve been playing Fortnite.
- You realise you feel both at the same time. Both your genius and your dumbo stand tall, holding hands. They gaze upwards towards the summit of your Success mountain. There will be awe and there will be doubt. But all it takes is a step, and then another step.
Halfway through the @GA_London #digitalmarketing course and some minutes I feel like I’m ready to start up a company and other times I wonder if I could put the letters #SEO together in the right order. Solid content.
— Alex Kharouk (@AlexKharouk) 23 May 2018
7. The Most Important Reason Why I Took the Digital Marketing Course
A quick background check and a glance at my CV will reveal something. I had zero business experience before starting the Digital Marketing course. So to any possible future clients that stumble upon this blog-post, I’m sorry.
But don’t let that deter you from me! I’m a lovable guy and a quick learner! And most importantly, I’m committed; which I’m assuming you are too, since you’ve reached the end of this blog-post. If you are like me, who had searched into google “can you learn Digital Marketing without business knowledge,” then let me tell you somethin’.
Do it. The courses (at least the General Assembly’s course) will give you the fundamentals, and the fundamentals is all you’ll ever need. The beauty of Digital Marketing is that it’s constantly changing, and many have reported that some business schools have out-of-date curriculum on the subject!
So really, don’t worry about having no business background. In fact I was the only one in my class that didn’t. And I survived. In fact, I glowed.