How to become a digital marketing entrepreneur: Melissa's story

Meet Melissa, 21, a digital marketing and social media entrepreneur from London. Part of our Bitesize world of work series.

Melissa at work, smiling to camera.
"I needed a strong will to keep on learning new digital skills, for example coding."

What is your job?

Digital marketing involves working across a lot of social media channels. It’s about communicating to your customer what you do. It involves creating content, brand strategy and working on fan videos. I need a variety of skills. In a nutshell, it’s about marketing and communication online and on social media.

What are your day-to-day tasks?

My tasks vary a lot but include designing posts, for example for Instagram and Twitter, working on ongoing documents including client briefs, and filming and editing videos.

What skills do you use in your job?

You definitely need communication, online and offline. It’s crucial to work as a team. Creativity is key – you’ve got to be on the ball with new ideas and new strategies. Time management and teamwork are really important. You are often working to a tight deadline in social media marketing. Studying English was helpful in learning how to using language appropriately and being creative.

How did you get into your job?

After A-levels in Philosophy and Ethics and English, I got an internship with the BBC in marketing. I did other marketing internships, which are hard to get, but you have to constantly make sure you’re looking for the opportunities. After that, when you have work like that on your CV, it’s easier to get your next role. I submitted a CV and cover letter, then had an interview. It’s also good to find mentors to network, which has helped me. I run my own social media and work on my skills in my own time as well as doing as many internships as possible.

Melissa working on her phone.
Melissa working on her phone

Top tips

  • If you don’t know what you want to do, research different industries

  • Make sure you get as much information as you can from different sources to make sure you're making the decisions that are right for you

  • Network, and get work experience and internships

  • I completed the Uprising Leadership Programme, which I would recommend to any young person, as I got experience leading a group. I also learnt digital skills and marketing. We work in schools in deprived areas to help young people learn digital tech.

What to expect if you want to be a digital marketing entrepreneur

Digital marketers promote brands, products and services through social media, websites and apps.

  • Digital marketer salary: £20,000 to £50,000 per year
  • Digital marketer working hours: 37 to 39 hours per week
  • Typical entry requirements: You can get into this job through a university course, an apprenticeship, working towards this role or doing a course run by a private training organisation. An apprenticeship will usually require five GCSEs (or equivalent) at grades 9 to 4 (A to C), usually including English and Maths, for an advanced apprenticeship, and four or five GCSEs (or equivalent) at grades 9 to 4 (A to C) and college qualifications like A-levels (or equivalent) for a higher or a degree apprenticeship.

This information is a guide (sources: LMI for All, National Careers Service)

For careers advice in all parts of the UK visit: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales

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