The Graphic Designer Turned Social Media Marketer Story
Are you interested to become a Social Media Marketer but worried about where to start because you have no background? You might be asking: “how do I enter this industry even without experience?.”
Worry not, I was able to do it and my confident answer to your question is that “Yes you can start a career in social media marketing even without experience.”
Mine was quite a rocky journey and although the rocks have lessened I wouldn’t say everything is smooth sailing. But then again in this life, ,you just have to make the most of what you have. You need to shovel those rocks away and make a path you can walk on.
A short background about me:
My name is Jemmarie Bocalbos, a Bachelors of Art in Multimedia Arts graduate. I’ve always loved being creative by drawing, designing and writing.
When I was in college I was inspired by professors, sharing their passion through teaching and education was something at the back of my mind but early on I felt like I still had nothing to share because I had no experience.
I’ve dreamed about being many things such as being a painter, a fashion designer, a figure ice skater, a horse racer and even to be a popular actress but I never thought that one day I would call myself a marketer.
Today, I am a full-time office based job as a Creative Design Specialist. I am still doing work related to my college course but aside from that, I’m also a part-time instructor for Creative Nation Academy. A contributor for Social Media Academy, an admin for Social Media Manager and Growth Hackers and I still do part-time jobs as a Social Media Manager for various clients.
So how did I get here? It all started between 2014 and 2015. I was studying to pass the Philippine Civil Service Exam when my partner asked me to assist him in studying for his Hubspot inbound marketing certification. Back then I had no idea what it was but his job in a creative process outsourcing agency has required him to get that certification.
Hubspot explained what inbound marketing as easy for someone like me who was new to Marketing. It was an engaging and what’s more FREE to take. I passed the certification exam after I finished the course and my eyes were opened to the world of Marketing.
It was after this that I was undergoing my quarter-life crisis. I was already staying for more than 2 years as a web developer for the company I was working for them and still had no raise in salary, I was happy environment wise but career wise I felt like I wasn’t advancing.
A realization came to me that it is the season when I was trying to advance in my career and I was ready to try something new. I added marketing to my skill set in jobstreet.com, updated my resume and added my Hubspot Inbound Marketing Certification to my list of achievement. After that, I started looking for Marketing jobs.
I didn’t have to look for long. When I was invited for an interview as a Digital Marketing Manager, I made sure to look at the Social Media Channels of the company that invited me. I made sure to list down how they can improve their digital Marketing based on what I learned in Hubspot. I explained all of my research during the interview and I was hired and signed the contract on the same day. I can say I was lucky I got the opportunity pretty quickly, during that job stint I learned a lot. I did not only handle Digital Marketing but traditional marketing as well as a whole lot of other business processes.
Unfortunately, I got burned out pretty quickly. I was only hired as a Digital Marketer but I was tasked to handle other tasks and although I was passionate and loved the learning I am experiencing I didn’t like the feeling that I was being overworked.
Having a high-pressure job and I was still in the middle of my quarter-life crisis. Aside from that, we were also in the middle of a family crisis which probably made leaving that job made me feel worse.
That year was truly a roller coaster ride but now that I am relieving it I can now look at it as something I needed to experience. A puzzle piece, a piece of a lego block that was needed to build a beautiful lego building. Although I only managed to stay in that job for 7 months there was a lot of learning and I am truly thankful.
After resigning from that job I decided I wanted to try out being a full-time freelancer. I was basically directionless and it probably wasn’t a good time, 3 months after resigning I still did not have any source of income. I accepted short project-based jobs but got scammed and basically, it just was not working out.
It was then that I decided to go back to an office based job. I decided I didn’t want to go back to being a web developer because I felt like technology has already left me behind in the world of coding. I tried getting into marketing again but nobody wanted to pay me for my asking salary. That experience definitely did not feel good.
Finally, I decided I’ll start from scratch. I was a Multimedia Arts graduate anyway so I have knowledge in Graphic Designing so I decided to start from the bottom again as a Graphic Designer. My asking salary was lower than my marketing job and only slightly higher from my starting salary as a fresh graduate.
I felt like my 3 years of work experience was nothing but it was no time to get bothered by my pride. We had a family crisis because my sister is fighting cancer and I couldn’t add to the problem by being unemployed and moping at home.
Finally, in May 2016 I had work again as a Graphic Designer. I never forgot Marketing, it was something I still wanted to do so in my free time on facebook I started joining groups.
Last December 2016 I was invited in Social Media Managers and Growth Hackers by its founder Melissa Profeta.
A small group created to help aspiring Social Media Marketers and I wanted to help people so I engaged with the group a lot and shared what I know. It’s a really great group and I’m so happy to have become a part of it.
Because I was an active member, Melissa eventually promoted me to be an admin and I am truly thankful because it gave me the chance to keep holding onto my new found passion in Marketing and Education.
It has been 1 year and 6 months since I’ve become part of Social media Managers and Growth Hackers now with over 9,000 members it’s a great group to be a part of. I shared what I know but I am also still continuing to learn because of the group. It’s a great community to be part of and I experienced a lot of growth. I met a lot of people at SMMGH and eventually invited to become a contributor to Social Media Academy.
If you want to build a community which touches people’s lives as much as SMMGH touched mine then here are the 3 things you should think about before building a community.
Fun fact: I first answered the question of how I started my career on Social media Management in SMMGH.
In all of this aside from keeping my resume updated, I also made sure to make use of LinkedIn a professional social network and keep it updated as well. I make sure to keep on upskilling so I can continue to invest and grow myself.
Now that we’ve reached this part, I hope my story gave you an insight on how you can start your own Social Media Career by simply using Social Media.
It’s 2018 and Close to half the world’s population (3.03 billion people) are on some type of social media including you! Social Media when used properly is a powerful tool in learning and networking with people who share the same interests as you.
How to start a career in social media without experience?
- Start learning, gather knowledge! Google is your best friend. Join Communities and take online courses! Although you can start a career without experience, you cannot start without knowledge. Without Knowledge, you’d just seem like a headless chicken running amok, directionless.
- Manage your own social media profile. You want something to show to your prospective client when you write your cover letters and you’d want to share your insights about social media for when you reach the interview stage.
- Keep on learning! Technology changes fast and you have to keep up.
- Just do it! Take risks and give it a shot. If you have done steps 1-3 the only one that is stopping you from doing step 4 is yourself. Gather your confidence and start applying what you know.
A career in social media is not easy because it’s something that keeps on changing but one thing things that will probably never change in social media is that it is “social”. Don’t forget the human touch in social media. Artificial Intelligence is continuously being developed and is growing but as long as social media is called “social” media a human will always be involved.