Gaining any kind of experience in a new field and your dream career is tough. This is a way I learned to bridge my old life to a new one, and build a new career from it. I hope this is a useful process for anyone reading as it is for me writing it down. For anyone picking up my CV they would ask, “how can we employ this guy as marketer?” This is why I haven’t applied for any 9-5 marketing jobs with this portfolio. I decided to build my own. Here’s how I did that:
My old life consists of 5 years of experience working in the education sector.
I’ve worked as a Music Department Technician (3 years) and a Teaching Assistant (3 years) with many different age groups and many different sectors, including poor social background and the ASD spectrum. In the 3 years of being a TA I also completed my Psychology undergrad, a relentless workload that has left me burned out a lot in those 3 years.
[For the record I really don’t recommend Full Time work and Full Time study.]
Essentially if I don’t start building my career now, it’ll never happen. You can’t just walk into your dream job, you have to earn it. I realised this, I stopped acting entitled and decided to put in some hard graft.
This how I got into marketing. I started approaching companies that mixed both of these desires I had. I was searching out small companies that have a background in education and need some marketing services. It took me 3 weeks to find a suitable company and low and behold I landed my first piece of Freework. At the end of the internship, I will have gained vital experience, an additional piece to my portfolio, some recommendations for other work and a testimonial for my work completed.
I managed to get hold of a phone number through a contact, and I put my pitch across via phone. The director and I had a great chat, he liked what I had to say and was interested in taking me on and paying me. He had to investigate a current contract in place with some SEO guys before we could negotiate anything else. As soon as we got off the phone I wrote down and emailed over my pitch:
Just to put into an email what we discussed earlier on the phone.
I can write you the content for the home page using the suggest SEO, I have a copy of the spreadsheet and can work with that. It will take me a few edits and rewrites to get the content to a good standard, and to make sure the content flows and reads naturally.
Regarding my other suggestions:
Email subscription newsletter
If you include a sign up to a newsletter on your site, you will keep visitors that perhaps would click off after just one visit.
What it would take: A lure for these visitors to sign up, perhaps a 20% off code for a first order.
How I can help: I can work with your web designer to set the position and best place to grab the viewers attention to promote signing up. It gives me the chance to email customers and build a good relationship with them. I could ask about their experience and if they had any problems or found anything easy while browsing and ordering.
What this will do for you: With an email subscription service you’ll be able to keep your returning customers, new customers/visitors updated with any news or special seasonal offers. You’ll also be able to engage with customers and request what they would like to see on the website.
Including a news page will provide more content for customers to read and build more of a trust and personal affiliation with the website.
What it would take: Including a news page will get more content on your site which increases your position on google. Note: your web designer would have to add a news page and allow me access to post articles.
How I can help: I know you have a contract with web windows, and I’m not sure on what you have agreed exactly. But if in their deal with you their willing to analyse new content for SEO data then I am happy to upload and edit material as of their recommendations for better results.
What this will do for you: Providing engaging content will give your site a new angle that not only sells products but provides content for customers to enjoy reading as well – providing this content will make them want to come back. When they’re coming back, they’re more likely to purchase and it’s easy to sell again to a customer that’s already bought from you once before.
I would do this for you on a consultancy basis and send you an invoice at the end of each month. If I work for the same price as my mum did, then you will get this work on a part time basis. I will keep you updated weekly with my progress.
I’d be interested to know your thoughts on this. Or other suggestions you might have.
So how does this end? The director was left with a bunch of suggested edits for the site and no one to do them. My pitch was at the right time. The SEO content includes a specific word count and phrases/terms to use a certain amount of times in the text. He was in a difficult position and with no one to help but he had a contract in place that was rinsing him dry and he had no budget for any other writers. He wouldn’t be able to pay me until January.
So what did I do?
I offered to do the work for free. Some people think I’m mad for this, maybe a little. But I have good faith that you offer these kind of services and do a good job, you’ll leave the thought in their mind “if that’s kind of work I get for free, what can I expect when I pay for it!?”
And if the work doesn’t materialise in January? Well I’ve still left a good trace of work on the internet, I’ve written sales copy inline with SEO suggestions, I have a testimonial, there’s a chance he’ll recommend me onto other directors.
Worth it? In my opinion, yes.