Q&A: How Can I Start a Career in Digital Marketing with 5 Years of Sales Experience?
Don’t…Just kidding…Sort of.
It is possible to transition from sales to marketing since the two professions run parallel to one another. However, it’s not as easy to pick up digital marketing as many might suggest, and the attitude of a salesperson is quite different from that of a marketer.
Salespeople tend to be more extroverted, and marketers are usually more introverted. As a digital marketer, more of your time will be spent in the background, working on strategies and implementation rather than on selling to people. Marketing is much more data driven, and marketers put their efforts into appealing to a wider audience. Sales is based on a much more personal interaction. So, although the two fields work together, they have different mindsets and goals.
Also, digital marketing is a much broader category than many people initially realize. You could spend a year just learning and experimenting with just one aspect of digital marketing. A lot of digital marketers, in fact, have a specialty, like social media or search engine optimization. Digital platforms and trends are constantly evolving, so it’s a profession that will require you to be extremely agile.
Finally, you should be prepared to potentially take a pay cut. When you start a new profession, you’ll often be starting from the bottom rung of the ladder. Additionally, while salespeople are offered commission, the same is not really true of digital marketers, so be aware that your earnings will also be affected by this change in pay structure.
Now, although I’ve pointed out all the challenges that you may face, I want to emphasize that none of these things are insurmountable if you truly are committed to making it happen. It is a fascinating field of study, so if you’re really dedicated to a career change, I’d suggest checking out some online resources like HubSpot Academy or Udemy to start building the necessary skills.
While it’s important to be realistic, you should also be optimistic. If you’re ready to bet on yourself, I say go for it! Just make sure that you’re prepared.