The SEER team has recently started an internship program aimed towards current college students. The goal of the internship is to help us find the next SEO Rookie of the year, or PPC rising star to add to our growing team. The need may not be immediate, but the goal is to have a crop of talent to pick from when a need arises.
I have been interviewing a bunch of potential hopefuls and I have started thinking how lucky these college students are to have the chance to enter the internet marketing world fresh out of college. If I would have had the same opportunity, it would have saved me a few years of few years of aimlessness, so to speak, figuring out what I wanted to do when I grew up.
After my first gig in the Health Insurance Industry, I took a job with the marketing team of a startup online dating site. The dating site never took off, but the experience gave me my first taste of internet marketing. At the dating site, the clouds parted, and I found my path towards a career in internet marketing.
If your struggling to figure out what you want to do when you grow up, below are 5 traits that if you possess may mean that internet marketing is a good fit for you.
1. Possess a Competitive Spirit: In the summer of 1992, when I was 11 years old, I wanted to be an Olympic Gymnast. The one problem was that I had no formal gymnastic training, but that did not stop me from practicing by doing flips over my couch. For Amanda my colleague at SEER, who is 5 years younger than me, it was the summer of 1996, when she too dreamt of Olympic gold. Ok, so it is not necessary to have had the Olympic gold dream, like Amanda and me, but you do need to have a competitive spirit and an internal drive to be the best. Both Paid Search and SEO is about beating your competitors to maximize web real estate on the coveted first page of Google.
2. Love Puzzles & Games: I know when I was a kid, my mom could not buy puzzles fast enough for me. Now I love a good game of Scrabble. Aaron another fellow Paid Search member enjoys a good game of poker. Games also tie into a competitive spirit, as I still hate to lose, but have matured a bit from throwing the cards in my brothers face and leaving the table crying. Both SEO and PPC are big puzzles. For SEO, you are spending your time figuring out how to understand the Google Algorithm. PPC is a puzzle in itself. Try fitting a keyword, benefit, distinguishing feature and a call to action into an ad of just 95 characters.
3. Enjoy(ed) and Excel(ed) in Analytical Classes, such as Economics, Math or Science classes. Wil actually wanted to be economics teacher before he found his way into Internet Marketing. For Paid Search you cant be afraid of numbers and have to be comfortable analyzing data. Sure, you need creativity to write ads and help wireframe landing pages, but we are data junkies and spend a great portion of our day determining statistical significance, analyzing trends and calculating ROI. For SEO sure you need creativity to come up with link bait ideas, but you have to enjoy analyzing a sites architecture, monitoring your sites traffic and monitoring your sites conversions. We know colors and design have their place, but as a team we care more about calls to actions, usability and content with relevant keywords.
4. Love using Excel to figure out better ways to do things: This is similar to number 2. If you actually enjoy learning about pivot tables and neat new Excel formulas, then you will probably also enjoy a life as an internet marketer.
5. Enjoy being a lifelong student: The web is constantly changing. You have to enjoy continual learning because what works well today may not work well tomorrow. Everyone at SEER loves learning about the web and staying on top of industry trends and news. We are constantly sharing blogs and ideas. We even started a SEER Internet Marketing book club, so that we are always growing and learning together.
I hope this helps provide a good gut check to help you figure out if a career in Internet Marketing would be a good fit for you. To other experienced Internet Marketers out there, please add additional traits that you think are common among you and your colleagues.