Skip to content

How to Prepare for a Career in Content Marketing

The next generation of content marketers gathered today for an educational and networking event at Cleveland State University (CSU). Hosted by the Monte Ahuja College of Business, the Futures in Content Marketing program allowed students to mingle with the professional community and connect with peers.

The event featured three speakers who covered trends in marketing and tips on how to prepare for a career in content marketing:

  • James D’Orazio, instructor in marketing at CSU and President of Practical Web Strategies Inc.
  • Todd Wheatland, Head of Global Marketing for Kelly Services
  • Bernie Borges, CEO of Find and Convert

Here are some of the key takeaways for marketing students, as well as for those who want to transition into a career in content marketing. 

Outsourcing is prevalent

Both James and Todd talked about the impact of outsourcing on students’ careers. As more companies outsource, fewer full-time jobs are available, which is a paradigm shift for job seekers. Todd cited a stat that 44 percent of the current active workforce in the U.S. are free agents, which means they do not have traditional full-time jobs.

You can create your own job

All of the speakers hit on a key point: Job seekers need to create their own opportunities instead of approaching a job search in the traditional way of simply sending out resumes. Both Todd and James alluded to the fact that you can’t wait to be told what to do by your boss. Rather, you need to have a plan in place for how you will create your personal brand – and, as Bernie hit on, this is something that you can start doing now.

It’s a must to manage your online reputation

As Bernie mentioned throughout the session, it’s your job to manage your personal brand. He talked a lot about how you can use LinkedIn to make professional connections and also touched on Twitter and Facebook. He reminded students to be conscious of what they post online. As a general rule of thumb, he suggested you ask, “Would my mom approve of this?”

Key advice for job seekers

Each of the speakers had some specific advice for those looking for jobs.

James suggested having good problem-solving abilities and staying current on trends and marketing practices, while Todd outlined six tips for accomplishing this:

  • Follow a passion – Figure out what you really want to do.
  • Act like an entrepreneur – Understand all of the components of content marketing and how they relate to the business as a whole.
  • Don’t wait to be told what to do.
  • Know something about something – Have an opinion and stand behind it.
  • Connect widely – Remember that people genuinely want to help.
  • Forget the linear – Have a broad range of interests.

Bernie laid out three additional key ideas:

  • Consume content that is relevant to your prospective peers and employers.
  • Be a content publisher – Commit to at least two content assets such as a blog and videos, as you never know what will work best for you.
  • Be who you aspire to be – NOW. Give yourself permission to go do what you want to do.

A few examples

One of my favorite parts of the session were some stories that both James and Bernie shared about how their children created their own job opportunities.

James has a son who majored in Spanish and History. When he interviewed with a company about its current blog, there was not a natural fit. But his son suggested a blog for their Spanish-speaking audience, which was 10 percent of their readers. He immediately received this internship based on his idea.

Bernie’s daughter is a junior in college who wants to become a sports writer. She used her blog to gain credibility with potential employers and beat out 200 other applicants to get a one of thee internships at ESPN in Florida.

The takeaway from the event is clear: The way you need to search for a job has changed, and you need to take control of your own destiny. Not only is content marketing ripe with opportunity but you can also learn these tactics by using them in your own job search.