What skill or skill set is most vital for all Internet marketers to possess (regardless of their specialty)?
The ability to never stop learning. Hard work. Perserverance. The ability to fail repeatedly, and do so without frustration. Hmmm…that’s definitely more than one, and not sure if those would qualify as skills, so I’ll go with writing skills. I think you guys just did a great article on this here :)
Where are you seeing the most demand for Internet marketers?
I think there is demand in nearly every sector of the economy. Any business that marketed offline now has the new issues of online marketing. I think Internet marketing is one of the few job types that really offer big growth during our ongoing financial woes in the US. The most demand is in knowing and understanding all forms of online marketing (search, social, paid search, public relations/reputation management, analytics, email, and others) to coherently develop a comprehensive strategy that really works. While this is normally the realm of an agency, many companies want in house project managers and directors for this type of work.
What is the best way to stand out in the job market as an Internet marketer?
Pick a single discipline and start working. Attend conferences, webinars, read voraciously, and start writing and speaking. Create a presence in social media, and do some PPC ads to your resume. If you can’t sell yourself, you can’t sell a product or service for someone else.
What’s the most important thing an Internet marketer to do when preparing for an interview?
First – Don’t be too cocky.
Confidence is important in marketing, but too much swagger isn’t always a good thing. Be humble, willing to learn, and excited about the project/job. Make sure you diligently research the project or company, and make sure you demonstrate that understanding.
Second – Don’t assume they’ve read about you.
They’re busy, and have lots of applicants. Be prepared to talk about yourself without sounding cocky. Demonstrate that you’ve done similar things in the past, or have learned about what you would be doing.
Third – Demonstrate problem solving ability.
I think being able to problem solve on your own is very important to IM positions as well. No manager wants to hold your hand while you learn. They want to know that you can learn on your own on the fly, and do whatever is thrown at you.
As the SEO Faculty Chair at Market Motive, what do you see as the biggest obstacle facing Internet marketers who are seeking work after their training?
Developing hands on experience is very important. No one wants to pay you for your book skills. They want to see you demonstrate that you can do the work asked of you based on previous experience. It’s sometimes difficult, but web hosting is cheap – so there’s no excuse for not building a site or two, and at least experimenting – that alone will be enough to show your prospective employer that you are excited about the topic, and have figured some of it out.
I think it’s very important to create a portfolio of work that demonstrates your experience and knowledge. At MarketMotive we do many hands on assignments and a final project, but I think it’s important to experiment on your own and build a crappy website or two to demonstrate your understanding – it will help with your exposure as well.
Bonus Question: Who is your industry hero?
I would have a hard time picking just one. Aaron Wall is one for teaching so many people SEO, and giving away so much, as well as for not being afraid to always give his opinion on Google. Rand Fishkin for his vision and execution of creating a team and amazing SEO based products. Brett Tabke is another for creating Webmasterworld and Pubcon and never selling out. And despite the fact that they work for agencies Todd Friesen and Greg Boser (who is the president of products and services at BlueGlass.com) for telling me the good stuff, and buying me beers when I was just a young SEO punk.