Career Stories

How I Landed a Remote Digital Marketing Job–And How You Can, Too!

Brad Matthews
October 2019

As competition continues to heat up for remote jobs in the digital marketing space, it’s more important than ever to have some tricks up your sleeve to stand out. Being memorable is key to keeping yourself out of the discard pile.

The good news is the bar is still quite low. It doesn’t take much for a company to get really excited about you! 

How do you do that? Start by refusing to send the same generic crap to each company.

Custom is Key

One of the best ways to steer clear of that pitfall is with a creative custom pitch. If you’re applying for an advertised position, execution is as simple as:

  • Read and understand the job description
  • Identify a few action items relevant to the role (many job descriptions are explicit about this)
  • Create (or begin creating) these for the company

If it’s not an advertised position, but you see a company potentially in need of your skills, it’s even easier:

  • Identify a few action items the company needs–look at what’s missing
  • Create (or begin creating) these for the company

Using a combination of Crash tailored pitches and Google Slides-decks featuring these value-adds, I was able to land an awesome remote position at a digital marketing and advertising company.

How to Get Yourself That Remote Digital Marketing Job

Experience always helps, but it’s not strictly necessary. Read three to six quality blog posts on a given topic, and you’ll be able to successfully action any of the following ideas.

If you’re after a role focused on lead gen, do this:

  • Identify a few quality posts that are receiving lots of traffic (social media engagement is a good indicator).
  • Suggest ideas for lead magnets you can attach to those pages to capture email opt-ins.
  • An idea alone counts for little. Take it to the next level and create a one-page summary/checklist PDF for them, and offer to set it up with an opt-in widget. Use Visme, Canva, or an Adobe template.
  • If you want to go all out, write the email follow-up sequence to go with it as well. If you do all that, I expect you’ll be hired by the first or second company you contact.

If you’re after a copywriting position, then:

  • Learn what you can about their customer/particular list segment.
  • Plan out an educational email list nurture sequence.
  • Intermix the logic of why the product/service makes sense in the first email, the benefits the product/service offers in the second email, and fear of missing out in the last email.

If you want to do graphic design for a company or agency, start by:

  • Finding a blog article on their website that can be summarized, checklisted, or involves a step-by-step sequence.
  • Design an infographic to show this using a template (learn the principles of design so you can modify templates).

This demonstrates a level of interest (and showcases your skills) beyond everyone else applying. Ideally, you’ll have a portfolio of work to showcase as well–but creating something specifically for the company takes it an extra step.

If you’re after a copywriting/content creation role, you could do the lead magnet idea above, or:

  • Add valuable content to an existing blog post on the company’s website.
  • Researching similar articles is a great way to get an idea of what to add. Don’t copy them–improve on what others already have.
  • Explain that Google likes quality ‘cornerstone content’. Turn a 500 word article into a highly-valuable 2-4k word comprehensive guide with search-engine optimization and a few graphics/diagrams/charts to present it nicely and elevate it.
  • Provide this in a Google Doc, and offer to add it to the site through their CMS.

If you’re seeking a web design/conversion rate optimization role, you could: 

  • Use Chrome’s ‘inspect’ feature to redesign a page for conversion optimization.
  • Improve on their value proposition, set CTA buttons to a contrast color, cut superfluous sections, add in testimonials (you can find these via Facebook or Google), and take a full page screenshot of what that would look like with those changes made.

If you’d like to get into event marketing, then:

  • Apply the above strategy to the event’s ticket sales page.
  • Go heavy on the testimonials/social proof (major conversion factor).
  • Find out as much as you can about the content of the event. Then use Ryan Deiss’ Benefits > Logic > Fear > Combination sequence to write a series of promo emails to drive traffic.

If you’re after a marketing manager role, and you can see that their social media, blog, and other content is inconsistent:

  • Create a marketing calendar for them.
  • Populate it with a few ideas for future content, taking into consideration what you know about their target market(s). You probably won’t know a lot, and that’s okay.

If Facebook ads are your thing, and you’d like to work with a company, then:

  • Think of three to five relevant, educational video ideas to build a re-targeting list.
  • Propose those (with a script if possible).
  • Come up with two to three promo/sales videos (or plain-text and image) ads to show to people who watch part of the educational videos.
  • Present what you made with your best estimate of targeting criteria and a budget for the educational videos (and budget for the promo videos). The business can learn a lot about what works and what doesn’t from just a few hundred dollars in ad spend.

If you’re deep into the techie stuff and would like a strategy/manager/SEO role, consider:

  • Using Alexa/SimilarWeb/any tools you have access to, and investigate competitors to find out what keywords they’re using.
  • Document how you would segment the email list using Ryan Levesque’s Ask methodology to identify quality segments.
  • Suggest how you would employ the ‘Shotgun Skyscraper’ strategy to increase backlinks and boost domain authority in the process. Bonus points if you combine this with the copywriting/content creation idea above to leverage that into getting backlinks!

Quick and Easy Opportunities to Impress

Those are all quite meaty projects. Sometimes the reality is you don’t have time, or a deadline is looming. Rest assured there are still approaches you can use to set yourself apart, albeit less powerfully. Remember that everything you provide must be couched in terms of why it matters to them! You can always:

  • Use Google Page Speed Insights to show how slow their website loads. Nearly everyone has a poorly-optimized website. Point out why this is a problem (visitors are impatient, load speed is probably a Google ranking factor, it signals quality, contributes negatively to a higher bounce rate). Set yourself up as the person who can fix whatever issue(s) Google finds by either:
    • Switching to a quality web host
    • Installing Hummingbird and Smush WordPress plugins
    • Fixing image sizing
    • Minifying the CSS/JS
    • Setting up Cloudflare CDN
    • Converting the images to next gen formats
  • Find broken links, and point out why they’re not good and why fixing them helps site health.
  • Use your preferred tool to identify a stack of lucrative keywords the company can target.
  • Point out any CSS, formatting, or functional issues you can see.
  • Help increase conversions by renaming their dreary ‘free consultation’ to a ‘Growth Action Plan’, ‘Winning Strategy Session’, or anything with an ounce of appeal.

Chances are, you’re not after a hyper specific-role, so you’re free to draw on a combination of ideas. Create one and list a few others as projects to complete in your first sixty days. This shows initiative, but more importantly, it highlights your ability to spot opportunities. Not only does it help you to sell your value, it shows that you don’t have to be micromanaged–you won’t be a burden. Who doesn’t want to hire someone like that?

Of course, if you do have experience, showcase what you’ve created or been a part of in the past, too.

Best of luck with the hunt for a remote digital marketing job!

Ready to learn more about how to build a career in digital marketing? Visit our Marketing resource page to learn why it’s a great role to gain valuable real-world experience and develop skills that’ll help you get a get a head start professionally.

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