Becoming a web marketing specialist is a serious and challenging path, but one that can bring you great satisfaction and excellent results.Here is everything you need to know, from what to study to how to promote yourself, to launch your professional career in this field.

So many people write to me to find out. how do you become a web marketing specialist, and my answer is always the same: there is no universal magic recipe for success.

Each case is its own and is influenced by a host of factors-the time available to study, discipline, mental clarity about goals and motivations, the will to really make it.

It is true, however, that there are some "must-sees" that an aspiring web marketing specialist should take into consideration if he or she wants to pursue this path.

La training, first of all: one needs to take courses, devour books and articles on the subject, maybe enroll in some master's degree programs on digital marketing. But above all, as far as I am concerned, one must challenge oneself and get their hands dirty as soon as possible, without fear of making mistakes. 

In this article we will look together at who a digital specialist is and what exactly he or she does, what tools he or she uses in his or her work, and what are the best resources out there for building a good knowledge on the subject.

First, however, let's start with the basics.

Who is and what does a web marketing specialist do

We could define it as a person who deals with web communication in all its facets.

A self-respecting web marketing specialist has fundamentals of marketing, sales, and business strategy, as he or she must be able to create guidelines that will then be followed by other staff (including SEO specialist, copywriter, community manager, etc.).

Basically, the web marketing specialist is in charge of analyze the market and the main competitors Of the company he works for, identify the target audience reference and choose communication channels best suited to establish a connection with potential customers. He will decide what kind of advertising campaigns to create, whether to target Facebook or YouTube in the social field, or whether to prepare ad hoc sales funnels to increase conversions and lead generation. 

In short, the web marketing specialist must Have a clear vision of corporate communication and its objectives, and be able to take the necessary actions to achieve them. He is first and foremost a strategist, able to read the context in which the company operates to derive the information needed to broaden the target audience and convince them to buy certain products or services.

Become a web marketing specialist: courses, books and resources not to be missed

There are hundreds of resources on the Web on how to become a perfect web marketer. But how do you distinguish a good course from one that promises but ultimately fails to deliver? It's not easy, especially for those who are just starting out. The risk is wasting time and money behind a resource that, in the end, will not allow you to make that quantum leap you aspire to.

I want to give you a few pieces of advice: first of all, make sure that the author of the book you are eyeing and the speaker of the course you plan to take are well-known and influential names in the field. Rand Fishkin, Neil Patel, Seth Godin, Jeff Bullas, Ann Smarty, and Ann Handley, for example, are just some of the most influential professionals in the field of digital marketing. 

Secondly, try to Be wary of those who offer you astronomical gains in a very short period of time. In web marketing there are no miracles, only hard work, continuous A/B testing, lots of mistakes and difficulties to overcome. That's the only way you'll get the experience you need to handle any situation.

Carefully evaluate the reviews of those who have already taken the course you plan to attend and, if possible, contact that person privately to learn more. I suggest you do this because the Web is full of fake reviews (see Amazon and TripAdvisor), which makes it even more difficult to distinguish a good resource from a poor one.

Having made this necessary premise, I will point out what I think are the Most comprehensive and authoritative resources for becoming a web marketing specialist.

Books and manuals

web marketing specialist
The Art of SEO, Eric Enge, Jessie Stricchiola, Stephan Spencer (2015)

It is a industry milestone, an indispensable handbook for anyone intending to take their first steps in web marketing and get their hands dirty with Search Engine Optimization. Especially suitable for beginners as it covers in detail everything there is to know about the noble art of SEO.

web marketing specialist
Advertising on Facebook and Instagram, Veronica Gentili (2019)

The author is one of the top Italian experts in Facebook Marketing. In this book he rattles off a series of tips and strategies related to how to conduct advertising campaigns on the two most popular social networks of all. A must-read for an aspiring web marketing specialist.

Ah, by the way: click here To read a great interview I did with her.

web marketing specialist
Web marketing for SMEs, Miriam Bertoli (2015)

Miriam has been a consultant and digital strategist since back in 2000, and has worked for some of Italy's most famous brands (Unicredit Banca, Jacuzzi, Illy). In this handbook she presents all the tools and strategies useful for SMEs that would like to delve into the world of digital marketing. It is a manual designed for small and medium-sized businesses, of course, but reading it will help you understand how this market works and how communication is structured in this area.

Online courses

If you have been following me for a while, you will know that I chose to specialize specifically in web marketing for SMEs. On my site-yes, the very one you are reading-you will find a series of free resources in which I cover the basics of digital marketing: from the social media to authority on the web, through the brand positioning and online sales. Take a look at the "Resources" to find out what I am talking about.

I also point out that there are a series of free courses disbursed by some of the most authoritative sources in the field: I refer to the course in digital marketing from Google, to that on the SEMrush web marketing basics and to the valuable Hubspot courses. Each of these will issue you with a certification-which you can obtain after passing the necessary exams-to include in your portfolio. 

Events 

Offline meetings have suffered a big setback in recent years due to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, I want to point out to you the best web marketing events that are organized every year in Italy, which I recommend you to attend as soon as possible:

Better to work as a freelancer or employee?

It is difficult to give an answer to this question, since it is a personal choice that depends solely and exclusively on you. A web marketing specialist can easily work at a company or set up on his own, it all lies in the mindset that each person has and the goals that you want to achieve.

If the idea of working for a single company is narrow to you, if being tied to office hours is unbearable to you, if you prefer to organize your own work without submitting to anyone else's demands, freelancing is probably the right path for you. Keep in mind, though, that you'll have to work hard -- and continuously -- to find new clients, handle bookkeeping, do personal branding, and more. Freelancing is a tricky and complex path, something not everyone is willing to pursue.

Otherwise, then, it is best to focus your efforts on finding an employee position, which will allow you to have some financial security at the end of the month and some sort of continuity in the projects you follow. The best place to send your applications is undoubtedly LinkedIn: care as much as possible about your profile and put together a nice presentation to send to companies you would like to work with.

Where and how to find customers online

If you have decided to take the path of freelance, the first thing I recommend you do is. Set up a nice website and personal branding strategy. Keep in mind that you are at the beginning of your career, no one knows you or has any idea how you work. That's why it becomes critical to build a good reputation on the Web, and one of the ways to do that is to blog in which to highlight your skills. You can also opt for YouTube videos or a podcast, it all depends on which communication channel you feel is most akin to you. 

Participate in web discussions, write guest posts in collaboration with other professionals in the field, publish interesting content on LinkedIn, expand your network of contacts, and plan an editorial calendar of your publications to follow in detail. 

In a nutshell, Take care of your personal branding and always be consistent with the image and the tone of voice you have chosen to give to your business. Doing so will help you get noticed by potential clients; they will be the ones to reach you through your official channels. Alternatively, use LinkedIn to do a search for job postings in your industry (both onsite and remote), or popular freelance marketplaces such as Upwork or freelancer.com

If, on the other hand, you want to take the employee, I suggest you make a list of companies you'd like to work with and submit your unsolicited application, along with a short presentation of your most interesting case studies. Again, LinkedIn proves to be a great tool to use to find work as a web marketing specialist.

Conclusions

Well, we have come to the end of this brief guide on how to become a digital marketing specialist. What I've done is provide you with some rough guidelines on how to orient yourself to take your first steps in this world, but the rest is up to you.

Customize your path, never stop training, and work hard to build a good reputation on the Web-you will see that, in doing so, you will certainly not lack work.