3 Reputable Free Routes to Becoming a Certified Digital Marketer
The pandemic speed up the rush to move online, and businesses of all sizes fell in line. Now that the importance of having an online aspect to every business is so high, digital skills are more in demand than ever.
Not least of those skills in digital marketing. It is true that marketing feeds sales, the lifeblood of business. As more business owners have come to understand that, digital marketing has become a highly desirable skill set to have.
The job title ‘Digital Marketer’ is not a protected title, meaning that there is not a specific qualification course set out by an awarding body. A University degree is not required either. You could technically take any course you find online and then call yourself a certified digital marketer. However, if the certificate comes from a well-known name then all the better for its credibility.
To stand out above the competition in the marketing world, a certification from a recognized name will certainly help you. It doesn’t need a financial investment. Time investment is enough if you take a good quality free course, and there are some truly reputable ones to be found.
Here are our top 3 picks.
Names don’t come much bigger than Google these days. Having a Google certification on your CV can be a huge help to land high-quality freelance clients.
Google Digital Unlocked is the learning platform from Google. There are over 100 courses on offer, but the Digital Marketing Fundamentals 40-hour certification course is the one to go for.
There are 26 modules, all written by Google’s training team, covering the fundamentals of Digital Marketing. Amazingly, this is free at the time of publishing this. So do sign up for your account while you can.
In addition, this course is described as beginner-friendly, so you can expect it to be understandable, no matter what level you are coming in at.
2. LinkedIn Learning
As LinkedIn is the digital equivalent of your CV, it is a great place to display your certifications. What could be better than having a LinkedIn qualification displayed on your profile?
Rather than one specific digital marketing course to rule them all, as with Google, the LinkedIn Learning courses are smaller. You could cherry-pick some individual marketing topics to become certified in, such as SEO keyword strategy, or content marketing for social media. It would be smart to pick a few that complement each other, highlighting your best skills and core interests.
As for the cost, there is a way to access this for free. LinkedIn Learning is a paid subscription platform. Users pay monthly to access all the courses at once. But the first month is a free trial for new users.
If you can set aside a month to spend more of your work time studying, and plan it carefully in your diary, you can squeeze a lot out of your free month. Although the deadline might add a bit of pressure, it could be worth it to have the LinkedIn Learning certificates on your profile.
3. Hubspot Academy
Hubspot is a big name in marketing. Their software is extremely popular and pre-pandemic, they ran an annual expo with expert speakers who attracted big crowds.
There are hundreds of free courses inside the Hubspot Academy, and most are beginner-friendly too. With a big choice of both certification courses and shorter skill courses, you will have to be discerning and not try to take on too much. They cover topics from content, advertising, and reporting, all the way to web app development.
Hubspot is a trusted brand, and any potential client should recognize them as a big name on your profile.
Of course, you will want to display these new certifications in the best way to maximize their usefulness to you. Having the knowledge and sharpened skills is wonderful, but you also need to sign up those new clients.
Your LinkedIn profile is a solid starting point, but don’t neglect the power of your own website. It is the best place to send prospective clients, as your own web presence shows you practicing what you preach as a marketer. Your own site needs to look professional, be clearly branded, and have your best work on display.
If you need to update your website, then these days a simple Wix template site can do a great job. The trick is to make the template your own by creating a smart logo ( try LogoCreator for a free design), picking a simple colour palette, and displaying your certifications high up above the fold of your homepage where visitors land.
It’s true that anyone can become a certified digital marketer. All you really need is to take an online certification course. But in order to make that time investment work for you, taking that course should lead to new client work.
Choose a certification course from a well-known name. As you can see, a big brand name doesn’t mean a big cost. Display that certification not only on LinkedIn but on your website, with clean branding and professional touch.
Then all that’s left to do is delight your new clients with your sharpened digital marketing skills.