Starting a new job is always going to be a bit daunting. When I learnt I was successful in my application to join B2B tech content marketing agency Isoline as a graduate trainee I had only had my graduation ceremony two days prior. I was still very much wrapped up in typical student life and celebrating finishing full-time education.
I was worried about the shift to corporate life – I didn’t feel like my previous experience stacking shelves in a supermarket would hold up in this new world of marketing. Yet starting any role means being faced with different experiences, with new skills to master, people to meet, and obscure acronyms to learn, it can be overwhelming
So, if you’re a grad, or a student, interested in a career in content marketing, I have compiled a list of the top five things to keep in mind as you navigate your first three months!
1. Get up to speed with your industry
First, a bit of context: Isoline is a B2B content marketing agency, specialising in the technology, telecoms, and wireless sectors. Having graduated with a degree in geography, the world of technology was not something that I was all too familiar with. I had the basics down, but to do my job well I needed to quickly get to grips with all the new jargon and processes around me. Here’s what helped me:
- Newsletters: The easiest way to discover recent and relevant news in the tech industry is to sign up for company newsletters. Yes, they can be a bit preachy, but looking past that, they offer insight into emerging trends and provide an excellent example of the style of writing that you need to use. Understanding the secret to a powerful B2B newsletter will be key to perfecting writing your own.
- Social media: Following industry experts is a great way to get the basics of tech down. Surrounding yourself with small snippets of tech expertise is an easier way to introduce more complex topics. LinkedIn pages such as Girls in Marketing and Famous Campaigns offer fun, accessible insights into the marketing world.
- Your colleagues: Perhaps the most important, there is no one who knows your company goals better than them. Don’t be afraid to ask silly questions; they know their stuff, and if you’re lucky like me, they will be more than happy to help.
2. Take advantage of tech tools
Despite constantly writing about technology, it can be easy to forget that there are tools out there to help you. When used correctly, technology can increase your efficiency, help you get over writer’s block, and provide innovative ideas. Here are the top three tools I’ve used in my first three months.
- ChatGPT. Controversial? Maybe. But the AI chatbot has proved to be a useful tool, offering simple explanations for complex topics, suggesting catchy headlines, and summarizing large chunks of text. ChatGPT has made how I work more efficient, but use sparingly, AI is simply no competition to the human touch.
- Grammarly. Grammatical errors can happen to the best of us, rereading a piece of work over and over is not only an inefficient use of your time, but it’s also easy to miss simple mistakes. Grammarly not only picks up errors but also offers vocabulary enhancement and tips for your tone depending on the audience.
- Todoist. It’s not unusual to get overwhelmed in a new job, balancing multiple tasks is a skill that takes some mastering. Todist allows you to organize your work by priority, offering a clear day-day view so you never miss anything.
3. Teamwork makes the dream work.
Joining an established team, it can be tricky to find your place. Building trust and respect from your new colleagues is vital, not only for your work but to make the office a happy place to be. Here’s some advice to help you settle in as part of the team:
- Don’t be afraid to speak up. It’s okay to say when you don’t understand something, you’re only human and no one will expect you to know everything. I’ve learnt it’s much better to speak up when you first realise you have a problem than let it turn into something bigger. Your team will appreciate the heads-up and it will help you in the long run.
- Lend a hand. When you first start, you may be lucky enough to have some spare time. Check in with your colleagues, they might be struggling with their workload and would appreciate your support.
- Managing upwards. Perhaps the trickiest skill, and one I’m still mastering today. And no, it doesn’t mean supervising your own boss. Instead, keep an eye on internal ongoings, don’t be afraid to chase and ask for updates on your work. Is it awkward? Sometimes, but your supervisors are human too and things can be forgotten.
4. Marketing Master?
When you first join a company there is a lot to comprehend, a new culture and so many formalities to familiarise yourself with, it’s not difficult to forget the actual tasks you’ve been set to do. Whilst successfully navigating the workplace is one feat, doing the work you’ve been set is the most important. Here’s some essential advice for your content marketing:
- Research, research, research. At school, the phrase ‘If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail’ was drilled into me, and it still holds up today! When assigned a task, I set aside a chunk of time in my calendar dedicated solely to research. My role is to write about complex tech solutions, and I cannot do this effectively if I don’t understand the basics behind it. Everyone has a different writing method, you’ll find what works best for you, I like to have all the knowledge laid out in front of me, a clear plan for my work.
- Understand your audience. Spend time getting to know your target audience’s preferences, interests, and pain points. Use feedback from your colleague’s previous work to gauge what your client likes and dislikes, and of course, ask your team for their tips, they know the client best.
- A second pair of eyes. One of the first things you must adjust to when writing content is the amount of feedback you will receive, it’s not personal. Constructive criticism is a part of writing content, use it to your advantage, build upon the feedback to refine your writing skills and grow in your role.
- Learn the basics of SEO: A new term for me, understanding what SEO encompasses is definitely a learning curve, but if you’re in marketing it’s essential to know. Try and get to grips with keyword research and search engine algorithms early on. If you want to find out more, read our complete B2B SEO strategy guide.
Starting a new job, especially in content marketing, can be both exciting and challenging. When transitioning from student life to corporate, it’s natural to have some concerns. Here are some key takeaways to consider in your first three months:
- Immerse yourself in the tech
- Teamwork matters
- Use what’s available to you (tech or colleagues)
- Research is key!
Starting a content marketing job requires adaptability, a thirst for knowledge, and the ability to collaborate effectively within a team. Embrace these principles, and you’ll find your footing and thrive in your new role.
If you’re interested in learning more about what we do, or perhaps even joining us (we are hiring!), get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org