Looking for tips on getting gigs or a job in writing or digital marketing as a newbie

Hi lovelies!

I am looking for tips and stories from others who've done it — have you busted into the writing or marketing indistry as a newbie without a degree in either field?

I have almost five years experience doing various social media and writing gigs, mostly for nonprofits or startups. But I can't put a lot of my work on a portfolio because I'm not happy with it (for various reasons) or the content is no longer live. I do have some content on a portfolio, but I haven't been able to get even an entry level copywriting positions with it.

Any recommendations on classes or certifications, companies to start with, etc would be appreciated!!

Tagging @jikajika who’s done it and is crushing it!
Thank you!!
Well helllooooo!!If you like, message me and we can link up to chat up all things copywriting, how I John Wicked my way in (no one was harmed...I think?...), interviewing, and why you may not need a portfolio. πŸ™ŒπŸΎ
🚨 LONG ASS POST ALERT 🚨I know you messaged me, but I'm going to go ahead and answer your question hereπŸ˜‰Where I started: I was working in retail DESPERATELY wanting to get into marketing without having to go to school for it. At the time, I was listening to A LOT of Gary Vaynerchuk which helped a lot with motivation & execution.While I was working in retail, I pitched a small content marketing company that I had been following and engaging with their online content, for well over a year. One of the founders wrote a post about how they pitched clients for work, and I used his technique on himπŸ˜… - and he (enthusiastically) said 'yes'.My pitch went something like this because I only had one tiny skill at the time - growing an Instagram channel: "Your Instagram looks like this [images of their bleck Instagram]. It could look like this [with sample posts designed in Canva]. I can exponentially grow your channel in two weeks that could help pad your bottomline. And I'll do it for free. How does that sound to you? If you're interested, pick a 15-minute slot from my Calendly (I know how busy you are) for us to - chat more about my plan, answer any questions you have, & when I can get started. I look forward to hearing from you. -Gigi"Yeah. It was that short and simple.NOTE1: The only thing businesses' care about is if you can - make them money, save them money, or save them time. If whatever offer you're pitching can talk to one of those, then you've raised an eyebrow of intrigue for them. "Making them money" is the biggest eyebrow raiser.NOTE2: If you're going to do a free project for someone, set a short deadline - never surpassing 2 weeks. Your time is valuable, damnit! And remember, the only reason you're doing it, is to get - experience, a case study with clear results under your belt, to make some new connections/work friends (optional), and most importantly - to give yourself a win/confidence booster. Breaking into a new industry with no direct experience can be ROUGH, and may take some time! So getting a small win because of you taking action, can make ALL THE DIFFERENCE in your morale & moving forward. Oh, and I still talk to those two founders today. It's been well over 8 years, and they still refer me to stuff & support me online.For that content marketing company, I did the job in two weeks. They liked my work and I got results. But it wasn't the results they were looking for. They were testing to see if they could get any leads to their business through Instagram. Nope! Apparently, LinkedIn and blog posts bought in the qualified leads they were looking for.They weren't mad about the results, though.They appreciated my work and I proved that Instagram wasn't their platform for business leads, so they could move on and double down on the platforms that WERE working for them.Plus, you know - free labor...πŸ˜…I was still able to take that project, turn it into a case study, and presented it to my, then, dream company. I was trying to get a guest post to warm them up to my writing style & eventually to hire me as a content marketing manager.The Director of the company liked me, and my post, so much - that she wanted to know if I wanted to work there. After a week of interviews I was hired.While there, I made sure to take online courses in content marketing, and read everything I could get my hands on - online, so I had a strategy and could produce results. And I did. And that was the beginning of my career. I've been in the marketing arena ever since.If I wanted to get hired for a full-time writing job today πŸ€”πŸ€”πŸ€” - I'd try doing a couple of things: 1 - Figuring out what kind of company you want to work for - ecommerce, big tech, health & wellness, a startup, or a legacy company (I'd suggest a startup. You'll gain more experience there in a shorter amount of time, be given more support, and more responsibilities. You'll be able to get your feet wet in various parts of marketing).2 - List out your dream companies. Look at the content they have now in the hopes it kind of sucks. If it does, rewrite a paragraph (of let's say a blog post) doing a before & after (this is what you have vs. this is what I can do for you) - and post it on social media tagging them (the company) and the recruiter. And this play could be for LinkedIn and MAYBE Twitter (I dislike Twitter so I have a bias against it, but it doesn't mean you can't test out to see if you get any job leads, right?).And you do this every day. Finding bad copy at your dream companies (or any company you come across). Showcasing the before & after on a snippet of their work (shouldn't take more than an hour). Posting it on social with the hashtag "#hireme" at the end of each post so you signal to them what you want. Get me?πŸ˜‰It'll keep your writing skills sharp. It can get you noticed & hopefully shared within your network. And, hopefully, it'll get you some interviews.3 - Making sure your resume looks πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯If you have something like, "Proficiency in Excel", as a bullet point on your resume - that's crap.Change it up to something like: "Spearheaded the reorganization of the data analysis reports, in Excel, that saved the data scientists team 5 hours/per week".Be able to SHOW companies/recruiters how you made an impact while at ANY job & what part you played in it!And anything you can quantify - the better. Did you manage interns or consultants at your job? How many?Did you write blog posts for a company? How many per week/month?Did you increase the company's readership with your blog posts or social media posts? By what percentage?I hope that makes sense and I didn't overwhelm you. Hit me up if you have any more questions.πŸ˜€
Queen Gigi! What would we do w/o you!
Thank you SO MUCH for all of this info! It's truly Saving this forever.
Isn't she amazing!
For sure! If you have any other questions, I'm around πŸ˜‰