SM Belal: The Journey from a Freelancer to an Entrepreneur

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SM Belal: The Journey from a Freelancer to an Entrepreneur

It is an understatement to say that digital marketing is the future. It has been quite some time since brands have started to shift from traditional marketing to digital marketing. And why wouldn’t they? The present world has been revolutionised by information and technology.

It’s so easy to access information now that the general people are relying more on the internet and the online social platforms that are providing value. That being said, the world of marketing is dynamic. It continuously evolves and grows bigger and better every second.

As a marketing student these facts clicked me at my graduation time and I have been so motivated to start working on it.

Who is S M Belal?

My starting point was through freelancing while I was an undergraduate student. I have completed my graduation on marketing major from a reputed business school named IBA-JU. From the starting of my freelancing career I used to do sub-contract work with some of my seniors from my university. This was back in 2010.  Afterwards, I started to work on various marketplaces on my own.

I have started working with E-lance, which is known as Upwork now. After my graduation in 2013, I began my career as a full-time professional in freelancing. Gradually, I started to shift away from freelancing to affiliate marketing, CPA marketing. After that I have started doing Print on Demand business with few fulfillment partner for international market.

Currently, I’m working as the CEO of Texort which is my digital marketing firm and for a US company GearLaunch as a Country Manager. The specialisations of my firm are marketing promotion, analysis, solutions, digital advertising, business development, website building and many more. 

Why a Person should be a Digital Marketer?

Digital marketing can be an exciting career choice for many people, especially the tech junkies, business people, and of course the creative people. There are many technical reasons why digital marketing can be a great choice which can be shown through statistics and numbers. 

However, the most important reasons are because it is full of thrill! Most people who choose their career in digital marketing tend to turn their hobby into a passion and that is digital marketing. Furthermore, the growing demand for individuals with digital skills is also in demand. 

Every business is trying to establish its place in the online world, which further increases the demand for digital marketers. Moreover, digital marketing is also one of the most versatile jobs in the world.

There will always be too many options to choose from depending on where you want to specialize! You can be a social media manager, you can be a CPA marketer, affiliate marketer, or you can have your Company where you run your own business. The digital marketing industry is still a growing industry. It means there is always something fresh and exciting to learn.

Necessary Skills Required to be a Digital Marketer

Digital marketing skills are both technical and conceptual. It is a combination of practical digital skills that requires a person to understand the concepts of digital marketing beforehand. Communication is also a core part of digital marketing because it involves the skill to convince or persuade customers on any given platform. Especially the marketing background should have been very clear to impose the correct actions into digital platform. Some core skills I am going mention now!

 

SM Belal

 

Digital Psychology – The first fundamental skill you need to master is digital psychology. Human beings are complicated species who are driven by their psychological and emotional traits. According to a report submitted by Harvard University, 95% of the purchase decisions are made subconsciously in the back of their mind. Therefore, it is essential to understand the customers and their minds before offering the service.

Digital Analytics – The next critical skill that’s important to master is digital analytics. We are currently living in a data-driven world where information has become easy to access. That’s why businesses use this information to craft their marketing strategies. That is why it is mandatory to gain this skill. The skill to analyze and break-down data and information is called digital analytics.

Basic SEO – It indicates how well your website is doing or how well the position is in the search engine results pages (SERPs). Even if you’re not an SEO expert, some basic knowledge of SEO is required if you want to be an excellent digital marketer or simply have an online business. SEO helps to create a content focus on what people search for, so if you have some ideas on SEO, you can make changes on your website without any external help.

Advertising – It is one of the most essential and mandatory skill for every digital marketer. A digital marketer can run various kinds of ads depending on the platform they are working on. The most common form of advertising that is visible to the audience is social media advertising. Search engine advertising is another important branch of advertising where you can place ads in the search engine result pages. There are various social platforms you can use to place ads for your business. One of the largest platforms is Facebook which is more or less used by majority of the businesses. Other platforms such as Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, etc. is also very effective for advertising. Furthermore, when you visit a website you can see different kinds of ads in different particular places in website. That is called web-page advertising. There are different forms of ads that can be placed on web-pages, such as native ads, display ads, banner ads, etc.

There are some other essential skills required for a digital marketer which is extremely important to know at least the “basic” of it. The basic understanding will help you make a decision faster with more efficiency and accuracy. Skills such as front-end code, video marketing, social media marketing, digital project management, and so on.

And that is one of the core reasons why digital marketing certification programs have increased considerably in the last few years. People are getting enrolled in those programs to learn more about the market and digital marketing in general.

The Scope of Opportunities

With the usage pattern of digital platforms by users, the demand of digital marketing is also increasing and this is just a beginning of many opportunities. People are being digitalized for a better and comfortable lifestyle and engaging more on digital devices rapidly and the future is unlikely to change.

The current situation is likely to increase. People will rely on technology and online more in the coming future. As digitization and technological advancements are progressing very quickly, businesses are always searching for the best digital marketer for their organizations.

They seek out skilled employees that can fill the skills gaps in their organizations and drive business objectives such as leads, revenue, and brand exposure. A career in digital marketing is fun, challenging, and versatile. If you take the profession with dedication and passion, you will find success.

The global digital marketing industry is dominating the marketing industry with bright future forecasted according to the continuous growth rate. Last year in 2019, the businesses around the world has invested more than $300 billion over an entire year.

Even though we have been going through a global pandemic, the growth of digital marketing industry has accelerated much higher than previous years. This is due to how most businesses around the world were forced to take their businesses online with the risk of shutting down otherwise.

Many businesses big or small have successfully operated from online and even was able to scale their business further. Their entire success depended how effectively they executed their digital marketing strategies in all the stages of their business.

The ongoing pandemic has also exponentially increased the number of customers who used to purchase from online by at least tenfold in the current year. Overall, the industry is forecasted to grow at least 12.8% this year and maybe even beyond that depending how the pandemic extends.

Moreover, the Bangladeshi market is also full of opportunity for digital marketing enthusiasts. Nowadays, almost everyone has access to internet. With more than 160 million population in the country, the number of internet users in Bangladesh has reached around 110.762 Million according to the last report published BTRC in the month of October, 2020.

It means more than 68% of the entire population in the country has access to the internet, which makes digital marketing a very lucrative concept in business. There are local marketplaces dedicated to serving entrepreneurs, freelancers and digital marketing professionals to encourage and help them to integrate digital marketing in their daily business works.

There is one certain thing, and that is, digital marketing will never end until the whole information technology is dead! There are so many different things that can be completed and experimented with within this field. Digital marketing doesn’t quite have any limitations. The more creative and productive you are, the better your chances are at being a successful digital marketer.

Tips for Newbies:

The world of digital marketing is a vast place and sometimes it’s difficult to adapt. That’s why I would like to point out some tips which would be greatly beneficial for digital marketing newbies or individuals who wants to enter into the digital marketing world.

Know Your Audience

Who are your audience? What is their profession, demographic, geographical location, interest and so many other things? You must know everything about your audience. The better you understand your audience, the better and more effective your marketing strategies will be.

Utilize Social Platforms

When you are just starting out, I recommend to take full advantage of the social media platforms. Everyone both your audience and you will be more familiar with social platforms than any other kind of platforms. You can use social platforms such as Facebook or Instagram to engage with your audience, build a community and increase your brand awareness and sales opportunities.

Create Quality Content

Always make sure to choose quality over quantity when it comes to contents. One good quality content will earn you reach far better than dozens of cheap quality contents. Never compromise on quality contents because content is the most crucial aspect to your marketing strategies. Without quality contents, your audience will not engage less and it will lead to fewer conversion. Therefore, always ensure quality contents before you publish them to your audience.

Never Stay Idle

Many newbies in various times have come forward and asked me what is the “secret to success” in digital marketing? As a matter of fact, there isn’t any. If you are willing to choose digital marketing as your career path, you must learn the “in’s and out’s” of it.

There are many resources available in the internet that can help you to learn about digital marketing in general or any particular area of digital marketing. Both free and paid resources are available to the interested individuals, such digital marketing certified courses, seminars, workshops, training sessions, etc.

However, you cannot sit around after gaining knowledge on digital marketing. You must work practically to utilize what you have learnt. Otherwise, your learnings will produce no result. I strongly recommend to start working in a marketplace immediately after you have gained sufficient knowledge. In this way, the time and effort you gave in digital marketing will produce positive results.

Always Stay Up-to-date

As I have said above, the world of digital marketing is very dynamic. It means as a digital marketing professional, you always have to stay up-to-date with current affairs and notable marketing trends. A digital marketing professional never rests. You must always look for new ideas and bring innovation in what you are doing. Creativity and innovation are key components in digital marketing. It becomes your responsibility to research and analyze the market so that you don’t run out of new ideas. Digital marketing is unlike any other profession. It requires you to always stay one step ahead of your customers so that you are able to determine their needs and demands and will be able to provide an effective service.

I do continuously create contents for people who are interested in digital marketing at my personal blog smbelal.com to provide idea and motivation. And I think everyone should try to help others by their knowledge as an influencer because it helps for self-improvement either. 

 

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