How to Train Fresh Graduates for Your Internet Marketing Agency

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For new recruits, the world of internet marketing can be a strange one. Despite the importance of the internet and the ubiquity of AdSense and SEO, talk to the average Joe on the street about internet marketing and you will quickly see their eyes glaze over. This is alien stuff for most people and it’s not exactly an easy topic to jump right into even if you take an interest.

This is a challenge for internet marketing agencies when it comes to hiring. You will have to train up your fresh recruits like any other firm, but in many cases these new team members are going to have little or no previous concept of what internet marketing really means. Even if they did a technology or communication-based degree, there’s still an awful lot to learn and a barrier of jargon and nuanced processes to get through. In fact, sometimes teaching someone with an actual background in internet marketing can be just as difficult, as they’ll have a host of very specific ideas that might not gel with your company policy.

These are the challenges that face you when introducing new members to the fold. So how do you overcome them and make sure that your new blood gets the best possible start? Read on and let’s take a look at some of the most important things to remember and ensure you get it right.

Start Simple


The first step you need to take, is to teach your graduates the basics. That might well mean going over some elements that they’re already familiar with, and you will run the risk here of being a little condescending. Don’t worry too much about that, though – it’s still important to go over basics. For one, you’ll be giving your staff a refresher course and filling any holes in their knowledge, but at the same time you’ll also be giving them a fresh perspective that will help ensure they come to the team with the right ideas. Learning about marketing in general is important, as is learning about your approach to it, and learning about the internet and relevant technologies. As Bruce Lee states:

“How can they sample any of your tea when their cup is already so full?”

Provide them a solid foundation that you can build on later so that problems don’t arise further down the line.

Get Them Stuck In

Even if your new colleagues are coming straight from a course in internet marketing and are pros at SEO and PPC, that’s not the same as having real-world experience, or of working in a corporate environment. I really want to stress this, there is a significant difference between theories/learning in the classroom and actually getting in there and doing the job. At first you should expect your new staff to be shaky when speaking on the phone with clients, you should expect them to make mistakes, and you will find that they generally approach things slowly and cautiously until they find their feet.


Now the danger here is that you can end up sheltering them too much (for the sake of your business as much as theirs) because you’re worried that they’re not ready. While this might be well-intentioned, this can actually do more harm than good as it prevents them from progressing or gaining the confidence to make judgement calls. Far from sheltering your new staff, you should encourage them to jump in with both feet, and learn to defend their decisions and make mistakes. That’s how they’ll grow, and it’s also what will teach them the difference between theory and practice.

Ensure They’re Happy

Really want to get the most out of your new staff? Then top of your priorities list should be ensuring that they are happy and comfortable in their new place of work. If your staff aren’t happy then of course there’s a good chance they’ll leave, but even if it doesn’t come to that you’ll find that they don’t do their best work unless they feel happy where they are.

This is why it’s important to focus on the culture of your workplace and on ensuring that everyone is happy there and your new staff settle in well and feel welcome. Perhaps get your social secretary to take everyone out for dinner so that you can get to know them as people.

Value Them


Being new has its advantages, though. For one, it brings a fresh perspective to your agency that you might not have had before. When you get new people on the team and those people are interested and eager, they will spot things that you may now be blind to. Whether they hear about a new SEO technique, suggest designing a new package for clients, or whether they think that staff moral could be boosted with flex time – listen to them. With the combination of their fresh innovation and your caution and experience you can really drive your company forward and see progress.

Matt Goulart
Matt Goulart is the founder of Ignite Digital, a Canadian Digital Marketing Agency. He has been featured in Forbes Magazine, Washington Times and several other... Read Full Bio
Matt Goulart
Matt Goulart

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  • Ann Donnelly

    I find the challelnge is finding people, even straight out of school, that are interested with an entry level position. Most have the expectation of a very high wage or to have their own business . Is this because of a strong entrepreneurial culture in Ireland or is this expectation common in other places?

    • Matt Goulart

      When starting to find people straight out of school. I’d recommend reaching out to local schools. Many Universities/collages have career programs for their students designed to help get their students a job right after they graduate. Become close with a school/prof and they could send you top candidates.

      Regarding high wages, I hear this a lot from other entrepreneurs. This young generation is known as the Millennial’s and they expect a much different life then previous generations. They want the best Tech in companies, communicate differently (prefer email over phone calls) and they are interested in constant feedback/performance checks. I’d look at how to best work with Millennial’s over tossing them to the side, they might even change us entrepreneurs way of thinking.

    • Ryan

      Hi Ann,

      I made 30k at my first agency job, but I was still living at home. Nevertheless, I was very happy to be employed.

      I had about a year or two of SEO experience working on my own projects, but no formal agency experience to speak of. Nevertheless, I could speak intelligently about SEO.

      I don’t know about Ireland, but I know in the states that many people have significant student loan debt, and those payments can be several hundreds of dollars a month- I know mine are. At 30k, I couldn’t afford to live on my own.

      It’s sad to say, but I think 40-50k is the new 30k. Do people with no experience deserve to make that? Of course not. And it doesn’t make sense for a business to pay that amount of money for someone without experience. But that may shed some light on the situation, at least in the U.S.

      Also, my generation has been brainwashed to think that a college education automatically leads to a high paying job- which, of course, it does not.

      Hope that sheds some light on the issue. a

  • syed muzammil

    it’s a nice idea to offer intenrship to the fresh graduates and they will not cost many dollar i mean you can hire them at very low cost. train them for around 3 months with regular classes that includes basic like on page seo-off page seo difference, link building strategies, etc. ha they’ll be aware of social media i’m sure. After that you can hire them as a full time employee and believe me they’ll whole heartedly accept the job 🙂