Five digital media skills you can learn on the side to increase your marketability.

If you want to increase your marketability – whether it’s to get promoted at your current company, go freelance, or find a new job altogether – there are skills you can teach yourself on evenings and weekends. Here is a list of five such skills. You don’t need to learn all five – this is a list to choose from, not a list to master. Do this instead of watching TV every night, and you’ll be amazed at how much ground you can cover. And you don’t even have to work at a digital marketing agency to acquire these skills; with some hard work and ingenuity you can find resources to learn them online.

Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, as it’s called by people in the industry, is the art of getting websites found by people looking for things on the internet. You could look at it that way, or you could call it this: the science of manipulating search engine results to your advantage. Either way, SEO is a valuable skill to learn. You can start learning it the way most people learned it: by reading blogs and building your own website. Some of the best SEO blogs to read are seo-theory.com, EricWard.com, and moz.com. The last website on that list has published a helpful Beginner’s Guide to SEO, which can go a long way towards helping you learn this skillset. You can build a website without any coding or web design skills using a platform such as Squarespace or Wix. Setting up your own website will give you evidence to show future employers that you know what you’re talking about.

Smartphone Photography

The ability to produce professional images with your smartphone is a valuable commodity, as more companies strive to make the most of digital media marketing. As you’ve probably seen in your daily browsing, there’s an enormous difference between lackluster photography and the photos you see on the pages of digital influencers. You can learn this skill by taking more photos, upgrading your phone to one with a better camera, and taking classes online on a platform such as Udemy.

Video Editing

The digital video space is booming, and it seems like everyone from your grandparents to the five-year-old kid next door has a YouTube channel. While you may not feel like trying to become an on-screen personality, you can increase your own marketability by learning how to edit video with professional tools such as Final Cut and Adobe Premiere. Post your beautifully-edited videos on YouTube or Vimeo, and you’ll be able to share your portfolio with potential employers.

Social Media Management

Yuu might be starting yout with a private Instagram account and 16 followers, but if you want to prove your skills in the workplace, you should build an account with an impressive following and high audience engagement. You can take paid classes in social media marketing from Lynda.com and other online learning platforms, and you can learn from following influencers. Gaining the skills to successfully build and engage audiences will make you a valuable asset to companies who want to expand their online presence.

WordPress Development

Sure, it’s easy to set up a website with tools like Wix and Squarespace, but many companies run their websites on more robust platforms, such as the very popular WordPress. Learning to develop WordPress websites is a desirable skill; while many in the workplace can create a blog post or change a website’s tagline, not as many have the knowledgebase to get under the hood and and write PHP and JavaScript code. There are comprehensive WordPress development classes online to help you get your start in the journey towards becoming a WordPress developer, and there’s no training ground like building your own websites from scratch.