There’s no denying that a college degree is not as valuable as it was 20 or 30 years ago. Fresh graduates without prior professional experience can often run into issues when beginning their career search with no prior professional experience.

The competition for jobs is extremely fierce. Developing professionals are wise to build up their professional resume outside of the classroom while earning their degree. For Andrew Molz, SEO and social media expert and managing partner of a number of operations, landing in the world of digital marketing came from a healthy combination of hands-on experience and passion.

While this field does not technically require a fancy diploma, being successful can be extremely difficult. Molz has three big pieces of advice to help succeed in this constantly-evolving landscape.

Incorporate prior expertise.

To get involved in digital marketing, it’s incredibly beneficial to have an idea of how a particular business functions in the big picture. In doing so, you will learn a lot about what types of people you need to appeal to and how to lay out a proper strategy.

Molz, who earned his real estate license shortly after departing Texas Tech University, found a number of strong correlations between the two industries.

“I’d have to say the main correlation between the two industries is the perseverance involved in both. Having the background in real estate most definitely benefits me because I can relate to the problems while also addressing solutions to their hot button issues,” says Molz.

Related: What Makes a Successful Entrepreneur? Perseverance.

Real estate is an industry primed for SEO, especially local. As Molz got to know some of the agents, he began managing their digital marketing strategies. During his experience in real estate, he learned some of its pressing struggles and developed a software platform called The Reputation Shop, which helps businesses like these manage their online presence.

Learning the ins and outs of a particular industry is essential for using digital marketing to boost engagement from both the business and consumer side.

Promote transparency.

There are a lot of reasons why business owners are scared of SEO. Most prominently, the process seems too complicated, and they fear that a specialist could potentially damage the company’s online presence.

Therefore, it is extremely important that digital marketers convey that results will not occur overnight. They must be 100 percent transparent with new and existing clients.

“When making any kind of investment, you want to do your own due diligence to ensure that the company you’re entrusting with your SEO is one that can be trusted to deliver. The most important process when speaking to the potential clients is being 110 percent realistic in what their goals are for getting ranked on Google,” Molz explains.

Related: 5 Examples of Companies Succeeding Through Transparency

According to imFORZA, 93 percent of online experiences begin with a search engine. At this point, SEO is no longer just an option for incorporating into a marketing strategy. Brands are wise to do their research to get themselves up to speed on how it can boost their ROI in the long run.

Always keep an eye out for trends.

One of the most important things to remember about SEO, and digital marketing as a whole, is that there are no guarantees. Strategies that worked wonders one week could very well be obsolete the next.

With technology and social platforms evolving hourly, what separates the good digital marketers from the great ones is being able to identify trends early on and act accordingly.

“I believe one of the more breakout trends in SEO for 2017 will be the continued interest and advancement of voice to text searching using Siri, Cortana and Alexa. Most business owners shake the notion until I ask them to search for where they are ranked on Google using their mobile device. The result is always the same. Business owners that own the top rankings when you manually type the keywords into Google, are often nowhere to be found when you ask your mobile device the keywords using voice to text. This is a trend that savvy business owners capitalize on,” says Molz.

Related: Aloft Hotel Adds Siri-Equipped Rooms

To get a better idea of potential trends, look into monitoring tools like Mention or Brandwatch. You can pick up valuable insights as to what people are buzzing about within a certain industry and gear your marketing strategy to fit the mold.

Apply what you know.

At the end of the day, being successful is all about applying the knowledge you have and using it to determine your future. In the realm of digital marketing, being an effective leader depends heavily on your ability to do this while navigating the ever-shifting terrain.