How can I get started in product management?

I worked in digital marketing and copywriting fields and I want to shift to product management. What should I learn to start in this career? Are there online courses that I can take a look at beside Udemy? If there any recommended courses or books please share them.

4 Replies

Attending to conferences, checking out online resources or reading books are good ways to get started. However, you will need more than that in order to get a job into this field.

The problem is that without practical experience, it leaves the question of ‘what have you built/managed?’ open to interpretation. There are a few things that will help you optimize for getting a product management job:

  • Take a PM course. I founded Product School to help other aspiring product managers break into product by building side projects and learning from senior-level PMs at top companies such as Google, Facebook, Lyft, Paypal and other startups. We currently offer 8-week part-time courses in San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Los Angeles and New York.
  • Build something. Check out these side projects created by some of our students.
  • Find a mentor. Learn from a real-life PM or find one best practices.
  • Network. Checkout product Meetups events in your city.
  • Read. Check out Cracking the PM Interview.
  • Hackathons. Check out product hackathons such as ProtoHack or StartupWeekend.

I moved from digital/web team management to product management, and I think a lot of the skills you already have will be relevant - you perhaps just don't know it :)

For example, an aspect of Digital Marketing is about creating compelling campaigns, measuring their success, tweaking and making decisions based on data. This is a big part of product management: hypothesize, design, test, learn. Rinse & repeat.

Copywriting is about writing a compelling story that people understand. This is certainly a part of Product Management: whether it's encouraging internal teams and taking them on the journey, or whether it's putting that creative knowledge to work in making a product that appeals / is user friendly / makes SENSE to customers...it's the same skillset.

I'd recommend reading the Lean Product Playbook by Dan Olsen: http://leanproductplaybook.com

Read "Behind Every Great Product" from Silicon Valley Product Group.

To succeed you need to demonstrate you know what and how to do the job starting with how to write a product market strategy, marketing plan including social media. One way to start is with my Udemy course and complete exercises/workbook. For free, I'll review and give you feedback. If you do a good job demonstrating you know how to do the job, I'll give you a letter of recommendation to take with you workbook to demonstrate to a prospective hiring manager that you know how to do the job.