How to Become a Great Marketer?
Posing the question.
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about careers in marketing. I asked myself, who are the greatest marketers and who are the people that are making REAL money in marketing? What do they do? Are they into SEO, Conversion Rate Optimization, Advertising? Then I asked where they work. Are they in a big company, in an agency, or maybe they freelance/consult?
I’ve looked at all the marketing jobs in Tampa and spoke with marketers who have been around the block. You just can’t make REAL money doing marketing in-house/agency/freelance. These companies just won’t pay you for your time.
When you work in-house, or in an agency, or as a freelancer, you are always selling your time for money. You can only sell your time for so much money and you only have so much time to sell. There is a definite ceiling there and getting more clients is NOT the answer.
The only way to push through the ceiling is to either work on a pay-for-performance basis, or to work for equity or as a founder. Working as a found or co-founder is clearly the best way to make serious cash, but pay-for-performance can be good too.
Think of it this way. When you work on a monthly retainer, you put all your energy into their site and then the next month you do it over again. Your life is on repeat and you need to keep performing if you want them to keep paying you.
Switch it up and look at marketing with pay-for-performance gigs or working as a co-founder. You put your time and energy into something that will CONTINUALLY PAY. The more you put in, the more you get out.
If you are a great marketer with serious skills and you are rotting away in some shitty company, run as fast as you can. Join a startup or market a product on a pay-for-performance basis. Look for SAAS products, that’s where the money’s at.
If you look at all of the most successful marketers, you will notice they are ALL entrepreneurs. People like these guys:
• Neil Patel
• Andrew Chen
• Peep Laja
• Sean Ellis
• Noah Kagen
My last question for you:
What Are You In It For?
If you’re in this for the fame and glory, if you want to go down in history as a great marketer, then you need to be an entrepreneur. You can’t waste your skills working a slow and boring career in the shadows of a big company. You are better than that. Take the skills you have and market a product.
So from my experience of being in marketing for a few years, working both in-house, at an agency, and as a freelancer, I think the key to making real money and becoming a GREAT marketer requires becoming an entrepreneur.