Why I Left My 6-Figure Marketing Job

The importance of growth and innovation

“What’s better than having sex with someone?” Having sex again. I love this saying, because it reminds me of the temporal nature of things. It’s great to have something good happen. But, when it happens, it happened, and it’s over. When it’s over, do you choose spend the rest of your life reminiscing about that one time, or do you continue your search for opportunities?

That’s the dilemma I faced in my last year as the Technical Director of alocal ad agency. We started out with 3 people, one core client, and a vision of providing expert-level talent and execution to small- and medium-sized businesses at a fair price. We grew into a 10+ person team with annual revenue of over $2M, and with 3 core clients, a few web-specific retainers, and a regular flow of smaller jobs. So, that’s what we did, except that over the first year-and-half all of the hiring went to the print marketing side.

We grew into a 10+ person team with annual revenue of over $2M

In an age where print media giants have tumbled and have given way to web and mobile advertisers and content creators, and where brick-and-mortar giants have fallen over-and-over again at the feet of lean web startups, marketing technology should be a first priority for any small and growing marketing agency. At least that was my belief. And still is.

In order to maintain a rate of professional growth that matched today’s technical marketing tsunami, I found it necessary to take a approach that was heavily de-emphasized print marketing so that I could focus on trends like

  • webRTC,
  • growth hacking,
  • personal branding,
  • HTML5 mobile apps,
  • team-oriented javascript frameworks,
  • real-time video tools,
  • animated gif infographics,
  • content marketing,
  • collaborative SaaS tools,
  • simplified ad tech,
  • social analytics aggregators,
  • and many others

These are just a handful of new directions that are happening today, and can be used in strategic marketing strategies and tactics. Extremely powerful concepts that will soon make current skillsets obsolete.

It’s not like today’s tech is inconsequential, though. My team was able to build corporate sites forPlant Construction and Crossroads Trading, as well as a carbon offset calculator for Terrapass, and the home page for the thunderbolt cable standard creator, DisplayPort. All projects that included at least a little front- and back-end fun. But, even for some of these projects, a lot of development and design marketing magic was left on the table.

So, to keep my skills sharp, I

  • built a very handy note and bookmarking tool and browser extension,
  • built a personal blog that uses endpoints created by the note and bookmarking,
  • built a webRTC tool for peer-to-peer file sharing,
  • attended Facebook’s 2015 F8 conference,
  • attended the 2015 jQuerySF conference,
  • attended the 2015 HTML5 Developers Conference,
  • began advising some extremely talented people on personal online branding,
  • rekindled two of my 1000+ member mailing lists,
  • networked like crazy,
  • prepared and presented online marketing insights to our team,
  • leveraged development vendors and contractors that prioritized new technologies, and
  • began regularly maintaining my 34,000 follower Twitter account again.

This is all well, and good, but what I’ve learned from my experience at the agency is that I really love helping people understand how to leverage the web using tools that their competitors don’t know about. It’s fun to see that moment when smart people “get it”, and when they realize how awesome they can be. It’s not as fun as sex, but the ensuing relationships become more enduring.

…if I can help enough people become significantly better at what they do, or generate more revenue from what they do, I’ll end up doing the same for myself as a favorable side effect.

I also found that I love building tools that help people leverage the web in a way that can’t be done anywhere else. There are few things as satisfying as watching thousands of people realize that a tool you created makes them the smartest person they know. This, along with helping people “get it”, require a working environment more favorable to staying on top of new web technology. Something that was no longer an option in my agency role.

It is said that happiness comes from helping others and I’m confident that if I can help enough people become significantly better at what they do, or generate more revenue from what they do, I’ll end up doing the same for myself as a favorable side effect.

If you’ve read this far and want to find out how I can help your business, team, or brand perform better using the latest marketing technology, feel free to reach out to me via Twitter at@mwright_com, or email me at mo (at) mwright.com.

A special thanks to Jason Zook for the inspiring Medium article that talked about making your customers into badasses. And, for his amazing and inspiring 3 month journey into his own personal branding campaign, Buy My Future, about which he shared daily his launch preparations. Good luck to you.

2015–10–16 11:40:19

Originally posted at: http://blog.mwright.com/post/why-i-left-my-6-figure-marketing-job