How I Took My Marketing Skills From $15/hr To $15k/mo

It wasn’t long ago that I was working retail at Walmart. I grew up in a lower-income family, and my parents didn’t have the means to help me advance my career. 

My friends were no better off than I was, so we commiserated about our struggles and tried to lift each other up during times of failure. 

The funny thing is that many of us now run our marketing agencies and consultancies and we’re getting paid quite well for our skills! If you don’t know what SEO is, well, neither did I before I started making money from it. 

In this post, I’ll tell you how a lack of resources led me to learn new skills that allowed me to charge $15k/mo for my services (and counting!).

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Key Takeaways
1. Skill Development: The journey from $15/hr to $15k/mo involved continuous development of marketing skills.
2. Strategic Growth: A well-thought-out strategy played a crucial role in achieving substantial income growth.
3. Value Proposition: Delivering unique value to clients contributed to higher earnings and client satisfaction.
4. Adaptation: Adapting to market changes and trends helped seize new opportunities for higher earnings.
5. Persistence: The process required persistence, experimentation, and learning from both successes and failures.

I Grew Up In A Low-Income Neighborhood

I grew up in a low-income neighbourhood. My dad was a construction worker and my mom worked as a secretary. I was the first person in my family to go to college and graduate from college. 

I was also the first person in my family to get a job in marketing, but not long after starting, I realized that there were some things about this industry that could be improved upon specifically, how we communicate with customers and prospects.

I’ve always been fascinated by language: how it affects us both consciously and subconsciously; how it can be used as an effective tool for making sales; how it affects our relationships with others (including ourselves). 

As such, I learned everything I could about the psychology of words during my time at university (I studied linguistics). 

This helped me build an understanding of what makes certain phrases more persuasive than others when used during sales conversations or advertising copywriting projects for clients and those lessons have served me well ever since!

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I Briefly Worked For Walmart

You may have heard of Walmart. They’re a pretty big company that sells stuff, which means you can buy things there. Walmarts are everywhere, and they’re open 24 hours! 

I worked at one for a year and a half as a cashier, although the job was only part-time so I was only making $15/hour.

I’ve accepted that my time as an employee with Walmart has passed, but I look back on it fondly because it helped me learn how to market myself as a freelancer.

I Got A Job In Marketing

My first job in marketing was at a local hospital. The environment was great, and the people were awesome, but I didn’t learn much about SEO or copywriting there.

My next job was at an SEO agency that focused on digital marketing strategy and SEO for local businesses. 

This is where I learned how to research keywords, write effective copy based on keyword research, use Google Analytics to track the results of campaigns, set up Adwords ads (Google’s pay-per-click advertising system), and create social media posts that drove traffic back to my clients’ sites.

My Manager Had No Idea How Marketing Worked

It’s important to find a manager who understands marketing and how it works. If you’re lucky enough to already be working with someone like this, great. But if not, don’t despair: there are a few things you can do that will help you get your boss on board with your growth plans.

Assume That They Know Nothing About Marketing And Explain It To Them Patiently

Give them concrete examples of how implementing certain strategies has helped clients in the past (and show them proof).

Share ideas for growth projects and present them as opportunities rather than burdens or threats.

Write up an action plan for each project so that it’s clear what is expected from each person involved (you included). This will give them confidence in your ability to execute things properly and keep track of progress along the way.

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I Fell Behind On My Student Loans And Credit Cards

If you have student loans and credit cards, it’s important to know exactly how much debt you’re carrying. This isn’t just a number that doesn’t mean anything; it’s a total of all your debts, including any interest being paid on them. 

You can find this information by looking at your monthly payments for each account, as well as the maximum amount of time it would take for you to pay off each one if you make only minimum payments each month (the latter provided by the credit card company).

The more money going toward interest and therefore away from the principal the longer it will take for the balance on those accounts to go down. 

If there is any way at all possible, get rid of those high-interest rate accounts first so that more money goes toward paying down principal instead. Then focus on paying off other loans with lower interest rates until they’re gone too!

If I had known that I was going into such large amounts of debt in college and how much time it would take me to pay back even just my student loans alone (which were about $25k), I probably wouldn’t have taken out so much in the first place!

A Friend Told Me To Start My Own Business As An SEO Consultant

While you don’t need to have a ton of experience or a degree in marketing, you do need to be able to demonstrate that you can get results.

In this case, I got started by sending out emails and cold-calling businesses. I didn’t just send out general emails either I had a very specific message for each potential client: “I’m looking for clients who want to rank on Google.” 

If they were interested in that, I’d ask for 10 minutes of their time so we could chat about what my services would entail and how much it would cost them. 

If they weren’t interested in that conversation, then I’d simply say thank you for their time and move on with my day (there’s no sense wasting time talking with someone who isn’t interested).

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After Some Trial And Error, I Started Charging $500/Mo

One of the most common questions I get asked is “How did you get started?”

The answer is not as glamorous as some might think. Like most people, I had no idea what I was doing when I first started offering SEO services to small businesses. It took me several years of trial and error before I even broke $1k/mo in revenue!

But now that I have some experience under my belt, let’s take a look at how things went down…

And then $1k/mo

At this point, I had just one client making $1k/mo.

It Had Taken Me A Little Over Three Years To Get Here

My experience was similar to the first time I got paid $15/hr: it was exciting and felt like a huge win but also kind of expected at this point.

I knew that with my skills and education level, I could make more money doing other things. And so I set out on my quest for bigger clients and higher paychecks!

And then $2k/mo.

Once You’ve Established Yourself As A Go-To Resource And Have Built Up Your Skills, You Can Start Charging More

You’ll be amazed at how much more clients will pay for your services when they know that they’re getting the best of what’s out there. They won’t care if their competition is paying less because they know that their business is in good hands with you.

If your client base and reputation are solid, then it’s time to raise your rates. You’ve probably heard that charging higher prices means losing customers or being unable to grow as fast as people do with lower-priced offerings.

But this isn’t always true! Sometimes raising prices leads to more sales (and profits).

And now? $15k/mo.

At the time of this writing, I make $1,500 a month with my marketing skills. It’s not big bucks but I’m okay with that.

So what do I spend the money on? Mostly groceries and bills (which are both stupidly expensive in Los Angeles). If I had more cash to play with, I’d probably visit more museums or support local artists. 

As it is now though…well…I’m going to choose to be grateful for what I have instead of dwelling on what could be better!

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If You Put Your Mind To It, You Can Get Out Of Your Current Situation

If you want to become a successful marketer, it’s important to set goals. Goals are what get us out of bed in the morning and keep us going even when things get tough. 

Without goals, we’d just be aimlessly wandering through life like some sort of zombie and that’s no way for anyone to live!

You should also be persistent in pursuit of your dreams. There will be times when it feels like nothing is working out for you, but if you stick with it long enough, something good will happen eventually. 

You can’t rush things or expect great results right away if something doesn’t work out today, try again tomorrow and keep doing that over and over until you achieve success!

It’s also crucial that we’re flexible when pursuing our goals; no matter how much planning goes into something beforehand, there’s always going to be at least some unknowns when trying it out in real life (this is where asking questions comes into play). 

Most importantly though is being patient: while change may happen quickly sometimes (like overnight), other times it might take years – so don’t lose hope if things feel like they’re moving too slowly sometimes! It all depends on what kind of person/planet.

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However, my story isn’t just about success. It’s also about failure a lot of it. When I first started on my own as a marketing consultant and copywriter, I didn’t have any clients. And then when I did get clients, they weren’t surprised at how little I knew! 

After months of no success and barely scraping by, I took a job answering phones at an accounting firm to make ends meet. But after picking up the phone one too many times to hear “Hi! This is Jim from Acme Enterprises calling…is your boss in?”, 

I decided that enough was enough: it was time for me to make things happen for myself once again. 

So if you find yourself asking “What am I doing with my life? Where will this all lead me? Shouldn’t someone else be doing this for me?” then think again because if there’s one thing we can learn from all this

Further Reading

Here are some additional resources to explore for further insights and knowledge:

Blog Growth Engine Review Short Description: Read a comprehensive review of the Blog Growth Engine, a tool designed to help you boost your blog’s performance and reach. Read more.

Starting Your Career in Digital Marketing Short Description: Discover the essential steps and tips for launching a successful career in the field of digital marketing. Learn from experts and get started on the right foot. Read more.

Challenges of Reaching $15k MRR for Startups Short Description: Explore the discussion about the challenges startups face in reaching $15k Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) and the impact of alternative paths to growth. Read more.


How does the Blog Growth Engine work?

The Blog Growth Engine is a tool that offers insights and strategies to enhance your blog’s performance, increase traffic, and engage your audience effectively.

What are the key steps to start a career in digital marketing?

Starting a career in digital marketing involves understanding core concepts, gaining practical skills, staying updated with industry trends, and building a strong online presence.

What is the discussion about reaching $15k MRR for startups?

The discussion centers around the challenges startups face in achieving $15k Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) and whether alternative approaches, such as getting a job, can be more efficient.

How can I improve my blog’s growth and visibility?

To improve blog growth, focus on creating high-quality content, optimizing for SEO, leveraging social media, engaging with your audience, and utilizing analytics to track progress.

What insights can I gain from the challenges startups face in growth?

Understanding the challenges startups encounter while striving for growth can provide valuable lessons and insights for developing effective strategies and overcoming obstacles.