Welcome to another post in the $100k Club series. You can see the full series here. This is "My Morning Routine" for content marketing folks making six figures. The goal is to shed light on the skills and habits that enable people to achieve lucrative jobs and help get more people in this club.
These will be anonymous and updated regularly. If you make more than $100k/year and want to contribute, email me.
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What was your first full-time job in content? What was the salary?
My first job was as an Online Marketing Specialist, and the salary was $30,000. This job title and role was a catch-all for everything content, SEO, copywriting, so I got to work on a variety of tasks each day. I was severely underpaid but learned a lot. It helped me realize that digital/content marketing was where I wanted to take my career vs. traditional marketing.
How much do you earn today? What's your job title?
My current salary is $115,000, and my current job title is Content Marketing Manager. To be fair, the work I do is Director-level for most companies, but my company's job title structure/process is very old-school (Director = 20+ years of experience, for example). I think it's important to not hold yourself to the generic "Content Marketing Manager" salary you find on any website, since you need to take into account years of experience, specialties, and other skills.
What's the single biggest salary jump you've made? (either from job-hopping or a promotion/raise)
My 2nd to 3rd job in the field was the biggest jump I've made. I went from $50,000 to $65,000 (a 30% jump). I was recruited for this role and although the job title wasn't that appealing, the company and promise of career growth was. I ended up staying there for almost 4 years and was promoted a few times while there, increasing my salary by an additional 35% and taking on lots more responsibilities and a better job title.
What is your most valuable skill?
It may sound obvious, but writing and editing. The ability to take complex topics and make them readable for your target audience, the ability to take a 2,000 word piece and trim it down to 1,000 without sacrificing quality, etc. So many people I work with don't have this skill and their content ends up reflecting that.
What's the best book you've ever read on writing, marketing, sales, business or productivity? (Feel free to suggest more than one!)
Ann Handley's "Everybody Writes" is excellent.
Have you had a career mentor/coach? If so, how did you find them and what have you learned from them?
I had a great manager who turned into a mentor. She really helped me grow professionally and personally - helping instill confidence in me, giving me leadership opportunities, and teaching me how to manage a team. We still keep in touch and I can always reach out to her for advice.
What skills or habits help you thrive at work?
Organization, for sure. Between content calendars, KPI spreadsheets, and emails, working in content marketing means you're juggling multiple projects and deadlines, so you need to be organized. I love using project management/calendaring tools, whether it's Trello/Asana or just a good ol' spreadsheet.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to join the $100k club?
When choosing companies to work for or interviewing at companies, ask questions that help reveal their commitment to content marketing. I've had the most professional success and personal happiness at companies that value marketing as a whole.
While it can be hard to find this out during a few interviews, I typically ask questions about how other teams/stakeholders view marketing, what the process is for headcount/resources, what marketing KPIs upper management cares about, and more. These help "reveal" what battles I'll have to fight - if any - and let me know if it's a good fit or not. If a company doesn't value marketing or the work you do, it's very hard to be successful at what you do and be recognized for it (which in turn helps you get to be part of the $100k club).
What is your gender and ethnicity? Where do you live? (optional)
I'm a white female living in New Jersey.