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.
What was your first full-time job in content? What was the salary?
I'm a freelance content writer. I've never worked full time with a company.
How much do you earn today? What's your job title?
I'm a self-employed B2B SaaS content strategist. In 2020, I've earned $103,000.
What's the single biggest salary jump you've made? (either from job-hopping or a promotion/raise)
I made my biggest salary leap this year. Last year I earned $36,000, meaning my income jumped 186% in just one year. This bump came from switching my engagements from freelance writer to contract content strategist. I positioned myself as a part of the team, and worked to develop my skills and product knowledge so the value of my work was apparent.
What is your most valuable skill?
Audience research or interviewing and turning that into a deliverable. I've interviewed sales execs and turned it into blog posts and case studies. I've interviewed customers and CEOs and turned that into content strategies. I've interviewed subject matter experts and created content and product decks.
What's the best book you've ever read on writing, marketing, sales, business or productivity? (Feel free to suggest more than one!)
- On writing: Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott
- On business: How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
- On interviewing: Talk to Me: How to Ask Better Questions, Get Better Answers, and Interview Anyone Like a Pro by Dean Nelson
Have you had a career mentor/coach? If so, how did you find them and what have you learned from them?
It's been awhile since I've hired a coach, but it was Kaleigh Moore. She was one of the first and only people I saw call herself a freelance writer and it not sound like a four-letter word. I binged her blog and almost everything I could find, then I decided to hire her for 1:1 coaching. I loved her process, and we worked together for a month. That was the turning point for me, when I realized I wanted to do more than write, and that I loved the audience research aspect of marketing.
What skills or habits help you thrive at work?
Skills: Curiosity and interest in people.
I was the kid that got on everyone's nerves because I asked too many questions. I always wanted to know how things work, and would asked until I understood. I used to think that made me dumb, that I wasn't as smart as the other people who "just understood" stuff.
As I've worked with more people and matured, I've come to realize that asking good questions is actually a skill I have, and that being able to contemplate complex topics until I understand them and then explain the simply is one of my greatest attributes.
Habits: setting goals
I am a relentless goal setter. I love goals and then the action plans put in place to achieve the goals. I create goals for myself based on clients I want to work with, or types of projects I want to accomplish, or brands I want a by-line on, all types of personal and professional goals that I reference consistently.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to join the $100k club?
Expand your network. Introductions to amazing clients have always happened through colleagues and friends I've made in my space. Either VC's or copywriters, or other content marketers. Every amazing client I've had, has been because someone else has introduced me to them.
What is your gender and ethnicity? Where do you live? (optional)
I'm a white female living in Fort Worth, Texas.