PART I: Understanding High-Pay Marketing in 2020

Step 1: Your big decision, choose right now

Your goal is a bigger salary…

You’ve got two ways to make that happen.

  1. Go ask for more money from your current employer.
  2. Get a higher-paying job offer.

Right now, you will make a decision about which one you will pursue.

 

If you’re crushing it at your job, pick option 1.

It’s simple. Review everything you’ve done, plan out what you’re going to do over the coming months and years (with a projected ROI based on real numbers), summarize it and ask for a raise. 

The worst that will happen is they’ll say no. In that case, you’ll default to option 2. 

The best that will happen is you’ll instantly start making more money. 

 

For everyone else, pick option 2.

Luckily, getting a higher-paying job in marketing is uniquely more feasible than other job roles.

That’s because marketing is a field unlike any other. It’s not necessarily about how many years of experience you have. It’s about how good your experience actually is.

Salaries are more fluid because it’s all about ROI in the marketing department. Companies will pay twice as much for someone that they believe will yield three times the results as the next candidate. This basically means that you don’t need to aim for the next step up in your salary, you can ask for whatever you can prove you’re worth. You set your own price.

So, how can you prove your worth more to a new company than your current employer? Well, you can start building your expertise in the profit centers of marketing, tonight.

Move on to step 2.

 

Step 2: High-paying marketing roles

There are 100’s of jobs in the marketing industry. You can specialize in a number of different things. Whatever you do, make sure to build your expertise in these three areas…

  1. Digital ads
  2. Copywriting
  3. Martech

These three skills bring the big bucks. Why? Because they all heavily impact the way in which money moves through a business. Copywriting directly helps turn leads into buyers, digital ads brings quality leads, and martech provides marketing intelligence, efficiency, and a number of other things.

Let’s take a closer look at each one.

  • Digital ads – If you are the one that is managing the ad budget and picking and choosing which creative (campaign) to run, you are in a phenomenal position. Consider how much money is spent on Facebook and Google ads alone each and every day and understand that by managing this budget you are a piece of that pie which is a massive pie. A common career path here is try and manage larger and larger budgets.
  • Copywriting – According to Ad Age, consumers see about 2,500 ads per day… It’s no surprise that we’re completely immune to almost anything and scroll past them out before they even read them. We’ve seen every obscure creative approach, every trick in the book, and don’t even get me started on “best practices”… Simply put, you have only ONE way to win. With incredible messaging. In marketing, messaging means copywriting than anything else.
  • Martech – Big data is everywhere. The marketing department is not known for its robot-like logical thinkers, but there is money to be had for those types. The marketing world is having a very hard time making sense of the data or getting their data to talk to each other. Those that do are able to make better informed business decisions to drive a stronger ROI across all channels. That’s why even the introverted tech heads can make it big in marketing these days.

Please note, although it will help to specialize in these 3 areas, you don’t have to. For instance, I know graphic designers (a commonly lower salaried position) making over 100k, and it’s because they’ve combined their talent with 1 or more of the areas above.

By the way, you’ll notice “people management” is not on the list above. Yes, management does bring higher pay, but again, you’ll probably get there the fastest through these 3 areas.

 

Step 3: Bleeding-edge skill development

Before you can get into the new stuff, there are some foundations you need… For starters, read everything written on “DigitalMarketer.com” by Ryan Deiss.

That alone will set you apart.

Now, something that a lot of marketers will do is build what they call swipe files. A swipe file is just a location that you throw successful, proven, inspirational marketing ideas into a bucket. 

That’s fine, but there’s just one problem. Marketing changes rapidly.

What worked a few years ago is garbage today.

That’s why I prefer what I like to call “the archive of bleeding-edge marketing skills”.

It’s simple:

Start by creating an email address for the sole purpose of subscribing to as many direct competitive email newsletters and as many newsletters of cutting edge companies and Fortune 100 companies in Silicon Valley startup companies as possible. 

The purpose of this is it will become a living and breathing stream of email promotions updated with real-time, real-world examples of the best marketers out there. Ideally, you have over 100 emails a day from a variety of very marketing-savvy companies. 

I’d encourage you to skim through them daily, breakdown what people are doing in these emails, click on the links, see where it takes you, see what technologies are using, see what they’re landing pages look like, see how things sync to their databases, take a look through their HTML code, see what they’re doing different…

 

PART II: Becoming One of The Best Current Marketers

Step 4: Build marketing intuition in a week

In a world obsessed over data-driven marketing, the idea of using your intuition or relying on your “gut feeling” has become obsolete. That’s B.S. for this reason… Your past marketing experience is data that has become baked into your intuition and therefore is at least partially data-driven.

It logically follows that you can build your “marketing intuition” by experiencing the change in results from many a/b tests. 

But you don’t need to wait around for 30 years to naturally accumulate all that marketing experience, you can take a big shortcut.

If you google something along the lines of “top conversion rate optimization case studies” you’ll find sites like MarketingSherpa, WiderFunnel, ConversionXL with an endless supply of tests from people that have tested all kinds of things. 

Just be sure to make sure you’re looking at reputable sources that understand statistical relevance, otherwise you’ll be learning from bad data.

Do this and you’ll grow leaps and bounds past your peers in days not years.

 

Step 5: Hyper-targeting your digital ads

It’s common practice to define your audience demographically… 

It’s a less common practice to define your audience psychographically…

And an even LESS common practice is to carefully monitor and optimize your targeting strategy to constantly exclude those who don’t meet the criteria of both of these parameters…

If your focus is on digital media, you may find that Facebook, Google, and many of the top ad networks have incredible targeting capabilities, but guess what… It’s not cheap. 

So, why not make the most of it? You don’t want to pay ANYTHING for someone who stands no chance or a very minuscule change to buy something from your company.

I’m about to show you an example, but first, I really want to get something in your head.

Just because someone has several impressions, doesn’t mean they’ll buy…

Just because someone has clicked, or even clicked multiple times, doesn’t mean they’ll buy…

 

1) Just because someone ‘opted-in’ for something free, DOESN’T mean they’ll EVER buy… 

So if you’re using that type of data to tell you how much your Cost-Per-Lead is, realize that you need to take one BIG STEP BACK and look at the bigger picture… Which of those impressions turned into an actual sale and are you collecting and compiling that data?

The impressions, clicks, and leads that turn into actual sales represent your truest measure of a qualified audience, so you should be targeting only those people who are EXTREMELY similar to them… and when you max out that audience, only then does it make sense to go more broad.

Ideally, you’d want to go even further, and see which customers are your super-customers – how much do they buy, how often do they buy, and do they refer traffic or write reviews…

That’s not easy to put together, but it is possible, and it’s the reason for the next secret.

 

2) Put your energy into anti-targeting to cut out wasted spend on deceitful conversions.

If you are getting leads at a good cost, but they’re not turning into buyers (even though your sales page and product are great), then you’re really in the right spot. 

Let me explain…

Let’s say you’re working for a small competitor to a major pet company, selling dog toys online for approximately $25 a pop. The cost of a click in 2018 is going to make this very difficult… so you need to make sure you eliminate all possible clicks from unqualified traffic.

Ideally, you’d do something like this to eliminate those initial false positives…

Don’t have a dog? Out…

Not searching for dog toys? Out…

Don’t live in a place that spoils pets? Out…

Too Young? Out…

Living with Parents? Out…

Haven’t visited relevant website in a Year? Out…

That’s just a start, and all of that can be done in a search engine… and to start, that will help, but once you have data coming in that tells you more about the false positives slipping into your funnel, wasting your money on B.S., you’ll want to virtually ban them from entering your funnel.

That’s where the magic comes in and ironically, this is also where most media-buyers jump straight to testing other media sources or testing new campaigns or ad copy, we’ll get there but not yet… 

 

3) Take note of every detail of your non buyers and start anti-targeting them 

Before that, you need to use your incoming data to isolate and pinpoint every aspect of a ‘non-buyer’ that you possibly can… Spend a lot of time here, it’s only going to help your ROI.

You might find that certain age groups or certain overlapping interests are a total no-go… and what’s really cool is that once you find concrete data like this, it becomes a competitive advantage and a powerful asset for you throughout the life of the business. (Beware, not all data is useful, so be sure you’re finding meaningful data)

Only now do you want to start to diversify and optimize your traffic strategy.

 

4) Employ careful optimization tactics or you’ll waste a ton of money “without a reason”

To do that… As you run your media budget, look for trends and patterns amongst those who don’t convert. Both Google and Facebook (and other competitive ad networks) have cool things now where you can create look-alikes and affiliate audiences and ‘smart’ audiences… On great strategy is to take two very different audiences that have worked well for you and overlap them to create an even higher quality traffic stream… If the over-lapped audience is large enough, this can be very effective…

Also, don’t be afraid to test alternative traffic sources… For some rare products in certain industries, something like Google is not cost-effective (or even allowed). This is where direct buy’s on specific websites can be effective, or influencer marketing, or affiliate marketing, or long-form SEO, or certain forms of traditional marketing like direct mail can sometimes be very effective.

 

5) Save money by eliminating deceitful conversions and cut down your cost per sale

Whatever you do, remember, your end goal with traffic is to eliminate as many false positives as possible. Then you can focus on smaller things such as bidding more for higher-converting traffic or bidding more for customers that purchase repeatedly.

 

Step 6: A copywriting method that rips open wallets

There are so many ways to approach copywriting… In addition to reading probably close to 50 copywriting books, and spending thousands of dollars on copywriting materials, I’ve studied directly under some of the most talented copywriters in the world.

 

1) Do your research

There’s a TON of ways to get marketing research done to find the magical angle for your copy, but a lot of traditional quantitative and qualitative analysis can be expensive, so let me suggest my own approach to finding EXACTLY what your customers want.

Scavenge for your customer reviews and your competitors customers reviews!

On the internet, people are RUTHLESS with their opinions. They will tell it like it is and this is where you’ll find some of the best nuggets of information. These are words straight from the mouths of your exact target market, and they’re telling you what they like, dislike and what they’d prefer…. This can be a gold-mine.

Find target market forums and read literally everything!

On the internet, people are RUTHLESS with their opinions. They will tell it like it is and this is where you’ll find some of the best nuggets of information. These are words straight from the mouths of your exact target market, and they’re telling you what they like, dislike and what they’d prefer…. This can be a gold-mine.

Try to BECOME them… Try to ‘Un-bais’ yourself, then ask yourself!

Odds are, you’re not your a member of your target audience, which means your opinion only ‘sorta’ matters. But if you can imagine the ideal customer, then pretend that you ARE them, and then unbiasedly ask yourself what you’d want, you might gain some ground… Sound crazy? Hear me out… Just like Heath Ledger, Jack Nicholson, or Jim Carrey try to take on the role of the characters their going to play in real life to better think and act like them, I want you to do a similar exercise for finding your perfect USP. Trust me, you’ve got to try it.

2) Cut-throat direct response

No one tests copywriting more intensely than direct response agencies, it’s the main way to make money, by providing sales copy that works.

Luckily, I’m one of those people and I can tell you that there are a few big secrets and I’ll tell you them right now.

In copywriting, there are a lot of formulas (like AIDA which moves from attention to interest to desire to action, or AICPBSA which you can google along with 100 other formulas) and a lot of ad hoc tips… Things like, “start your copy with a question” and “end with a risk-reversal just after your call-to-action” and “spend 80% of your copywriting time on the headline”… These are useful ideas, yes. But are they the things that are going to get prospects to fork over money for your business’s products and services? No… 

In fact, of all the marketing books I’ve ever read and any of the marketing education videos I’ve ever watched, only a few really touched on what I’m about to explain, and I personally feel that none of them expressed it clearly and effectively… 

Furthermore, none of them did more than gloss right over this… But it is the MOST impactful thing for your sales-oriented copy, so I will try to ingrain it into your brain…

 

3) Always articulate a “Before and After.”

You absolute must articulate the transformation from BEFORE your prospect has your product to AFTER your prospect has your product… 

What happens to them. How do they feel right now. How do the feel right after buying. Articulate it!

You know those cheesy infomercials about weight loss? That’s the easiest way to envision the concept. Overweight before, skinny after. But it truly applies to everything anyone sells… 

… and if you can get people to SERIOUSLY FEEL the worst parts of the ‘before’ and SERIOUSLY FEEL the best parts of the ‘after’, you’re 90% done… Why is that? Because the DIFFERENCE between those two ‘conditions’ of being is literally what they’re paying for…

It’s not a product, service, idea, solution, or (insert other marketing jargon) you’re selling… It’s the difference between what the don’t have yet and what they’re about to have… 

So, if you can perfectly articulate that difference, the price of what they need to pay is much, much, much more easily justified… Which drives more sales, practically like magic…

But even if you do perfectly articulate the transformation, it won’t mean a thing without this next part, and this is where most marketers who almost got it right, get it dead wrong…

 

4) Pick the correct 1 of the 2 most powerful emotional appeals of the 88 possible.

There are at least 88 ways you can ‘appeal’ to your audience… A few common examples of a copywriting appeal include: Desire, Laziness, Individuality, Jealousy, Control, Anger, Annoyance.

These are great for content writers, but if you’re writing copy that is meant to SELL, then these should all become subtle undertones in your copy… 

Your emotional appeal should be SINGULAR, and focus primarily on GREED or FEAR.

So, here’s how you pick the right one…

Pick GREED, if you prospect stands to gain something new, fun, exciting, lustful, improved, etc. 

Pick FEAR, if you prospect gains safety, protection, security, freedom from pain, etc.

The best way I can illustrate this is with examples…

In each example, I’ll call out an example of FEAR/GREED and BEFORE/AFTER.

Let’s start with this PDF you bought.

I used the GREED of a higher salary, the BEFORE of my starting salary, and the AFTER of the salary I passed at year 5. 

Hypothetical B2B Example 1: You sell high-price chairs to school districts…

Since your particular chairs are expensive and there’s nothing to be greedily gained, evoke fear… What is the decision-maker scared of? Well, probably of making a wrong, costly decision!

So, whether it’s an ad, a website, a flyer, or a sales call – Lead with FEAR in your messaging… 

“The last thing you want is to buy 5,000 chairs and have a few break in the first week, and then have it get back from angry teachers to YOUR unexpecting boss. Our chairs don’t break like everyone else’s do and even if they do, we pay for it and you’re covered for life which is why we’re rated #1 by (Third Party). Most chair manufacturers don’t make any guarantees and when there non-U.S. built chairs start snapping left and right, districts often end up paying 300% more in the long run… I’m sure you’re only here considering buying because you’re low on chairs right now, well guess what, after this, you’ll never have to deal with this again… Etc.”

Notice the ending allude to the ‘before’ and ‘after’ in accordance with freedom from pain.

 

Hypothetical B2C Example 2: You sell digital art courses online… 

The prospect is probably trying to gain skills and advance your career… So, GREED.

“One of my newest students (who was working as a Barista at Starbucks) just landed a job for Pixar as a concept artist… Sure my course might not be ‘accredited’ but it gives you the real-world skills you really need to systematically build a lucrative career in a subjective industry… Etc.”

The first underling was the before/after (true stories can be powerful if you have them), the second was the greed in accordance with making money.

Now, with this last example, you’ll have to decipher what’s going on… The goal here is that you get this concept engrained so that you can replicate it yourself to market anything.

 

Hypothetical Example 3: Your the new CMO of a music-streaming service…

“In the next 30 seconds, you could have access to 99% of ALL the music in the world and never have to listen to an advertisement again or a crummy recording again… Start for just $1.”

If you implement this copywriting method correctly, your success rate should go way up… However, there will be a learning curve, plus you’ll want to continue to optimize even once you have hit a home run.

 

PART III: Getting Quality Offer Letters & Pay Raises

Step 7: The 4-phase “salary jump” technique

Most marketers view themselves like any other interviewee in any industry does… like a candidate for a job… 

You need to think differently. You are not a candidate for a job…

  • You are a high-price product… 
  • The companies you apply to is your ad targeting. 
  • Your resume and cover are the advertisement. 
  • Your phone screening is the appointment setting. 
  • Your in-person interview is the sales pitch.

Just like an ad can be sent to poor-quality traffic, your resume can be sent to poor opportunities.

Just like a sales pitch can flop if not well articulated, your interview can flop.

Just like you can over-deliver to a prospect, you can apply to jobs you know you can crush.

This simple change of mindset can be incredibly valuable once you view it in this way. It can also make it more of a fun activity as opposed to an extra thing to be done at the end of the day.

You can even find do the funnel math and optimize the funnel of YOU.

For instance, if it takes more than maybe 30 applications to get a single request for a job interview, then maybe you’re either applying to the wrong positions (targeting problem) or your resume needs work (ad copy problem)…

Or maybe you’re getting interviews, but they’re all falling through (sales pitch problem)…

The point is, since this is near-identical to your profession, why not approach job-hunting with the same frame of mind you use to make great marketing campaigns?

 

Targeting:

Just like you wouldn’t send spend your ad budget targeting leads that don’t have an interest in what you’re selling you shouldn’t be sending your resume to companies they don’t have an interest in hiring you.

This may sound straightforward but I assure you that it goes a little bit deeper than you think.

Resumes today are a little bit more complicated than they used to be. It’s not just a simple piece of paper you shoot out everywhere.

For job connection websites such as LinkedIn Jobs, Glassdoor, and Indeed, there is sometimes an option to do what’s called an “easy apply” and what you do just blast your resume at people. 

However you should note that so is everyone else, so those job postings are getting slammed with potentially 10,000 resumes, and your odds are certainly going down. 

Also you should note that the that the best companies won’t be doing that. The best companies will be forcing you to go through their systems using their tools to apply.

It takes a considerable amount of time to apply to these companies therefore you only want to apply to the ones in which you have great odds. 

You don’t want to spend forever applying places you have a life I would assume and probably a job right now. Also, the less time you spend on applying to companies that won’t except in the first place, the more time you can put into truly going the extra mile with your application and cover letter with the companies that are more likely to hire you.

Look for the right:

  • Experience level and general skill set alignment
  • Industries you have any experience in (if applicable)

Also, look for:

  • Roles that include ads, copy, or martech
  • Companies that are growing
  • Bosses that lead, not micromanage
  • Products that interest you

 

Your resume:

Your resume is essentially ad copy that sells yourself. So, you should use the copywriting lessons earlier in this PDF as a guideline. 

If you’ve worked at multiple places, call out 1 or 2 big successful changes you made at each.

If your resume is slim, call out:

  • Any big numbers you’re tied to
  • Percentages of growth in different areas
  • Platforms and tools you know
  • Specific projects you worked on

If your resume has no marketing experience, call out:

  • Platforms you know
  • Free certifications you’ve taken
  • School projects you’ve done
  • Personal marketing projects

That is the game you are in. Feel free to play around and frame your numbers to make yourself sound advantageous to your potential employer. If you do not have any great companies you’ve worked with but your companies are B2B and have clients that are well known brand names, try to incorporate those brand-names in the details.

 

The phone screening:

The phone screening could be considered the equivalent of a prospect searching for social proof logos and testimonials of success.

That’s where the HR manager will typically try to find out whether you’re full of shit or not. This is also an area where they check for cultural fit.

Tip 1: Stand up and smile and walk around while you’re talking on the phone so that you sound like a go-getter and not a Nervous Nelly.

Tip 2: Try to prepare as much of a script as possible just like an SDR or sales person would in a company. By developing your script you can hit things that you want to while staying nimble enough to respond to any questions that might come up. By the way, a well written resume will work as a script. 

 

The in-person interview:

Funny enough, in this interview you are not a marketer, in this interview you are a salesperson. As a marketer you need to also know a lot about how to sell in person as well.

Selling yourself as a marketer involves 3 key elements.

  • Soft skills – You need to be able to relax. You need to be able to have fun. You need to be able to relate. You need to be able to articulate complex ideas in a way that is positive, emotionally-charged, and captures/holds attention like you’re a master storyteller. There are two types of people. Those who need to work a little on this area (extroverts), and those who need to work a ton (introverts). If you’re an extrovert, do some mock interviews and record yourself with your webcam. Repeat this until you convince yourself that anyone would hire you. If you’re an introvert, get two books, “Flinch” and “Impromptu Speaking”. They’re both short books, and they’ll change your life.
  • Hard skills – The reason for part II in this PDF is to build your hard skills. Please read that section carefully. The hard skills are obvious to senior marketing types. They want to know that you understand the difference between ROI and ROAS. They want to know that you understand the importance of diversifying media sources. They want to know that you understand the importance of measuring customer lifetime value, ways to get a higher sales volume, and how to scale media dollars without causing cash flow issues. They want to know that you can develop a plan to tackle peripheral markets.
  • Recommendations – Have you ever done a free trial before subscribing to a new service? Have you ever eaten a food sample before buying a new snack? If so, the reason is because it gave you a taste of what you’ll get. When you’re in an interview, if you’ve truly done your homework, you should have scrutinized the prospective company enough to find areas for improvement. If you can bring a small set of key recommendations for change that you think will help the business, you’re odds will go up substantially.

That’s it!

Thanks for reading.

I wish you great success in your marketing career!

If you have any questions, feel free to email me at troy@troyharrington.com.