How I made six figures as a digital marketer: I followed my passion for digital marketing. Eventually, my hard work paid off and I was able to make six figures as a digital marketer. If you’re passionate about digital marketing, then don’t hesitate to go after your dreams. You can make a great living doing what you love.
How I started out in Digital Marketing
I had just finished working with my brother, who had hired me as his marketing director.
When I figured out how to get him more patients for his orthodontic practice using online marketing, I knew I could do it for others and make money. As I separated from my brother’s orthodontic practice, I kept him on as my first client. He was happy about that because I was actually charging him less than he had been paying me.
As luck would have it, I had a good relationship with one of the orthodontists who was venturing out on his own and leaving my brother’s practice around that time. I also had another brother who is a dentist and wanted help from me.
Just like that, I had three paying clients.
So, I had some help getting my feet off the ground. However, anyone could start out working for a business professional such as a dentist, chiropractor, lawyer, CPA, etc. It doesn’t have to be your brother.
The hardest part was over though. I had a few clients so I could build up from there.
While I didn’t blast off from that point, I had solid footing and was able to add clients slowly here and there. If I had been single and had no kids, I could have easily sustained my lifestyle with just a handful of clients.
However, I had a family and needed to make more money, so I went and got a part time job at a hotel valet in Vegas, mostly working nights.
In the meantime, I kept grinding. I was able to get a few clients from email marketing and another one from Facebook. It was a stressful time because I wanted my business to grow faster but I was only getting a new client every 4-6 months or so.
Finally – one of my clients that I had gotten off of Facebook referred me to a new client. This was a special client that changed my business. He would eventually send me multiple referrals and introduce me to a dental consultant who was looking to partner with a digital marketer in the dental niche.
I can trace the majority of my clients back to this one client. It goes to show that sometimes just making one good contact is all you need to get everything moving in the right direction.
Soon after that point my business was averaging 1-2 new clients per month on a fairly regular business. They were almost all exclusively coming from referrals. I was able to stop working my part time job in 2020.
In 2021, I made over six-figures.
2022 looks to be an even better year for me at this point.
I’ve heard some people say to me that they think I am “lucky” because I had a brother who would offer me a job, or because I had other people who were willing to take a chance on me.
However, luck isn’t what many people might think it is. It’s not always about picking a random number that wins the lottery. Few people have that kind of luck, so there is no sense in thinking about or worrying about that sort of luck.
Luck is when preparedness meets opportunity. When you are prepared for the opportunities you seek, you can create your own luck. Anyone could take the route I took. It wasn’t an overnight success.
Whatever your goal is, you’re not going to get there simply by wishing for it. You have to learn as much as you can and you have to be looking for opportunities. You will eventually get “lucky” if you do those two things.
Benefits of working as a digital marketer
Digital marketing is a great job and it comes with many great perks. My sister teases me that I don’t have a “conventional job”. Here’s some great perks about my job:
- Flexible hours: I can come home from playing basketball at 11pm and work for two hours before going to bed. I take my daughters to school and pick them up every day, etc.
- Live anywhere: As long as you have a decent internet connection, you can work from home or anywhere. You can also travel more often because of it.
- No commute: Is there anything in the world worse than a long commute? Sometimes, I don’t get out of bed all that early at all. I also save money on gas and have less need for a vehicle.
- Time off from work: If I am sick, I can still work. Also, there have been many times when something came up last minute and I just did it. No permission needed.
- No income ceiling: There’s no real limit on how much you can make in this sort of business.
- Work as much or as little as you want: If I don’t want to take on anymore clients, I don’t have to. In fact, I have found that there are instances now where I don’t take someone on if I get the slightest sense they are going to be difficult to work with.
- Do what you enjoy: When you own the business you do what you enjoy and you delegate the rest to other people. I have a team of people who do the stuff I don’t want to.
- Low overhead: My business expenses are fairly low and when I lose a client, I lose the expense associated with them.
Downsides to working as a digital marketer
Of course it isn’t all just fun and games. There are some downsides and you need to be prepared for them if you go this route. Here’s a list of things you might not like if you are working as a digital marketer:
- Always working: The job is flexible, but there are times when it feels like you are never not working. Instead of a compressed 8 hour day, it’s more like a 16 hour work day. You can easily work weekends too if you don’t do something to stop it. It’s a good idea to unplug after a certain time of day if you find yourself working too much. Everyone needs a break once in a while.
- Feeling isolated: When you work from home, you can sometimes feel isolated and lonely. You need to be proactive about getting out and meeting people face to face or else you can start to go stir crazy. Sometimes I just need to get out of the house so I go for a walk, work out, or meet up with someone for lunch.
- Self employment tax: You will need to pay your own taxes (as opposed to an employer withholding it for you) and it can be a bit of a pain come tax season. You also pay a little more because if you work for someone else they pay half of your social security and Medicare (FICA). A good accountant can be helpful.
- No health insurance: This is a big one. If you don’t have health insurance through your spouse or another source, you will need to pay for it all on your own. This can be very expensive, especially if you have a family.
- Plan for your own retirement: Many employers will give you a match for a certain amount of money to put towards retirement. However, if you make enough and plan it well, you can be prepared for retirement when the time comes.
Final Thoughts – How I made six figures as a digital marketer
So there you have it.
That’s how I made six figures as a digital marketer and those are some of the pros and cons of making six figures as a digital marketer. It’s not an easy road, but it is possible to make a great living doing what you love.
In fact, if you look at it from the perspective of schooling, it was an easier route than getting a degree. I was paid to learn about marketing and when I was done I had a skill that allowed me to charge small local businesses to help them with their marketing. And they love me for it.
Many have done it much faster and gone much higher than I have. I’m not claiming to be the most successful digital marketer. However, I make more money and have more free time than most people. So, I consider myself blessed.
If you’re thinking about becoming a digital marketer, I suggest you start by taking on some small projects and seeing if it’s something you enjoy. If you find that you’re passionate about it, then go for it. There’s so many angles you can take in digital marketing too. There’s a big need for it from small local businesses.
On a message board recently I saw a poll question that asked if you would quit your job if you made $500,000/year from some other passive way. I immediate thought to myself, “of course not, I love my job.”
A poster went on to claim that anyone who wouldn’t quit probably had Stockholm syndrome or something.
I can say that I truly love my job. It’s fun, rewarding, and gives me the flexibility that I am looking for in a career.