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, fill out the form here.
$52,000 CAD (Writer)
$100,000 CAD, Content Marketing Manager
I was making $90,000 CAD when company was acquired by a much larger company and to keep me on board they offered me $140,000 CAD. So I made a $50,000 CAD jump, about 55%.
Building trust with leaders by asking WHY. Almost* everything I create has to have a purpose, has to align with business goals, and has to make sense. When leaders trust you to have thought out the why, you get a lot more freedom and power to do creative and interesting projects that cut through the noise and make real impact on the brand.
Several Short Sentences About Writing by Verlyn Klinkenborg
I had a manager for about 6 years that helped me grow tremendously. He always had my back, was a great thought partner, and got out of my way when I was enthusiastic about something. He taught my to trust my instincts, don't be afraid to fail or be a bit weird, and the power of building community.
I am super organized and a good over-communicator. Everything I create has a brief, meeting notes, etc. You can follow my trail from inception to execution and measurement. Updates, updates, updates, all the time! All of this is essential for organizing collaborators, building trust and enthusiasm, and getting sh*t done.
I talk it out, whenever I can. I am good at what I do, but I am nothing without someone I can bounce ideas off of without fear. Find a buddy and play with bad ideas.
I set boundaries. This one can be really hard and took me a very long time to learn how to do. When I say something is going to take a certain amount of time, I don't let leaders talk me into committing to a shorter timeline. When I'm overwhelmed or have too many things going on, I ask leaders to prioritize because I have too much on my plate. You have to communicate. Over committing will kill you with stress and cause issues if you are trying to build trust. Know your limits.
I can herd cats. I don't love project management but being able to get people excited about a project (demand gen, designers, sales, customer success, c-suite, whoever) means that it will be 10x better because you have people's hearts AND minds.
Be ready to burn it all down. Or kill your darlings. If something isn't working, change and adapt if it makes sense, but if it doesn't feel right or it's not going to work, just burn it down and start over. Try your hardest to resist the sunk cost fallacy. Maybe one day you can use the work you did somewhere else, but you have to know when to let it go.
Find an advocate (if you can). Having someone higher up in the company who trusts you, understands your value and contributions, pushes you, and helps you navigate internal politics and ladder climbing is by far the easiest way to make more money. Otherwise, measure everything you can get your paws on. Make friends with the analytics and demand gen team and report on everything. Content attribution is notoriously hard, but any numbers look sexy when you're trying to negotiate a higher salary. To get more money, you have to demonstrate the value you bring to the company. This also may not necessarily be a dollar amount. Keep a highlight reel of positive feedback internally and externally, as well as any numbers your work may have influenced.
Also, a salary over $100k does not mean your company appreciates you or everything is sunshine and butterflies. The highest paying jobs I had were the most demoralizing and cost my health dearly. I had to deal with incompetent leaders and spent more time defending my successful projects than doing actual work. If you're very good at your job (and have the numbers to prove it), it will alienate some people, even leaders (especially if they're bad at their jobs).
Paying the bills is important, but if chasing the highest salary possible comes at the cost of your health and peace of mind, you will pay in the end. Sometimes taking a lower paying job at a place with a great culture is better because it means you can actually build relationships and trust, and in turn work on cooler projects, leading to more impact, which will, in time, help you negotiate a higher salary.