Managing Principal Consultant Earning $350,000/year
July 14, 2022
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 started in 1985 as a marketing assistant writing newsletters and client communications for an investment firm, earning $15K a year.
This was before the advent of desktop computers—we did our word processing on Wang terminals located in the computer room. Now I have three computers in my home to work from.
List out your income by year for as long as you've been working in content marketing.
How much do you earn today? What's your job title?
I earn $350K a year. I'm a solopreneur and the founder of my own communications consulting company, and my job title is Managing Principal Consultant.
What's the single biggest salary jump you've made? (either from job-hopping or a promotion/raise)
When I left corporate life in 2016, I was making $175K a year. Six years later, I make $350K a year as a consultant.
What is your most valuable skill?
There are several:
Listening. Especially for what isn't being said, which tends to be the most important thing during a conversation.
Methodical thinking. I write the way I think, so my first draft is usually accepted as the final draft with little to no edits needed. I think that's why I'm so often rehired by clients—I write fast, well, and often.
Understanding the dynamics in the room. Sometimes when a client hires me, they're not the real client. Their boss is, or another department head, or the CEO. Knowing who the real client is, and hearing what they want first-hand is invaluable in delivering high-quality work.
What's the best book you've ever read on writing, marketing, sales, business or productivity? (Feel free to suggest more than one!)
Have you had a career mentor/coach? If so, how did you find them and what have you learned from them?
What skills or habits help you thrive at work?
Fear of missing a deadline and letting anyone down means I tend to over-deliver.
Perfectionism—when held in check, it can be super useful for quality control.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to join the $100k club?
Become an expert in your clients' industry. I work in cybersecurity and understanding how it works makes me a valuable asset.
Either write or don't write; there is no try.
I see a lot of people trying to write or taking classes or certifications as a substitute when they should be focused on developing the best portfolio they can. A good portfolio shows a breadth and depth of topics and formats in a specialized field.
For myself in cybersecurity, that includes web copy, ad copy, emails, product copy, corporate collateral, thought leadership (white papers, e-books, and guides), top-of-funnel content like blog posts and infographics, as well as bottom-of-funnel content like buyers' guides, business cases, and case studies.
Who are you?
I’m a Caucasian woman from the United States.
Jimmy is the cofounder and CEO of Superpath. You can follow him on Twitter here.