AMA with Carolyn Lyden on Salary Negotiation for Content Marketers

Jimmy Daly
October 6, 2021

Welcome Carolyn Lyden and thanks for doing this AMA with us! Carolyn is the Director of Search Content at Search Engine Land and also runs the newsletter. She's passionate about making sure that marketers are paid what they’re worth. After helping a few friends negotiate $10k, $15k, and $25k more in salary, she decided she could do greater good by starting to help everyone become a pro at negotiation and make the money that makes their feel worthwhile.

Feel free to drop questions for on raises, promotions, negotiating tips and more. I definitely recommend subscribing to her newsletter and following her on Twitter.

How do you know when it's time to ask for a raise? And how do you know when a job has hit a dead end and it's time to move on?

GREAT topic for an AMA. My Q: Sometimes more salary isn’t in the cards. Are there alternative forms of comp you’ve seen folks negotiate? Maybe more PTO, shares… other things?

Following up on that question, how do you document the agreed to alternative compensation? Is a mention in an offer letter enough? What will hold up when someone later says HR doesn’t approve or the whole department is under a new policy voiding previous agreements? Thanks!

As a woman/POC, I've found that trading salary info with my peers to be super helpful. How do you recommend that a person benchmarks themselves as they move up in their career and there are fewer people in similar roles to compare with?

A lot of us do consulting outside of our days jobs. How do you think about the balance between career goals and revenue goals? How would advise factoring that into the jobs that people seek out and the ones they accept?

My question would be: How and where would you start searching for a new position that pays 6 figures if you had 6 years of remote digital marketing experience? I am on the hunt at the moment and it seems like there are major differences in what the US and European companies can pay for the same position.

I'd love to know if you have any good resources to check out when trying to figure out what fair comp for a content marketing role is taking city, industry, etc. into consideration. Of course there are avenues like Glassdoor salary, etc, but do you know of something more standardized?

Here’s the Robert Half salary guide she mentions.

Hi Carolyn, I just started working for a big fashion group as a freelance SEM specialist, hired through a remote agency. I´m working well beyond the initial agreement but the agency owner says he needs the client to raise their advertising budgets in order to be able to pay me more. How would you handle it? In marketing it is hard to not answer to certain daily demands.

A lot of the data I've seen seems to suggest that salaries tend to hit a ceiling between $100-200K for content marketing -- even at the Director/Head level. Do you agree with this? If you do, why do you think this is and how can us content marketers combat this? If you don't, I'd love to hear your thoughts on how high-level content marketers are breaking past that $200K mark.

Hey Carolyn! Very timely AMA topic When you are asking for a raise, especially the first one with a new org when you're building out a team, what % do you generally use as a starting point?

Hi Carolyn! How can I negotiate salary with clients who say that one of the reasons they decided to hire someone from my country is because we are cheap?

When a manager asks you to take on more work (for instance, if a co-worker left the team and you're taking on their load or even a new discipline), how do you approach negotiating a raise?

My boss (at an agency) asked me for a 3-5 year financial plan when I last asked for a raise. He wants to know basically what i need to stay long term. He said to not just think about cash but also profit sharing/revenue sharing/equity and such. Bc we're an agency, I think equity is out as they won't sell, so it's worthless. But profit sharing or revenue sharing could work. Any thoughts on how to go through this sort of exercise? I'm honestly not sure where to start.

Are there any existing articles or resources on salary negotiation that you feel really hit the nail on the head?

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