08 Nov Lessons You Can Learn From Top Marketers If You Want to Become One
Are you interested in online marketing? Are you fascinated on this industry? Do you want to become a marketer? Online marketing is actually interesting and you can be part of this industry too!
However, we get you. Probably, one of you worries is not knowing where to start. You are interested but how? Don’t worry! These top marketers share to us how they started in the business! Let’s see what we can take away from their stories!
1. Umair Akram is a Digital Marketer and SEO Consultant with having more than 4 years of professional experience in the industry. He have worked with more than 30 companies and helped them increase their sales and profits. He is also the author of his blog "MyTechMag" and write about Blogging,Digital Marketing and SEO Tips.
At the start, I have started as a Freelance website developer and launched my own website too. The purpose of my website is to sell a product of my own. In the start, I have to pay different marketing firms to market my product and to optimize my sales funnel. Later, I decided to do it myself, this made me jump into the world of Digital Marketing.
2. Paul Johnson runs the leading blog for luxury travel, simply named A Luxury Travel Blog. Winner of Best Travel Blog in the Travelmole Web Awards as well as Best Travel Influencer in the Innovation in Travel Awards from WIRED magazine, Paul has worked in the travel industry for 30 years and has had his blog cited as "one of the best travel blogs in the world" and "best for luxury" by The Daily Telegraph.
My business began in the early 1990s. I used to distribute tourist literature all over the UK for people to pick up from key venues. Once the internet came along, I moved to specialising in online marketing for tourism businesses.
3. Suzanne Baran is an industry-leading Content Strategy and Digital Marketing expert. During her 18-year career she has driven digital strategy for the world’s most beloved brands such as Yahoo!, AT&T, Intel, Toyota, Cisco, Scottrade, DirecTV, FIJI Water, Sony, and other Fortune 500 and 100 companies. She helps brands become better, more efficient publishers.
Post 9-11, I moved to sunny Los Angeles to pursue a better overall lifestyle. I was a financial journalist in NYC and lost half my office in the attacks. Other deaths occurred the same year, notably my brother and best friend.
When I arrived in LA, financial reporter opportunities were in short supply. I didn’t have a network and began working at a series of odd jobs, one as an office manager for models and photographers. Shortly thereafter, I delved into magazine subscription sales for Magmall and learned SEO best practices in 2002.
Yahoo took interest after my two-year stint at The Hollywood Reporter and I was hired in 2007 as the lead entertainment homepage content programmer. I created, promoted, packaged and measured content for interior properties like movies, music, games, omg, kids, TV and others.
Our audience grew to 189 million unique visitors on a monthly basis and each property began vying for homepage real estate to drive traffic to their interior pages. I negotiated prioritization and strategy to grow each property to the #1 destination, beating competitors like AOL and MSN. Content boot camp at Yahoo set the stage for my future.
4. Chris Dreyer - I began my Internet marketing journey sometime in 2004 working at a small high school in Southern Illinois when the allure of making money online took hold. In the time since, I have been developing the skills and acquiring the experience that have allowed me to build one of the premier SEO agencies (Rankings.io) dedicated solely to attorneys and law firms.
I was a detention room teacher at a small high school and during one of the detention room sessions I Googled “how to make money online”. Luckily, I found Ed Dale's 30 Day Challenge to Internet Marketing. The course was supposed to teach you how to make $10 in 30 days from Internet Marketing. I think I made $20 and I was hooked! That's how I got my feet wet.
5. Nate Dame (@SEONate) has led SEO, content marketing, and influencer marketing campaigns for national and international brands. Now a regular speaker and columnist, Nate oversees client strategy and thought leadership for Propecta when he’s not too busy being husband and dad in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.
Propecta is a leading SEO consultancy and agency trusted by B2B companies, including a few of the world's largest technology brands. With proven people, processes, and tools, Propecta partners with companies to develop and execute comprehensive strategies to build an organic search presence that generates significant revenue.
I actually began in nonprofit work, trying to help youth pastors get better equipped. That led me to email marketing—providing resources and newsletters to youth pastors and parents. So email was my first experience with marketing.
As an entrepreneur, you really have no choice. Your idea is just 1% of the work, then you have to create it and make sure people hear about it. Writing has always been one of my favorite activities so a lot of my marketing is basically me writing stuff.
7. Carla Johnson helps marketers become storytellers. She works with companies to develop frameworks and build teams to tell better stories in order to develop deep relationships with customers and employees, create delightful experiences for audiences and generate top-line revenue.
I started out as an electrical engineering major and after a few years decided that I preferred to spend more time with people and less time studying on weekends. I have an undergraduate degree in business and history and a master's degree in history.
It's this odd combination that has helped me the most in marketing…plus writing has always come naturally for me. I got my first job in marketing with an architecture firm because I understood the technical side of things and could tell a story that made sense to nontechnical people. I loved the work, loved telling stories and loved bringing work in the door.
8. Jeet Banerjee is a 23 year old serial entrepreneur, digital marketing consultant, TEDx speaker and best selling author. Jeet began his journey at the age of 17 when he launched a multimedia agency before selling it two years later.
Since then, Jeet has launched a handful of success tech ventures while helping numerous other entrepreneurs find success with their own businesses. When Jeet isn't in the office working on his tech projects, you can find him speaking at events all around the world sharing his experiences and insight on entrepreneurship.
I started out as a marketer when I decided to launch a multimedia agency. Aside from offering web and mobile app services to clients, we had to also give them the marketing services to help them promote their websites after we built it for them.
I started out as a marketer because I was passionate about the industry and I learned a lot from research, mentors and pure application of those skills.
Eric is also emerging as a recognized expert on content marketing.
He is the lead author of the book The Art of SEO; a columnist and contributor to publications such as Search Engine Land, Moz, Copyblogger, Marketing Land, and Social Media Today; and a regular speaker at industry conferences such as Search Marketing Expo, Pubcon, ClickZ Live, and many others.
All the way back in 1997 I left the job I had at Phoenix Technologies. When I left there, I was a general manager of a business unit of the company.
I started doing business development consulting, and that started to pull me into the world of sales and marketing.
That went very well, but after about 5 years I ended up getting drawn into the world of SEO, but I'll tell you that story in just a minute!
10. Tadeusz Szewczyk has more than 15 years of experience in online publishing.
For 5+ years he’s been known internationally for writing here on SEO 2.0 and blogs of Datadial.net, Positionly, Ahrefs, Hubspot, Google Blogoscoped among others (from About).
I've been building websites since 1999. Until the end of 2003 when the so called new economy crashed, I lost my well-paid job as a web developer at a large Internet agency. We were building websites for the likes of Siemens or Adidas.
Then I decided to go solo because working for unethical corporations in an agency hierarchy was frustrating me.
I had to code the same boring HTML stuff the corporate execs could agree upon. Also I had to promote nuclear energy conglomerates my friends were protesting against in the streets.
I wanted to decide myself what I want to do and who to work with.
The demand for web design wasn't that big anymore, so I was looking what else businesses wanted and they asked for Google optimization, so I taught myself.
I started out as a marketer by accident. My first business, which I still own, was a local tutoring business. I began learning how to market that business and got good enough at it to be recognized by a few local business owners who hired me to handle their marketing efforts. I quickly realized there was more money in marketing than there was in tutoring so I hired someone to take over the tutoring business and I started my online marketing business, Welborn Media.
I began writing content for websites in 2004, and wanted to learn more about getting clients.
I grew up a poor, black child (The Jerk, anyone?). I fell into the industry. I needed a job badly after college and there was an opening at a PR firm. The rest, as they say, is history.
But in recent years, as I’ve built my own business, I’ve discovered I not only have a passion for marketing, but for the data side of things. I LOVE being able to use data, science, and math to make really smart decisions about your target market, creating funnels, and generating real revenue.
14. Gina Horkey is a married, millennial mama to two precocious toddlers from Minnesota. Additionally, she’s a professional writer and an online business marketing consultant with a decade of experience in the financial services industry.
Gina enjoys helping other freelancers gear up to quit their day jobs and take their side hustles full-time. If you’re interested in starting a freelance career, take Gina’s FREE writing course to kick-start yours today! Click here to get the first lesson sent to your inbox.
I’ve always been in sales, but I started out in internet business as a freelance writer. Through freelance writing, I learned more about online business, affiliate marketing and monetizing a website through product sales. It’s all very interesting and there’s a lot of opportunity that exists.
15. Adam Steele - At 22, with no previous business experience, Adam left his day job to chase the dream of business ownership. He started out by peddling Gmail address’ by the bundle. Today, he leads a team of 30+, remote team members, runs 2 successful companies (is currently building 3, 4 & 5) and hosts The Steele Entrepreneur Show.
When not working his face off, he can be found rolling on the Jiu Jitsu mats, tinkering in his garden or with his nose in a book. Adam's mission is to share his experiences, past and present, with anyone audacious enough to want to be great.
I did a short stint at an affiliate marketing company, after breaking away from my government job. Once I'd seen the potential, I left started my own marketing company, using some of the methods I'd learned by observing the affiliates, BUT for small/medium size businesses instead of big advertisers. Of course it did not quite go the way I wanted, and I found myself selling Gmail addresses to SEOs for a little while instead.
16. James Norquay founded Prosperity Media in 2012 after working in the SEO & Content Marketing space for over 10+ years in Australia and the US.
James started working in digital marketing by developing his own network of content websites which went on to generate well over 22 million unique visitors from organic search with a strong focus on the US market. These websites were later sold on to a US media company.
James then moved into enterprise level consulting working for large businesses such as Virgin Mobile, Optus, David Jones, Woolworths, BWS, Apparel Group, Maurice Blackburn, Slater & Gordon, Travel NT, Citi Bank and many more large scale Australian and global businesses to drive SEO and inbound marketing growth.
I was in school back in 2004 and I was always on car forums, I was chatting to another member of the forum who owned a car wallpaper website who was making several thousand a month with ads and SEO. I chatted with him on I think MSN messenger to learn as much as I could as a 17 year old. Back in 2004 there wasn't much information about digital marketing online so I had to be self-taught and tested many different things over the next few years this meant digital blogs, digital forums and networking with people.
I ended up making some decent income from SEO as a youngster via a network of sites I built I had entertainment sites and also a Myspace layout site. I also went to university and studied a e-Marketing course which didn't teach me much though I did make some good contacts who I am still good friends with.
After I spent a few years working on my own sites I went into large agency consulting and also worked in-house at Virgin Mobile as the SEO lead.
17. John McElborough (@johnmcelborough) is one of the UKs most in demand digital marketers. He has delivered on search, paid media and conversion optimization campaigns for some of the UK’s most recognised brands as well as helping thousands of smaller businesses and start-ups succeed online through his writing, training and consultancy. He currently runs the online advertising agency Inbound360 and blogs at johnmcelborough.com
I guess I fell into digital marketing. I started building websites for people when I was about 19 or 20 while I was studying. I was pretty terrible at it, but so we're most people in those days! Inevitably people started asking me how they got traffic to these sites I was building, I didn't really have an answer, but I guess something clicked around then and I realised it would be good to find out.
Later I joined an agency originally as a developer but they'd also started offering SEO, Google Adwords, email marketing, that kind of stuff to clients. I got involved in that work and figured out quite quickly there was more money in marketing than development!
Random enough, I started in college selling Idaho Potatoes online. I keep the site up (though I don’t sell potatoes anymore) to remember where I came from.
I started working in this niche I guess in 2011. A lot of things have changed since that time, but I’m sure I chose the right profession for myself.
I’m from Ukraine and internet technologies here develop very fast. Therefore, when I graduated from University, I decided to connect my professional life with internet marketing.
I was a technical writer back in 2007. Started working part-time, as I was also active in pro-gaming during that time. I was recruited by Bingo (Ventura) to work full-time a month after, and was promoted eventually as lead editor (then sort of handled the operations at his firm later on).
During those days, I wasn’t really passionate about work (or writing/marketing), but I really enjoyed the daily/nightly grind at work (and didn’t realize I was gradually getting better at it).
A year after, I decided to start my own writing team (with friends), but failed miserably several months after.
Definitely the darkest stage of my career (but wouldn’t be here if weren’t for that experience). Then a month after, I didn’t stop, I started another company (traditional marketing) – with funding help from my dad (and failed again).
Then I realized I needed a fresh start (a real one). So I started looking for writing jobs in early 2010. I got hired by an Australian SEO company. I originally applied for a writing position, but their managers/recruiters figured that my profile would be a better fit for an SEO position.
I actually hesitated to take the job, but the offer did pique my interest (plus I really needed something new). They gave me access to dozens of SEO eBooks – and gave me a couple of weeks to learn the ropes of it.
The first thing I tried to learn was the HTML code for links (I didn’t know anything about HTML back then). Then from there, I got really addicted to it (I started doing a lot of experiments during my first month as an SEO).
2 months later, I got fired (the client I was assigned to work on fired the agency, and since I was new, they had to let me go). But fortunately, a week after, Simon Slade (Doubledot Media) hired me to do SEO for Affilorama, SaleHoo and Traffic Travis. And a few weeks later, I started my own blog, Kaiserthesage, so I can run my own experiments freely. Then the rest was history.
I studied marketing in college and went into direct sales right after graduation. My first job was pounding the pavement selling office copiers which was absolutely brutal. Zero leads and 100+ cold calls a day with about a 99% rejection rate. It was a miserable job but I lasted long enough to learn a lot about relationship selling and how to handle rejection and failure without the urge to jump off a high bridge.
I eventually migrated over to the mortgage industry where I was a loan officer for about a decade. That was a great gig up until the real estate crash that occurred in 2007. In a single day I was laid off and out of work and my final 5-figure paycheck bounced.
To make matters worse my employer filed bankruptcy before I could get my money back. Oh, and did I mention that my wife was also in the mortgage industry and lost her job simultaneously? After that catastrophic series of events, and contemplating the high bridge ‘solution', I vowed to never work for anyone else ever again.
I stumbled into affiliate marketing by pure luck and found it to be exactly the kind of business I wanted to do. Since I mentally burned my bridges back to the corporate world I had no other choice but to make it work. I only lost money only one month and that was my first month online when I was clueless.
I started out in the very early days of SEO marketing. I was churning out some half-useful articles with WSI Consulting in order to gain backlinks. Some of the stuff was okay. Nothing like the kind of content I'm working on now though.
I supplemented that with some online courses, and built my career using Elance. I wound up working with a number of people in all sorts of industries. My most interesting clientele were involved in the auto industry, and …how to put this …the erotic massage industry. Ha ha ha!
Well, I started out online as a freelance writer, which I still am today. As far as getting into marketing, it really started with a thirst for knowledge for boosting my business.
I found that marketing and online business was something I was just really interested in, so I started learning as much as I could, and writing more and more about it.
By utilizing social media, SEO and content management tools and strategies, companies are able to boost up their branding and engagement with their customers.
I didn't really plan to be a marketer. In fact, I don't think I can call myself a marketer in a traditional way. But I've always been ‘curious' about how people think and react to certain things.
So when I got introduced to social media as a freelancer, the curiosity grew and the next thing I knew, people are already calling me a marketer.
25. Christi Tasker is drawn to luxury marketing by the rich, vibrant imagery. She loves the stunning photography and the attention to artistic detail that sets it apart.
A lifelong devotee of style, she knows instinctively what the luxury consumer wants to see and hear, and from her experience working with high-end designers, artists and manufacturers, she knows how to deliver it in a way that keeps people talking. (from: About)
I fell into marketing my mere accident. I didn't realize I was even “marketing” until I was asked to support new company startups back in 2009 by several groups of venture capitalist.
How did I not realize it? I owned an interior design firm and retail store and one of the many necessary evils is “marketing”.
I just happened to be good at it without realizing it. AND my daughter was on MySpace in 2006 and I felt the need to watch over her shoulder.
In the process, she insisted that I drive her 20 miles to purchase a silly little beany animal called a “Webkinz”.
Fortunately, I was already a marketer for my retail store who just happened to carry the Ganz brand. Ganz was the manufacturer and creator of Webkinz so it made it super easy for me to get an order shipped the next day.
He is the author of the best selling book Search Engine Optimization Secrets and was the co-founder of Making it Click, a marketing training course.
Before starting his own company, Danny was the Senior SEO Manager at AT&T and the Lead SEO at SEOmoz.
Starting around my High School years, I knew I wanted to study and work with the Internet. Unfortunately, by the time I got to University, there was no degree in just the Internet. To make up for this, I applied as an intern at as many Internet startups as I could.
From there, I stumbled upon Moz (called SEOmoz at the time) when it was still very young. They accepted my offer to be an intern (I offered to work for free and bring my own laptop, I just wanted to learn) and quickly started learning about SEO.
As it turned out, SEO (the way information is crawled and organized by search engines) is an excellent way to study the Internet.
27. Fitz Gerard Villafuerte, RFP is a civil engineer who decided to quit the corporate world back in 2003 to pursue entrepreneurship.
His blog Ready To Be Rich, has won several awards, including the Best Business and Finance Blog at the Philippine Blog Awards.
He has also been recognized by Moneysense Magazine as among the Top 12 Most Influential People in Personal Finance in the Philippines.
It started when I decided to become a freelance software developer. I realized that I cannot just wait for my colleagues to outsource their modules to me. I had to be proactive and find my own clients.
With over 1,000 original and real life experience based articles, He will continue to walk you through the ups and downs, and in and outs of affiliate marketing and how others are making money online.
I first started making money back in the mid 90s when I was in high school. It started off with graphic design in the AOL Web Diner, then I started building out my sites and found my way into affiliate marketing (mainly with Amazon). You can see some of my first checks here.
As a marketing speaker and coach, he has been named as one of the “Top 50 Global Thought Leaders in Marketing and Sales” by Top Sales World magazine and as one of the “Resources of the Decade” for professional services marketing by Raintoday.com.
His book “Email Persuasion” has been the #1 selling book on email marketing for the last year or so on Amazon globally with over 100 five star reviews.
I suppose that depends on what you mean by marketing. I did an MBA back in 1992 and fell in love with marketing then and went on to do marketing consultancy for large corporates.
When I set up my own business in 2007 I discovered that marketing for small businesses was very different and I had to re-learn a whole load of things.
Then a few years later I went through a whole new learning curve with online marketing too.
30. Jan Koch helps entrepreneurs set up systems grow their business online by leveraging today's technical capabilities, and free them from technical obstacles, so that they can focus on their main business.
Before I became self-employed, I was working as business consultant and studying for a masters degree in IT Security on the side of my job. I had a 75-hour week and the pressure put in a very bad mental and physical condition. After I had a break-down, I quit the studies and decided to become self-employed. My friend and I started a company on the side and after roughly 7 months I quit my job in November 2013.
I suppose I started when I opened my first business as a kid, selling candy at school. I discovered the power of word of mouth marketing early! In all seriousness, I was exposed to internet marketing 5 years ago at the age of 14.
Since then I’ve tried to consume as much as I possibly could on the topic, reading every article, book, and course I could get my hands on. I do think being able to influence people to take a given action is one of the most powerful skills we can develop.
I think I started as a marketer the moment I decided to become an entrepreneur. That happened 17 years ago, when I opened my first business, an online publishing platform (which I sold 9 years later, as my first successful exit). The moment you decide to create something you want to sell, you're basically a marketer, because nothing happens by itself, you have to make it happen. Somehow.
I started doing ‘online marketing' when I decided to take my business online in 2006. Back then the online world was a completely different realm, I can tell you. I knew plenty enough about marketing and promoting stuff offline, but marketing on the internet was a totally new ball game for me. The first thing I did was the obvious, create a website and then started to learn about SEO, on-page and off-page stuff.
Then I learned a little bit about social media which was still fairly fresh coming out of the woodwork back then, Facebook was only a few years old. So to answer the question, I guess I started out as a marketer when I decided to get my art business online, which was doing very well offline in any case.
34. Devlin Duldulao is a workaholic and insomniac and if he had his way, he’d try to convert anyone to be like that also. He may not look at it, but he’s really a nerd at heart or maybe he’s a late bloomer when it comes to the latter.
He can get along well with most people, but he can be quite opinionated and stubborn on his ways.
Even though Devlin’s days are mostly spent on being an SEO consultant, web designer, conversion rate optimization specialist, and an Adwords expert, he still has not yet completely left behind his passion for a cause.
So, if he’s not in front of his laptop, he’s mostly likely away on a medical mission.
At first, I wasn’t really sure what I was doing back then. I asked one of my friends, who owned a business, if she would like to try SEO for her website for free. After explaining to her the benefits of SEO in 5 minutes, I was able to convince her to give it a go.
A few days later, she gave me her site’s control panel. After working on her website for 3 months, it popped up on the first page of Google. That was really an inspiring feeling for me upon seeing her business rank 1st for her keywords.
Within that week, I started hearing from her that their website’s inquiries were flowing in. I had no idea that it was the day that I was actually branching out as an online marketer.
Initially I started out as a blogger, but later when I started giving more time to blogging then I realized that putting all of my eggs in one basket isn't the solution to build a proper income stream so I started digital marketing. I even did a part time job for the same for an Indian startup for some while and then I realized the true scope of this field.
36. Maxwell Ivey is a 49-year-old blind gentleman who grew up in a family of carnival owners. All he ever wanted to do was to continue in his father’s and grandfather’s footsteps and be part of the family business.
He did help in the business over the years, but couldn’t sustain it after the early death of his father (who had lung cancer). He then turned to helping people sell their amusement equipment. (from About)
I guess my first experiences in marketing would have been while helping my dad book events for our traveling carnival. This was before the internet and email. It meant making endless numbers of cold calls. I like to tell people that this prepared me for running my own business and for going after opportunities because I was told no just about every way a person can say it. And I learned that no matter how many times you get told no, the next person you ask could be the one to say yes.
Peter has trained and coached hundreds of business leaders from organizations like AXA, JCB, GKN, Kuoni, etc. as well as several entrepreneurs from across the globe.
My expertise is now in content marketing, but I started out by using Google Adwords for my Corporate Training Business back in 2012. We used to offer training to organizations in Sales and Leadership.
Adwords gets you results immediately. However, it can’t position you as an authority like content marketing does. That's why I started building up a presence through content marketing. Once people saw the successes I was getting they began to ask me to consult for their companies.
Back in 2006, I was intrigued on how websites rank in Google’s results, and I started to do some research and learn as much as I can from forums and blogs. Once I started to understand the basics of SEO, I decided to create my own website and see if I can make it rank for the keywords I’ve chosen.
I still remember the first days when I was so excited to see visitors from all over the world landing on my site. Back then, Google was showing the keyword phrases that referred visitors to your site.
I incrementally improved my website using the SEO techniques that used to work in those days. In less than 6 months, my first website was getting more than 300 visits a day from Google.
In 6 more months, I managed to increase the organic traffic to more than 1000 visits a day.
What started out as a curiosity transformed into a passion. In the coming years I’ve created more websites, started doing social media, and use various techniques to improve my sites.
I always believed that doing your own tests is much better than believing what others are saying. Hence why, I’ve tested every method and technique possible.
Nowadays, I’m a complete marketer and I am experienced with SEO, social media, PPC, traffic growth, conversion rate optimization, etc.
39. Joy Hawkins has been working in the Local SEO industry since 2006 and enjoys making trips to Google as a part of their Top Contributor program.
Joy currently contributes to many online communities in the Local SEO world including the Google My Business forum (Top Contributor), the Local Search Forum(Top Contributor), and the Local University Forum (Moderator).
She is also a columnist for Search Engine Land, a speaker at SMX & Local University, a contributor to the Moz Local Search Ranking Factors survey, a Google MapMaker Regional Lead, and has been certified in both Google Search & Display.
In her spare time, Joy also loves to blog about things relating to Local SEO and Google My Business.
I started in 2006 working for an internet marketing company that sold PPC ads to insurance agents. I was in school at the time working towards my degree in Advertising and wanted to start getting some experience in the industry.
He’s always been a music enthusiast and went one step further in his days as a metal head by creating an online site for Metallica, his favourite band.
Marko was just sixteen when his site became Denmark’s official Metallica fan club, which led to many musical adventures… and gave him a taste of online possibilities.
I started creating websites when I was a teenager in late 1990's. My first website was for my favorite band Metallica.