My Awful Day Job Before I Found the Digital Marketing Career Blueprint
It must’ve been around March 2020. I just started my webcomic, Dragonrider’s Dance. I was doing some artwork, but not selling anything, and, like most people, my day job was just awful.
I was on the Streetcar going home after working at an art gallery in the Pearl District of downtown Portland. I’ve always wanted a job in the arts, but not like this.
Not working for a narcissistic psychopath- he acted as though he was Miranda Priestly from The Devil Wears Prada, but the art gallery was funded by a rich friend of his in California-we hardly sold any artwork, and I wouldn’t call it a successful gallery.
I was tired, exhausted, and terrified of the person I was becoming. My husband sat down with me a couple of months prior and said that we would be hanging out, having a good time, then it was like there was a switch in my brain, and out of nowhere, I would just start cursing. What was scary about that is I don’t even remember that happening. Thinking back though, I noticed when I was just trying to enjoy time at home, I would literally get flashbacks of being there, getting yelled at by the boss for thirty minutes just because of something that he thought would take only five minutes actually took way longer. Trying to rush and put together an art show ten minutes before people started arriving, he kept wanting to pull us away from hanging art pieces just because a couple of tags looked slightly crooked.
The Most Annoying Thing Ever: Outdated Marketing
One of the most annoying things was that he always wanted to spend thousands of dollars on newspaper and radio ads. Marketing was such a nightmare. We did some things with Facebook advertising, but not enough to really get the word out. We kept telling him we needed to have a digital marketer, but he didn’t want to fork over the cash to hire someone to do it, yet was perfectly happy doing so for outdated advertising avenues that produced no data.
And of course, he would get mad at us if he wanted to make a show- rush to have it up, and no one showed up.
I was on that streetcar, it was dark outside, I was already on high alert because there were frequently meth-addicts on public transportation. I was on my phone desperately trying to find a new place to work. I’ve had a few job interviews, but it was pretty obvious that my beaten-down demeanor didn’t inspire confidence. I looked on Linkedin, Indeed, Google job postings…
Nothing. There were no job openings available in the arts. What did I expect? This city had a much higher population than before, and there just weren’t enough jobs.
One thing that cheered me up was my Instagram page. I was also an artist on the side. I did oil paintings every morning before work, took a picture, put it on Instagram- then saw the engagement. I loved seeing the data, how my page was improving. I also started Dragonrider’s Dance- my comic. The villain was once a hero that turned into a tyrannical evil king that sabotaged his young dragonslayers rather than mentor them. Writing the story was a bit of therapy.
I also had a website that I frequently blogged on- mostly venting and why art needs to have a political message instead of just having something pretty to look at, or at least be meaningful, but I enjoyed learning how to improve my numbers, using keyword research. That kind of thing.
My Introduction To Digital Marketing: A Ray Of Hope
I got off the Streetcar, then waited in the cold for the MAX. There was a YouTube channel called Improvement Pill which had a lot of great tips for better time management and productivity- which is how I survived working at such a terrible place- managing time to create my own art and my own business. I came across the video “The Best (No Degree Required) CAREER”- an older video of his, but I don’t know, I thought, “What the heck? I’m desperate.” It was a fourteen-minute YouTube video about a quickly growing career path: digital marketing.
When watching the video, the lights in my brain started going off. Social media management? I was already doing that. Blog writing? Yup, that too. Keyword research? Yes…
Wait a minute, all these digital marketing skills… I was already doing… for fun! And I can make a competitive wage? I don’t need a friggen PHD and thousands of dollars in college debt?
Seth Jared Course Review: Inside the Course
At the end, he talked about Seth Jared Hymes course: The Digital Marketing Career Blueprint. There was a link to a page with 4 long videos that you could watch for free. So, I gave it a shot. It was a couple years ago, I remember Seth talking about SEO (Search Engine Optimization), what it was, how it worked, how keyword research worked, and how easy it was to get a job with very little experience in a world where everyone was eager to help you improve.
It sounded too good to be true. Then again, when you’ve been working for a psychopath as long as I have, even the idea of working for someone who’s heard of basic human decency sounds too good to be true.
The course at the time was about the same price as a local community college class. One class. Again, what the heck? Best case scenario… how my life ended up turning out. Worst case, eh, I would’ve used that money to buy alcohol anyway.
Spoilers, the Digital Marketing Career Blueprint already paid for itself a hundred times over at this point. This class taught all kinds of avenues in digital marketing: SEO, blogging, link building, you name it. Now, of course, the class is intended for people with busy lives. Nobody’s there holding your hand. It’s your responsibility to watch the videos, do the assignments, build your portfolio, and generate experience for work. That being said, it came with a wonderful message board that if you struggled with anything, you could post questions and ten people would be there to help you.
There was also a Facebook group attached to it (which I’m still an active member of).
So, the reason why I bought the digital marketing course was because I needed a structured, step-by-step module on how to get my digital marketing career going. It would’ve saved so much time that I would’ve otherwise been spending on YouTube only to burn out and quit. It provided exactly that.
The fully online course went over the digital marketing industry, social media marketing, email marketing, and PPC, or paid search.
Seth’s teaching style is very informal and fun. He got his own college degree in film, so he makes a lot of references to movies in his classes. He gives highly detailed instructions on how to get your first digital marketing job that are easy to follow.
There was a lot of heavy emphasis on Google Ads. Being able to do Google Ads was a highly in-demand skill.
From the beginning, Seth’s Digital Marketing Career Blueprint highly encouraged going into Google ads – as it was a complicated platform that most companies were afraid of using. That was where the big bucks were.
Through the course, I also heard of Acadium- which was a platform specifically for digital marketing interns and free clients that needed some help. I was able to get a few real-life client accounts who ran travel agencies. The first one, I optimized her SEO for her website, and the three months I was there, we looked at her Google analytics and you know what happened? The numbers got higher. I was so happy. So the course had a means of generating experience, getting references together for when you start your new career.
Seth teaches you a lot of basic job experience skills – perfect for anyone looking for their first job ever – how to write a good resume, cover letter, perform well at a job interview, and clean up your LinkedIn profile.
It was a great way to gain experience as well as teach you digital marketing.
When the pandemic hit, it was a time of clarity. I was diagnosed with anxiety a year and a half prior, and I thought that was just my natural state- always somewhat unhappy with something, and always overly anxious about everything.
But then the pandemic and lockdown happened. We were guaranteed our minimum hours pay until such time they felt safe to open the gallery again. There was still work from home we could do, but I was not going into work.
And after being away from that environment, I was happy. I was content with life. I was doing art and writing my story because it was fun, not to help me escape reality for a while. I wasn’t having flashbacks, I didn’t feel like my heart was pumping battery acid, I truly felt joy. My digital marketing journey also helped with that. It gave me something to run towards. This added to my joy.
And then, I was very depressed.
Because it occurred to me how truly toxic that place was. For the sake of my own health, happiness, and how I affected the ones I love most, I needed to get out of there.
A Serious Talk With My Husband
As much fun as the class was, I was still being tormented by my day job. Part of my job was organizing painting programs for trees that were in danger of being cut by the city. Well, I did that pretty well, but if the city wants to cut down a tree… it literally takes a miracle to stop it- one I couldn’t provide. Maybe if I had more experience in education in community planning or politics, maybe, but some trees were cut down, and well… guess who got the blame?
The Marketing Career Blueprint Course was a ray of hope, a lifeline, something that kept me going and gave me hope, but that job I had just brought me back down deeper again and again. I couldn’t take it anymore.
I had to make an informed decision.
I thought long and hard about the direction I wanted my life to go in. I was still young enough so that if I wanted to do a stupid financial decision, I would be able to bounce back. I was confident that I could get a job in digital marketing – after all, especially with the pandemic and everything.
I sat down with my husband, and no- don’t take this the wrong way- this wasn’t me asking permission, this was me understanding that any decision I would make affects him too, so I wanted us both to be on the same page.
So, I told him I really wanted to quit this job, that I wanted to dedicate all of my time to building my digital marketing skills as well as start really working hard towards getting commissions. I told him that I was dedicated to getting an entry-level job in digital marketing as quickly as possible.
“Well,” He said, “You’re not happy in your current position at the art gallery, right? Maybe instead of just jumping ship, why don’t you ask your boss if you could work as a digital marketer instead. You said you guys needed one right?”
“No, you don’t understand,” I said. “It’s that place. It’s killing me. It’s making me miserable. It’s making me someone I don’t like. Not only that, but even if I do go to him and ask for that, he’s not gonna say yes.” This was another thing about my boss. He was horribly insecure when someone came in with more expertise about any subject more so than him. He always wanted things done his way, and he needed to be the expert in everything.
“If you’re going to quit anyway,” my husband said with a shrug. I was stunned. “What do you have to lose?” He then went on to say that I was in a very good bargaining position. I had these skills in digital marketing. Since I would be just starting out, I wouldn’t be asking for a raise right away, and the alternative was he would lose a good employee. He would be an idiot to let me go.
The fact that this moment was a “Oh this why I married you moment” aside, I was filled with a new sense of hope. I wrote up some documents, made an appointment, drove to the gallery, sat down with my boss and…
The idiot let me go.
Leaving My Old Job
Or rather, I told him I was unhappy in my current job, gave him the job description, and he said he already hired someone else to do that work. So, I gave him my two weeks notice.
I went into my car. Sat down for a minute.
I was free.
I was scared as hell, but I was free.
There’s an old myth that Cortes burned the ships after reaching America so that if things didn’t work out, his men wouldn’t be tempted to retreat. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but that was exactly how I felt. I needed this digital marketing job to work out. I literally had nowhere to go but forward.
My First Digital Marketing Job
Like a madwoman, I really got sucked into the digital marketing course, my internships, and art in my free time. Things started just working out. My husband got me some contract work putting antennas in boxes for the company he works at, I got quite a few DnD character art commissions, so in a way, it really felt like the Lord was providing.
So, I completed the Digital Marketing Career Blueprint, I completed my internships, I even got a certification in Google Ads, and now it was time to get my first entry-level job in my digital marketing career. I applied to a minimum of two jobs every day. I was getting interviews- which was a great sign because that meant I was doing something right on my resume, so I kept going.
Finally, I struck gold.
I got a message via Indeed about a digital marketing job that worked with addiction and mental health rehabs. They wanted to hire me as an SEO specialist. I got interviewed, then I got my very first real digital marketing job. My boss’ name was Dan. He was a somewhat grumpy fellow (imagine Ron Swanson from Parks and Rec), but he was always willing to answer questions no matter how stupid they were.
My plan was to work there as an SEO specialist for a year, cross-train in Google ads, then reach my end goal of becoming a google ads specialist by the end of the year.
That didn’t happen.
Three months into working there, the entire Paid Media department quit. The hiring managers looked at my resume and saw I had a Google ads certificate and said, “Hey! You wanna paid search job?”
This was one of those times where it felt like there was no way things could go this right for me and something was gonna go horribly wrong (karma, I guess). But then I remembered I literally SUFFERED for two straight years.
The grass was really was greener.
As of this moment, I currently have a career in digital marketing – in google ads – working for an agency that does advertising for community colleges, and I’m loving it so far. I’m currently making $50,000 a year after completing the Digital Marketing Career Blueprint – which is really not bad for somebody who had a career change.
Why Digital Marketing Is A Great Job For Artists
Let’s be honest: it’s very difficult to make a living as an artist. For a long time, if you were going to make a living doing what you love- which is adding beauty to this world- you need to know somebody. Or keep putting yourself out there, and running yourself into exhaustion. It’s so easy to get burned out- especially if you’re not making enough money to feed yourself and do what you love. Art is really such an important thing, that an artist burning out is very saddening.
But, thanks to the internet. That’s changing.
We no longer have to rely on knowing the right out-of-touch people, or brick-and-mortar galleries, or government art grants that you’ll only get rewarded with if you make the kind of art THEY want. There are so many ways to make money as an artist online. You can sell merch, you can run YouTube videos with ad revenue, you can slowly build a following of people who actually like the art you make, and turn them into customers. It really is a lot of hard work and perseverance though, but knowing how the digital marketing world works, you can get a day job literally from anywhere in the world- with the right hours, and you can learn how to better market your work.
At this point, I think we can all agree that to be a successful artist, the most important thing to have (other than good art) is a strong presence on the internet. Having a career in digital marketing is a great way to get a secure job, working from home, while always learning how to stay ahead of the algorithm in order to promote your own art.
I gotta say too, I love having the extra cash so I can hire people on Fiverr to make videos for my comic, then turn them into ads!
Sometimes, The Grass Is Greener
When you’re stuck in a job that makes you want to die every time you wake up, it’s easy to think there’s no way out.
One of the most empowering things I’ve ever heard was “Well you might think “Better the Devil You Know Than the Devil You don’t- don’t be so sure about that!”
I have a bachelor’s degree in art history, and now I make $50,000 a year running Google Ads and do artwork professionally on the side. It all started with that Youtube video I watched that led me to Seth’s Digital Marketing Career Blueprint Course.
I’m not what you’d call a techie – I’m an artist. But because of how straightforward Seth’s course and teachings are, I was able to learn SEO and PPC and start a digital marketing career.
I love the work because it’s flexible and it allows me to use the left and right side of my brain. There’s analysis and creativity. If you’re brand new to the field, or don’t think you can do something “technical”, I’d encourage you to keep exploring digital marketing and see if it’s for you.
With the rise of remote work, companies are now for the first time feeling a real selection pressure. They can’t get away with taking advantage of employees. With digital marketing skills, for every one employer that treats you badly, there are literally hundreds more all over the world that are looking for someone with your skills.
You can also see more reviews like mine on this Seth Jared Course Review page. People who have had success in his course had previous careers as waiters, engineers, office workers, teachers, and a lot of other professions you wouldn’t think would transition into digital marketing.
And you can see an interview I did called “From Struggling Artist to Secure Artist” with Seth Jared on his Youtube Channel by clicking here.
To learn more about the field and how all this is possible, check out Seth’s Free Masterclass on starting a Digital Marketing Career with no experience.