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My Life in Digital Marketing #0001
In 1988, a friend and colleague gave me a book to read titled, Supertrends. The paperback revealed the imminent arrival of the public information superhighway. I filed this revelation away in a “folder” in my brain for potential use in the future.
In the late 80’s, I didn’t even know how to operate a basic computer, but not long after getting my first PC in 1997, a top of line model, complete with 16 Megs of RAM and a fancy, 14″ monitor, I was making a full-time income as an affiliate marketer promoting dating websites, male performance enhancement supplements, “how to attract women” eBooks, etc. At that time, Amazon only sold books and music, and you couldn’t make any considerable money promoting those for a measly 5% affiliate commission.
By the summer of 2000, I recruited some friends to help. I soon had a full-blown Microsoft NT network in my apartment, workstations and a company mascot (my dog). We were now beginning to rake in lots of affiliate marketing commission. My home-based online business was running on autopilot.
During that time, I was also earning an attractive salary working for a Manhattan-based marketing and PR firm. Life was great. Earlier in 2000, I was asked to assume an Internet Marketing Manager role by the partners at my agency. It was quite apparent that I had the necessary skills to better help our clients generate revenue online. I already outshined the numerous job candidates that our recruiter was serving up to apply for this role at our agency.
Since those early days of the Internet, I have generated a considerable amount of revenue for my clients and myself. It’s fulfilling to deliver the goods, especially for those that have previously been burned by so-called “marketing companies.”
I called a client recently. He owns a large pest control company in Bergen County, New Jersey. He answered the phone, “Jerry Hocek, the man that changed my life.” I replied, “John, how did I do that exactly?” He slyly responded, “You made my phone ring more than it has ever rang before.”
How did I get so good at this?
It’s simple. I first got very passionate about figuring out how to generate revenue online. Then, I dug in and studied what the few savvy online marketers were doing back in those early days of the information superhighway. I tested, tested, tested what I learned and then tested some more.
After I found a winning tactic or strategy, I scaled out the activity to increase sales.
I estimate that over the years, this activity added up to several thousand hours of research and testing and still counting.
I also sought out mentors along the way. I eventually located and utilized a seasoned, accomplished mentor or two for every aspect of digital marketing…affiliate marketing, SEM / SEO, email marketing, sales copywriting, social media marketing, etc.
I obtained mentors, because kids, back in those days YOU COULDN’T LEARN THIS IN COLLEGE, where you were forced to memorize info from textbooks written by academics that never had the pleasure of earning a single dollar online and never will…and you paid a pretty penny for this schooling.
I’m now back in the NYC metro area just two months after a stint on the West Coast, and I’m open to sink my marketing claws and fangs into a new and exciting short-term or long-term marketing role.
Another client calls me a “marketing killer.” …yup. I tell him thanks, but flattery will not get him a lower hourly rate. 😉
The photo in this post is from my birthday outing earlier this month. After a three-hour hike at Ramapo Reservation and a huge Korean BBQ dinner, I was feeling quite happy…and uncharacteristically subdued.