Hello, newbie here

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Hello everyone. Glad to meet you guys.

My background:
  • graphic design background
  • Stumbled on r/juststart in early 2019
  • was impressed by the world of SEO and really enjoyed reading case studies there (still do)
  • got into a slave-labour internship at a small digital marketing agency (100$/month, full-time). Worked there for 3 months, mostly web design/web programming
  • landed an entry-level job at a small SEO agency shortly after my internship. Working there ever since
  • learned a lot in the first 3-4 months about SEO, then things became sort of repetitive
And now I'm here. I guess I'm just annoyed that I have to work for my boss while not learning anything new anymore. He's a nice guy most of the times, but him literally being into that "How I only work 4 hours a week and how YOU can do that too!"-mindset is really off putting for me, bc me and one colleague of mine are the whole reason he is able to do this. Maybe I'm jealous, but mostly I just don't feel appreciated for the work I do.

And I have the odd feeling that I get paid below average for an entry-level job. If anyone knows some 'real' salary numbers for entry-positions - I would appreciate hearing them.

I signed up here because I want to start a case study and learn new stuff, gain new experiences. I have too many project ideas in different areas in my mind and I think it's probably not a good idea to start everything at once. I think starting a case study would help me to decide on one project idea and would held me accountable too.

So in short: Tired of working in agencies and looking for new adventures.
 

Ryuzaki

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Hi, @Milk Box, glad you joined us. You'll find all the support you need here, and I'm sure you have a lot you can teach us from your agency experience as well.

I agree, you don't want to start all of your ideas. One is going to be better than the others, probably by far. I'd chase that one. Otherwise it's just "shiny object syndrome" and you'll be spread so thin nothing impactful manages to get done on any of them.

Your boss isn't wrong though. You can definitely be the guy that works 4 hours a week and makes bank. It sucks that he's riding off the work of you and your co-worker, but that's the game. We either get rich ourselves and provide employment for others, or we make others rich by being employed by them. It's a great system that offers great opportunities for the hustler who's willing to carve out his or her own path. We just have to remember to treat our employees, freelancers, and contractors good.

It sounds like you're going to embark on an SEO adventure. A lot of here focus on that. Sounds like we have some great discussion ahead of us.
 
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Hey, @Ryuzaki. Appreciate your message. I should rewatch Death Note some time again.

Your boss isn't wrong though. You can definitely be the guy that works 4 hours a week and makes bank. It sucks that he's riding off the work of you and your co-worker, but that's the game. We either get rich ourselves and provide employment for others, or we make others rich by being employed by them. It's a great system that offers great opportunities for the hustler who's willing to carve out his or her own path. We just have to remember to treat our employees, freelancers, and contractors good.
Heh, I guess that's true. If that's the game I would rather just get rich myself, than basically doing all of the work anyway and just get paid what two of our higher paying clients pay per month. If my boss wouldn't be a micromanager and making me feel like I'm a third grader every time he feels like I get too independent I probably wouldn't second guess every day why I'm not self-employed yet. I do appreciate that he hired me back then though.

It sounds like you're going to embark on an SEO adventure. A lot of here focus on that. Sounds like we have some great discussion ahead of us.
SEO with some PPC sprinkled here and there. Looking forward to those discussions.
 
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If anyone knows some 'real' salary numbers for entry-positions - I would appreciate hearing them.
I'd say that probably depends a lot on where in the world you live and work.

About the case studies and ideas My advice would be to just pick one of them get some experience, and then once you feel like you've reached full potential with it either flip it or let sit as a cash cow, the only needs alittle maintaince work once in a wwhile, then start a new one and build that up and flip the first one, untill you find the one that does the trick for you.

Have you considered building your own agency using freelancers?
 
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I'd say that probably depends a lot on where in the world you live and work.

About the case studies and ideas My advice would be to just pick one of them get some experience, and then once you feel like you've reached full potential with it either flip it or let sit as a cash cow, the only needs alittle maintaince work once in a wwhile, then start a new one and build that up and flip the first one, untill you find the one that does the trick for you.

Have you considered building your own agency using freelancers?
Appreciate your message, @lion1978 Thanks!
What you say sounds reasonable. I should probably just write down all of my ideas and then select one to start with. I have never considered flipping businesses before. Will definitely come back to that idea if I reach that point for one business.

I did consider building an agency at one point. Selected a service I wanted to focus on, checked competition... Eventually I decided against it because I would prefer client communication only in person or over messages. In my experience there is a lot of communication over phone in agencies and I just really dislike having to make phone calls.

I just really dislike having to make phone calls.
I take this one back. Although it's true, it's just a really dumb excuse for me to not pursue that idea that I already looked into. I'll start with an agency as a first project. Thanks.
 

bernard

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Just consider working for a boss to be education you get paid for.

However, if you don't feel like you're learning and your boss is teaching, then find a new job.
 
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What you say sounds reasonable
I would say an entery level job in an agency wwoould be no less than $3.700 and that is really at the low end, but also keep mind that I'm from scandinavia aka Denmark which has one of the highest tax % in the world not to mention the highest vat/sales taxation in the world, which then drives up prices and ultimatley living expenses.

One thing you might consider with an agency is going the leead gen way, on the plus side is that you have to deal less with clients and their constant "why am I not ranking yet?" questions as well as trying to explain to them why it's better to go after buyers keywords and not vanity keywords.

it's an easy sell to them because it's no cure no pay performance marketing.

On the negative side though is that you are taking all the risk, plus you have out of pocket expenses from the get go (depending on how you go about it)

But you can also be as agressive in your marketing as you want. And it can be relatively easily priced.
 
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I would say an entery level job in an agency wwoould be no less than $3.700 and that is really at the low end, but also keep mind that I'm from scandinavia aka Denmark which has one of the highest tax % in the world not to mention the highest vat/sales taxation in the world, which then drives up prices and ultimatley living expenses.
Hey, thanks for that estimation. I live in Germany and I get way less than that. Hopefully this is due to the high tax in Denmark and not me just getting paid below average like I speculated.

I think going the lead gen route is one of the smartest things to do in online marketing. Especially if one aims to generate leads for local businesses. But personally I would prefer doing a design agency. The niche I was looking at would make it possible to ask for high prices per product and I wouldn't need to explain ungrateful clients why they lost their #1 spot in Google. Competition seems very low too.

The downside would be that I would have to prepare a portfolio first and spend more time on the website design than one would usually do. And obviously in the beginning I'll need time to make the product for the client before I can eventually move to freelancers.

Not sure if that's the best idea still, but I think it has potential. Might be too advanced for a first project, though?
 
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The downside would be that I would have to prepare a portfolio first and spend more time on the website design than one would usually do.
Interesting idea now the portfolio could be made of websites that you intend to flip later on, or you could go to market places like fiverr and legiit and seoclerks, and other like that and simply staart by selling there to build a portfolio and some reputation, and you could list your design service here as well.
 

bernard

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Hey, thanks for that estimation. I live in Germany and I get way less than that.
Maybe you should move to Denmark then? Or Sweden or Norway or Poland?

I feel like a lot of people are not seeing the bigger picture in regards to the European job market. Most companies are dying to have people with a foreign background on staff, provided they can adapt and learn the language quickly. Most agencies worth anything have clients that are international. It's a HUGE benefit to have a native speaking foreigner on staff. Again, provided said foreigner is at least fluent in English and willing to invest in local language.

And this move is south to north mostly, but also west to east. Salaries in places like Estonia are not that bad for IT. Yes, much lower than Scandinavia, but are the really that low compared to Britain or Germany? You have to factor in the cost of living which is much lower there.

Be that bridge between countries.

For your personal life, there's nothing more exciting than being a younger expat in a foreign country. You can leave all the mundane stuff behind, the politics, the grievances, the cultural peculiarities of your personality and try life at a different location.
 
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Interesting idea now the portfolio could be made of websites that you intend to flip later on, or you could go to market places like fiverr and legiit and seoclerks, and other like that and simply staart by selling there to build a portfolio and some reputation, and you could list your design service here as well.
Love this idea. Can't believe I haven't thought of this one myself. Will definitely build my portfolio that way. Thanks man, much appreciated!

Maybe you should move to Denmark then? Or Sweden or Norway or Poland?
Appreciate your message - and it made me think for a while. I wanted to move to north germany some time in the future anyway, might as well work in Denmark then. Unfortunately I'm not the only one to be making this decision of moving to another country. Maybe living near the border would be a good compromise.

I'll definitely keep this one in my mind. I'm always up for new adventures.
 

Steve

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Interesting idea now the portfolio could be made of websites that you intend to flip later on, or you could go to market places like fiverr and legiit and seoclerks, and other like that and simply staart by selling there to build a portfolio and some reputation, and you could list your design service here as well.
If you want to build a portfolio for high end web design, building sites for fiverr clients is going to be extremely frustrating - it doesn't matter if you put in 10 times more work than you bill for, if they are buying on fiverr they will have cheaped out on everything else as well. Their shit logo, unreadable copy and badly lit photos will seriously reduce any portfolio value.
Secondly, cheap clients are the absolute worst to work with. They will second guess everything.

If you want to do portfolio work, I would recommend doing it for free. Yes really. By going free, you retain control, you explain up front that it's for your portfolio, and can simply say no to any bad suggestions.
This will also set you up for real work - having confidence in your work, and saying no, alot, is the key to success in this industry.
You can also cherry pick clients - go find a business in your chosen niche, with a crap website, and rebuild it, host it, then offer it for free on the proviso they recommend you to another business owner.
 
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If you want to do portfolio work, I would recommend doing it for free. Yes really. By going free, you retain control, you explain up front that it's for your portfolio, and can simply say no to any bad suggestions.
This will also set you up for real work - having confidence in your work, and saying no, alot, is the key to success in this industry.
You can also cherry pick clients - go find a business in your chosen niche, with a crap website, and rebuild it, host it, then offer it for free on the proviso they recommend you to another business owner.
You could also potentially find people who need a website and offer to create it for free as long as they pay for hosting (using your affiliate link).
 

EyesExist

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You should be able to find quality clients for your portfolio between BuSo and Reddit honestly.

And this might be annoying, but also Instagram. IG can be a great way to source out new clients in pocket niches that are explosive. How? I'd work backwards finding product that's hot-sellers on ebay. Then flip it around and find who's moving units on IG. There's a ton of hidden jewels in this method.
 
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Appreciate the feedback a lot. Thanks a lot everyone.
I'm looking at building a portfolio for rich media. I guess I gave off the wrong idea here when I was talking about building websites (to host some of the media, depending on what I would create).
I still really like the idea of flipping websites which includes the stuff I created for my portfolio and will definitely pursue this one.

For clients: Would I also just look for clients the same way as for websites? It's easy to tell if a website is looking like trash, but I'm not sure how I would do that for rich media? How do I even find people that use rich media? IG might be an idea due to Instagram stories.

I guess I'll have to think about how to do outreach a bit. Also, I should probably try out if my skills aren't completly rusted before I reach out to someone. It's been a while since I worked on that stuff.