I’ve been laid off. Furloughed. Funemployed. Unhappy in a job. Underworked. Overworked. At this point, I’ve applied to maybe a thousand jobs over the years. And the overwhelming majority of the time, I couldn’t even get a screening interview.
For the times Ididget the interview, I’ve gone through the wringer. Rejected from Google, LinkedIn, Facebook, Slack. Resume uploaded into one black hole after another. Ghosted by recruiters and hiring managers. Assured, “The team loved you but we found someone else who has 1 more year of experience than you in managing WordPress so we hired them instead.”
It was 2021 and I was sick of it. Time to take matters into my own hands.
At this point, I had been publishing online — blogging my marketing thoughts, hosting a podcast, writing a newsletter, and posting on Twitter — for several months. Only it was for my job as Head of Marketing for Growth Machine. It wasn’t really forme. I had never thought of myself as my own brand.
But hey, new year, new me. With renewed focus, I doubled down on tweeting about organic marketing. 1-2x daily tweets. Weekly threads. Sticking closely to marketing. Occasional detours into life.
And here’s the crazy thing: It worked. On a great week, when I’d publish a high-engagement thread and get a couple shoutouts from other creators, I’d gain as many as 6,000 followers in a few days.
Even more shocking, one of my marketing heroes followed me back:Rand Fishkin.
In response, I did what any rational, self-aware human being would do. I gasped, closed the app, and didn’t tweet for days. After all, the guy who invented Domain Authority doesn’t need to see my cringe tweets about 4 underrated ways to edit a blog post.
But eventually, I got over myself. I remembered that Rand didn’t follow me to learn about marketing. He followed me to learn aboutmy perspectiveson marketing. Or just my perspectives in general.
Back to Twitter, focus renewed for the umpteenth time. I stuck with marketing tweets but I now felt more comfortable deviating from the playbook. I posted observations about tech, my favorite recipes, silly anecdotes about parenthood. The things that were unique to me — that people can’t and won’t read anywhere else.
The beautiful irony is that when one of the people I admired most started paying attention, I actually felt more comfortable being myself.
Within a few months, our Twitter friendship turned to a real-life friendship. Over margaritas, Rand, his wife Geraldine deRuiter, and I dished over startup world, internet bros, careers, and more. I even mustered up the courage to pitch Rand on my dream role at SparkToro.
And then weeks after that, I got to meet his co-founder Casey Henry, and we talked about what it would be like to actually work together.
Over a year later, and this is the mentally healthiest I’ve ever felt at work.
I don’t tell this story to brag about it. I tell it because I genuinely believeoutcomes like this are within everyone’s reach. If you set a clear goal for yourself, home in on your unique voice and stick with a topic consistently over time, you’ll turn yourself into a magnet that attracts relevant, even life-changing opportunities.
I love stories. Telling them and listening to them. They always resonate better with me and they often change my outlook on the world. This is why at SparkToro, we’re hosting our first-ever virtual summit centered completely on stories. AtSparkTogetheron November 10, join some of the brightest marketers and creators for a full-day of personal stories. Tell-all sagas. Raw numbers. The juicy details you won’t hear anywhere else… because these speakers are sharing them only at SparkTogether. And it’s not being recorded.
You have until Friday, October 7, toget your early bird ticket.But if you reply to this email, you’ll be entered to win a free pass. I’ll choose a winner on October 7, 12pm PST.
????A secret-weapon resource everyone should know about: ...But if you need this resource, you probably don't want anyone else to know about it. This is a directory of fast-growing startups. Cool for business analysts, even cooler for people who are job hunting. It's like the Wealthfront career-launching list but updated more often.
????What it's like to be on the Joe Rogan Experience: Lulu Cheng Meservey, former head of PR for Substack, takes us behind the scenes.
????I know most of our fears are socialized: …But kids are terrifying by how not-fearful they are. Not for the faint of heart.
????I’m still laughing at this tweet: This was like 3 weeks ago.
???? Sidenote: I’m hosting a semi-secret marketing roundtable tomorrow.Sign up for this free sessionto hear me dish on organic marketing and recession-proof tactics to drive business results.
I’m not afraid to admit I like Taco Bell.