Digital Marketing: Transforming My Life As A Student

Written by
Stephanie Cruz

My journey in Digital Marketing got serious the moment I read, “You are where you are in life because of who you are. If you dream yourself to be somewhere far greater, then you must become someone different to get there.”

I read it and immediately felt a hot sensation of adrenaline rushing through my entire body, stopping right in my head. I began to sweat as my hands got cold and clammy.I thought at the time, “Who do I think I am? Where am I right now?”. Just contemplating.

Well, there I was, enrolled in a Full Stack Marketing Funnels Workshop, starting out with only some basic knowledge about digital marketing.

What can a full-stack digital marketer do?

When it came to the world of advertising, I was familiar with marketing versus digital marketing but I never heard about this concept of a full-stack digital marketer.While researching, the most informative answer I got was an article titled “Full Stack Digital Marketing: Going All-In” by Rich Ux of Riche and Niche.

In his piece, he not only provides insight into the life of a Full Stack Digital Marketer, but he gives an actionable plan on how to get started.One part that had me do a full stop is when I read the following:

“When you become a full stack digital marketer you have unlimited potential to create, build, and bring value to others.”

Immediately, I was sure of THREE things:

  • I want to “have unlimited potential to create, build and bring value to others”
  • Pivot into this industry and be REALLY good at it.
  • I knew I could do it. This was familiar territory for me. I’ve always been a pivoter

digital marketing

Pivoting into digital marketing

For the past few years, I have been able to maneuver through the ebbs and flows of life. I always knew where I was going, but did not like where I would end up. In my early 20s, I was focused on getting work experience in different industries but would always end up in administrative support roles.It was like “groundhog day" for years no matter where I was.

Over a period of 7 years, I worked in three different fields: Operations, Non-Profits, and lastly in Law. My responsibilities were primarily to serve in the administrative/ support roles. Even though I showed the potential to serve in other departments, the company’s self-interests topped my own. In the end, I’d always be relegated to staying in the same role which would result in me feeling unfulfilled- leading me to quit.

During this time, I longed to exercise my creative muscles. So in my free time, I taught myself photography and professional makeup artistry. Learning these skills allowed me to freelance. However, there was still a part of me that felt-this isn’t it. Being a makeup artist provided me with catharsis though, especially when I worked with models and was able to create.

The magic of makeup was that you always start with nothing on a canvas, (aka the model or client) but would end up with something beautiful. Sometimes the client would be so moved at how they looked at the end- that feeling never got old. It was a craft that ensured that the more time you spent with it the better your technique got.Process. Like makeup, digital marketing is also a process you develop. The more you do it the better you get. Deep down, I knew that even though I loved it for its artful expression, I couldn’t imagine myself doing this in the long run.Digital Marketing at the time wasn’t even on my radar. But in 2019, I attended a conference and there I went to see Ryan Deiss speak. He shared his raw, personal story of how he found himself in a $250,000 hole and how he ultimately triumphed by “getting back to zero.” It was the most insightful and inspiring story I had heard in a long time.

Right place right time

I wasn’t in a $250,000 hole, but here I was, 28 years old with no idea what my next pivot should be. One thing Ryan said that stuck out to me was, “When you don’t have the money, you focus on the opportunities.” I wasn’t in the worst situation financially, but there was room to improve. Things can always be better. He then went on to offer all his Digital Marketing Workshops for $1000 dollars.

I felt like I was in the right place at the right time. I had just received my Christmas bonus and had that exact amount. Without hesitation, I knew I needed access to this knowledge base, so I bought in.

Clock showing time

Finally, I had found a field that would challenge me to learn concepts that I’d never explored! This field required me to cultivate a skill set that would not only make myself futureproof but would make me a student for life. I wanted to become an expert- someone who was knowledgeable and resourceful. I wanted to be bothered with social media algorithms, content creation, strategies for growth, etc.

And most importantly, I wanted to provide an immense amount of value.One of my goals on this journey is to create a community where people are looking to pivot but don’t know where to begin. One may be afraid to leave their familiar life for the unknown. This is true for most. But if we have a supportive community, we can either choose to embark in a new direction fearlessly as I have or with baby steps.

Either option wouldn’t negate a support system. I had finally found problems that I could solve and the resources with which I could do so.

A Student Of Youtube University

I began taking the workshops. There are 11 of them to be exact. They were 73.5 hours in total. My strategy was to start with the courses that had the least amount of hours to help build my stamina/knowledge base. I thought I’d be a digital marketer in 3 months. Boy, was I wrong! I soon came to realize that this wasn’t the best method.

My first workshop was E-commerce. Two weeks later, I passed the exam and received my first certification. I was ecstatic and thought, “I am really doing it!”.

So, I moved on to take the next workshop: Content & Marketing. To no surprise, I received the certification. But I soon came to realize I still couldn’t paint a clear picture of how I could begin to apply the lessons if I ever sat down with a client.

This was a problem. I came to the realization that I needed more research to identify the best order to effectively learn and utilize the skill set of a Digital Marketer.

And Youtube University it was.

Youtube Homepage in search of Digital Marketing/ Digital Marketer info

When I found Rich + Niche’s channel, I thought here I was again, at the right place, at the right time. Divine timing indeed. It seemed as if any problem that arose on this new journey I would get answers to.  I instantly became a fan of his content. It was clear and thoughtful, such that a novice as myself could watch his videos alone and get clarity about Digital Marketing as a career.

A few weeks later, after subscribing to his channel he launched his Full Stack Marketing Funnels workshop. I knew I had just invested in Ryan Deiss’ program.  But the content on Rich's channel is so insightful, I can only imagine the knowledge his course would be packed with. He also gave students access to him via check-ins twice a week, alongside the growing community of digital Marketers that he was building. I knew that Rich could provide the clarity I needed to take action.

Scared money don’t make no money

What the hell, I thought. I should give it a shot, and so I did. As the saying goes “Scared money, don’t make no money”. I justified this investment as essential to my career development. I would be determined to get every pennies’ worth out of this course and some more.  I’ve never looked back since joining Rich’s FSMF workshop. Boy, was I right!

The confidence I now have is what has allowed me to transform my life completely, not to mention the knowledge this program has given me was worth the investment. FSMF bridged the gap and painted a clear picture of the prior and new information I learned. I finally understood things like lead magnet design, optimization, automation for long term conversion, email marketing, funnel design, analytics, copywriting and so much more.

Towards the end of the course, I had an immense amount of clarity that allowed me to take action. I now had the confidence to pitch to three different businesses convincing them to let me join their team as their digital marketer. All agreed to let me test my knowledge and fail forward. This opportunity has allowed me to apply what I’ve already learned while continuing to cultivate these new skills that I am proud of.

So what’s next as I hone this digital marketing skillset?

On this new journey, I want to continue to be fearless in pursuing my career goals. I am not afraid of failing or challenging myself to learn things that may not come easy. I will be unwavering in the midst of doubt and anxiety about the unknown. If I could navigate professionally through three different industries while also pursuing two different avenues of creativity, I know I have the versatility and resilience it takes to build something anew. Brick by brick, this is the Digital Marketer’s game.I will stay focused on continuously improving myself and acquiring habits that will support me in the success of this journey. I have a clear mission that will make this pursuit of a new mindset, business philosophy, and lastly awareness, worthwhile. I’ve already completed the course and now am working closely with three businesses as their digital marketer.

Do what you love in Digital Marketing

So to answer the first question, "Who do I think I am?".Hi, I’m Stephanie and I am a Full Stack Marketer based in New York City.

  • Do you feel stuck because you can’t figure out how to produce the type of content that will engage the audience you are trying to reach
  • Do you have an amazing product but no one knows it exists?
  • Have you plateaued creatively and can’t think of any solutions that will have your business hit your first 6/7 figure goal?