Why spend $100,000 on a marketing degree? I know a young man who recently got his Masters in marketing. He posted about it on LinkedIn. My first thought was…
“What a waste of money.”
He’s doing well for himself. Job in a PR firm plus an attractive competing offer on the table. But that’s in spite of his “education.”
He was already a savvy marketer before he went to uni for it. He’d built a massive Instagram following. And if you look at his LinkedIn engagement, he gets more reach than some gurus.
University didn’t teach him that. I wonder how big his marketing professors’ IGs are. Or if they’ve ever sold anything online. And whatever university did teach him, it certainly wasn’t worth the $100,000+ he spent on it.
There’s a better way and it already exists. Trade school.
My wife did a work-study program instead of going to university. It was like an apprenticeship. By 18, she had several years of work experience. She learned what she needed. And she made money.
Me? I went to university like a r*t**d. And I was well into my 20s before I made my first dime. And I didn’t have any monetizable skills when I graduated.
I will tell my son this.
What About Current Practitioners?
Coaches and course creators love to s*** on university education. I’m not having a go at them for that. Because they’re right. And I just s*** on university myself.
But it’s a bit rich when their programs cost tens of thousands of dollars (see How to Sell Info Like SaaS.) You might say, well, even a $10,000 program is a 90% discount on a useless $100,000 degree. And you’d be right but for the following:
- To someone who makes $1k-3k/month or less (i.e. the overwhelming majority these programs sell to) it doesn’t matter if the program is $10k or $100k. They can’t afford it without going into debt (that’s if they even have access to easy credit.)
- No one ever joins just one program and gets all they need for the rest of their career. The have to join more. They need more education. They need ongoing support (see Océane My Accidental Copy Cub.) Drop $10k for a 12-week program here, $36k for a one-year mentorship there, $999/month for membership over here, and guess what happens. I’ve spent at least $50,000 on my education, probably a lot more.
- Employers invest in their team’s development often have to train more than one person. I’m a small business owner. I can’t pay 200-300 grand to train a team. Can you?
What’s the difference between gurus and university again? Point this out and watch their arguments change to:
- Well you gotta spend money to make money (Can you spend money you don’t have? Tell that to copywriters in Ghana, Pakistan, and the Philippines) Or…
- Who cares if you’re spending 100k if you’re making $1m? (Do you understand cash flow, COGs, and margins? Have you ever run a business other than selling information?)
Again, they’re technically not wrong. But if 98% of their buyers would need to mortgage homes or borrow from friends & family to pay for their programs…
They can get f***ed.
To the Next-Generation Copywriter/Marketer
I‘m writing this for the current and next-generation of copywriters and marketers. If you’re reading this, imagine a program where you won’t have to:
- Go into debt to afford it
- Take on more work than you can handle to keep up payments
- Choose between continuing your membership or cutting costs
Imagine a program that:
- Grows with you as your skills evolve and your career progresses
- Doesn’t force you to wake up at 3 am to attend live calls
- Gives you as much interaction as you need to succeed
Wouldn’t that be something, eh? I wish I could wave a magic wand and produce what’s in my head, 100% fully-formed. But it would take too much blood and treasure to do at once. For now I’ll have to settle for launching it in stages.
Here’s my loose roadmap:
- Stage one, Sep/Oct ’22: Hand-selecting founding members (by invitation only) with an opportunity for lifetime access (think how Elon launched Tesla)
- Stage two, ongoing: Hiring coaches. Ain’t about me, it’s about you. And I already make enough. I can afford to re-invest everything I make here.
- Stage three, Q1 ’23: Adding more disciplines so members become full-stack/T-shaped marketers
It’s gonna be a wild ride. But I’ve got more I want to tell you about before I launch. Because all of this is based on a philosophy of work that’s been crystallizing in my mind over the past year. And until I give you all the context, you won’t appreciate what this means for you.
A while ago watched a video about the “Future of Work.” Absolute cringe. Normie solutions for a normie paradigm that’s dead. And businesses that don’t realize it and adapt are well and truly f***ed.
Here’s what to look forward to over the next few days:
- The copywriter class war
- Remote is a worse-than-office psyop
- Loyalty is earned not owed
- Role- vs outcome-based skillsets (choose your fighter)
- F*** live calls
Inshallah I’ll have enough time to write all this. And I hope you’ll find it useful. If you want to be notified when I publish the next piece in this series, subscribe to my email newsletter.
I agree with everything you say above. Uni is an expensive lesson – generally taught by lecturers that have no real world experience in business. What you are going to achieve with this is truly wonderful. Great to see this happening.