From Laid Off to Generating $25,000 in Monthly Revenue with John Doherty of Credo

Episode #059

When John Doherty (@dohertyjf) got laid off from his job, his gut told him not to go out and get another regular job. In this episode, John talks about how he built up a name for himself in the SEO world, used his reputation to land lucrative consulting deals, and self-funded the creation of a product that generates nearly $300,000 per year.

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    Ooops. Audio doesn't work here on IH player!

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      Should be fixed in a minute 👍

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        Working now! Cheers!

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    My Main Takeaways:

    • Event recommendation: Microconf
    • Credo is a lead generation service for digital marketing agencies and consultants.
    • John went through various iterations to get to Credo.
    • John bootstrapped and worked on Credo full time because he got laid-off from his job. So he used the severance pay and the money from his consulting gigs to fund Credo.
    • John uses automation to manage the work since he is the only full time employee.
    • Credo is John’s first profitable project.
    • John interned as a web developer at a company while back in college, and there he learned about SEO and marketing.
    • John prefers to think of himself as a Jack-of-all-Trades, who knows a little bit about a lot of things, but a lot of about a few things.
    • John was a lazy student, and didn’t apply himself in high school, but graduated in the top 10% of his class. He was very complacent and never really wanted to “overachieve”.
    • John says that he’s always had a good work-ethic but it only activates when he’s working on something he enjoys.
    • John blogged twice a week, every week, for 3 years.
    • Around the time John got laid-off his job he began interviewing for other jobs. He eventually had different Director of Marketing job offers with a great salary, and plenty of clients wanting to work with him. But his heart told him not to accept any of those, but to start a business of his own. He knew that if his business did not work out, he could just go back and get a job.
    • John ended up doing consulting full time, 3-4 months after getting laid-off, and working on Credo in his spare time.
    • John has established himself as a seasoned veteran in the SEO world and has no problems getting consulting contracts or generating leads.
    • John outlines the dilemma of balancing a job whilst building a profitable side-project. How working a job can limit the growth of your side-project by consuming too much of your day, yet working less hours on your job leads to less funding for your side-project and your life necessities. (Check out Gavin Bell from Productize and Scale).
    • John never tried to become “well-known” in his field. He just set out to make friends, and he ended up making friends with some pretty influential people. John also blogged twice a week, every week, for 3 years, so content marketing worked in his favour too. He began growing a following on Twitter where he could then begin developing the first version of Credo and get initial traction.
    • The key to building a following is to share what you know
    • The best way to connect with influential people is to provide value and genuinely engage with them. John did this by starting relationships on Twitter, then progressing them to email, then would say hi to them at conferences.
    • Solve your own problems: The idea for Credo came from John solving his own problem of having too many people wanting to work with him, but him not needing the money anymore, so he referred them to other people he knew. And he discovered that lead generation was an actual business. And Creed was born.
    • In the beginning, John worked 60-90 hour weeks balancing consulting and Credo. Going back, he believes that this was necessary, although he would have likely gotten a co-founder, started building a team earlier, and spoken to more mentors.
    • John has a business coach who he pays monthly. (Mentors are free, Coaches are paid).
    • John found mentors by talking to friends and people he trusted who connected him to mentors.
    • When you launch something, you get a couple of early adopters and then it troughs.
    • Are you being productive, or just busy?
    • John says that in order to scale his company revenue, he will have to hire a great team.
    • John’s Advice for Beginners: Find the person that’s done what you’ve done, and consume all their content, then reach out to them with specific questions. Take action, always be shipping!
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    Great podcast! Tip of the day. Be nice. Thanks @csallen for good advices.

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    Awesome timing, I had John on my podcast last Monday! https://siimonsander.com/john-doherty/

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    Hey John! Loved your story, especially the part where you use your consulting experience and turn it into a business. I am doing something similar in the mobile app development space and using content marketing to grow it. I have been doing it for a year but the growth is quite slow. My question to you is what's the best way to learn content marketing and be really good at it? Is it just trial and error? Or some special books/courses/blogs ?

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      Hey Neelabh! Sorry for the delay in the answer here, just noticed your comment.

      Content marketing is one of those channels that is a long term investment, so growth will be slower than something like ads but it is longer term sustainable. Part of it is trial and error and experience, but there are many out there who teach content marketing. There is so much free content on Moz (especially Whiteboard Fridays) about content marketing and outreach, and there are a few courses too. I know Ahrefs has rolled out a course recently about growing their blog quickly. I haven't taken the course but others have said it is great.

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        Hey John, Thanks for the encouragement. Yeah, Moz is really a great resource. I didn't know about the Ahrefs course, will check that out too. Liked your advice on getting a mentor to speed up the business. Need to get one soon :)

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    This comment was deleted 2 years ago.