How Seth Hymes Turns Broke College Students into Successful Digital Marketers with No Prior Experience
by Miranda Marsh • November 11, 2022
We interviewed Seth Hymes, a successful YouTuber, author, and course creator, to learn more about his company, In Demand Career Training, which has student after student ditching their minimum-wage jobs and landing the job of their dreams (with no experience).
- Tell me a little bit about your background. How did you get to where you are today?
Answer: Back in 2010, I was an unemployed art school/film school graduate. I graduated college in 1999 and spent 10 years totally clueless, like most college graduates, with an art degree. I had waited tables, been a pizza delivery driver, worked in accounting, and did some film work. Still, I didn’t have any real direction or idea of how to actually make enough money to sustain myself and pursue my passions. I was living paycheck to paycheck and was very unhappy. I felt like a failure because I thought being a college graduate would make you a successful person.
Then later that year, my friend took me to a digital marketing seminar, and it blew my mind. Suddenly the world of digital marketing opened up, and the internet became more than just funny cat videos and Netflix. I realized there were all these opportunities, and my creativity kicked in. I started to teach myself everything I could about building websites, SEO, paid search, affiliate marketing, email marketing, everything! I nerded out for like a year. I tried to create my own online business with affiliate products and affiliate marketing, and I didn’t make much money, but I learned a lot during that time. I also launched my own course on filmmaking; it was the first time I was ever really able to monetize my passion. But I still needed to make more money to sustain myself.
Then I found this ad on Craigslist for an Internet Marketing Technician. I didn’t know what it was, but it said I needed to know GoogleAds, SEO, WordPress, and all these skills I had learned in the last year, but I never thought it could be a job. So I threw together a resume and applied, and they got back to me in about 30 minutes and asked for an interview. Again, I had no job experience, but I talked about what I taught myself, and they hired me the following business day. The VP of the company taught me for a year, and I kept growing and ended up getting up to 6 figures about 3 years into my career. This was life-changing, and I worked at that job for a while, but ultimately I’m an entrepreneur at heart.
In 2016, after being approached by recruiters so frequently on LinkedIn for my skillset, I realized I could teach others how to get jobs like I did. So I put together a course and called it the Digital Marketing Career Blueprint. I partnered up with a YouTuber and got the word out. I had a goal to help 3 or 4 people per month, and within 6 months, it blew up. A lot of people started signing up and, what’s more, getting jobs after completing my course. The demand for the skillset was more than I anticipated. I’ve been doing it now for 6 years, and it hasn’t slowed down.
- Why can’t people learn the things you teach in your course through a college course?
Answer: How college exists cannot be as quick or agile as is required for digital marketing. Traditional college courses stay mostly the same over time, and digital marketing changes quickly. Additionally, colleges have the problem of their tenured professors. Tenured professors have no incentive to stay up to date with anything. They have a job for life, and most of them fall out of touch. As a result, many tenured professors don’t get digital marketing. I saw a lecture from a marketing professor, and he was talking about how the opportunities in digital marketing are shrinking because of Amazon and Google. Which is the opposite of the truth. They’re giving terrible advice.
So it’s an academic environment. There’s no accountability, and it’s completely disconnected from the job market. I have videos on my channel where I go through the marketing curriculums and demonstrate how they’re still teaching bizarre and worthless topics. The marketing courses are old-school market research and consumer behavior, and there may be one or two 3-credit electives for a digital marketing course. Even if somebody takes a digital marketing course, they do not teach what I teach – hands-on experience.
- What do people need to start a career in digital marketing? What is your course like?
Answer: My course is designed for people coming in with no idea about digital marketing. Fresh minds learn best. There are all sorts of information about digital marketing on YouTube and Facebook, and it’s true – there’s a ton of information, but the problem is there’s too much, and you don’t know how to connect the dots. So, through trial and error, I figured out what skills would actually be desirable to an employer.
I teach people in a way that is unique. I’m entertaining, and I make it fun with my creative, artistic background. My students stay engaged in the material and become very passionate about it. I give you everything you need to get a job. No course or college degree could teach everything for every job. Everything in my course is practical.
- How do people get hired after taking a course like yours?
Answer: This is something that is really unique about my course. Other digital marketing courses have decent training but don’t teach you how to get a job. Everything needed to get hired after my course is part of the last quarter of the course. I show my students how to take their experience in my course and turn it into a compelling resume. We cover resumes, LinkedIn, cover letters, and projects needed to start their job search. I also teach my students how to get internships and generate their own experiences.
After several of my students had been hired by different agencies, including Disruptive, I realized I’m a good incubator for good employees. So I’ve connected with a few agencies to stay in touch with when they have hiring needs.
- What are some common pitfalls to avoid with online marketing courses? How is your course different from others?
Answer: First of all, you need to pay attention to who you’re learning from. Many people teach this stuff, so once you figure out your goal, you need to ask yourself if the person teaching the course will help you achieve that goal. Does this person practice what they preach? Do the strategies they’re teaching work?
Second, look out for the course’s promises and make sure they are realistic. My promise is that you can get a job. I’m not teaching you how to make X amount of money in a month or even a year. I have a very realistic promise. The difference with my course is that it has a very specific goal – to help you get a job.
Third, you have to watch out for information overload. Having too much information is almost as bad as having no information. You want to avoid coming out of a 50-hour course and still trying to figure out how to reach your goal. My course teaches the skill set that is needed to land a job.
Finally, watch out for falscarcity. Falscarcity is when they lie about a limited-time sale. You need to watch out for this with high-ticket items. My course has no falscarcity. I haven’t changed the price in over a year, and if my prices are going to change, I let people know at least 3 months in advance.
Just do your research and look for testimonials. Testimonials are something you should look for when you purchase any course ever. Ensure the testimonials being shared are transparent and specific to the course you’re purchasing. For example, all my students give their LinkedIn profile and a detailed interview or message explaining their specific situation. You can connect with them on LinkedIn; they will talk to you and answer any questions you have.
Thank you so much, Seth, for taking the time to chat with us. What an incredible thing you’re doing.