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From Marketing to Sales Engineering: Isaac Lewin’s Success Story

Success Story
Jan 05, 2024
From Marketing to Sales Engineering: Isaac Lewin’s Success Story

People often say that our childhood experiences shape our adult lives. This is definitely true for Isaac since he started advertising back in his teens and is still highly involved in marketing and sales. Can Careerist training help you find a fulfilling non-techy career? Let’s find it out!

The first question, as usual, is a question about your background. Could you please tell us a little bit about your background before you decided to join the tech sphere?

I found a unique way into sales. When I was a sophomore in college, I was introduced to door-to-door sales. I went to a university from a community college and met a bunch of young kids with really high energy and I was like, “What are you guys up to?” They told me they were just coming back from canvassing somewhere, and I got interested. They told me about what door-to-door sales were, and I went with them the next summer. We were selling $10 books door to door. By the end of my first summer, I had made around $8,000. The second summer I made $10,000, and then my university actually hired me to train college students. I also did recruiting, trained the new folks, and ordered books. Overall, I had to run the entire enterprise. So it gave me a springboard into sales and leadership. In time I got out of it, since I left that school. 

Then I made a couple of attempts at selling a bunch of different stuff, like Petco or Cutco. By that time I realized there’s a lot of money to be made in door-to-door sales. But then a friend of mine in Charlotte was working at a company named Yodel, which got bought out by I was interviewed and got my offer. I moved from Tennessee all the way back to North Carolina. And that was what got me into tech sales. 

What did you do in your first tech sales position?

I started selling SEO (search engine optimization) and PPC (pay-per-click)—you know, doing social media marketing. And it was really like a nice little platform all in one spot. It was essentially like an early, high-level version of a one-stop marketing platform. 

I see. How did you learn about Careerist, and why did you decide to join the bootcamp? 

While I was trying to get back into sales, I wanted to build myself up and strived for a remote job. It took me three years to land something, to go on YouTube and find communities. At some point, I stumbled upon Cyrus's content. He was talking about Careerist, their training, and tech careers. I wasn't sure which one to go with. I got back into school because I realized I'd been asking everybody to trust me—and I had already sold tech products—but no one just trusted me. Maybe if I had a certificate, they would trust me. That's what led me to join the course.

It looks like you had to decide among different bootcamps, trends, training, and courses. Why did you choose Careerist? 

Careerist is definitely like the Cadillac of the industry. I looked at the different price points and I thought to myself, “Why would they feel justified in charging almost 10 times more than this person?” There has to be some value behind that. You can't just throw out an inflated number; there has to be value. I understood that it was professional Sales Engineers, people who are actually working nine to five, training others in their off time. So you're buying expensive talent to teach us; it's really the high-quality teachers. The decent payment structure was another reason, so made it as easy as possible for me to get in. So there were a lot of things that made sense for me and made me decide to go with you guys. It just seemed like a more complete package. I feel like employers will probably know that your graduates stand out and take Careerist graduates more seriously since these are the people who invested in themselves. 

What did you like best about your training? Was there anything complicated for you?

I really liked the modules and the class structure. The dates and deadlines they gave us didn't make us feel like we were overwhelmingly pressured to get things done. At the time I actually had a lot of free time. The interactive part was awesome; it felt like the teachers were there for the class. I can't remember his name, but it was one of the oldest coaches—the guy who was there pretty much when the microchip was invented. He was able to break down the history of the computer from the beginning all the way to where we are today. In my opinion, it’s very valuable to know where it came from, where networks came from, and how it was all built. So I like that you guys give us a lot more than just information about selling. You guys also gave us a lot of technical information so we can speak and sound more intelligent. 

I know you’ve worked with Francisco Calderon. Could you tell us a little bit more about this collaboration? 

My relationship with Francisco Calderon was, I would say, one of the most valuable things I got out of Careerist. We’re still friends and we still communicate on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is not like Facebook, Myspace, or Instagram, and he has helped me to understand it to the full. You may think that what you do on Facebook or Instagram will work on LinkedIn, but it just won’t, especially when it comes to how AI has revolutionized the hiring process. You don’t normally think, “Oh, I need to optimize my LinkedIn profile or resume so that the spiders that the AI sends out will be able to recognize them and bring the information back to the spreadsheets.” No one wants to dig into your profile or resume: it’s AI that does it all. 

He helped me not only to switch my mindset but actually word them correctly. We had several Zoom meetings to brush up on my resume. The change was incredible. Before that, I was the one going out trying to chase recruiters and other things, but after the resume review, they would literally be pinging me. And I would be getting so many interviews. This was while I was still in the program. I hadn't even started using JAS yet, and I already had a bunch of interviews in my pocket.

It sounds like you landed your job quickly. How long did you search for a job? 

I believe I’m one of the weirdest students you’ve ever had in your bootcamp. I got multiple gigs before I finished the training. The first one was with a startup, Paragon IO, that has another little branch division thing that they're doing. When I started with them, I realized they had no money to spend on marketing and advertising for themselves. Then I was put into another startup. That was a little better and had a base pay. I did that for quite a while, actually. That time I rode my way up because I was like the founding account executive. After being there for a while, I created all the SOPs (standard operating procedures), scripts, and PowerPoints. I literally created everything to make it like it was so that I could create a sales team under me and then make commissions from them. So I kind of moved my way into a leadership position, and I started recruiting. But then God connected me with this family I knew from back in 2013. I was doing some advertising work for a part of their farm. I moved to Georgia to work in this job here. The reason they thought I'd be a good connection is because they realized I had a lot of ability with advertising because you guys at Careerist teach graphic design and stuff like that. But I knew a lot about graphic design, copywriting, and all those things. Next, they liked the fact that I knew a lot about sales and how to sell from a value-based perspective. 

It looks like you’ve followed a winding road to your current job. What is your current job about?

I work with books. There are quite a lot of authors who have already published with us. Our company guides authors through the publishing process. True, I’m not selling data solution packages, apps, or software in that regard. But we are helping authors. 

Another thing we do is advertise for other types of organizations. I’m managing a magazine, so my job is pretty diverse and unique. I'll be doing outreach, inbound, outbound, cold email, and cold calling. And then another day I'll be doing straight copywriting for the website or email or graphic design. So it's a unique place, but it’s a fun job since it’s never the same from day to day.

That sounds good. Do you have a favorite book, story, or author who has recently published with you?

I don't have any yet. There are always new authors coming in. So one of the things I did was go through the list of all the authors we've had conversations with dating back to 2019 but didn't sign with us. I was able to rekindle some old relationships because they didn't understand certain parts of our agreement. So I've had a few appointments that, if you want to say “came out of the graveyard,” I've been able to resurrect. So that's been a really neat feeling. 

I heard a story about a lady who wanted to publish a book, but they didn't think the book was going to do that well. She's not an author but definitely likes to write stories and so forth. We offered her to start with 100 books and see how well that would do. If that went well, then we would get 1,000 printed copies. Well, the lady got offended and insisted on having us start with 1,000. The conversation ended with the woman getting 5,000-something copies because she was confident she’d succeed with that. Usually, you have to pressure the person to look and believe it's going to work.

That's good that you're trying to communicate with them just to make sure that they trust you. So that's why you're trying to work with these people as well.

People understand that we have values that we uphold.

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So what is special about books in your life? 

Well, even before books, what's funny is the first job I ever got, when I was fourteen-and-a-half years old, was in advertising: standing outside of Pizza Hut and apartment complexes with signs and spinning them. I started with advertising and I don't know if I'll ever get out of it. But books are amazing; once that book is inside that door, that person will have the value of the book, and the book will never lose its value. Is the book really worth $13? Or is the book worth you having recovery from depression? Is $13 worth having recovered from depression? You know, is it the book? Or is it what you want from the book? So books have this special air about them; the value of the book isn't necessarily in the book itself. 

That's very interesting. Speaking about your everyday routine, could you tell us a little bit about the people around you—your colleagues you work with?

We have a receptionist, a graphic designer, a customer service person, a tech salesperson, and a shipping person. When people die and leave a large collection of books, it can be mailed to us. Then we will weigh the received books and give them money based on the weight and age of the books. If books are older than 1915, they're worth $5 a pound. Once that’s done, we give them their money (some people choose to donate the money).

How long have you been there so far?

I’m in my third month .

What are your future plans career-wise? 

I believe my current job gives me excellent opportunities. The owner has been running this business for 40 years. Everything started before the internet came out, and now we’re adapting to the modern market. One of my goals here is to incorporate digital products into the business, and I’m pushing this idea forward. As I see it, we'll be able to increase it probably threefold just by adding in some mid-to-high-ticket digital products. We have lots of qualified authors and experts to succeed.

We truly admire the way you have approached your career. You're not just selling or making people buy things; you're also giving them hope and an opportunity for their work to see the world. 

If you feel inspired to boost your skills and bring your career to the next level, apply for Careerist Sales Engineering training today!

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