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Emma Still http://emmastill.com Tue, 29 Nov 2016 16:56:09 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.3.24 The Digital Marketer’s Guide to Recruiting Top Talent http://emmastill.com/the-digital-marketers-guide-to-recruiting-top-talent/ http://emmastill.com/the-digital-marketers-guide-to-recruiting-top-talent/#comments Mon, 15 Feb 2016 18:59:06 +0000 http://emmastill.com/?p=1382 As a digital marketer, count how many times you have thought to yourself, “Jeez… it’s so tough to find good people to hire in this industry.” You’re not alone. When you’ve got competing priorities sometimes finding the right people to … Continue reading

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As a digital marketer, count how many times you have thought to yourself, “Jeez… it’s so tough to find good people to hire in this industry.”

You’re not alone. When you’ve got competing priorities sometimes finding the right people to join your team falls pretty low on your to-do list. Whether that’s because it’s too hard, you don’t have the budget to hire recruiting help, or you just don’t know where to start – we’ve all been there.

The problem is that Digital Marketing is such a high-growth, fast-paced industry that if you aren’t getting the right people on your bus, you’re losing competitive advantage. Fortunately, there are ways to utilize your digital marketing prowess to easily find qualified people that you could add to your team.

Think of it this way:

Recruiting is exactly the same as smart link building.

When forming a smart link building strategy, you first search for people in your brand’s niche that would want to link to your site. Then, you reach out to them with a value proposition or request. Hopefully they respond and express interest in building a relationship with your brand.

This is exactly the same process (good) recruiters use. Great recruiters first seek to start a conversation or spark an interest with a candidate in the hopes that they are interested in joining their company’s team. It’s the same process as link building, but the language in the HR world just differs slightly.

<This post originally appeared on Seer’s blog. Continue reading here.>

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Things You Learn When Vacationing Alone http://emmastill.com/vacation/ http://emmastill.com/vacation/#comments Fri, 12 Jun 2015 22:12:39 +0000 http://emmastill.com/?p=1344 Coming to you live from Mexico! This is the second solo resort vacation I’ve taken (my first was in Puerto Rico last year) and would like to share some things I’ve learned while traveling “solita”. Some of these lessons are … Continue reading

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Coming to you live from Mexico! This is the second solo resort vacation I’ve taken (my first was in Puerto Rico last year) and would like to share some things I’ve learned while traveling “solita”. Some of these lessons are specific to warm weather, resort, and foreign countries, but if you’re considering a vaca that doesn’t fit neatly into that box, just use your imagination.

1) If you’re going to a country in which you don’t speak the language, you should learn how to say “Nope, just me” in their native tongue. And prepare to repeat it at leeeasstt 11 times a day.

2) Have an answer prepared for “what are you doing tonight?” that makes attempting to interpret The Real Housewives in English and ordering room service for yourself sound non-negotiable for when the creep at the pool named Damian from Miami, with two kids old enough to have kids themselves, asks to eat a sub-par “steak dinner” together at the (free) hotel buffet.

3) Your bikini body really isn’t THAT bad.

4) 3 nights and 4 days is perfect. It gives you a few nights in a big ass bed to yourself and a few days to shamelessly drink for 12 hours a day (with intermittent poolside naps in between) without fear of judgement or needing a detox afterward. Bump that to 4 nights and 5 days and you’ll wonder what life choices you made that forced you to be alone in a foreign place for so long and cry yourself to sleep. 2 nights and 3 days? Well that doesn’t allow enough time to pass for you to forgive/forget all the muggles and trolls back home for forcing you to impulsively book a vacation in the first place. I repeat: 3 nights and 4 days is perfect.

5) If you’re going alone, and are also single, be prepared for men, older couples, and servers to look at you like you have 12 heads when you tell them that not only is your boyfriend not with you, but -gasp- he doesn’t exist (!?). “¿Es verdad? ¿No tienes un novio???”

6) You’ll tell lies of omission to your mom about the night there was violent banging on your door and phone calls/hangups coming to your room at 1:00am.

7) Load up your Kindle in advance with Gone Girl, Bossypants, and other girly ass books. The speed at which you’ll tear through them is shocking. And lord knows finding a wifi signal strong enough to download more books is like finding water in Mexico that won’t give you diarrhea.

8) Not having to deal with anyone else getting cranky when the line at the airport is too long, complaining they want to hang out at the pool when you want the beach, or telling you falling asleep at 8:30 watching Mad Men is “lame” …is really liberating. On the flip side, not being able to talk to someone about how silly that baby walks, how good this sunscreen smells, or how soft the sand is kinda sucks. But you get over it.

9) Tourists can’t resist a selfie stick. But you probably already knew that.

10) You’ll inevitably make friends with the staff if you’re staying at a resort. And you’ll be inspired to pick up Spanish again and insist on downloading Rosetta Stone when you finally get a reliable internet connection again.

11) Wear a hat or risk getting a sunburnt scalp and trying to convince people back home it’s not dandruff 1 week later when your head is shedding.

12) People (i.e., American tourists) are disgusting, gluttonous, and suspectedly all alcoholics. I hate to break it to you but given both a nacho buffet at the pool and a swim-up bar, you won’t be any exception. Sorry.

¡Bon voyage!

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Cutting Through The Clutter: Precise & Concise Communication http://emmastill.com/communication/ http://emmastill.com/communication/#comments Mon, 08 Dec 2014 12:24:33 +0000 http://emmastill.com/?p=1312 Written communication has always been something that I’ve struggled with and have been trying to improve upon. Heck, it’s one of the reasons I started this blog in the first place.  I used to dread simply sending emails. In hindsight, … Continue reading

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Written communication has always been something that I’ve struggled with and have been trying to improve upon. Heck, it’s one of the reasons I started this blog in the first place.  I used to dread simply sending emails. In hindsight, this could have been because I was a college student who didn’t have much practice with formal written communication.

The further you advance in your career and the more experience you have under your belt, the more practice you get. Since I started at Seer, boy, have I gotten a lot of practice. While I value a quick face-to-face conversation or phone call as much as the next person, emails are nearly impossible to avoid at work. I receive close to 3,000 emails a month and send close to 700 emails every month, so I needed to get more comfortable communicating via the written word – stat.

yikes

Effective communication, both written and verbal, is one of the most important ways to ensure that projects keep moving along, that your voice is heard, and that you’re connecting with your coworkers. So I’ve been nerding out about it pretty hard.

In an effort to keep improving, not only did I observe people whose communication styles I admired, but I also did a lot of reading on the communication styles and words we use at work that have a dramatic effect on the way our messages are heard.

Below are a few of the articles that I’ve read that are engrained in my mind every time I’m drafting up any sort of message and actively attempting to improve my communication. These reminders have been so helpful in my journey to improvement that now coworkers even come to me for advice on the subject and it’s flowed into my personal life and personal written communication. I’m still far from perfect (and I still dread writing almost as much as I used to) but wanted to share some of the things that have made it easier.

Concise communication

No one is not busy. Respect yourself by reducing the time you spend drafting messages by being concise, and respect recipients time spent processing your message by being concise. One rule of thumb I like to use is the five.sentenc.es rule. If you’re concerned that your shorter messages will offend people, they give you a handy dandy email signature that justifies your short n’ sweet communication. 

“five.sentenc.es is a personal policy that all email responses regardless of recipient or subject will be five sentences or less. It’s that simple.”

Consultative approach to communication

As a consultant, I need to be communicating with my team and my clients in a way that is direct, easily understood, and persuasive. Using weak language can totally sabotage this. I have the following images printed out and keep them at my desk as a reminder of the framework that my recommendations should follow, from this slideshare deck.

i believe that - if i'm right - to test this i will

 

we tested, as a result we, resulted in

Some other phrases I like to use that help me reign in my recommendations in a concise and assertive way can be found in this article.

Instead of using fluffy “we think” / “we feel” / “we hope” language, the following phrases are much more effective in directly stating your point:

• We’re confident . . .
• We’re convinced . . .
• We’re optimistic . . .
• We expect . . .

Nuanced language

I’ve been trying to say “You’re welcome” instead of “No problem.”

When someone thanks you, it’s fairly common to reply absentmindedly with “no problem”, or “np!”. Replying in this way minimizes what you did for that person and implies that the time you spent helping someone else is not valuable.

When someone thanks you, the courteous and polite reply is, “You’re welcome.”

“The meaning implies that it was a pleasure for you to help the person, and that you receive their appreciation,” Price says. “Though the casual laid-back phrase, ‘no problem’ may intend to communicate this, it falls short. It actually negates the person’s appreciation and implies the situation could have been a problem under other circumstances.” – Darlene Price, Forbes

Another thing that I’ve been trying to avoid is using minimizing and weak language; the biggest offense being the over-use of the word “just”.  “Just wanted to throw this out there…” , “Just wondering if … “, “Just wanted to follow up…”, etc.

This first became very clear to me when I was getting feedback on the draft of this blog post, and a coworker noted all of the places in the post that I was hedging and minimizing my point(s). It was such eye-opening feedback to see how often I used this type of language in my writing, emails, and even verbal communication.

Alienating Language

I’ve been more sensitive to the words “obviously” or “of course” or “clearly”. This was sparked during a conversation I was having with a friend about the annoying things his coworker said: one of which being “obviously”. You should never assume that something is obvious to someone. It’s presumptive and unempathetic on your part, and offensive and condescending to the other party. If you’re saying of course or obviously or clearly, and that subject is not obvious to the other person, it immediately takes them off track and they begin to wonder what’s wrong with them for ‘not getting it’.
This last one is one of the hardest habits I’ve been trying to break recently. I’ve been trying to avoid addressing groups of mixed gender groups with the word “guys”: “Hey guys.” “Thanks, guys.”, etc.

I noticed this (and felt especially bad about it) the last time I taught a classroom full of women and realized that I addressed them as “guys” the whole time. It became even clearer to me recently when a coworker addressed a group of women at Seer in an email as “guys” twice in the same message. It really stood out to me and I started researching to see if I was being totally crazy or unreasonable for thinking it was insensitive. This article explains the prevalence and concern much clearer than I possibly could (hey, I’m still working on my written communication!), and there is some valuable discourse in the comments section.

Let’s be realistic, though. We’re all guilty of calling groups of women or mixed gender groups “guys”. Awareness is the first step to at least acknowledging and attempting to correct it.

Are some of these things nit picky? Sure. Do I still slip up from time to time and break my own rules? Obviously. But have I been a more effective communicator as a result of at least being aware of areas to improve? You bet. Is it annoying when people ask and immediately answer their own questions? Hell yes.

 

Kind thanks to Marianna Morris for reviewing this post & helping me out of my crippling writer’s block.

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A New Manager’s Guide to Winning Over the Team http://emmastill.com/new-managers-guide-winning-team/ http://emmastill.com/new-managers-guide-winning-team/#comments Tue, 04 Nov 2014 14:16:58 +0000 http://emmastill.com/?p=1301 Originally published on Business2Community Can you remember a manager that you looked up to or admired? What was it about them that earned your respect? Part of what makes a good manager is having a solid skill set, sound judgment, … Continue reading

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Originally published on Business2Community

Can you remember a manager that you looked up to or admired? What was it about them that earned your respect? Part of what makes a good manager is having a solid skill set, sound judgment, and good decision making skills, but have you ever looked up to a manager just for the person that they were? Part of being a good manager is simply being good to those around you.

As a manager, there are many duties that fall into the large, seemingly ambiguous category of “being good to people” like doing great work, getting results, mentorship, coaching, providing opportunities for continued learning – the list goes on.

When I began managing my own team, I thought about what it really means to “be good” to your team, and the tangible steps I could take to fulfill that requirement.

If you’re managing people in any capacity, whether that be clients, team members, or other managers, the following are some of the little things that can help you establish a layer of trust with the people you work with to make them feel heard, appreciated, and cared for.

Work Anniversaries

Using FollowUpThen, set alerts for each team members’ work anniversary. This information is readily accessible through company records, or through a quick browse on LinkedIn. Setting up alerts will allow you to (at the very least) acknowledge their contribution to the team in an email or card, or perhaps a small gift. I’ve set mine for 10 days prior to each team members’ actual anniversary date.

 

 

Remembering-work-anniversaries

A quick email message can really go a long way. Below is an example of an exchange with a client:
Remembering-client-milestones

Hat tip to @AndrewMeyer8 for the inspiration on this one!

Team member birthdays

Sending your team member a quick email or handwritten card for their birthday may go a long way. It’s a little thing that takes 2 seconds to set up, but lets them know you care. This information may be accessible via Facebook (birthdays are typically public) or Google+ profiles, or you could contact your HR department. If you’re having an especially hard time finding their birthday and want to be stalky about it, check AllMyTweets for the word “birthday”.

For people outside your company, such as third party vendors or clients, donating in their name to a charity you know they are involved with may be a nice departure from the typical fruit basket or gift card. I set alerts for 10 days in advance.

birthday-reminder-emails

Twitter

Keeping an eye on what your team is talking about on Twitter may prove to be insightful:  What kinds of articles are they sharing? Are they engaging with potential recruits? Are they tweeting all day when they owe deliverables? Are they promoting a piece of content they wrote that you might not have known about? I set up a Twitter list with each of my team members and added as a column in Tweetdeck to monitor these things every so often.

I’ve also created a separate list for the points of contact involved with my clients’ accounts. And no, I don’t mean a Twitter list with their company’s Twitter accounts. I mean your POC’s personal accounts. This will help you uncover things they care about, company announcements, blog posts they’ve written, hobbies, etc. This, at the very least, gives you fodder for small talk during downtime on a conference call. Set up each of these lists with a custom column in a social media tool like Tweetdeck.

twitter-list

Online Mentions

I set up TalkWalker (my favorite) alerts for each of my team members and client points of contact. I’d like to know where they’re being mentioned on the web. Did they publish a blog post or guest post somewhere? Did they make it into a roundup post somewhere? Were they mentioned in the news? I’d love to be on top of that and recognize them when possible.

A New Managers Guide to Winning Over the Team image talkwalker alert for managers 600x53

For example, through the use of TalkWalker alerts, I found that one of my team members’ was engaging with reporters via HARO on his downtime. As a result, he earned mentions on publications such as Search Engine Land and US News, and in turn, mentions of our company.

Time Zones and Holidays

This is a must if you’re working with international clients or team members. Add their country’s holiday and time zone to your calendar to always be aware of them. This way you’ll know not to schedule meetings on days your team won’t be in the office and you can ask them how their Independence Day was, for example.

In Google Calendar, under the “other calendars” header in the left-hand menu, select “Browse Interesting Calendars”.

A New Managers Guide to Winning Over the Team image add time zone to google calendar

To add a secondary time zone in Google Calendar, select the gear icon and navigate to settings. Under Time Zones, you have the ability to add whichever time zone you’d like. It will then be displayed alongside your time zone.

A New Managers Guide to Winning Over the Team image time zone google calendar 600x203

Hat tip to Matt Hoff.

Company Recognition

I set up email filters to flag any company-wide emails that my team members are contributing to or mentioned in. Sometimes it’s easy to miss stuff in company-wide emails so having them flagged will help me identify when my team member is contributing or earning praise from others and reward accordingly.

A New Managers Guide to Winning Over the Team image team recognition email filters 600x85

Blog Subscriptions

If the people you’re working with write a blog or contribute to a publication, subscribe to it! This is another way to gain insight into their thoughts, opinions, and things that will potentially help you establish a deeper connection.

When setting up alerts for one of my POCs, I found that his fiance has a blog. I found a ton of information about their home-building plans, their new dog, and some of the trips they’ve taken. I learned so much by doing 10 minutes of research, so I subscribed to her blog. This allows me to make a personal connection with my POC to establish trust and rapport.

If your team members (or their fiance!) write on their own blog, subscribe to it.

Important Dates

If you get to know your team on a personal level, chances are they will open up to you about things like births, weddings, engagements, etc. For example, one of my POCs is engaged to be married in October. I set up an alert to remind myself to send a handwritten card or gift.

A New Managers Guide to Winning Over the Team image important date reminder

I’m on a quest to do all of the “little things” I can to be the best I can to the people I’m working with. The tasks above took me less than an hour to set up for my team of 6 people and my client points of contact. If you could take one hour out of your day to be a better person to your team, would you?

Are there any things you’ve done to be great to your people? Are there any great stories you have about a current or previous manager? I’d love to hear them all in the comments below!

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Baby Steps to Positivity http://emmastill.com/baby-steps-to-positivity/ http://emmastill.com/baby-steps-to-positivity/#comments Sun, 23 Feb 2014 18:38:13 +0000 http://emmastill.com/?p=1211 Last year I began a challenge to write down at least one positive thought every single day. This was partly inspired from Pinterest, partly inspired from my mom. The idea is to take a small piece of paper, write down a … Continue reading

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life-beautiful-ride

Last year I began a challenge to write down at least one positive thought every single day. This was partly inspired from Pinterest, partly inspired from my mom. The idea is to take a small piece of paper, write down a highlight from your day, something you learned, a fun trip, an accomplished goal, etc. and put it in a jar. At the end of the year, read through all of your “happy moments”. They serve as a reminder of how lucky we all are, the things we worked hard to achieve, and help us appreciate all that we have.

At the end of last year, my mom read through her happy moments with me, and although there weren’t nearly 365 of them, it made me happy to hear about the positive things in her life, and I was inspired to do the same.

So in 2013 I tried to write down my happy moments. There were months where I was writing several per day, and months where I wrote nothing at all. The important part is not to be disappointed in yourself if you aren’t writing often; that defeats the purpose of the exercise. Make it a goal to write often, but don’t beat yourself up about it if you don’t.

New Year’s Day came around in 2014, and I read through all of the notes I wrote. If you know me, you know I have a terrible memory. Reading through all of the great things from 2013 allowed me to re-remember them, and make less room in my brain space for any negative memories that may have been floating around.

Some of my happy moments from 2013
Some of my happy moments from 2013

I’ve been trying especially hard this year to write down all of the wonderful things that have been happening. I’m really looking forward to filling up my jar in 2014 and reading more and more happy moments in 2015.

I cheated a little and dug one out to share. Even a root canal can be a positive experience if you make it so : )

photo (3)

It’s so easy to get bogged down with negative energy experiencing all of the terrible, awful, shitty things that happen in our world. The little things can ruin your day if you let them. Why not make the opposite true? Why can’t the little things make your day? Finding ways to remain positive can have a notable impact on your general disposition, relationships with others, and your work.

Aside from keeping my “happy moments jar” going, there are a few other little things that I’ve been doing to [try to] keep the positive energy flowing:

Favorite songs playlist

We’re lucky these days to have the luxury of streaming music seamlessly (add that to the jar!) through things like iTunes, Spotify, Pandora, etc. One thing that I’ve been doing is scanning through my collection of music and adding one or two of my favorite songs from each album into a “favorite songs” playlist. When I’m feeling stressed, pissed, or just tired, I listen to this playlist. I find myself surprised about 5 seconds into every song thinking, “OMG I looove this song”, and then remember “Duh… I made this playlist.”

Positive emails folder

Studies show that work is a source of stress for 100% of people. Well, I made that up, but I highly doubt it’s not true… Some people are fortunate to work at places where the majority of their “work stress” is the good kind of stress; the kind of stress that challenges you, teaches you things, and helps you grow. Others may work at places where the entirety of their “work stress” is the bad kind; the kind that keeps you up at night, the kind that makes you want to drink, and cry, and plot to shoot up the place.

god-grant-me-the-serenity

yeah-Im-gonna-7vl74t

One way to combat negative energy at work is to create a separate folder in your email to store all of your positive messages. These messages can be anything from compliments from others, great results, or just something funny a coworker said.

positive-email-folder

positive-emails-3positive-emails-2

Revisiting these every once in a while can sometimes be the positive boost you need to remind yourself that “You is kind, you is smart, you is important.”

you-is-kind

Yoga

I did ballet for close to 20 years.

emma-still-ballet

And then I stopped. That halt in activity had such a negative effect on my body, my attitude, and my drive. In the last year, I’ve found joy through practicing yoga, as a replacement for dancing.

Whatever it may be– yoga, swimming, dancing, fencing — let it be a source of positivity. The best part about yoga or any other scheduled activity, is that it forces you to get out of the office at a reasonable hour! I love scheduling 6pm classes, which forces me to leave the office by 5:30. Taking an hour or so for class every few days allows me to focus 100% on myself, and completely disconnect from email, work, and the outside world; a very positive thing indeed.

Pinterest boards

This may sound corny, but creating your own Pinterest boards with happy thoughts and positive messages can have a strong influence on your ‘tude. In fact, some of the images in this post are from my Wise Words Pinterest board. When you’re feeling like you need a pick-me-up, jam out to your favorite songs playlist and scroll through your Pinterest board.

always-grateful

While all of these things have helped me have a more positive outlook, I also don’t want to make it seem like I don’t have grouchy days, pessimistic thoughts, and a negative attitude sometimes. No one is perfect, but these are just some of the things I’ve been working on to become a more positive Emma.

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I Help Great Ideas Get Found http://emmastill.com/i-help-great-ideas-get-found/ http://emmastill.com/i-help-great-ideas-get-found/#comments Thu, 23 Jan 2014 17:24:21 +0000 http://emmastill.com/?p=1194 My brother was in town visiting a few friends this past week in Philadelphia. I decided to meet up with all of them for some drinks after work, since my brother and I rarely have the opportunity to hang out. … Continue reading

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great ideas deserve to be found

My brother was in town visiting a few friends this past week in Philadelphia. I decided to meet up with all of them for some drinks after work, since my brother and I rarely have the opportunity to hang out. He lives in Queens with his girlfriend, works crazy hours in a nursing home kitchen and does street art in his free time. That makes getting together for holidays, or even the occasional lunch somewhat difficult.

My brother and I have never been super close, but he has always been supportive of me, impressed with my accomplishments at such a young age, and takes every chance he can to brag about me to his friends, coworkers, acquaintances– you name it.

My brother never went to college. He got himself into some trouble in his teenage years, and at 27, is still working on bettering himself. He has a job that he enjoys, but maybe doesn’t earn as much money as he’d like, and has somewhat of a “starving artist” mentality. For this reason, I think that he admires how hard I work and the things I’m working to accomplish in my career. I wouldn’t ever call it jealousy; I genuinely believe he is proud of his little sister.

Over $1.00 tacos at happy hour, he was having a side conversation with one of his friends, who I would say shared similar qualities as my brother in terms of hobbies, career goals, and personal traits. My brother was telling him about what I do for a living, cool perks of my job, etc. He called across the table and said, “Em, tell him what it is that you do!” Not a  lot of people, including myself, can really describe what SEO is. So I explained that I do “marketing”.

“Marketing for what?”.

“Well, I do marketing on the Internet.”

“You market the Internet???”.

“Well, I market my clients on the Internet, yes.”, I replied.

“Yeah, but what does your company do?”.

I explained that a business will come to SEER with goals of ranking higher in Google, more or less. And he replied “How many people work at your company?”.

I said around 60 or 70.

He replied back that he couldn’t believe that we could employ 60-70 people at a company that is basically a scam.

“You can just Google how to rank higher in search results; how can people even pay you to do that?”.

I was trying hard not to be insulted. Across a loud, crowded bar, I didn’t have the energy to effectively explain that it’s not that simple, and that it requires skill and marketing knowledge, on top of countless other skills and areas of expertise, so, exhausted, I just said “It’s more complicated than that.” and left it at that.

My brother, although agreeing with his friend, still chimed in and tried to make me sound legitimate by bragging about some of the benefits we have at SEER, but there was no convincing this guy. Every benefit he rattled off was returned with a “Yeah, well,  my brother’s cousin’s sister has blah blah blah” or a “Yeah, well, at my last job we could do blah blah blah”. I was confused. Why did this guy I literally just met feel the need to act so defensive? Why was he attacking his friend’s little sister’s job?

I’m sure there were plenty of reasons, but maybe a few too many happy hour Tecates had something to do with it.

This wasn’t the first time that someone thought that my job was pretty much pointless. I was dating a guy who was in medical school (an accomplishment that is ubiquitously well-respected), and we were laying in bed doing work together one night. He was studying for one of what seemed like a million exams that semester, and I was doing my nightly SEO-reading. I was talking about something I was doing at work that day when he interrupted and asked me “if I was comfortable with the fact that my industry was going to be obsolete soon.”

“It’s something that, in a relatively short period of time, computers will be able to do for you.”

 Realizing that I was grossly misunderstood, I tried my hardest to explain that it’s not a plug-and-play, one-and-done type of simple solution that could be easily automated by a computer. I was defeated and discouraged. I didn’t do a very good job convincing him that people who work on the Internet have incredible job security, just like doctors.

(Oh, and here’s breakdown of jobs that run the risk of being replaced by a computer, just FYI. I don’t see SEO on there.) *sassy Z snap*

jobs_replaced_by_computers

I’ve found that people who don’t know about SEO tend to simplify it down to it’s most basic parts. It’s just about figuring out Google’s formula, and then making a website show up – EASY! If it were that easy, everyone would do it. There would be no such thing as a job in SEO.

People who do SEO, or at least know a little bit about it, know it’s not even close to being that simple. There’s so many factors that contribute to being successful in search, and it’s impossible to explain in a brief conversation, without seeming like you’re reaching or desperate. Some people just won’t understand.

The important part is to surround yourself with people who support you. The important part is to show up to work knowing that you do awesome work for your clients, knowing that you have knowledge in a topic that some people can’t comprehend. Be secure in that. Be secure in knowing that you’re making a difference on the web. You’re helping businesses succeed, and you’re helping people find the things that will make their lives better. I know it sounds cheesy, but it really is true.

Part of SEER’s belief  is “helping great ideas get found”. Maybe that’s what I should tell people when they ask what I do for a living.

 

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Microsoft Excel-Inspired Band Names http://emmastill.com/microsoft-excel-inspired-band-name/ http://emmastill.com/microsoft-excel-inspired-band-name/#comments Thu, 17 Oct 2013 16:17:06 +0000 http://emmastill.com/?p=1182 Band name idea inspired by Excel: "Pasted Values". — Emma Still (@mmstll) September 26, 2013 Band name idea inspired by Excel [Round 2]: "Conditional Format". — Emma Still (@mmstll) October 17, 2013

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Band name idea inspired by Excel: "Pasted Values".

— Emma Still (@mmstll) September 26, 2013

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If I Was at #MozCon http://emmastill.com/if-i-was-at-mozcon/ http://emmastill.com/if-i-was-at-mozcon/#comments Tue, 09 Jul 2013 11:40:24 +0000 http://emmastill.com/?p=1104   MOZCON. The holy grail of SEO conferences. It comes but once a year, but when it does, brace your Tweetdeck – shit’s about to BLOW UP. Seattle, Washington is overthrown by a mob of geeks, all clambering to catch … Continue reading

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Mozcon 2013 logo

 

MOZCON.

The holy grail of SEO conferences.

It comes but once a year, but when it does, brace your Tweetdeck – shit’s about to BLOW UP.

Seattle, Washington is overthrown by a mob of geeks, all clambering to catch just the slightest whiff of Rand Fishkin’s Moz-brand cologne through the cool bay breeze.

Amidst the horrendous smackdowns throughout the year from Google, MozCon is the one beacon of hope that SEO nerds have to actually look forward to every year.

It’s the one time of year people who have only interacted with each other online get together, drink lots of beer to overcome the crippling awkwardness, learn about geeky things…and then tweet EVERY SINGLE MORSEL of it for the world to see, with “#mozcon” of course.

Sounds like an SEO’s dream, right?

Right!

…Except for those who are stuck back at their dank offices plugging away at keyword research, sending hopeless link outreach, and poring over the custom columns they set up in Tweetdeck for HASHTAG MOZCON.

For the 1,200 or so attendees, there are thousands more who are back at the office going about their daily work routines, including myself.

But, if I were at Mozcon…

I probably wouldn’t be able to contain my excitement

In fact, it would probably keep me from sleeping…

I would obviously arrive early

I would definitely attend the #mozcrawl

I might even pull a #Sebald

I would make sure everyone knew how awesome the stage looked

I would definitely have my expectations shattered about what people ACTUALLY look like in real life

I would cross my fingers for a seat at the cool kids table one day

I would ride the Bainbridge Ferry, ferris wheel, and visit the Space Needle

space needle at mozcon

I’d whine about the wifi

I’d get really excited about Avinash cursing, too

avinash cursing

And last but not least, I would certainly be donning plaid, or as Amber Osborne calls it, “The other #mozcon shirt”.

This post is obviously glowing green with envy. For those of you at MozCon, please keep live-tweeting your adventures. How else are we supposed to vicariously live through you?

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Sometimes The Internet Lies http://emmastill.com/sometimes-the-internet-lies/ http://emmastill.com/sometimes-the-internet-lies/#comments Thu, 13 Jun 2013 11:21:48 +0000 http://emmastill.com/?p=1006 This is what Google tells me is happening on the Internet about me, “Emma Still”. You can decide for yourself what’s true and what’s not. I love a short hemline. But I value my education above all else. I cry … Continue reading

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This is what Google tells me is happening on the Internet about me, “Emma Still”. You can decide for yourself what’s true and what’s not.

I love a short hemline.

i love a short hemline

But I value my education above all else.

i value my education

I cry when watching movies.

i get emotional

I still have a thing for my baby daddy.

I have feelings for my baby daddy

I take a stand for females and our driving skills (or lack thereof).

im a bad driver

I befriend other kids on the school bus.

i want to sit by her

bus buddies

I swim to maintain my girlish figure.

i swim to maintain my girlish figure

I’m a domestic goddess and all-around good helper.

im a domestic goddess

I guess no one got the memo.

back in ny

And last, but certainly not least, I shrunk about 3 feet, and picked up some slick gymnastics moves.i do gymnastics

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Stealing Your Competitor’s Fans: A Lesson in Listening http://emmastill.com/stealing-your-competitors-fans-a-lesson-in-listening/ http://emmastill.com/stealing-your-competitors-fans-a-lesson-in-listening/#comments Tue, 07 May 2013 11:26:10 +0000 http://emmastill.com/?p=784 This post is inspired by a Facebook status that SEER Interactive posted recently. We asked what type of content our fans would like to see next on our blog. Luckily SEER was able to address our fans’ requests. If I was … Continue reading

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This post is inspired by a Facebook status that SEER Interactive posted recently. We asked what type of content our fans would like to see next on our blog.

Luckily SEER was able to address our fans’ requests. If I was a search marketing company, and happened to catch this post, you bet your ass I’d be sending this out ASAP to my team. I’d see if we could drum up some kickass content, that addresses what our competitor’s audience was asking for, and publish it before our competitor could say boo. Then I’d send a respectful nudge to Sally so and so to let her know that we were listening to her needs, and had our team try to help her out. This is even easier if you already have the content your competition’s audience is requesting.

An example where this could have worked out swimmingly:

I’ve been a very loyal user of the music streaming service, Rdio, for the last year. I tell people about it every chance I get. They even sent me a tote bag just for asking on Twitter. However, the more people that join Spotify, the harder it becomes for me to seamlessly share music with my friends, and I have been considering switching for this sole reason.

I wailed a cry for help, and neither company was listening. If they were, circumstances might be different, and they could have gained a loyal fan/kept their current user happy.

Rdio vs Spotify

If Rdio or Spotify were monitoring their social mentions, one of them easily could have jumped into the conversation to try and address my needs.

And no… I haven’t switched to Spotify yet. Much like a tumultuous romantic relationship, I may not like Rdio right now, but I still love them. Le sigh.

An example where this DID work out swimmingly:

mountain equipment coop

Granted, I did not buy a backpack from MEC, because I would prefer to spend $200 on 20 pitchers of margaritas, or a dog, or a bike, or 40 messages written in exotic Indian spices. BUT, I am now aware of their brand, I appreciate the fact that they were listening, and I am much more likely to purchase from them when I’m ready to spend $200 on a backpack.

To help find mentions of your brand, RavenTool’s Courtney Sieter gave a great presentation at Social Media Explorer’s “Go To Explore” conference about listening to your audience called The Art of Being Interested. She outlines a ton of ways to monitor mentions, analyze fans and users, and measure effectiveness.

If you want to ask your audience what they want, but don’t want to risk your competitors hearing, just try asking on Google+. #SEOhumor

TL;DR

Listen to what your competitor’s audience wants. Provide them with what your competitor can’t do, hasn’t done, or won’t do.

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