In-House Team Building & Training – Pubcon NOLA 2014

During Pubcon NOLA 2014 I was, once again, privileged to do a presentation during the In-House Team Building & Training session. While I was up first, Brian McDowell and Dave Rohrer followed up with some excellent information. Here are some notes I took during their presentations …

During Pubcon NOLA 2014 I was, once again, privileged to do a presentation during the In-House Team Building & Training session. While I was up first, Brian McDowell and Dave Rohrer followed up with some excellent information. Here are some notes I took during their presentations:

Brian McDowell – In-House Team Building and Training

  • SEO Function scales horizontally instead of vertically
    • Starts in Marketing or IT
    • Eventually moves across the whole organization
  • Find the proper fit for what you need
    • What talent do you need?
    • Where can you find that talent
    • Look at the maturity of your organization in order to see where you need to fill in skill sets
  • Understand the needs of your business
    • Education – Why
    • Advisors – How
    • Evangelism – Who
    • Analysis – What
  • Look for people who intersect Technology, Marketing and Sales
    • You’re director of SEO will fit right in the middle
    • Other roles will have skills that skew in one direction or the other
  • It’s difficult to train someone right out of school who doesn’t understand SEO
    • Someone from PPC can really understand SEO, that’s a good place to find talent
    • It’s sometimes valuable to hire someone right out of school and put them into PPC and then migrate them to SEO if they are good
  • There are over 1 million people who claim to have experience in SEO
    • Create pressure
    • Do a group interview
    • Have the interviewee do some code on the whiteboard – how comfortable are they in figuring out a problem?
  • Don’t forget about training, consultants, coaching, conferences and dedicated time to do research when figuring out how much a person will cost to hire
  • Don’t forget digital resources when estimating costs of everything. You have to make sure the person has the right tools to get the job done
  • SEO is really more about web presence management – remember this!
  • Be a coach –
    • Build your playbook
    • Identify your position needs
    • Attack free agency
    • Call the plays

Dave Rohrer – In-House Team Building and Training

  • Don’t skimp on CPU and RAM in computers for your team members – there’s not much worse than a huge Excel file crashing in the middle of something
  • Align your goals
    • Company Goals
    • Marketing Goals stem from company goals
    • SEO Goals stem from Marketing goals
    • This way everyone is supporting the next level up
    • Break your goals down into strategic initiatives and tactics
  • Consider hiring a journalism temp or intern to interview people during content creation
  • Keep meetings short and to the point – pay attention , make an agenda and follow the agenda
  • Agencies use task and time management to track projects – in-house should use them, too. Tools can help get you more time, people, budget or other help

Dave Ramsey and Pubcon – What’s Happening At The Crossing

Long time readers of The Crossing will know that I am a fan of Dave Ramsey. It all started when I read his book, The Total Money Makeover, and continued as my wife, Jen, and I started coordinating Financial Peace University (FPU) several years ago. At one point, I collaborated with some coworkers to bring the Workplace Edition of FPU to Wilsonart when I was the webmaster there. I also got a lot out of his book, EntreLeadership, which I recommend to any business leader …

What About Dave Ramsey?
Long time readers of The Crossing will know that I am a fan of Dave Ramsey. It all started when I read his book, The Total Money Makeover (Amazon Affiliate Link), and continued as my wife, Jen, and I started coordinating Financial Peace University (FPU) several years ago. At one point, I collaborated with some coworkers to bring the Workplace Edition of FPU to Wilsonart when I was the webmaster there. I also got a lot out of his book, EntreLeadership, which I recommend to any business leader.

Jen and I were invited to an FPU Coordinator Rally coinciding with a live event Dave and his team were holding in San Antonio. It was great to hear Dave, Rachel Cruze and Chris Hogan talk about how the different programs run by the organization are doing and what the future holds.

Dave Ramsey presents an award to Jen and Elmer BoutinThe highlight of the evening was being presented a 2014 Outstanding Coordinator Award for hosting 12 FPU classes in 5 years. This was a total and complete surprise to both me and Jen. Coordinating FPU classes brings its own rewards that have nothing to do with recognition or awards.

On the way home as we were reveling in the excitement we felt in getting an award from Dave, we both agreed that we’d do it regardless of anything else. It’s our way of giving back and helping others win with money.

That’s the best reward of all.

Coming Up: Pubcon
I have been extremely privileged to be invited to speak at Pubcon events over the past several years. I will be presenting again at Pubcon New Orleans next week: March 17-20, 2014. All the the sessions in which I’m involved will be on Tuesday the 18th:

  • Interactive Site Reviews – Focus on Organic
    11:30-12:45 in Salon E
    I’ll be on a panel moderated by Dixon Jones doing site reviews with Craig Paddock, Bill Hunt, and Eric Enge
  • Keyword Research
    1:30-2:40 in Salon A
    I’ll be moderating this session, which features Craig Paddock and Bill Hunt
  • In-House Team Building & Training
    4:00-5:00 in Salon A
    In this session I’ll be presenting “Elmer’s Leadership Lesson version 2.9” along with presentations by Brian Mcdowell and Dave Rohrer with moderator duties performed by Mark Barrera

As always, I love to meet readers of The Crossing. If you find yourself in NOLA next week, please stop by one of my sessions or catch me at lunch or breakfast and say “hi.” As is my custom, I’ll also be posting my notes from the sessions I attend here. Keep an eye out for them.

In-House Team Building & Training – Pubcon Vegas 2013

The second session I participated in during Pubcon Vegas 2013 was the In-House Team Building & Training panel. I was joined this year by Victoria Edwards and Andrew Nevelos. Here are the notes I took …

The second session I participated in during Pubcon Vegas 2013 was the In-House Team Building & Training panel. I was joined this year by Victoria Edwards and Andrew Nevelos. Here are the notes I took:

How to Hire & Train The Right People to Get Stuff Done by Victoria Edwards, Digital Content Specialist at Florida Blue

  • Make sure you analyze your marketing strategy. Do you have clearly defined roles?
  • When looking to add to your team, make sure to train your HR department in basic SEO lingo.
    • Tell them where the talent lives so they can find quality people.
    • Teach them some buzzwords that indicate high- and low-quality prospects
  • Consider using Klout when looking for people.  Don’t neglect LinkedIn
  • When writing job descriptions, don’t ask for everything. Be specific!
  • Don’t forget to optimize job descriptions – they will be online
  • Content writers and anyone else who touches a site should have a basic knowledge of SEO
  • Ask for case studies from prospects. That will help you gauge what kind of talent they have. Also ask about current SEO topics
  • When you get good talent …
    • make sure they have to tools they need
    • invest in their training
  • If you have an Intranet, build up the content so everyone can learn what’s going on
  • Build relationships internally – especially with the IT Department (or whoever does the changes on your website)
  • Looking for content? Get people in-house to contribute content pieces in their areas of expertise

Crowdsourcing SEO by Andrew Nevelos, SEO Manager at Turner Broadcasting

  • Consider crowd-sourcing SEO – find those who are interested in SEO and get them to pitch into the effort
  • Get people who are part of brand and have a vested interest in success help with the ownership of SEO
  • Get people at all levels of the organization to buy into SEO – Start at the top. Executive buy-in can help get the whole organization to follow
  • In order to get others to align with your goals, find out what their goals are can help align all sides in a common effort
  • This especially applies to your web development team
    • Conduct regular training with your dev team(s)
    • Bribe them with food
    • Identify your “SEO Superstars” from the people who show a lot of interest in SEO and do some one-on-one training with them
  • You also need to conduct training with your content creators
  • Try to get SEO as a requirement into new projects – this keeps from have to redo a lot of website work after the fact
  • See you can find a way to meld SEO into the way people already work

I’ll share my part of the presentation later.

Upcoming Speaking Events

I was just reflecting on my lack of activity here at The Crossing. While I won’t make excuses, I can honestly say I’ve been very, very busy. Being busy is not a bad thing, either. The last 18 or so months have brought me a ton of great experiences and education working with some of the smartest people in Marketing Technology today. Looking forward, the next several weeks are going to be busy in a different way. I’m scheduled to speak at two events, and here are the details …

I was just reflecting on my lack of activity here at The Crossing. While I won’t make excuses, I can honestly say I’ve been very, very busy. Being busy is not a bad thing, either. The last 18 or so months have brought me a ton of great experiences and education working with some of the smartest people in Marketing Technology today.

Looking forward, the next several weeks are going to be busy in a different way. I’m scheduled to speak at two events, and here are the details:

Logo for BlogAThonATXBlogathonATX
On Saturday, October 19, 2013 I’ll be presenting an SEO 101 class at BlogathonATX. Those of you in and around Austin who are interested in any aspects of blogging, be it for personal  or business reasons, should check out this event. It’s an intensive … and very fun … time of learning and in-person socializing. The final schedule hasn’t been published as of yet, but I expect to be speaking sometime in the morning.

PubConPubCon Vegas 2013
I am very happy to have been invited to speak at PubCon again. This time around I will be presenting or moderating three sessions:

On Wednesday I will also be available for a 20-minute 1-on-1 session in the PubCon Labs where I will be happy to discuss Online Reputation Managment, SEO or any other marketing technology topic you might have questions about.

As always, if you see me out an about at any event, please feel free to stop and say “hi” and talk a bit.

In-House SEO Team Building & Training – PubCon New Orleans 2013

The SEO Team Building & Training session at PubCon New Orleans 2013 was moderated by Michael Bonfils.

I kicked off the session with my Leadership Lesson 2.0, which is an updated version of the presentation I did at PubCon Vegas last year. The slides from an earlier leadership lesson are available on SlideShare.

Ruth Burr followed with an excellent presentation of her own: In-House SEO Team Building

  • The Rise of Search Sessions
    • Google has taught us to search again when we don’t find what we’re looking for right away
    • There are a lot of things that go into making search happen
      • But, so you need everything all the time?
      • And you don’t need a ton of specialists, you already have amazing resources in your company. Use them!
      • Get the most out of the team you have
      • Give your team what they need and they will give you what you need

Honestly, I wish I’d taken better notes during her presentation. Between live-tweeting and nodding my head in agreement, I didn’t get down as much as I should have.

The best part of this session, however, was the discussion that came after Ruth and I finished our talks. There were a number of agency leaders there who had some great questions that sparked some excellent conversation among the attendees, Michael, Ruth and me. Some points we discussed:

  • It’s better to hire for cultural and team fit rather than just for talent.
    • If you hire someone who will fit into your organization and is willing to learn, you can train them in areas where their skill might be lacking
    • You’re going to spend a lot of time with the people on your team, it’s better to hire people you get along with
    • Note: Dave Ramsey teaches along these lines in his EntreLeadership training
  • When it comes to letting people go, it doesn’t have to be ugly
    • Of course, it’s never fun to fire anyone, but sometimes it’s needed
    • Try to frame it in a way that’s a win for everyone – they don’t fit your team and should find another place where they do fit in better
    • If you take time and hire for cultural fit, you might not have to fire people quite so often

I have to say, this is the best session I’ve ever presented in during a PubCon. Thanks to everyone who participated.