No one could ever call me a great “brand builder” with regard to the online advertising we do for our clients. As an agency, we aren’t really about building brand awareness or getting eye balls on a banner ad as the measurement of our success for clients. Our goal is to get results from the advertising, whether that’s a sale, a form completion or some other Key Performance Indicator. If brand building happens as a secondary benefit to that advertising, then all the better – but the result has always been what we have focused on.
Today is National Girl Scout Leader’s Day, and as many of you may know from my countless requests to purchase Thin Mints, I’m a Girl Scout Leader. One of the many reasons I decided to become a leader in this organization was to give back to the girls of today what I was given so many years ago as a girl myself — the gift of learning leadership.
What is a leader exactly? Beyond organizations like Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts who use the term “leader” as the head of a group, leaders are all around us although they might not be identified with that moniker. Leaders are everywhere around us. And as the events of last week in Boston showed us, leaders can spring from sometimes the most ordinary people. Leaders are necessary in all facets of life and especially in the business world.
In the world of digital marketing, many of us strive to be “industry leaders”. People like Danny Sullivan, Brett Tabke, Christine Churchill, Jill Whalen, Debra Mastaler, Andy Beal and Tim Ash are just a few people I think of when I think of industry leaders in the search industry. I’d like to think I’m on someone’s list as an industry leader as well. Industry leaders in search, as I define them, would be those that are highly knowledgeable and provide the rest of us in the industry with valuable guidance and information. Industry leaders have earned our respect through their knowledge and experience.
So you think you’ve heard all there is to know about content marketing and why it’s such an important part of your digital marketing strategy. You’ve seen the case studies demonstrating how content converts prospects into leads and leads into customers, and the statistics showing how marketers are making content marketing a top priority. You’ve read about all the different types of content you need to be creating. You’re convinced already, and trust me, I’m right there with you. This is exactly what I thought heading into the Digital Content Marketing session today at DemandCon San Francisco – what other new ideas could I possibly glean from this session?
I was wrong. And pleasantly surprised.
Here’s what I learned today, and the most important thing you need to know if you plan to enter the big, bright world of content marketing: you need an editor, and a good one.
I typically write about things I am working on, like LinkedIn advertising or the implications of search and social. This time, I thought I’d give you a behind the scenes look into how we do our work at Search Mojo and what we use to make the data we have useful to us and to our clients.
So, on that note – we are big Excel nerds. We use Excel to organize the data gained from advertising online to make smart decisions – something most (if not all) marketers need to do on a daily basis. I took a quick poll of the Search Mojo office to find out what everyone’s favorite function is and how they use it at work. Jeff, our IT manager, argues that “Excel is one of the best pieces of software out there because its ability to interface with so many data sources and provide a VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) environment, so you can turn that data into information.”
If you don’t like Excel, then this blog post may not be for you – or perhaps it will convince you to give it a try. You just may find these 11 Excel functions and features will improve your efficiency. And, everyone has time for that!
Over the last week, I read Sheryl Sandberg’s new book, Lean In. Within the first two chapters, I felt a connection to this book. While I’ve seen many negative reviews and attacks against Sandberg, I expect that many of those attacking her or this book may not have read it or may not take away the same perspective I did.
Like many women, I’ve admired Sandberg since I watched her TEDTalk. She was inspirational.
From all that I knew about Sandberg, I thought I would likely agree with her stance in her book. However, I saw many articles focusing on negatives about the book — attacking the book. So I decided to read the book and critique it for myself. I’ve captured here many of the topics covered in the book — specifically the ones I found that I related to the most. I hope all of you will read this post (although lengthy) and it will demonstrate how this woman, this leader, has struggled with many of the same issues that Sandberg and many other women have faced.
Feeling Like a Fraud
Within the first two chapters, I found myself easily relating to Sandberg’s text. She explained a phenomenon that I have personally experienced but have never discussed with others — feeling like a fraud. Sandberg references Dr. Peggy McIntosh from the Wellesley Centers for Women who explained that many women feel fraudulent when they are praised for their accomplishments. This phenomenon has a name — “Imposter Syndrome” — and many famous women, including Sandberg and other famous names like Tina Fey, have admitted to suffering from it. “Instead of feeling worthy of recognition, they feel undeserving and guilty, as if a mistake has been made. Despite being high achievers, even experts in their fields, women can’t seem to shake the sense that it is only a matter of time until they are found out for who they really are— impostors with limited skills or abilities,” writes Sandberg.
Why did I relate to this description? Because as crazy as it might sound, I, too, have suffered from Imposter Syndrome. In 2005, when I started Search Mojo, I remember how a popular song “Cable Car” by The Fray expressed, “Everyone knows I’m in over my head.” I felt like it was just a matter of time before my friends, family, and others would be shaking their heads as my endeavors would fail. I felt as if they were all just being kind not to tell me the hidden truth — that they didn’t think I could be a successful entrepreneur. It was if I was living some sort of lie. I felt I was an imposter, and it was just a matter of time before someone uncovered the truth.